Good Morning Ted and Jody:
The weather folks are using the “S” word to describe next week. You know, that time in the Great Pacific Northwest when the sun is out, the temperatures are in the 80s to god knows how hot and it is dry. They are positively doling at the prospects. Those kinds of climatic conditions drive people out to search for water in which to immerse themselves (I suspect it is because we have not quite shed our amphibian ancestry). Ironically, it is these same conditions that melt the snow pack that keep the flowing bodies of water at temperatures guaranteed to induce hyperthermia in minutes. The weather folks note this as well but still drool over the prospects of 80+ degrees.
What this all means, is that the flowers on trees are all by over. However, there is one holdout, the flowers in the water which should continue well into next week. I took time out from my busy day on the exercise bike (while the stationary bike is not helping me get rid of that pound that I am only four or five pounds away from shedding, it has seemed to lower my overall blood sugar by several points) to shoot the flowers and present them here. (I have not figured out how to get proper clouds in the shots that are directed downward, but I am working on it).
The pestilence leaves for the Middle East today. Let us pray they like him and want to keep him.
I trust this finds you in good health, spirits, and happily not in hyperthermia inducing water.
Warmest regards, Ed
028 Agent White’s Interview with Col. George Blackwell
Fiction in 932 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“Col. Blackwell, thank you for agreeing to talk with me again,” said Agent White.
“It is my pleasure to assist the ATI in any way I can,” replied Col. Blackwell. “What precisely do you want to know.
“Normally I would be advised to mask what I am looking for,” said Agent White. “however, you are too smart for me to play games. I am looking for any way you could still travel in time.”
Col. Blackwell chuckled, “I gave that up for my health. I had the implant removed and had another ATI agent bring me here. Here I am not likely to encounter contemporary time travel in my lifetime. Sort of removed from all temptation, so to speak.”
“How is this for your health?” asked Agent White.
“I am what you might call a danger junkie,” replied Col. Blackwell. “I tend to go in where the ammunition is in the air, or bombs are going off. A person could get killed that way. At least that is what my lovely wife tells me. She used to get physically ill when I went on missions. 43% of my operational command over the years did not return alive. She explained that she loved me too much to want to have to get a folded flag. So, she was going to leave me. As much as I love danger, I love her more. She agreed to, shall we say, rough it and live in an earlier time where there was no civil or international warfare. Now, to be precise if I gave up my commission and implant. So, here I am and here I will stay.
“Is that your wife,” asked Agent White pointing to a woman seated on a bench some distance off.
“Yes, your presence makes her nervous,” replied Col, Blackwell. “We have been here five years now and I suspect she thinks I yearn for the old life. I suppose I could, but I don’t, I write instead. I write fantastic science fiction stories about military operations across time. I used the old high energy approach to time travel in my novels—fictional adaptations of actual events to come. I often wonder if I am influencing any people in the future to be more circumspect.
“So, you gave it up for her health and your continued marriage to her. Could you ask your wife to join us?” asked Agent White.
“Yes, certainly,” replied Col. Blackwell. He stood up and waved to his wife. Cupping his hands over his mouth he called out “Julia, come and join us please.”
When Julia rose to join them, Agent White could see the woman was pregnant. Agent White rose and walked toward Mrs. Blackwell and greeted her and said, “Mrs. Blackwell, I am Amanda White. I am here to clear your husband as a suspect in a series of time crimes.”
Julia Blackwell laughed, a laugh bordering on hysteria. “Thank God, I thought you were here to recruit him. And I thought we were doing so well, him not coming back from missions missing body parts. He seemed to enjoy the writing and his agent brings money. But still, it isn’t the same as being shot at is it?”
Agent White changed the topic, “When are you due.”
Julia Blackwell patted her stomach and said, “21 days.” Smiling broadly, she asked, “What crimes?”
Agent White shook her head and then replied, “We noticed when five bodies materialized in the 21st Century that were not contemporary to that period. We initially thought it was a dumping ground for a murder for hire or a scam on cryogenics. We subsequently found wine theft from a long time ago, baseball cards and we suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg. Quite frankly, someone who fits your husband’s taste for danger would not normally be a suspect as these crimes have all been rather sneaky. However, he is one of four former time travelers who are now off the grid I have to check out.”
“I trust my husband; but, I check on him,” replied Julia Blackwell.
Amanda White looked confused, “Check, how do you check?”
Julia Blackwell cocked her right index finger and said, “Come inside and I will show you.” As the two women entered the house, Julia said, “Everyone has favorite things, or habits or things they depend upon. You know the kinds of things you think you can’t live without. Back in real time, I call it real time as this is more like a dream. Back in real time, George was never without a cigar. It was not so much she smoked them as they were part of his attire. He liked a brand called South Pacific. When I check, I look for that particular cigar. In this dream world, he uses a different brand of cigar, a wholly different style or shape. I look for evidence of South Pacific cigars. I know George and if he were still moving around in time he would not be able to resist picking up a canister of South Pacific cigars and bringing them home. In five years, I have not seen one after the first week when he ran out and had to switch to a contemporary brand.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Blackwell,” said Agent White. “You don’t know how much you have helped my ability to check out the other three on my list. If I am reading you right, if they are staying where they are, they won’t have the thinks they used to not be able to live without.”
Julia Blackwell nodded.