Greetings and Salutations phenomenal readers of the blog,

Welcome back for the exciting conclusion of Juggling Time. We are glad your here. I have to mention that Digger is extremely upset with being preempted. If you’ve tuned in to be abused by Digger, fear not he will return next Friday with an entire new set of sarcastic, rude, and demeaning quips. He also promises to continue his series of interviews with dead authors.

I know many of you are waiting patiently for the story. Some things are worth the wait. I hope you think this is one of those. But hey, in the interest of full disclosure, give us shout. If you liked it we especially want to hear from you. If you thought it sucked and that it represents one hour of your life you’ll never get back, we prefer you keep that to yourself, but if you must, by all means, let’s have it.

And now for the long awaited conclusion to Juggling Time.

Juggling Time (cont.)

Jude woke, stretched, and began his yoga, using intentional breathing throughout his exercises. With no way of knowing what time it really was, he relied on his internal clock to tell him when to sleep, when to wake. When food was delivered, he would reset his clock. He lived in the moment. He estimated he had been in room zero for three days. They had removed the restraints, but that was all that changed since his arrival. The lights burned twenty-four seven, it was the one thing he couldn’t overcome.

He sang to himself and recited poetry he read long ago. Neither the lyrics or poetry was verbatim for the most part, but that was the challenge. He filled in the blanks with his own words where needed to complete them.

Mostly he practiced the very thing they wanted him for. They had no way of knowing that by slowing time in his realm the days fled by at an alarming rate. He could live in this room standing on his head if he could only master the headstand pose. He had reached the point where he could pass the time between meals in the time it took to recite The Raven. Or at least the part he remembered. He guessed his meals came when the others were eating. Which he knew was 8:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 6:00 pm.

By his calculation, he passed five hours in fifteen minutes. Slipping into the trance-like state to really impact time was difficult, but like anything else, it got easier with practice. He found himself enjoying the quiet and the solitude he found there. The room faded faded to a blur of white, turned to grey, and eventually nothing but blackness.

It took him longer to get back and be coherent when he went really deep or stayed too long. It scared him at first. What if he couldn’t return. He wished he could share his concern with someone. The only person he saw was Dr. Stone. Three times a day she delivered his meals and spared fifteen minutes of time to chat. He wasn’t about to share with her. He knew it drove her crazy when he didn’t beg her to stay. Suddenly an idea hit him. Maybe he could share with her after all.

That night, when most everyone had left for the day, he took himself deeper than he’d ever gone before.

When he woke he had no recollection of time passing. He was rested, but out of it, as if he’d been drugged. However, he was ready to demonstrate his ability for Dr. Stone.

###

Baird couldn’t believe his eyes. He watched the video over again and again since he logged in that morning. The IT guys had been reviewing the glitches he’d discovered for several days. They were unable to explain how Jude could disappear out of the frame, while the rest of the room remained. Baird had watched every minute of the file since the moment Jude arrived back at Langley. He no longer believed it was an anomaly of the video feed. Jude really disappeared. Sometimes only briefly, but last night he was out of the room for seven hours.

Baird hurried along the corridors. Fear coated his throat. He caught a glimpse of Stone rounding a corner and yelled. “Dr. Stone, a word please.”

He reached her just outside of the door to Jude’s room. She held a breakfast tray in her hand. “What is it doctor, I’m busy?”

“There’s something you should see. I’ve been watching the video playback from Jude’s room and, well, you really should see it for yourself.”

“I heard you have the IT guys running ragged. I’m sure they will resolve your problem. It’s what they do.” She pressed her security badge to the reader.

“No please wait. You really need to see this. It’s not…”

The door closed in his face. He tried his badge but the red light signaled he was not approved. He ran back to the observation room and sat down in front of the monitor.

###

Jude’s eyes were closed. The door latch clicked softly indicating Dr. Stone’s arrival. He sat on his bed, legs crossed in silent meditation. Maintaining his concentration was critical. He wasn’t sure what he was about to attempt was possible. Intuitively he knew his concentration would have to be absolute. He listened to his rhythmic breathing, and the regular thump-thump of his heart. He envisioned a beam of light passing through him from top to bottom, grounding him to mother earth and connecting him with the infinite universe above.

“Good morning Dr. Stone.” His voice sounded dreamy, but his eyes remained closed.

“Jude. You slept well I hope.”

“The sleep of dead.”

“I have your breakfast.” She sat it on a side table and took her customary seat near the foot of the bed.

“Thank you, it smells good.”

“You seem in good spirits today, have you reconsidered your position?”

“You’ll be pleased to hear I have radically changed my opinion.” He opened his eyes and tried for his most charming smile. “I would like you to see what your treatments have done for me.”

Dr. Stone gave him a wary look. “Are you feeling alright Jude?”

“Yes, I feel fine. Thank you for asking. How about yourself doctor?”

“You’re acting a little strangely today.”

“I’ve had, what three, four days to consider my position as you say.”

“Do you mind if I check your vitals?” She stood, concern coloring her features.

“You’re the doctor, doctor.” He patted the edge of the bed. “Come, have a listen to my change of heart.” He chuckled at his quip.

Dr. Stone checked his pulse first and frowned slightly. “It’s a little slow.”

Jude closed his eyes and slipped a little deeper. Time slowed and he no longer felt the bed pressing against his rear.

She pulled a blood pressure cuff from one pocket of her lab coat and a stethoscope from the other. “Have you felt dizzy?” She applied the cuff and pumped it up.

Jude placed one hand lightly on her elbow and went deeper still. Light faded to gray and he floated on the first wave of timelessness.

“Jude?”

“Hmmm.”

“What’s happening?” She tried to pull away from him. He tightened his grip.

###

Baird watched panic blossom on Stone’s face, but she was unable to slip out of Jude’s grasp. He picked up the phone and punched in twelve twelve.

“Security.” The voice drawled.

“I think Dr. Stone’s in trouble. She’s in observation room two hundred.”

“I’ll send someone down.”

“You’d better hurry.”

Baird couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He blinked dropping the receiver to the floor. “It may be too late.” Stone and Jude faded from the screen. As if through the magic of Hollywood they were no longer there. But Baird knew this wasn’t some Hollywood special effect.

Like Elvis, they had left the building.

db

Well that’s all for today.

Digger; “What the bloody hell. That’s it then. You mean to say you bumped me for that load of pig wallow.”

Security! Security! Not me. The guy in coveralls you baboons.

I think Digger overreacted. Mr. Blue will put him on ice until he cools off a little. Next week we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming. Until then I leave you with this from the fabulously funny fellows of Monty Python. This is from the closing number in The Life Of Brian, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

“I mean, what have you got to lose?
you know, you come from nothing
you’re going back to nothing
what have you lost? Nothing!”

Thanks for tuning in,

Dave Benneman

 

 

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