TITLE: Keeping Time
GENRE: YA Light SF
Some Timekeepers saw the Schedules as a rigid set of rules never to be broken, but I figured a little creative interpretation never hurt anyone.
The dust was thick in the air and heavy on my tongue as I inhaled. With every breath, history took root in my lungs. A flowery perfume tried to hide the musty scent, but the smell of years long gone still lived on in the antique store.
“Change of plans,” I said as my assignment partner rounded the corner of the aisle. He jumped out of the way to avoid sending a teetering pile of old books crashing to the floor.
Trent sighed. “Why do you always do this, Mik? What was wrong with the original plan?”
“Do you really think just prompting him to buy a book from her would be enough?” My gaze drifted towards our target. “It's too simple for a guy like that. We’ll need something a bit more drastic to get through his thick skull.”
Thirty-year-old Joseph Bolland stood on the far side of the store with stiff shoulders and a straight back. The window behind him, dirtied with years of grime, let in very little light. Even with the dingy overhead lamps, the wine decanter in his hands was barely visible.
I ran through my mental checklist for matchmaking assignments. The briefing was on point with almost everything, but it had failed to mention Joseph was a real jerk.
Trent’s voice sliced through my annoyance. “What’d he do to piss you off?”