I have a confession.
I’ve taken too much of your time already and there’s no way to give it back. I can only explain and ask for, not forgiveness, but understanding.
I have been a practicing chronomancer for about five weeks now, or to put it another way, for several centuries. Stealing time from someone always seemed unethical, but the laws of large numbers convinced me that there was nothing wrong with slicing away a second or two from someone. They’d never notice, and with enough seconds then I would be able to do so much more with my life. Read more books. Walk more streets. Dance more dances. Kiss more lips. Experience more of everything. Or hell, just catch up on some TV.
It’s so simple to do these days, there’s no excuse not to do it. In the dim and hazy past, chronomancers slaved for minutes, sometimes months, over hourglasses filled with liquid time.
Now there’s an app for it.
I’d brought my phone on holiday. I needed more time. And there you were…
Dancers are easy targets. Obsessed with timing, with the beat. Stepping in rhythm, feeling the flow and ebb, and if you dance with the right person, and start to drain time at just the right moment… then you can live forever.
We danced in the rain, syncopated drops splashing on our faces. Summer rain, giving way to the fall. You turned, and as you looked away my finger tapped a button, and a second was transferred from you to me. Just one second shared between us forever. Tiny. Miniscule.
Our minute second.
But I made a mistake. I hadn’t reset the phone for the continental time zone. Instead of one second, an hour of concentrated time flowed out over the dance floor. Days spilled into the Spree. So much wasted time. I tried to stop it, to reverse what I had inadvertently done. I could see the time of your life around me. Nothing worked. Time ran out of my hands.
And now here we are.
Time flows fast for you. It’s stopped for me. But one of these years, in a couple of days, maybe we’ll meet again. Just in time.