Can the young want Time? He felt slow and out of sorts, but was it a want for Time? She came and went so effortlessly that he wasn’t sure if it was desire or something else, just a comfort to see her again and know that she was coming and going still. He liked to know that she had a purpose, and through her, he found his. But can the young really want for Time, or just want after her, chasing her as if they never got the chance to get to know each other.

Time was a frivolous creature, her hair made of moonlight and skin the color of the darkest night. Her eyes twinkled and sparkling, always laughing and always careful to be sure you got caught and captured by her passing gaze.

He saw her here and there, reflected in a watch or in the lock screen of his cell phone, but he was never able to meet Time face to face until, on a particularly misty morning, he came across her in the town square with a load of watch parts from the local pawn shop borne behind her by her handmaid and servant, the Motley Man.

“Tell me, O Time, what is my purpose? Why does it seem that I am always chasing you, yet never really knowing you?”

Time’s laugh was as silvery alarm bells. “None know me, not even myself,” said she. “I simply endure, as I have been enduring, keeping the World Clock wound and Time’s Arrow straight.”

He would not be dissuaded. “Show me, O Time, how I can know you better and use you better and spend you better.”

“Very well,” she said, and his heart leapt. “Go into the Jungle of Luud. My servant will accompany you. Do as he commands you and you will find yourself in the Sacred Geometry. There you will find the one you seek. When you have pulled her from the Geometry, you will understand Me.”

He bowed deeply and led by his misshapen guide, he set out for the Jungle of Luud and his beloved Mona.

Ah, Mona. He had met her first in the Pearls. She was sitting under the perpetual moonlight, scribbling away in a small violet book.

“Mona, my dear,” he said. Mona did not look up but merely nodded, still deep in her book. “It has been so long. Whatever have you been doing?”

“I have been writing,” Mona said, appearing to embellish her journal.

“I can see. I was told you have the answer to Time.”

“Do I now?” Mona asked.

“I suppose you must. How do you spend Time these days, then? How might I make better use of my time, as you do?”

“Ah, my friend,” said Mona, “Lately I have been writing, but the rest of the time I have been simply living.”

“That is a rather vague answer,” he grumbled. “I am living now!”

“Not really. You’re existing, certainly, but to enjoy each moment, and invest your whole being into it, now that is truly living. And as I am investing myself in this writing.”

With that, Mona disappeared into her journal. He took up the fallen book, put it in his pocket, and carried Mona out of the Sacred Geometry, going out to live his life.

Warm summer’s sunset sinking low over the graveyard. The man and his Mona, bowed with old age, held each other on the bench while they watched the sunbeams play pink and orange before death’s deep red took them. The Motley Man stood at the cemetery gate, with Time and her handmaiden behind him.

“Now?” the Motley Man asked.

“No, give them a moment yet,” sighed Time with bated breath.

Mona and the man sat in loving embrace, and as the last rays of maroon burst into cold, purple night, they kissed, hearts pressed together, and Time waved her hand forward, and the Motley Man set out in a broad pace toward the two.

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