Death’s Mystery

Alliane narrowed her eyes at the bright red numbers on the clock; she urged them to change. After several seconds she realized the colon was missing; and, it did not seem to be coming back. She rolled over in the bed and pushed at her sleeping boyfriend, Jonah. He slept on his back and was not breathing. Alliane glanced out the window and noticed the patio light was on; she herself turned it off before going to bed. With a sigh, she stood from the bed.

She knew it would be a while before she got to bed and stopped in her closet to change. After dressing in jeans and a t-shirt she made her way out of the bedroom, through the hall then into the kitchen. A lean young man in a navy-blue pinstripe suit was waiting on the patio for her. The patio lights illuminated him from behind and cast his shadow onto the white kitchen tiles.

“It couldn’t wait ’till morning?” Alliane asked as she slid the glass door open. The young man smiled.

“It is morning,” he said.

“I meant when the sun’s out,” she said as she joined him on the concrete slab outside her back door. She closed the sliding door behind her, then crossed her arms and gave Billy her full attention. Billy shook his head.

“There’s nothing to see when the sun’s out,” he replied. “Before Vanilla died she showed me something. She promised we’d talk about it later but…,” Billy gave a sad shrug. “…she died before that. I wanted to show you.”

“Okay,” Alliane nodded. She was glad she changed clothes.

“Thanks,” Billy smiled and turned to walk toward Alliane’s back yard. “Time is stopped right now, right?”  He looked at her over his shoulder and asked.

“As far as I can tell,” she replied. She did not have the power to stop time like Billy, but she guessed it was him when she noticed her alarm clock didn’t move.

“Then take a look through this…,” Billy stopped next to a telescope. Alliane didn’t recognize it and assumed he brought it with him. “… and see if you can explain it.”

“Explain what?” Alliane asked as she made herself comfortable by the lens and peered up at the night sky. The telescope was trained on a single glinting, twinkling star that winked at Alliane. She stared at the star for several seconds waiting for something to happen. It did not do anything other than glimmer like a star. She pulled away, looked up at Billy and shrugged. “What am I looking at?”

“If time is stopped here on Earth…,” Billy pointed up at the sky. “Why isn’t it stopped out there?”

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