The Long Chron – Online Edition – Chapter Five

I walk out the door and actually find myself feeling a little disappointed in giving up my copy of The Confidence Man.  I spent a lot of time getting it printed and never actually found the time to read it.  On the other hand, the thick wad of cash in my hand brings my spirits right back up.  My first swindle was a total success!

Griff is about half a block up the street, leaning against a wall, and staring off into the distance.  I skip toward him cheerfully.

“How’d you make out, kid?” he shouts.

“Jeez,” I shush him, “isn’t it bad form to celebrate so close to a mark like that?”

“Ah, whatever.  That guy’s a total douche anyways.  What’d you pull?”

“Four hundred,” I answer.

“Really?  That’s it?  The guy got me up to offering him just under four grand for the damned thing before I said I had to grab the money.  You got scammed, kid.”

“Right,” I laugh.  “Should probably report him to the BBB, huh?”

“By the way, nice touch using The Confidence Man as your ‘fiddle’.  Showed some balls.”

“I thought you’d like it.  Oh, and really good work with the door and making him think you were on your way back in.”

“That wasn’t me.  Some Mormon holding a slice of pizza was about to go in.  I think the cat might have scared him off.”

“Nice,” I laugh.

“What you got there?” Griff asks, noticing me absentmindedly toying with my new jewelry.

“A little trinket I managed to get thrown into the pot.”

“You have learned something,” he beams.  “Looks pretty nice.  What’s the tag got it for?”

“Nothing on the tag.  The guy didn’t seem like he knew it even existed.”

“Oh,” Griff’s grin fades.  “I guess I congratulated you too early.”

“I don’t know,” I smile, looking up into his eyes.  “I think it’s pretty.”

“What is it?”

“I’m not sure.”  I press the button on top, causing it to flip open.  “It kinda looks like a watch with a compass attached, but it seems like the hands are swapped or something.”

“What do you mean?” Griff starts walking down the block away from me.

I follow.  “Well, there’s only one hand on the watch face, and it seems to move whenever I turn it.  The compass face has a big hole in it, but it seems to turn whenever I move the ring on the bottom here.”  I rotate the ring to show him.

“Weird.”  He stops in his tracks and reaches for the device.  “Maybe the faces got put in the wrong place when someone was restoring it or something.  And if the clock hands are missing, we should be able to replace them without any trouble.”

“Yeah, that’s kinda what I thought, but it still seems weird that—“

“Oh, I see.”  He makes something click on the sphere in his hands.  “The clock goes in the center of the compass face, like this.” The device clicks again.

Suddenly the wind picks up around us, whipping a plastic bag from the street in a circle around my head.

“Whoa,” Griff says, his attention turned away from the timepiece now.  “Freak wind today, huh?” he laughs.

The wind grows stronger, pulling in more debris from the surrounding area.  I feel the chain pull against my neck.  The storm grows wilder.  I grasp the locket strongly and pull it against my chest.  Three blue garbage bags begin spinning around us rapidly.

“I don’t think this is normal, Griff,” I say in trepidation.

“Umm,” Griff says with his mouth open in awe.  “No, I don’t think it is.”

I look up to see what has his attention and find a thin cyclone has appeared directly above us, reaching high into the other-wise clear sky.  The wind grows stronger and I feel myself being pulled toward the center of it.

“Griff,” I cry out.  “What’s happening?”

“I don’t know, kid.”  He grabs my hands. “But I think you might want to hold on!”

I feel my feet pulled from the ground.

Go to Chapter Six

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