The sands of Tim

by Lewis

The gate didn’t look like much at first, but the more you focussed on it you realised it was shimmering, moving, a deep dark mass like a thick oil but a thousand times darker. The gate swung open with a creak as silent as a scream stuck in the throat. Tim shifted up the narrow pathway, towards the shadow of the school, edged by a row of tall dark trees. Everything had an edge here.

He hadn’t wanted to go. He had been perfectly happy just ticking along. But Mother had spoken and you always listened to Mother Earth. Of course Tim (as mum and dad called him) was different to the others. He knew he was different. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the other gods knew it too. Technically he wasn’t even a god, Everyone ‘believed’ in Tim, but nobody worshipped him. He was separate, a law unto him self, unstoppable and inexorable, but he had to begin somewhere.

He had tried hard at first. He mastered the theory quickly, he knew the answer to every question. But again and again he failed at the final hour. For some reason he just didn’t work, he didn’t flow. He was, to his hooded and hallowed father an endless disappointment. The one thing everyone said was that Time passed. But not this Time.

So here he was back again, the top school, the pantheon of deity education. Everygod who was anygod came here. You don’t just wake up knowing everything, even eternal judgement had to be learnt. Every term was the same; Tim arrives and at first he is ignored. He walks the corridors alone but always moving. The others stare indifferently or mutter as he passes them by. Eventually the ignoring turns to hate, a godly resentment at the absolute faith mankind had in Time. He didn’t need to try, no miracles to perorm, no ritual, it wasn’t fair. But Tim was nothing if not patient and eventually the gods always moved on and left. But He never did. All he wanted was to do what he was meant to do. But he couldn’t, he shifted and glitched, either to fast or too slow, he had lost his beat, his purpose.

But Then something happened. Her name was Bee and she walked like a queen. She had entered the classroom parting the crowd gathered in the doorway with a single look. Tim twitched at his desk as he looked up. She walked with a rhythm that put babies to sleep and made grown gods blush and fall quiet. Her starless black skin a flawless background for her eyes of emerald fire. Attitude flowed from every pore. A quiet hush had fallen across The room until the tutor entered and the spell was broken. She didn’t speak a word for the whole session But quietly tapped a beat with her feet that both fascinated and soothed Tim.

When the lesson finished he followed her from the classroom. He couldn’t have stopped even if he wanted to. He found himself walking more smoothly, more evenly as her feet tapped a beat with each step.

He followed her down a corridor and into a room he had never seen before. The room was empty apart from a scratched and battered guitar. She picked it up and strummed a simple chord.

Tim stood still.

Then she began to sing, a voice of velvet that wrapped him up and flowed through him. He found his heartbeat beginning to match the sound and for the first time in a long time he began to feel, not organised but somehow more together. The Music made sense to him, put him in order, shaped him. In that moment He knew, this Time was going to be different.