Hello everyone, here we have it – the last chapter of From Edge to Edge. I hope you enjoyed the journey to this point. The story was actually written within a couple of days, and I plan to expand this into a full novel. That will require extensive research on not only the time period but also the amount of time it would take to travel to each place. In other words, I have to choose each individual city around the world, research it, and fit that into the time limit the travelers have to reach. It’ll be time-consuming but worth it in the end! If you want to start with Chapter I, you can read it here. I hope you enjoy today’s final chapter:
Chapter VII: When Ends Meet
Time was the same after Jantez, Joan, and Peter pressed the fob watch to the heart of Big Ben. Nothing would ever be the same again. It was 4:05 PM on September 1st, the day the time window would close. The odd trio of Yevike, Great Adventurer, and Legendeer stood side by side on the edge of London, twenty-eight minutes left to save the universe.
The last few minutes of the world seemed to go by as any other time. Slow and twisting yet fiery with speed. People strolled down the streets of London, taxicabs passed, and the calls of children could be heard for blocks. Joan had asked herself if this was how the world would end; September 1st, 1914, early in World War I, the Earth oblivious as the slate was wiped clean.
Joan fished for the silver engraved fob watch and pressed it into Peter’s hand, silent. The three grabbed the nearest taxi and took off to Big Ben, the air heavy between their souls. For what time and space consisted of, not a single moment in existence could describe what they felt.
For Joan, it was doom – her family in the year 2020 would never know. For them, she had only been gone a few days, not decades. And surely not back in 1914. She also was stricken by the loss of the universe, the fate of everyone in their hands.
For Peter, a cold silence of failure mixed with a peaceful, upbeat attitude. He had no family, no home, no place to return to. His job was to keep the universe safe, and always had been. He knew if all else failed, he would die young, having failed his mission to protect all of existence.
For Jantez, he felt emptiness, pain, and regret. His young sister was dead because he had been selfish. Having jumped onto the flying fob watch with his sister, his internal organs had begun to burst with the speed. The only way to live was to take the breath of another Yevike, and he had done it. His sister would have died side by side, loyal as a dog before she would dare steal life. But he had been foolish, selfish, evil. He then stole from humans in Siam to live. Left his last relatives to wander through the universe, hunted. Nothing but regret and sorrow filled Jantez’s heart, for he did all that and still failed to live.
The three felt demise for there was no time left – they could make it to Big Ben within minutes. They had almost half an hour left, but it was not time that killed them. It was the universe, space, existence. The fob watch, containing all things living, had finally stopped ticking. Peter knew it would happen the closer they got to Big Ben and the dark magnetic force below it. Yet all he had done was hope, not stop, not go ahead. Simply hope that it would restore itself.
It never did.
The watch stood there, silent, as the last few minutes of Earth ticked away. Joan finally had enough, grabbing the watch from Peter, yanking off the silver chain, and tossing the universe on the ground. It exploded in a million different shards, an odd black ink spilling forward in a flood. It began to cover the streets of London, climb up walls, grow like ivy and hang like leaves. Every heart and cell it touched froze.
All but theirs.
The chain was entangled in the three’s hands, keeping them alive.
“We have to get to the tower,” Joan whispered, “and destroy the darkness.”
With that, the three sprinted, determined not to let go of the chain that spared their lives. When the fob watch shattered, it suspended all life, leaking the universe onto itself. That is never supposed to happen, and unless reversed, the small liquid of the universe would eat itself and erase all of time. Of course, Joan was intelligent – the dark force had interwoven itself within the heart of the watch, and destroying it made the creature weak. With sacrifice, the universe could still be saved. After all, the second most powerful item of time was Big Ben, and it still went on ticking.
“We have twelve minutes left,” Jantez said, glancing at the giant clock that scraped the sky in dazzling lights.
As the three got closer to the tower, their hearts began to slow, each step as heavy as stepping through Mikile Dust. Breaths became labored, eyes heavy. It was all the dark magnetic force, pulling them down, down into the world destroyed long ago.
As Big Ben showed eight minutes until the end of life, Joan, Jantez, and Peter stood at the base of the clocktower, a small door inches away. The once wooden door was sealed with the ink of the universe, keeping life out and the beast within.
“We have to get in there. Opening the door will kill the force,” Peter said, gasping for air.
“Break the chain,” Jantez said. “Won’t that destroy the ink?”
Joan and Peter glanced at each other, biting their lower lips before turning to Jantez.
“It will,” Joan explained, “But Peter and I will die.”
Jantez stood silent, closing his eyes then opening them again. At last, he managed to speak, voice gravely with sorrow.
“If we do not destroy the chain, everyone will die.”
“We know,” Peter and Joan echoed each other.
Big Ben cried out 4:30 PM into the air, like a man on its last breath. The tower would die in three minutes. Joan grasped the middle of the fob watch’s silver chain and tugged back without a word. Jantez pulled left, Peter right, pulling, pulling the ends of the universe further. At last, it was snapping, hanging on by a tiny piece of metal.
“This is it, we end it here,” Peter said, managing a faint smile. “It was great knowing you two. Jantez, I am truly sorry about your people. Maybe you can-”
“There is nothing anyone can do,” Jantez interrupted. “Thank you for everything.”
Joan, still silent, closed her eyes and made the final pull, the chain splitting in half, spilling not ink but dazzling light. The ink of the universe – all the darkness of the magnetic force – began to pull back, melting like snow thrown onto the fireplace.
Joan and Peter screamed, falling to the ground. Their features were becoming distorted, warped, hundreds and thousands of years added to their lives then pulled back over and over. One thing never changed – their eyes – wide open with pain, a single tear in each rolling down their never ending faces. Jantez leaped forward, grabbing the two, holding back a scream as they clawed his face. With a deep breath, he brought his pure white wings out and shot up toward the sky, the watch’s dazzling light filling every particle on Earth and the universe. He flew, flew 315 feet up into the air, then dropped down a bit to the face of the clocktower.
“Please work, please work,” he cried, wings melting as he landed on the edge of the ticking clock’s face, the dying Joan and Peter in his arms. He placed a hand on the clock, closed his eyes, and dug into his consciousness. He pulled out the life of his sister that he stole and placed it into the dying heart of the clocktower. Jantez collapsed onto the ground, body burning like the solar flare that destroyed his people.
Life shot through Big Ben, spreading to the broken fob watch, Joan, Peter and all of suspended life. Everything unfroze, people stared at the dazzling display of the universe’s light. The two gasped, faces returning, pain gone. The silver fob watch called all the broken pieces to the heart and repaired itself. Then the light faded and all was silent – 4:33 PM.
Joan and Peter shook their heads, amazed, and shouted for joy. Then they turned to Jantez who laid weak upon the edge of the clocktower. His heart was slow, breath labored, eyes blinking open and closed like retreating waves of the tide.
“Jantez!” Joan said, bending beside her ally. “What-Why-”
“Shh…” He gasped, smiling. “I made mistakes – awful mistakes – and this is my gift to those who I wronged.”
Peter kneeled beside Joan, silent, grasping the last Yevike’s pale hand and said in ancient Latin – the language of the Yevike, “Requiesce in pace heroes. Amicus.”
“Thank you,” Joan whispered, blinking.
A single blue tear filled with the Yevike’s memories rolled down his face as he smiled, closing his eyes for the last time. Peter grabbed a small vial from his pocket and caught the swirling blue liquid, sealing the memories and life.
“We will see his life again,” Peter said, standing.
Blue mist sprinkled from Jantez’s body into the sky, swirling, forever free.
“His spirit,” Joan said, laughing into the silent afternoon. “He lives on.”
“As do all Yevike when they die. He shall meet his family again in spirit form, exploring across the skies. We shall see him again, someday,” Peter said, pocketing the tear.
“What was the… “ Joan started, sighing in dismay.
“His life, all gathered into a tiny blue tear. He wanted us to see his life, his faults, and his change. On his planet, the memory will open. It was Jantez’s last gift to us, Joan.”
So the two stood together, feet dangling over the beating heart of Big Ben, the silver of the fob watch glinting below, as the spirit of the last Yevike roamed free, dancing above them. No one would know that the universe ended momentarily in 1914. No one would know a pale human-like creature with pink eyes sacrificed himself to save time and space. And no one would know his spirit, the last Legendeer, and the Great Explorer stood as guardians of the universe, traveling in a peculiar fob watch through time and space.
Of course, none beside the three themselves. Joan and Peter laughing as the dazzling blue spirit of their friend swirled in and out of them playfully.
The world would never know, for after all, such a thing was best kept secret.