Two more miles to the orchard. I’m looking for a special apple tree that bears fruit in May. I know that normally, apples come in autumn, but this particular tree belongs to Time, and i think it will give me hints as to where Chronos, the God of Time himself, is hiding out. He’s been gone for too long. Well, any amount of time that Time is indisposed is too long. I understand that Gods and Goddesses need vacations, but Chronos didn’t find a fill-in. There are so many people acting like they did when they were kids in school and there’s a substitute teacher. They test the person to see how much they can get away with, except it’s worse because there’s no one at all. It’s total mayhem.
One more right turn, and yes! This is it. This orchard was abandoned by its human owners five years ago, but the little red house by the road is still in good condition. I’m not sure how it happened to come into Chronos’ possession. I asked Lena, one of the Three sister Fates, if Chronos might possibly be staying in this very house. She said no. He prefers the tropics. But we’ve searched everywhere. We have agents in Aruba, Tahiti, Belize, Barbados. The list goes on. No Chronos. I’m Agent 37, by the way. I work for Lena, the oldest and most responsible of the Three Fates. This orchard is just outside of Cragg Creek, Oregon, twenty five miles south of Portland. It’s odd that Chronos owns an orchard here. It’s certainly not tropical. Anyway, these trees are special. Lena said Eris has been known to come here to search for the perfect apple for one of her chaotic schemes. Chronos has forbidden her to do it, but she’s Eris. The word forbidden is not in her vocabulary.
I wandered off track there again. Sorry about that. I change from heels to boots. It’s still quite muddy and wet in May, and i set off. I have a map of the orchard. There are three hundred acres of trees. The one i want to find is east of the center.
So I walk. I walk for a long time in what i think is the right direction. I mean, i’m going in the right direction, right? Chronos can’t mess with places, only with time. I hope. And yes! I believe i see the precise tree i’m looking for. It’s a little smaller than the others, and there are three ripe Pink Ladies on it. No other tree has apples yet, only fallen blossoms on the surrounding ground. I reach for the highest apple, but i’m distracted by a mountain lion’s roar. I stand absolutely still. Now, what am i supposed to do if approached by a mountain lion? I forgot. Don’t play dead. He’ll kill me, drag me behind a tree and eat me for supper. Plus he’s a cat, so climbing a tree is pointless. I remember! Stand tall, wave a huge stick or something and yell.. try to scare him away. I turn and start yelling and cursing and jumping up and down. But it’s not a cougar i see. I see a house! A house that wasn’t there three minutes ago. It’s a beautiful shade of yellow, it has three stories, and i think, seven gables. It’s about sixty yards away. This house is not on my map. Forget the apple for now. I need to check out this house. This magical, beautiful house from nowhere!
Who is it, Watson? Who do you see out the window?
It’s 37, Holmes. Real name Justine Hawthorne. Age 35. Former investigative journalist from Portland, Oregon, 2017. Hired by Lena to aid in the search for Chronos.
I say invite her in, Watson. Maybe she has infomation we can use in our search for Scorpius….
To Be Continued..