A Girl Out of Time

One: Strange Happenings

Written by Antagony on 27 Jul 2017 01:55.

March 23rd, 2018.

The professor found a place to sit in the sculpture garden. A quiet, sunny spot. Though the trees and the south entrance of Bunche Hall managed to cast shadows across the lawn long enough to touch the toes of his shoes. He took in the morning in a single breath before releasing it and sighing in relief.
It was his last day after all. The semester, the exams, and now the grading was over; complete. He’d finished early on account of his small classes. Now came his reprieve. And respite never felt sweeter. Until the next semester, that is. But that was something Joe decided he’d rather not think about. Now was a time for relaxation. For leisure.
So he unfolded the Times, and flipped through various pages of interest. Skipping through ads and obits if he encountered them.
Eventually he came upon an article that was particularly intriguing. It belonged to a series he had been following for nearly three years. A series he regarded at first with moderate inquisitiveness and possibly even gusto. But now, with only a passing curiosity.
Like those which came before, the story didn’t make its way onto television or newspaper headlines. In fact it was hardly worth mentioning whenever Joe thought about it. And he figured those few paragraphs, which never numbered more than five in any issue published since reporting on the occurrence began, was meant only as filler. At best, a joke. The author, thought Joe, is even a joke. I mean, who the hell is Puce Pipple?
The series had no formal title to accompany it, so Joe referred to it as the ‘Daily Pothole.’ Usually the articles detailed the sudden, random appearance of potholes throughout the city. And in the strangest places too. Not just in the roads, but on sidewalks and even more frequently inside of buildings. But that wasn’t all. Stranger still was how these little holes appeared, and how the half-circular chunks of road or flooring had apparently been ‘scooped’ out and were found just a few feet away. Other stranger happenings, which were far more difficult to describe, often accompanied the potholes.
The newest article was no different. Late the previous evening, a new hole appeared in relative proximity in Koreatown. Just outside of Quarters Korean BBQ on South Alexandria. Part of the awning over the entrance was also mysteriously ripped off and could not be recovered. Around the same time, the lights in the car park, the restaurant and neighbouring buildings flickered for almost a minute. For a full two hours after that, there were reportedly three to four dozen stray cats seen gathered around the eatery. Mewing loudly.
Joe set the paper on his lap and smiled a broad smile. Not the weirdest one I’ve read, but still quite amusing.
A passerby— one of his colleagues, Professor Collins— saw Joe smiling and waved to him. He waved back to her in reply, smiled twice as wide and blushed.
Professor Jamie Collins was rather beautiful. Blonde hair fell down her shoulders and fluttered in the gentle breeze. And whenever she saw him her red lips puckered, and her blue doe eyes glimmered. She was bright too, obviously. That was why she was an instructor at UCLA. That was why Joe was considering asking her out.
Joe didn’t look so bad either. A self-professed ‘bookish’ type, he wasn’t overly muscular, but he was still quite fit. In the light, his coppery skin glowed bronze. His black hair was short and wavy. On his squared jaw his beard and moustache were a thick stubble.
As Professor Collins passed, Joe pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. Behind them a pair of eyes as green as the trees swaying in the wind. They smiled at her too.

Next Chapter: Sunglasses and Cologne by EllieLavellan

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