Prisoner Exchange

The paper was so smooth it felt like it was just printed—a practice used up to the 21st century when paper was still necessary. Each of the nature trails were so intricately drawn that they seemed to compensate for the shape of the bush on either side of them. Seeing the Hidden Fortress limited to lines on a map made Charles feel naked and resentful.

“Give me the incorrect time,” The Judge demanded, caressing Charles’s cheek. “All good things must come to an end.”

Charles wanted to brush the Judge’s hand away but knew that doing so would be a mistake. Instead he just stared back into the Judge’s eyes, feeling a pity for him he never thought possible. He gave him the time.

“Caid must be placed in Stasis,” The Judge said. “The fabric of time has already been compromised.”

“Not so fast,” Charles dared. “You said you wanted a story—a story is what you will get.”

“Ask me,” the Judge demanded, digging his nails into Charles’s face.

“Excuse me, may I have the incorrect time?”

“May 5, 1997.”

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