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‘Look, matey,’ Diamonde said as placed two different cans of beer on my circular coffee table, his, I observed, being the non-alcoholic one, ‘let’s get to the point here. You have a strange phenomenon and we have money to pay for it. It’s immaterial whether it features in the mag or not.’

‘It’s intriguing you’ll pay me five times more if it doesn’t, though,’ I ventured, raising the can to my mouth and taking more swigs than normally would be the case.

‘I knew you’d one day have a strange phenomenon,’ Kai said seemingly ignoring my remark as he triumphantly partook of his drink. ‘A sort of sixth-sense. That’s why I borrowed some of your things. Trying to get it before you did. But I was too early.’

‘Borrowed!’ I scoffed, spluttering my mouthful of beer. I looked around for a conveniently placed towel but instead found that my former friend had somehow, without me realising it, made himself right at home in my abode as he had turned the TV on which displayed the tennis from Wimbledon as English hope Miles Steppings was doing battle with the number eight seed on centre court in the third round. The Brit was doimg well as he had won the first set.

‘It’s become obvious that what I have is extremely valuable to someone,’ I said. ‘Maybe an eccentric millionaire who collects stranger phenomena than appears in the actual magazine dedicated to it?’

‘Excellent play there from the Englishman,’ the commentator hollered above the cacophony of patriotic fervour emanating from the Wimbledon crowd and I viewed this as validation for my gambit of holding out for even more than the five grand mentioned and sat back contentedly.

‘You don’t get it, do you?’ Kai responded.

‘I’m not with you?’ I said, once again my companion had reasserted a sphere of the uncertain.

‘What If I was to tell you, pal, as a history man yourself, that history changes. It shifts like the sands depending upon who from the future is meddling at the beach with their bucket and spade,’ he announced before polishing off the remainder of his can as if appropriately providing me with time to absorb his declaration.

‘I’d say you were talking bollocks,’ came my unequivocal reply.

‘Oh how I wish for the sake of humanity I were,’ he said looking up towards the Gods which I hoped caught his attention more than the large cracks in the artex ceiling. ‘How I forlornly hope people from our future wouldn’t invent the means to travel into the past then dabble with it despite the possible horrendous consequences.’

‘Why would they dabble with it?’ I queried, seeking to humour Kai despite his outlandish suggestion.

‘Because they can. Why did man land on the Moon, for Christ’s sake. Because it’s there!’

‘But surely there’d be safeguards?’

‘Oh!’ he mockingly replied. ‘Just like the Titanic, the voyaging marvel of its age, took safeguards with installing enough lifeboats.’

The point struck me like an iceberg.


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