1/60th of a second passes. The smallest fraction of a moment is imprinted on a negative; one can print up a photo, to help them remember. Life is made up of these moments, most of which fade over time. It helps to have an album. Henry didn’t need a camera. They had driven to Brooklyn; she had gotten to the part of the story where she thought she was in danger and being followed. Of course, the reason they were in Brooklyn to begin with, is Henry had already deduced that part. Katarina came out of Henry’s bedroom, having borrowed one of his shirts. Her hair was down, there was a relaxed look on her face, and she padded into the kitchen in her bare feet and started to make an omelet.
Henry sat at the table and watched. She had great legs, for omelet making. Katarina was tired of talking, so she hummed instead. The light sizzling sound of bacon seemed to fit with her rendition of ‘Mr. Sandman’. It was a huge omelet. Henry ate, she watched him, and nibbled occasionally. They kissed.
Many years later, it would be the late night omelet he shared with her, not the bed, which he would remember most fondly. Her nibbling, while all around hung a comfortable silence, combined to form a moment, for which, all others would be judged.
She was still sleeping when he got up. Henry wandered down to his shop. The tools were there waiting for him to return, as he had left so abruptly the other evening. Henry held a chisel and tapped it lightly against the bench. He stood and looked at the closet.
The closet, which he had never fully understood, and strangely, never questioned, had been quiet for a couple of month. Henry had meant to ask Sylvia’s father if he was behind it. He had been doing experiments, and it was the only remote explanation. How could there be a closet, in which, things seem to appear from nowhere? Not just nowhere, but from the future. It seemed that every time he needed a little bit of help to find the next clue, there would be ‘presents’ from the future. It was so strange, so beyond belief; he figured there was no point wasting little grey cells, trying to uncover the mystery. Plus, he liked the stuff it gave him. He couldn’t have solved the last case without the closet’s help.
Henry opened the door. On the floor were a couple of newspapers. Not at all typical for the closet, but Henry bent over and picked them up. The date was March 21, 1955. Henry flipped the top paper over and looked at the second one; it was from the day before. This was almost stranger than getting stuff from the end of the century. Why would there be current papers in the closet.
Henry was in too good a mood to question anything too deeply. So he set the chisel down, flipped off the light, and headed back upstairs. It was just 7 am, but there was a lot to do, before the wake. Henry felt like he would conquer the world today, but not before a couple of bagels. He wrote a note, telling Katarina he was heading out to forage for the morning meal, and left it on the table next to the two papers.
Henry had to shield his eyes when he stepped out onto his front porch. The morning sunlight caught him right between the eyes. It had been dreary for about 1000 years, and suddenly it was warm, probably 50 degrees, and there might have even been a bird or two crooning. Henry drove around for a short while, taking in Brooklyn, and all of its greatness. He had several favorite bagel haunts, including one, run by a Polish couple, who always made him laugh. The Krakow Bakery would do nicely, he thought, and turned on the radio as he headed off in search of baked round goodness. Actually, that was the wife’s motto, though Henry was never sure if she was talking about the bagels or herself. He picked up two dozen, several types of cream cheese, some loxs. Henry decided he would take the rest in to the office for Celine to enjoy and offer with her coffee. This made him think of coffee. So he went to the grocery store and picked up several choices, some filters, and some tea. He was quite sure his new secretary/boss would approve.
The hint at spring in the air, told Henry today would be the day he made a major breakthrough in his case, or cases, or case. Did he have one or was it two, or perhaps three, if he counted the guy tailing Kat. Hell, he would solve them all, as a group or individually, it didn’t matter.
Henry returned to his humble abode and found Kat sitting at the table, reading the paper.
“You are my hero. You save me from the bad guys and then feed me. Will be slaying a dragon in my honor?”
“Perhaps after breakfast, though I do need to get into the office. Could I deal with the dragon later?”
She shrugged her shoulders, “Sure, whenever you like.”
Henry set the bagels down and started to brew some coffee.
“This must be what they were going to, last night.”
“Oh, what is that?”
“It says here, a Mr. Brown, of Park Avenue, was beaten to death in his home. They think it happened yesterday afternoon, though time of death hadn’t been determined officially.” She paused, “I wonder what he did? It doesn’t say, but the name sounds…”
Henry had stopped cold. “May I see that please?”
Katarina had a distant look on her face, like she was trying to remember something, and handed him the paper.
Henry sat down and read the article. It was the same Mr. Brown from Mickey’s list. Henry felt sick. He flipped open the other paper and found the article about Mickey. When had these arrived? He could barely breathe, had they been sent as warnings? Was he supposed to have saved his friend and the nice man in the brown suit? Henry’s world was suddenly cloudy and grey. He kissed Katarina on top of the head and told her he was going to take a shower. Henry needed to get back to the office, for only work, would keep him from going crazy, and he knew it. This moment he wouldn’t forget either.