Nowhere in Time
Part 13 of the Austin and Elizabeth Stories
When I was a small girl of about five years old my mother showed me a small portrait. She said, “Beware of this man. You will see him at different times in your life. He will attempt to confuse you. He will attempt to harm you, even if you think he is your friend.”
It was his plan to seduce me when I turned seventeen. When I was thirty-six I locked him in a basement so needless to say, he never got the opportunity to see me at seventeen.
“Dr. Durant, we found something.”
Austin followed his student, a tall redheaded kid, with a talent for finding small valuable artifacts.
“What did you find this time Troy.”
What he found in the basement of the old house was a body. It had been over 100 years since the basement was boarded over then built over.
It seemed like there was a body in every building he worked on in the past few years.
The dead man appeared to have hidden inside a wardrobe. His suit was of an expensive and fashionable cut of around 1890. A gold watch was still in his pocket. The face was somewhat mummified into a horrible grimace. A few strands of what might have been brown hair still clung to the skull. What the Hell was he doing there? A rotting over coat lay on the floor next to the wardrobe along with a bowler type hat.
Next to the dead man, Austin found a wallet. The California driver’s license was for a man named Douglas Craig. The date of birth was 04/15/2021.
“Oh my God,” Austin Durant said to himself about ten times then pocketed the wallet.
The good thing was that the body wasn’t just a sleeping Vampire. He’d had too many close calls with them for any kind of comfort. The bad thing was that he didn’t know what to think but had a bad feeling about it.
The next few hours were spent with the police and forensics experts. He overheard someone saying, “Isn’t this the fourth body Durant has found in the past 12 months?”
That was only the dead bodies. He’d also found half a dozen sleeping or near death Vampires plus discovered one of his buildings was haunted.
Dr. Austin Durant was a master craftsman who restored old buildings, taught history at the local university and sometimes Vampire Hunter. Of course he didn’t tell the police anything about the wallet, Vampires or anything else that might make people think he was nuts.
The person he did call was his attorney Aaron Todd. The two had shared a lot of weird experiences over the past few years. Now they’d share one more. Aaron told Austin that he’d get back to him. Knowing Aaron it would be soon.
A little after 7:00 p.m. Austin arrived home, popped a beer and wondered what had just happened. Was this a joke? Was the basement a portal to some weird alternate universe. Not likely. It wasn’t as if he was going crazy, after all his girlfriend was a Vampire. He’d fallen in love with a Vampire. What the fuck is the matter with you Austin, he thought to himself.
He heard the sound of a tap on the door, then his girlfriend Elizabeth came in holding a bottle of wine.
She smiled, minus any fangs, and gave him a kiss. “I missed you.”
It had been a week since he’d seen her. He put his arms around her and put his forehead against hers. She was cool but not cold. “Hey, Elizabeth did you ever hear of a guy named Douglas Craig?”
She backed out of his arms. “Sure. Why?”
He showed her the wallet and told him about finding the body in the basement. She didn’t say anything except for an occasional nod then went into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of wine. Austin followed her.
“Elizabeth, honey, did you lock him in the basement?”
“Do you know who did?”
“No, but it doesn’t really matter at this point. The man was a pedophile and a rapist. You know, there is always the chance of changing history if you kill a time traveler, but they shouldn’t be traveling in time anyway, so screw it. Douglas Craig got what he deserved.”
“So he was a time traveler?”
“Yes, of course he was. Austin, you really don’t know about time travelers do you?”
“I don’t live in your fucked up universe.”
“Sure you do. You know, if you can’t accept the world others aren’t privy to it then get out of it. And stop swearing so much. I bet you can’t go an hour without saying the F word.”
Austin was taken aback. It was one of the rare times she’d snapped at him.
“So Elizabeth, what happened to his time machine? Did he have a machine?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did he hurt you?”
“I’m not talking about this right now.”
The doorbell rang. Austin answered.
Standing in the doorway was his attorney Aaron Todd with a young man he introduced as his son Logan. Austin remembered Aaron mentioning he had a son attending law school. This was nuts, his attorney was a Vampire with a son in law school. A Vampire with kids in college – that was crazy. Then again everything today had been crazy.
Austin poured Aaron a glass of wine and gave Logan a beer. Elizabeth already knew the Todds. Hugs all around. Vampires were so warm and fuzzy with each other. Maybe cool and fuzzy would be more accurate. His head was still spinning at the thought of a dead time traveler in a building he owned.
Aaron explained what he knew. “Right now Mr. Craig’s father is finishing up his graduate studies in Physics at Cal Tech. His mother is at UC Berkeley getting her doctorate in Political Science. They’ll meet in 2017 at a New Year’s party in San Francisco. They were both self-absorbed and over the top narcissistic so it was a perfect match. In 2019 they married and had a daughter. In 2021 they had triplets. Two boys and a girl. Douglas was one of the boys. All of the Craig children shared their parent’s sense of self-importance. Our man Douglas was married twice. Both marriages split up because of his habit of sleeping with other women. No children. No remorse. He vanished in 2062. His siblings put out an announcement that he’d gone off on a solo sailing trip and never returned. At least one of his brothers knew he’d be found in the basement of the house on F Street in 2015. Of course that was after…” he paused then smiled. “That was after he was found in the basement today, so there was no warning him.”
“You know who trapped him in there,” said Austin.
Aaron shrugged. “I might. I never did find out what happened to the time machine.” Aaron smiled with a small flash of fang which means in Vampire, don’t ask anymore questions.
Elizabeth took Austin’s hand. “It might just be better if we left well enough alone. There was a body in the building. Weird things happen. Let’s keep it a mystery.”
“But shouldn’t we contact his parents?”
Aaron answered him, “Think about it Austin. What is someone contacted you out of the blue and said your future child was in danger. They’d laugh in your face and then get a restraining order against you.” Aaron glanced at Elizabeth and Logan then continued. “Our kind, Vampires, know that Time Travelers for the most part are psychopaths who are in it for their own benefit. They’re not historians like you. They’re destructive criminals who travel through time harming and taking advantage of others. We stop them when they can.”
“What about…” Austin had so many questions to ask but Aaron cut him off.
“Not tonight. There are others who can explain this to you later, but Austin the less you know now the better for your own physical and mental well-being.”
“That’s bull shit and you know it Aaron.”
Elizabeth squeezed his hand. “Don’t argue with a Vampire Austin.”
Aaron didn’t flinch but Logan gave a sly smile. The younger Vampire looked like his father with his chestnut brown hair and hazel eyes, but there was a beauty to him, in a male movie star sort of way. With those looks and that brain Logan could rule the world one day thought Austin.
After more general discussion about nothing much and after the male Vampires left, Elizabeth led Austin up to his bedroom.
In the early hours of the morning she looked over to find him still awake. “What’s wrong Austin?”
He looked her way. “I’m confused.”
“Don’t be,” she said then kissed him and climbed on top of him. “This is all you need to know.”
And for that moment, it was the only answer that mattered.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman