A loud sigh filled the small room. In the far corner the only occupant brought a bandaged hand to his forehead. He had been in that room for months. For him this was the worst day in the world for him to be locked up during and so he sat there brooding trying to figure a way out and to where he needed to be. Consequently he had no idea how long he sat huddled in that pathetic corner muttering to himself- nor did he care.

After a particularly loud outburst the man visibly relaxed and smiled. Stretching lazily he leaned against the wall. there was now an odd light in this eyes as he gazed at the locked door. He raised his eyebrows and tapped his silver pocket watch. After a quick glance at the door and some more fevered watch-tapping he began to whisper aloud.


Meanwhile, outside the very door the man had been staring at in such an odd manner there was an extremely nervous woman fidgeting around. She stood there for a good thirty seconds debating wether or not she should simply open the door or leave and never return.


"Hey! What are you doing, just standing there?"

Now another had entered the scene in front of said door. A burly man with iron knuckles and an attitude about as pleasant as pickled cow dung had spoken (or rather, shouted). You see... He was one of those people who fancy themselves 'security' but are, in reality completely useless and, to be frank, stupid. He had been born a Mr. Reginald Eugene Smith Jr II... But no one called them that instead he answered to 'Iron One'... (I suppose he thought the name mysterious and a real chick magnet... Although what woman would wish be with a man who called himself the 'iron one' and fervently believed that all manner of grunting was now the new English is beyond me.)

"Hi Reggie!". Well, no one called him Reggie except his sister but he wasn't going to let that nasty little tidbit of information get around. Might ruin his reputation...

Reggie flinched and growled, "He's had enough time. Been in there for 24 hours pondering the question... So get an answer and quit stalling."

The woman pulled at her jacket sleeve a bit before looking up at Reggie and responding. She leaned toward him and whispered...

"But Reggie. He's not quite right in the head... Been shouting and banging on the walls... About six hours it got quiet. Found him muttering to his pocket watch in the corner...He's in there counting down now..."

"What's he counting down to?"

"I don't know! But its not norm-"

"Shut up and get in there" Reggie sneered, "Unless you're scared..."

"Humph... Fine" She pulled out the only key to the room and unlocked the door.

"...4...3...2..1-" The man smiled as the door slammed open and in stepped the woman. He jumped to his feet as soon as the door closed again. The woman took an involuntary step back, when she stepped in he had appeared to have been sleeping.

A minute later there was a loud click as the door locked automatically. The woman shuddered and turned to the door staring at the hole where the doorknob had been minutes before. She looked down at the key in her hand then back at the door. The man lifted his hand slowly trying to appear as non threatening as possible.

"Nothing to get frightened about... I won't do you any harm... Promise." He took a careful step forward and held out his hand.

"...Now if you would kindly... Give me the key..."

The woman didn't respond.

"...and we..." The woman flinched and took a step back while he took another step forward..."well, I...will go my way and... You will go yours...Yes?"

"It won't do you any good..." The woman whispered backing up against the door although he hadn't come any closer beyond those first two steps. She motioned the neat hole.

"...Well you see...That's where our..." The man flashed a dazzling smile..."perceptions... on the situation differ..." He now laughed, "...quite a bit..." he pulled out the doorknob from behind his back. The woman startled.

"How did you ge-get...But...You ne-never...le-left the corner..." She stammered eyes wide.

"The key please... If you would be so kind." He looked down at his watch..."I'm very late you see..." He came closer...

"You know how it is..." Another step.

"People to meet... Enemies to kill... Friends to frighten...Things to steal..."

The woman looked down at the key again. The man jumped forward, snatched the key and knocked her over the head all in the same movement. He winced and quickly looked over his shoulder half expecting his long dead mother to jump out and scold him.

"Begging your pardon miss..." He reached up meaning to tip his hat but his hand found only air. He hadn't had his hat for a long time. Not for long though, not long indeed.

"Old habits die hard." He muttered fixing the knob back into place. Twenty minutes later he found himself standing next to what appeared to be a pile of rubble clutching a few maps he had stolen months ago. He spread them out slowly staring for a while. He couldn't quite comprehend them, but as far as he could tell this was the right place.

He walked around the rubble and pulled out his watch.

"Finally... 60...59...58...I'm never doing this again...54...53...Too complicated coming back to life...49...48..."

Forty-eight seconds later the man vanished. Hundreds of years earlier in the same place a man shoved the previous occupant off a chair and took his place and downed a pint of rum.

He smiled. "I'm back!"