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Guest blogger: Donna Steele

26 April 2020

Time travel examined

A New Time is the third book in my Guardian of Now series and finally explains, at least in part, why the Guardians took an interest in us.

When I started this series, I had already read a lot of time travel books. One of the things I noted was that changing the timeline usually led to disaster. I couldn’t help but wonder why. If the intentions were good—as in, not going back to murder Hitler even to save the world—why not have a good outcome? Starting recycling earlier, burying electrical lines for their protection as well as our known, using sterile medical practices—all these practices seemed pretty benign.

My couple, Dusty and Dee, who travel through this series, had no plans to time travel and no idea what was happening to them. Figuring they were stuck in the past, they just made the best of where they were with their ideas and education.

Their inadvertent actions ended up changing not just their little corner of the world, but the planet itself—for the better.

Here’s an excerpt …

He’d never been so scared in his life. Time travel hadn’t been this frightening. Dee could have died. The baby could …

No, don’t go there.

With Dee resting, Dusty gazed down at the infant he held against him. She looked like a tightly wrapped burrito, with only her face showing. He couldn’t count fingers and toes, but she possessed two eyes, two ears, a nose and a tiny bow of a mouth, which no longer screamed in fury. Her head was covered in red fuzz. Or was it blood? Dusty shuddered involuntarily. No, she would have Dee’s red hair.

Her head fit easily into the palm of his hand and her body, less than the length of his forearm, lay guarded between his arm and his chest. He’d learned how to hold a newborn in the childbirth classes.

While attending those classes, it never crossed his mind he’d be quite so involved in the birth. The freaking back seat of Dee’s car. What if he had left Sherry behind? Another shiver coursed through his body.

“Here, drink this.” The med tech held out a small container.

“What is it?”

“A mild stimulant. You look like you could use it.”

Dusty took in the sight of his daughter, then his hand holding tight to his wife, and shrugged. He wasn’t about to let go of either of them.

The med tech chuckled. Sticking a straw in the container, he held it to Dusty’s lips. “Here you go.”

“Thanks.” He finished the drink with three long pulls on the straw and did feel better. Not himself yet, though a bit clearer. “I didn’t think to ask. Where are we headed? What’s the nearest hospital?”

“Oh, sorry. We’re headed to Braddock’s Crossing Memorial Hospital,” the tech replied.

Braddock’s Crossing, of course. Dusty couldn’t even be surprised, though he hadn’t realized they’d traveled so far. The name no longer startled him. He and Dee would no doubt end up retired here some day. This place was as much home as anywhere else he’d lived.

He glanced back to his child. Her eyes were open, focused on him. Could she see him? He moved her closer to his face.

“Hi, I’m your dad.”

She blinked at him and seemed to accept the statement not unlike royalty acknowledging a vow of fealty.

A good analogy, since she already owned him, the same as her mother. His women to guard, protect, and love.

Realizing he heard no siren, Dusty considered it a good sign. In the minds of the EMTs, no danger was imminent for these patients. That’s not it. Ambulances didn’t install such sirens anymore. When they approached an intersection, all other vehicle engines scaled back, giving the ambulance automatic right of way. Even on manual, as he drove like a bat out of hell to get to Dee, his car would have slowed. How had he not run into any problems like that?

I’ll think about it later.

He’d made it to Dee in time, though there was no way to know his timing would be quite so important. He closed his eyes briefly.

When he opened them again, his daughter seemed to be observing him. This new miniature person stared as though she knew his thoughts. He glanced up at Dee to find her watching the two of them.

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