This was written as a journal assignment for a class I took.
With the bizarre invention he has created, and his new ability to modify history, Hugo Clabby’s world is incredibly unstable. Every time he prods at the world’s timeline, his surroundings could morph into something entirely unrecognizable. For reasons unknown to Hugo, there are some locations that, no matter what kind of manipulation he does on the timeline, always remain the same. Everything around them could be entirely different or even gone from existence, but these few locations are always the same.
The first location is a bit of an odd case, in that it is not exactly a fixed section of the world that persists. Simply stated, wherever Hugo is when the timeline is altered, that location will persist through the changes. It is quite mystical indeed, and the only theory Hugo can concoct is that his machine or the material existences emit an invisible “pixie dust” of sorts. This dust would land on his clothes and hair, and when the timeline is twisted, Hugo and his immediate surroundings remain unchanged.
The second location that never changes is Hugo’s home. If his theory about the “pixie dust” is at all accurate, then certainly there is enough of this dust within his house, where it originates from! After Hugo left his college, he gained employment at a humble clock repair and sales shop. Despite his skill and education in clockmaking, his job at the shop was not to repair the clocks, nor was it to sell them. He was a delivery boy. He would travel to the shop’s customers and deliver their new or repaired clocks. Though he was able to develop excellent navigational skills and get to know a bit about everyone in the city, his salary was an utter pittance. As such, his home is small and simple. Wooden planks cover the ground. Off-white paper and a dark maroon trim make up the walls. Shuttered windows are scattered about, and his bed lies beneath a pair of them. He has his machine sits near windows for ventilation, but out of view of them in case of suspicious on-lookers. His workbench lies next to his machine, and always seems to have papers and notebooks scattered about, irregardless of his efforts to tidy up. Other than his machine, he has one piece that stands out from the humdrum: a large, red-bodied and golden-bordered rug that his parents gave him before he left for college. Though his world may never be the same again, this rug always reminds him of his childhood, his innocence. Stability.
There’s no time for pitiful nostalgia, though. Not with the way things are now. Especially not with the third place that never seems to change. The college. It lies on the highest hill for miles, and its clock tower can be seen from anywhere in the city. This town has no church, yet every hour, you can hear the echoes of a looming bell coming from the college. Hugo has not set foot within a thousand meters of that place since he was driven away years ago. There is no way any of the mystical dust could have gotten into the college, and certainly not enough to allow it to persist. There can be no other explanation. Hugo is not the only one with this power.