In which we enter, pursued by a possible paradox

Patches blinked and found himself pushed into his own coat closet by his companions. Decca was peering beneath the door and offering commentary, “Beauty, you shoulda been on stage, your performance is impeccable! Boy’s not too bad either. Nothing on you, of course, my sweet.”

Eugenia preened, “You say the darlingest things!”

Patches hushed the two of them and pushed his ear against the wall. There was the sound of a scuffle, liquid being poured, the strike of a match, and (finally) the slam of a door. He burst from the closet, quickly extinguishing the wastebasket fire that he, that is to say his prior self, had started. Meanwhile, Decca and Eugenia untangled prior-Eugenia from the rope prior-Patches had used to bind her.

Now-Eugenia grasped prior-Eugenia’s hands, “Dear, I’m sorry, but you simply must be burned now.”

Prior-Eugenia sighed, “Timeline?”

“Well, in about an hour you need to be charred and munching on two dreadful men. Don’t worry, they’re actually quite tasty.”

“Needs must, I suppose.”

The two Eugenia’s exited stage left, pursued by a tortoise.

Patches’ erstwhile master sat up with a sigh.

“You were always the fool, how could you be the mastermind?!?”

Dustin pulled himself up, “Well, I suppose Dustin is rather the fool, but the wonderful thing is that everyone knows he’s harmless.” With that ‘Dustin’ pulled off his head…which was actually a mask.

“Mr. … Mr. Wickles?!? You’re the mastermind?”


“But you’re harmless, why would you disguise yourself as Dustin?”

“You think of me harmless, but there are many who observe at deeper level and they, they know. My power is a quiet one, but it can move mountains if necessary.”

“But you’re the librarian!!”

“What greater power than books?”

“You dressed up as a ghostly knight to scare some silly teens.”

A disgruntled look settled on Mr. Wickles’ face, “Meddling kids. Just can’t mind their business.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

A sigh huffed out, “Look, the kids were interfering with something very important that could have left them very dead. Not just dead, very dead. Scaring them off was to save their lives. Now could we perhaps focus on the problem at hand? Why’ve you travelled back?”
“I though you had power…”

Mr. Wickles’ glared and his voice rose, “Why should I waste power when you could just tell me?!?”

Patches took a startled step back, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll explain!”

“Just tell me why Eugenia brought you back, and brought you here.”

“Decca and I were somehow swept away from a bloody fae battle to a cavern where Fontanello-”

“FONTANELLO?!?” Mr. Wickles’ face turned a rather frightening shade of magenta, “FONTANELLO TOOK YOU?!?”
“Well, I-I’m not quite sure if he took us, we were swept up in a shipment of shaving cream apparently.”

“…Shaving cream.”

“Yes, yes, there was this rather manic little fae named-”
Wickles’ interrupted with a sigh, “Finnegan. My little brother will never cease his japes.”

“Your…brother? But?”