Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review::Two Timed by Clayton Spann

Two Timed by Clayton Spann

I liked this story. I can't quite say I loved it- but I did enjoy it. Maybe I could be somehow compelled to love it.

This is like one of those Twilight Zone episodes. It in fact mentions that. Its also similar to a recent story I'd read from long ago The End of Time by Wallace West. In both stories we have a select few people who are walking around in a world that seems to be frozen in time. In the End of Time the race is to restore the world before everyone is trapped. In Two Timed the race is to restore the characters to real time.

Both stories require a stretch of imagination to understand how time is frozen. But in Two Timed its not really a story about frozen time. Its a story about several flawed characters coming to terms with their own flaws when they are given ultimate power over others.

Two Timed has three main characters although there are five major players. The story is mostly told through the eyes of Peter Keller and his interaction with Barbara Jackson and Paula Keller. Brian Jackson and Gompertz are mostly mentioned and have important roles but because we don't see as much of their motivations as we do the other three I'd call them secondary. This is a story about motive and the psychological turning of these character's minds.

Peter Keller is a nerd, a scientist with somewhat low self esteem because of lack of physical prowess. The one time he managed to delude himself into a relationship it went poorly for him so he doesn't feel he has much chance with someone like Barbara Jackson who is to him a pinup perfect. But, because of some weird game that Gompertz is playing they are thrown together.

They have acquired watches that stop time around them, everything is frozen except for them. It's quite clever and mostly follows its own rules, so even though it's a stretch it flies well in the face of itself at least.

Paula Keller and Brian Jackson are initially thrown together. The two couples are competing to find the magic location and acquire the power to have absolute control over another person.

Peter might have use for that power but professes throughout that he really doesn't want that type of power. Barbara who was once stung when young now is jaded and seems to be a user. She wants the power to gain the affection of someone whose money she wants. Peter can only wonder that she's now using him because she needs him to help her gain this power. Of course Peter can't help but fall in love when she showers him with false affection.

Because they can stop time, they can stretch weeks into seconds depending on how they use the watch. Peter finds himself at first reluctant because he can't believe that they are really stopping time and he has commitments. On the other hand he can't believe his luck in have the affections of this goddess all to himself regardless of his understanding that she's using him. Barbara, though otherwise flawed, is very confident, intelligent and aggressive.

Things take a nasty turn when betrayal occurs and the Jackson's pool resources leaving the Keller's stuck in the no time zone without watches to get them out. There will be months in the no time zone of self recriminations and Peter must handle a somewhat shattered Paula while dealing with the notion they may die of old age in a land where everyone around them is frozen.

As the story unfolds the reader can see that there are no real hero's in the story. They all have more than the normal share of flaws. So, though things might work out in the end for, some of them, I can't really say that the good guys win. You will have to read the story to see how things work out.

Anyone looking for light entertainment with a bit of Twilight Zone twist and thought provoke should love this entertaining fable.

J.L. Dobias

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