Read J.R.’s Story, “Vintage”
The tattered shoebox with goldleaf edging had gone unnoticed in the depths of the Second Chance’s storage, and if it hadn’t been for Bobby Lane’s old whiskered-ear cat Aslan, who lived to be fifty—or was it five? —its contents might have been thrown out with the next day’s marked down clearance.
But the shoebox had called to Aslan, enticing him to paw-off its lid; and when he did, age and time and fates became unimportant technicalities in Waterford, Indiana.
There was no more twisting and turning to reset each day. No more years to grow old.
But even still, the shoebox hadn’t stopped the inevitable or the unbelievable.
First, it got Bobby—his mousy-brown shag had turned gray and then white and back to brown. And poor Miss Ginny, who shopped to find replacements for her China sets, had shrunk a foot—and then three—until all that was left was a shrill echo under a wicker hat and a pink patterned dress.
And Aslan, he had grown big and then small, and turned white and then orange, until it repeated over and over and he turned to dust.
In what may have been a year or even only a minute, the whole town had aged up and then back down.
“How much for this,” a young man said, pointing to the shoebox that Bobby had covered with a masking tape label to read: Secret Finds.
“Nothing but time,” Bobby said, “and that’s free.”