F is for Father – Character Sketch

 

Mr Franklin Livingstone image
These are Getty Images – click to link to site

Thought I’d give you a glimpse inside the virtual cover of Book II of the Miss LiV Adventures series that will be out in October, by introducing some of the characters. Let’s start with Miss Livingstone’s father, Franklin Livingstone. The photo is actually Alexander Graham Bell, from fairly close to 1910 when Miss LiV’s story is based. I imagine Father to be younger than this photo, but there was something in it that caught his spark.

Here’s a snippet from the first rewrite of, The Unwitting Journeys of the Witty Miss Livingstone: Book II – Memory Key. It’s from Miss Livingstone’s perspective and we’re dropping in at lunch with her, her father and her friend Mary Jane just after Miss Liv was interrupted when about to confess news of high intrigue to her friend.

‘”Yes, father was explaining how there are many versions of the same moment in various places. He’s been working on a device that has the potential to let you travel from one to another. Although I didn’t know you’d solved it, Father.”

“So we could see the same thing again?” Mary Jane asked.

“Not necessarily. That’s the best part.” His eyes twinkled as he spoke. “You could see infinitely many different things, all in the same moment in time.”

“Could I travel to any other moments? Could I travel to the future or could someone travel from the future back to this time?” Her persistence was insatiable. At least she had managed to couch her questions in current conversation. By the time we were done eating she was likely to guess so much of my news it would be anti-climactic.

“Certainly, any time, anywhere,” he confirmed.

“Have you had anyone test it?” she pushed.

I opened my mouth, but this time her glare pierced my next sentence out of existence. She had guessed my game, though the method was not correct.

“Not other than brief excursions of my own. I only got it working smoothly on the day of my birthday, and I’ve been testing it ever since. Repetition is the key to learning, don’t you know. But I kept it a secret until I was sure it would function.”

That one puzzled Mary Jane into silence. “Marvelous, Father, it really is. But it’s quite a Pandora’s box isn’t it? What will our future hold with your invention? From now forward will we be visited by those who want to come back to our time?”

“And how will we know if their intentions are good? Once they know the history couldn’t they come back and take advantage?” Mary Jane’s extreme ire seemed to ease now that she’d found this other line of questioning. Perhaps I was merely a nearly dead duck.

“I suppose.” Father sat back and stroked his mustache as he always did when thinking deeply.” Each timeline may unfold slightly differently, so it would take very fine tuning of this instrument to specify an exact history if one wanted to change it – for better or worse. For they could also travel to help us, of course. I’ll do my best to keep it from falling into the hands of anyone sinister.”

“Yes, I hadn’t thought of that.” It was Mary Jane’s turn to look thoughtful.

“Seems quite a risk if they are mass produced. Perhaps a very limited number of these would be a better plan for now, Father.”

“Yes, it’s an inventor’s dilemma in almost all things that they add to the world – the potential for great good or terrible evil as the power of their invention is adapted by the never-ending twists of human intention.”

“So invention is corrupted by intention. One small letter can change so much.” Excellent! Mary Jane was actually snickering. I was saved.

“But you’re right, my dear, as always. Though you and I are much alike, you provide that voice of reason like your mother did for me. Always thinking of the repercussions.”

“In analysis of theories Father, but unfortunately not in relation to my actions or words.”

“Yes, on that you are your father’s daughter.”

Shared laughter at last.’

by Kennedy J. Quinn
Copyright © 2017 by Sheri J. Kennedy
All Rights Reserved.

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