Young At Heart-Arrondissement Part Twenty Two

From the Arrondissement Courant

By Eloise Van der Linde
October 23rd, 394th Year of the Thrush

For those who frequent the paths of the Jardin des Gens in the afternoon, Willem Molyneux, 93, is a fixture on the benches near the Crescent Lake. This veteran of seven wars takes a constitutional every day, after his lunch to sit in the afternoon sun. He has a smile and a wave for everyone and is fond of a chat.

“I tell him about my children,” said Paulette Genest a vendor of exotic nutmeats, “He loves hearing about what they get up to.”

Quick with a compliment or a joke, Monsieur Molyneux is beloved by those who know him, he is also an excellent listener. Mademoiselle Soyer, 25, shared this story.

“I had just had my heartbroken, again. I was devastated and found myself just wandering through the Jardin des Gens. It had been a terrible day, I was weeping openly, I couldn’t control… But then I heard someone ask, ‘Would you like to tell me what is wrong?’ And sitting there is this dapper old gentleman, just sitting on a bench. I’m not sure why, but I sat on the bench with him and cried some more. When I got hold of myself, I told him what had happened and he would occasionally say ‘That must have been quite difficult for you”, or ‘I’m so sorry’ and after a while, I found that I felt better.”

But the story does not end there.

“He introduced me to my husband. I mean, to the man who became my husband. I came by one day and he was laughing with this young man. As soon as I saw him, that was that. Later, I asked Monsieur Molyneux if he knew that Emile and I would fall in love. He just shrugged and smiled.”

Not only a matchmaker, Monsieur Molyneux is also a finder of lost pets, a teller of stories (apparently never telling the same one twice) and an exceptional whistler. He’s has been called the Mayor of the Green by those who know and love him. While he will not accept or use that title, he does smile when people address him as such.

Normally, this would be the end of this story with a denouement of how the Arrondissement would be a better place if we were all bit more like Monsieur Molyneux. But this is not the end.

On October 19th, when the Cure-dent de Déant grew to an astounding height something else happened to Monsieur Molyneux. He got younger. No gentle readers, this is no misprint or a ruse. A ninety-three old man de-aged.

Impossible? Clearly not. There were several witnesses, who have all sworn that this is the truth. One such eyewitness, Claudette Peltier, 38, had this to say.

“His hair came in thicker and darker, his skin lost its wrinkles and he stood up taller and stronger. It was like a kino run in reverse. If I had not seen it, I would not believe it!”

Chirurgeons and civil authorities have confirmed that the strapping young man is Willem Molyneux. His finger patterns are the same and daguerreotypes of him in his prime, are identical. If this is a hoax, it is a flawless one.

Naturally, many people have flocked to the bench when this miraculum occurred. Gendarmes have cordoned off the area as dozens of elderly people have fallen into the Crescent Lake. As of yet, no one has enjoyed a similar reduction in age.

What could make a tree grow many years worth in the span of a minute or return someone to their youth? No scholars have been able to offer any explanation. While time travel is possible, it is heavily regulated by the Ministry of Chronology as well as requiring delicate and very expensive equipment. To say nothing of the fact that the time traveler does not get substantially younger or older as a result of such a trip.

Very curious.

As for Wilam Molyneux, when asked what he planned to do with his second youth, he replied, “Dancing, I’ve missed that terribly.”

This entry was posted in Arrondissement, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.