Jeffery was late. Jeffery was always late, or at least that how it seemed to Jeffery's mother, who was now also late.        Jeffery's mother was late, which was the primary cause of Jeffery's sister Lisa also being late, which had a direct effect on Sara's lateness, who, being Lisa's friend shared Lisa's distaste for her little brother Jeffery.         Jeffery was late so Jeffery's mother was late so the girls were late, and in turn their fashionably late arrival at school would now be unfashionably late, though not yet inexcusably late.         Jeffery was late so Jeffery's mother was late so Maggy the dog was now late for her grooming appointment, although in no way upset about it, or at least not outwardly so.         Jeffery was late so Jeffery's Mother was late so Jeffery's mother's meeting would now be late, which would push back her morning phone call, her first and second lunches, her 20 minutes of sitting in her office after lunch trying to look busy but thinking about the boats in the harbor out her window, and the extra 20 minutes she schedules at the end of the day for when Jeffery is running late.         As Jeffery was only 8 years old—or more precisely 8 and three quarters as he would on occasion point out, and being that Jeffery had neither power nor influence over space and time, to the casual observer it might seem astonishing at how such a seemingly ordinary boy could single handedly disrupt the timelines of so many. Indeed Jeffery often though to himself, usually as such points were being made abundantly clear to him by most everyone he came into contact with, that perhaps he was something of a scientific curiosity.         He could imagine the government scientists arriving at his door one day and stepping out of a large unmarked white van. As they exited the vehicle, Jeffery would see the large cash of blinking computer equipment and monitoring stations in the back. The scientists would come to the door with monitoring equipment and hand-held sensors. Several men would make their way around the outside of the house, stopping here or stooping over there to examine a bush or a lump in the yard with a concerned look. The more clean cut of the bunch would approach Jeffery's parents and explain in as much technical jargon as possible why his associates needed to dig up the azalea bushes and put them into biohazard containers, or how the large blinking comb the men were running through Maggy's coat was “simply for her protection”.         Jeffery could picture how eventually one of the men would come upon him, and after checking his equipment, would likely say something like, "My god, it's worse than we thought," or "I'm surprised the satellite monitors didn't pick this one up, he's off the scale..." or the like. The man standing over Jeffery would wave over the team, and after wrapping him in aluminum foil and explaining to his parents that he had to protect the timeline from further degradation, they would quickly hustle Jeffery away in their van to the government monitoring station where he would be given a comfortable but confined existence for the rest of his natural life.         Despite Jeffery's concerns, his lateness was nothing astonishing, as any mother of an 8 year old could tell you. And in fact, it was not so much that Jeffery was generally late, but that he was constantly losing things - his shoes, his books, his toys - and spent a great deal of his time looking for them. And oddly enough, it was in his capacity to misplace things that Jeffery was one of a kind. It was not just that Jeffery would forget to put something away, or leave it somewhere, it was almost as if Jeffery could cause something to simply cease to exist. Blink, gone. Jeffery would usually find whatever it was eventually, but on more than one occasion objects in Jeffery's care would go missing for months, or even years.