The gentle Lady Thornborough gazed into the rippling water beneath the bridge she stood on. She glanced at the battered brass fob watch that was in her pocket. ‘Oh, where is he?’ She said to herself, angrily. Lady Thornborough was an aristocrat, and an inventor. She was also an epitome of beauty, her hair redder than the autumn leaves she walked on; her eyes greener than the bottom of the serene, swirling pool below. ‘I apologize greatly for the inconvenience I have caused you, I hope I am not too late?’ a voice called suddenly. The Lady turned, startled by this sudden noise which had awaken her from her daydreams. Professor Edwin Woodward stood at the end of the bridge. He approached and embraced her. ‘I was held up by a small yet quite significant flaw in my designs, but I think I have perfected the contraption,’ said the Professor, smiling. He held out a dusty little box with a lid. The Lady opened it gingerly, as if there were some poisonous insect sleeping inside. Lying on soft, faded red velvet was a shining brass eyepiece, like a monocle but with a thick, golden frame and opaque, bottle-green glass. She gazed at the Professor in wonder and curiosity. ‘Look through this and you may see anything you wish to. You can peer through solid objects, gaze to the bottom of the murkiest water as if it was crystal clear. You can see a sleeper’s dreams and a waking person’s daydreams. This is for you, take it.’

The lady fastened the leather strap round her head, the eyepiece covering her right eye. Once again, she stared into the pool but instead of green, muddy water she saw water so clear it was almost invisible. She saw the pond weed swirling on the bottom, with small, silver fish gliding among its long, green tendrils. ‘It is incredible, magical, a most desirable instrument to own.’ She looked into the eyes of the Professor and read his mind, thinking his thoughts, feeling his emotions. ‘More desirable, even, than you, Lady Thornborough?’

She smiled broadly, and the sun reflected off her right eye, and reflected off the glass of the invention covering her left. ‘Dearest Edwin, I feel attracted to you in a way that is almost indescribable,’ declared Lady Thornborough.

‘The feeling is mutual, my dear Helen,’ replied the Professor, and they kissed, the warm September sun beating down on the couple. The lovers stood for what seemed like an age, locked in a passionate embrace. The brass eyepiece need not show Helen Thornborough or Edwin Woodward one another’s desires; they both knew that they only wanted to be together, that it was the only important thing.

‘I feel like I have known you forever, Helen,’ exclaimed the Professor when they eventually separated.

‘My love, I would stay here on this bridge with you forever, if I could. But now I have an urgent appointment that I must see to. I do thank you for this most delightful of afternoons with you.’ The lady began to stroll off the bridge, still wearing the brass instrument. The Professor watched her slowly disappear into the haze of the afternoon, his heart beating like clockwork.