The Clock

By J Cassidy


That damn clock keeps ticking away. Tok, tok, tok chopping away my life one tick at a time. Going round like that, every turn another minute of my life. I’ve been watching it for an hour, watched it stealing away that precious time of mine.
Says my other half, the one I share my life with, says he, “Why’re you sitting, staring at nothing?”
“I’m watching the clock.”
“You expecting something?”
I am. At any moment life is going to happen. If only there were more of it, more time to do all those things but the damned clock keeps taking it all away. If only it would stop ticking, just for one day! A day is all I ask, for the clock to stop so I can have a bit more time.
I thought I had it fooled. I stopped ageing and it was as simple as that for a while. I’ve been twenty-three for so long now, I can’t say for sure how many years I have been on this Earth. But the mirror is in it with the clock and my effort to claw back that time I was losing was for naught.
“Shall we go out?” The other half – I can’t call him my better half – says as he reaches for his shoes. I’m tempted, a nice dinner at the pub sounds like a real treat. But there’s no clock in the pub so how am I supposed to keep track of how much time is being taken away from me? He takes a look at my face and with a sigh replaces his shoes. I wish I could explain my conundrum to him but the last time I tried he laughed.
My eyes go back to the clock. There, it’s taken four minutes while I was talking to him! Four minutes, gone. I’ll never get them back. Even while I watch it another three minutes are ticked away. Tok, tok, tok. It never stops.
I catch his expression out of the corner of my eye. Last time I saw that face he was threatening to leave. Well, let him. Stealing my time. Taking it all up. I try to convince myself that’s how I feel but the tears pricking my eyes put lie to those thoughts.
“Let’s go to the Wasted Sloth. Make a nice change from the usual,” I say and for the first time in almost seventy-three hours, he smiles. I smile too. There’s a clock at the Wasted Sloth.

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