Quick Note: A friend gave me the idea of using time as a currency. Without him, this story wouldn't be possible!

Time is such a simple thing, yet humans struggle to comprehend it. A second is gone in a blink of my eye, and each second passing brings you closer to something. Whether that something be a life changing moment, or simply picking a rock up off the ground, that is left up to another force in the universe. This concept is so easy to understand, yet humans wrack their brains with theories…

“Is there a way to get time back?”

“Has the future already happened?”

“Is the past still happening?”

How foolish. In pity of these humans, I shall provide the answer to their questions. Use your pocket watches wisely, little ones. Do not let greed overtake you, lest you shrivel up and witness the calamity of the end of pure time.

“Miley!” Charles shouted, slamming the door to Miley’s room open.

“Eep!” Miley let out a short yelp, sitting on the rug in the middle of her room with an easel in front of her, “Didn’t I tell you not to bother me when I’m painting?”

“It’s happening again,” Charles said, completely ignoring her last statement.

Miley’s face drained of color as she dropped her paintbrush, letting black paint stain the rug underneath her.

The two siblings rushed out the door, a taunting tik-tok growing louder as they got closer to the crowd in the street. Pushing through the crowd, they saw a woman holding a slowly withering girl in her arms as she kneeled on the ground. Beside her were a few books, shoes, pieces of clothing, and small niknaks thrown into a messy pile.

“Please,” she sobbed, “buy something, anything! Please help my daughter…she only has a few minutes left…”

People in the crowd watched and whispered, not making a move while clasping an object in their hands.

“Were they not able to sell anything?” Miley asked Charles, standing close to him and holding his hand.

“No, they were robbed. They took the girls' time and then ran off. Worst part is, they didn’t even have the audacity to take all of it,” Charles responded.

The mother’s sobbing pleas continued to fill the air, along with her daughter's wheezing breath, growing weaker by the second.

“I can’t watch this anymore,” a woman in the crowd said, walking forward, “how much for anything here?”

“Five months! Please!” 

The woman opened her hand and looked down at a large silver pocket watch that was slowly ticking. It had a main clock, with one different smaller clock in the corner. The main one resembled the day, and the smaller one resembled the months. She examined the watch closely, then closed her hand again.

“Five months is too much, I’m sorry. I only have two years left and I have multiple kids to provide for.”

“T-two months then. Just give my baby enough time so I can make her more…”

“Alright, deal.”

The woman opened her hand again and turned a dial on the watch. The hands on the month clock moved forward, making a complete cycle twice. Once it turned twice, the woman pressed a button on the side of the pocket watch. It glowed bright as she took a few books and other items from the pile of the mother’s belongings. While she walked away, the daughter's pocket watch glowed as well, moving the hands on the month clock backwards two cycles. Her breathing slowly became stronger and her skin again filled with color. Tears fell from the mothers eyes as she embraced her daughter, who now had more time left than a good portion of the people living in the body-filled alley ways. 

As the crowd dispersed, seeing as the situation had been somewhat resolved, Miley and Charles had gone their own way from the scene.

“Who do you think robbed them?” Miley asked, still clutching Charles’ hand.

“Probably one of the rich guys on top of the mountain who’s after immortality,” Charles responded.

“Will it be this way forever? You know…sacrificing more and more of our lives just for food and water?”

“I don’t know. Since everyone in charge is rich with time, it’ll probably be this way until they somehow run out.”

“Charles?” Miley asked, keeping her eyes at the ground.


“I don’t want to die like that. I don’t want to wither away,” Miley said, her voice shaking like a leaf now that she could no longer keep her tears in.

Charles stopped and knelt down, taking Miley into a tight hug, “I won’t let that happen to you. We both still have a good amount of time left, right? Mom and dad blessed us with their time, and we’ll continue to work hard and hone our skills to create things that we can sell so we can make them proud.”

“A good amount of time, huh?” An approaching shadow from the darkness said, “Then why don’t you be a bit charitable and share some?”

Charles turned his head to see two figures stepping out of the darkness and into the streetlamp light, with one of them dragging a baseball bat behind them. With the short amount of time he had, the only thing he could do was use his body to shield his younger sister from the incoming blow…

How interesting…My theory was correct. Instead of using my gift of time to solve their questions, they did in fact use it to buy and sell, take life from others to give themselves more. And here I thought my fellow god’s were cruel, bringing deadly plagues and terrifying storms upon these small creatures just to see if they could get through it. But alas, they are willing to sacrifice the precious time of their fellow humans just so they could gain this so-called “immortality.” Nothing can live forever. As if I would ever allow something to break the balance of time like that anyway. And with that, these pocket watches will crumble. This little experiment of mine has gone terribly…correct. How unfortunate. What sad creatures. What disgustingly greedy creatures.

August 16, 2022 13:56

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Daniel Allen
11:34 Aug 25, 2022

Such a cool and inventive idea! I like how you juxtaposed the kindness of some characters with the absolute selfishness and cruelty of others. Plus, having the goddess there to frame everything worked really well.


Emily Pollan
18:36 Aug 25, 2022

Thank you so much! I really tried to make a wide variety of reasons why humans are greedy. They may be greedy for others, (for example, the mother asking for five months which is quite a lot) may be greedy for themselves (others being reluctant to give away their time) or just be greedy in general (the rich taking from the less fortunate)


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Sable Rivers
14:29 Aug 21, 2022

This was a creative way to respond! I like the goddess narrator and how the story is told as her experiment on human nature. The idea of people stealing time is also very intriguing. I wish you'd gone into more detail on how exactly time was traded/stolen. Nice job :)


Emily Pollan
16:28 Aug 21, 2022

Thank you so much for the feedback! I wish I did too, but I honestly was confused myself on how it worked. I'm not very good with writing technology in my stories to be honest, so that's something I definitely need to work on. I'll probably end up adding more to this story in the future and it will include more detail on the pocket watch. Again, thank you so much for your comment!!


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Tommy Goround
23:26 Aug 20, 2022

wow I was just talking to someone about the math of the prompts. 1.) they are leading. 2.) They garner about 400 stories. 3.) divide by 5.... so you can have 80 stories on a single prompt... and I just saw the use of time by another person 4 days ago. They used viles of time. But then it gets more interesting... "“Please,” she sobbed, “buy something, anything! Please help my daughter…she only has a few minutes left…”" Deja Vous. Read this 2004, circa-- and the people had little necklaces with big yellow boards. The mother was begging like a...


Emily Pollan
03:29 Aug 21, 2022

Wow, I never thought I would ever get praise like this! Thank you so much! I always aim to put strong emotion into my stories. I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! :)


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