The Sleepy Clcok

Submitted into Contest #125 in response to: All clocks suddenly stop. Write about what happens next.... view prompt

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Bedtime Fantasy Fiction

Tic, Tic Tic, Tic. The granular sound of each second passing was constant. Laying on the unkempt sofa, dreaming of summer days when I was younger; I had my eyes closed to the world. Tic, Tic, Tic. The sombre rattlings of an old clock pierced my ears with the passing of each moment. My time, however, was being spent in my imaginings. The playful, days I spent at the creek, or simply rolling down what I thought at the time was a massive hill. Going back years later, I realized the hill was nothing but a pile of dirt; only as high as I am now. Tic, Tic. The striking of the second hand from my old shelf clock, although forceful on my ears, was non the less perfect. Perfect for the ability to dream but not to sleep. The slight noise keeping my keen mind from passing into unconsciousness. Perfect for my imagination to have the most vivid perceptions of the reality which was in my head. Tic. So, I dreamt on, and on. Very few joys remain to me. I cherish those moments the bring me a sense of beguilement and pleasure. The sounds of the clock, which I have had for many years, bring me back to all the good times in my past. Keeping those memories close to my heart, gives me a sample of the joy I once had rushing through my life.

Resting where I was, I paused in mid thought. I was no longer thinking of the time I ran home with leaches on my arm, asking my mom for salt. Those things hated salt and fire, but I was a bit of a pyro, so I was only ever given the salt. Now, at this moment though I was simply, just on my sofa. Not to warm but not cold either. I was suddenly unable to think, to dream and to have my peace in which I so strongly appreciate. I pondered the oddity of the moment; I am usually quite good at fantasizing in this particular spot. Then it struck me, or perhaps stopped striking me. The sound I cherished to help me in my dreaming endeavours, was no more. Silence was what I was hearing. My eyes still closed, I thought not of the past, but now of why I didn’t hear my old clocks silky sounds. Two things came to mind. One, the batteries had died. Which is a likely thing to happen. The second, which I doubt, was that it had broken. I fear not think of the second option, for sanitizes sake.

Reluctantly, I opened my tired eye and sat up to have a look. The clock had indeed stopped. That wasn’t a shocking revelation, the sound missing was an enormous clue. The slight irritation of something failing it’s one task just seemed to a sense of melancholy. I strolled over to the dresser drawer where I keep my spare AA’s. Got what I needed and went to the clock. Bing-botta-boom, put the batteries in. There was no change, the silence was still defining. “My clock”, I thought to myself. “My clock is in-fact broken.”. Letting the dread sink in for a moment, I opened my mind to the possibility it was just a bad set of batteries. So, in true delight I got some from my remote which I knew were good and tried those. But then the dread came back when I saw there was no change. A damper expression crossed my face, and the reality of my situation was cemented. There was nothing left to do. I had just utterly exhausted my abilities on fixing a broken clock, meagre as they were. So, in true defeatist fashion, I decided to do something I can do quite well. I decided to go to bed.

Stepping into my bedroom, I peered at the other clock I owned. This one was my least favourite clock. It didn’t send me off into the most wondrous memories, but instead it bluntly woke me, ‘the fuck up’. It wasn’t a thing I enjoyed, it’s place in my home was one of pure necessity. Like a smoke alarm or my ex who paid the rent, and it too was broken. Well, when I say broken, I mean stopped. Both my clocks were stopped, and at the same time. I found this odd, and in a moment of curiosity I took out my phone to have a gander. It wouldn’t even turn on. My home, which I honestly see as a refuge from the toils of the world, seems to have spitted me in some odd way. I wasn’t having it.

“Knock, Knock, Knock”

“Now what?”. I thought, thinking of all the oddities this evening was bringing me. I suppose another odd thing, like a late visitor, was not unexpected. My aunt always told me bad things always happen in threes. If the third thing wasn’t this character stabbing me, I suppose I don’t mind entertaining his presence and saying hello. “I could always ask him for the time.” I thought in jest.

Opening the door gingerly, I saw a fresh-faced and well-dressed man. A thin cut dark suit, thin tie, polished leather shoes and a charming smile. All-in-all, he seemed harmless and pleasant. “Hello”, he said. His voice echoed with purpose and presence. “Hello, how can I help you? It’s a little take if you don’t mind me saying.”.

“Is it?”, he replied. Looking down at his watch. Then tapping it a few times. “Huh, my watch must have stopped, what a funny thing to happen.”. Looking at him with an odd gaze a side, “I actually just had my clocks stop as well. That’s a very peculiar coincidence. But what is it you are selling?”. After I said this, he paused and looked a little more serious in his posture; like he was going to give a great speech to millions or sell one hell of a vacuum.

He then told me a fantastic tale. Of how I was in fact on the couch still, at this very moment. That my clock had simply stopped, and I fell asleep; dreaming of doing to bed. He said, dreams seem real at times. Our brains mistake them for whats true. Ideally we can tell real from not. But, our sanity is the cost.

I told him, where to go and closed the door quite hard. "I couldn't be dreaming could I", I though. Not while I'm very clearly awake and seeing so vividly the world around me. I kind of wish he was selling a vacuum, at least then I'd have gotten an offer or something that was real.

As soon as my mind wondered to idea he was correct however, I noticed how fluid things had gotten. Like I was in control of reality, and not the other way around. After a moment of realization, and contemplation. I realized he was right I was in fact dreaming. I had to be dreaming. My girlfriend thought out that old clock and couch years ago.

December 25, 2021 01:35

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1 comment

Dustin Gillham
02:15 Jan 01, 2022

Great first submission, Sean. Keep up the great work. Happy New Year.

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