Sunday Sit Down – Pendulum

Welcome to this weeks Sunday Sit Down. Grab a cuppa and a comfy chair and sit down to read. OK I will be the first to admit that this is not the happiest of Flash Fiction pieces. As with last week, I uncovered this piece after it had been left hidden away at the back end of my hard drive! I enjoyed re-reading the imaginary, and I remember the hopelessness I was trying to capture when I was writing it. Let me know what you think of Pendulum.

~~~ Pendulum ~~~

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Adam waited.

Time passed slowly. He watched the hands of the 1794 grandfather clock. The pendulum swung back and forth in hypnotic motion. It was old, tired and slowing. Today was the day. He felt it in his bones. In his veins. Soon the clock would stop. Not soon enough.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

It was forty nine minutes past two. The gentle ticking was like a nit scratching under his skin. A welcome irritant. A distraction. But the clock wouldn’t chime when it crossed the hour. It stopped chiming in 1972 when Adam was fourteen and used a slingshot to shoot a pellet through the glass face. It couldn’t be fixed. No one could figure out the problem.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Adam knew what that was like. Being damaged. Unfixable. He could smell the faint scent of life on him. It made him nauseous. Adam was many things. An unspeakable conversation. A lover of clocks. A hater of time. A tragedy waiting to happen.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

He didn’t need to look at the pine clock in all its grandeur to know the time. But it was better than looking at the floor or himself, an unused body with wasted muscle and an overgrown ego.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

His hands were sore. His muscles ached. He was winter and spring all in one. He was ready and accepting. He was waiting

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

An eight day clock. After tonight Adam wouldn’t wind it again. He hoped.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Time didn’t stop, everything else did. Eternity grew old forever, while Adam would never grow old at all. He grew tired and broken.

Tick. The grandfather struck three o‘clock. It didn’t chime. A silent strike on the hour. Silence but for the gentle ticking and tocking of the brass pendulum, not even a heartbeat.


Geraldine Walsh © Over Heaven’s Hill

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