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The Torture of the Clocks

Short story By: Victor Palmer

An unhealthy obsession with time

Submitted:Jan 1, 2013    Reads: 39    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   

The Torture of the Clocks

Time. I can fathom, that there could not have ever been a more cruel invention of torture. Time, it is possibly the most sadistic tyrant of them all. Time, it is the most relentless of enemies, the master of all pain, grinding the eternal wheels of misery and frustration. Time is an authoritarian dictator.It metes out unimaginable suffering that can far exceed the grasp of even the most inventive imagination. Can there be any pain, any agony, any evil, that could possibly compare, to sitting in a state of agitation, without the ability to act ? Is there anything to describe the powerless feeling of waiting, while unable to take any real action ?

Anyone who has ever sat by the phone in the middle of the night, waiting, waiting for that ring, needing and even demanding for it to manifest, has tasted but only one edible dish of that torture. Anyone who has ever paced a floor, staring at the clock and writhing internally in torment.Silently muttering prayers to a deity with no ears, praying that the second hand will move a little faster. Pleading with the minute hand to tick by with a little greater speed, has tasted the abhorrent flavor of that hate filled monster that cloaks itself in that innocent little word called TIME. Such an easy word to say, such a harmless sound behind it's four letter digits, but there is nothing harmless or remotely frivolous about that vile word that I have grown to hate so much.

If you beg to differ, if you believe otherwise, just wait until you are caught in it's inescapable jaws of affliction. It can snare you and pull you into a dolor world, where all other feelings are gone, except pain. It can crush you in its iron vise grip, pulling you helplessly into a slow motion vacuum of existence, stripped away to the very core of your soul. Once it has you, there is no escape. Once it has you, all of your thoughts and actions are now dependent upon it's indifferent horror.

Mankind has devised some wily and atrocious instruments of torture, for furthering the purposes of its own diabolical plans. They have designed instruments, created to kill, to maim, and to extract false confessions from the lips of those that found themselves on the outcast status of society. But for all of his imaginings, man could not have conceived of anything worse than time.The clock is the most hideous symbol of crucifixion, of them all. The ticking seconds, waiting for its repugnant arms to move things just a little bit faster. But the clock cares not. The clock is sociopathic. The clock can not identify with compassion, empathy and understanding. The clock can not be swayed by pleas. A mere instrument of slavery. An instrument of total lies and total deception. It tricks its watchers into believing, that there may be a quality of mercy that lies underneath the surface of its omnipotent and emotionless gaze. An instrument of death, measuring out your life, in a series of mere seconds and minutes. It is an undefeated master and under it's lash, there can be no hope of liberation.

Time, it is my enemy, an enemy that I detest like no other. It is an enemy that has total control and absolute power. It can not be battled. It can not be convinced, to take a bribe, or grant a pardon. It never reconsiders it's positions.It can not be navigated away from nor avoided. No, no and no, it has us all in its throes, and there is no escape from it.

Oh, but the long hours that I have squandered, locked in this cell and pondering these things. How I wish that all of the time keeping devices could be completely and utterly destroyed. How I wish, that people would realize that they could escape from this horror. It would be so easy and it would only take a simple realization to do it. The realization that all time is an ILLUSION. An illusion that we have willingly surrendered our liberty and our freedom to.

Even now, as I pace back and forth in this colorless cell. Even now, through the tiny opening in the door, I can see a clock. The most despicable invention to come forth into existence, with it's hateful circle of numbers positioned by it's two hands.

The screaming began in the hallway, as the orderly was about to take his break. He inclined his gaze into the direction of the screaming and he knew, almost immediately, that the screams were emanating from Claude's cell. This was before he heard the screams form vocabulary. The vocabulary being an incoherent rant against clocks. Claude had the entire staff completely baffled. He never spoke about anything, other than the need for the conception of time to be destroyed.

"Smash the clocks,". Claude shouted from his cell. "Somebody smash the fucking clocks. WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME ? SMASH THE FUCKING CLOCKS ! WHY WON'T YOU BASTARDS LISTEN ? ,".

The orderly hit the button for the nurses. He had experienced these outbursts before. He did not even try to handle this situation alone, for he knew that no amount of words would satisfy Claude.He knew that the nurses would have to tranquilize him.Yet, it was procedure that he had to try and talk to Claude before medical staff could administer medication.The orderly felt sorry for men like Claude. These poor patients were suffering from phantom torments that could not be understood. He wondered what could possibly exist in one man's mind, that could be so unbearable, that it would strip away all his semblances of normal behavior. He could not imagine what the world would look like, through the eyes of flesh, that such souls were encapsulated in.

The orderly glanced at the clock on the wall and felt a sense of irritation. It was only 9 a.m. in the morning. He still had several more hours to go before his shift would end. He breathed a deep sigh. As he moved closer to Claude's cell, he had time to wonder, why the time had to move so excruciatingly slow on days like this. He stared at his watch for a moment, as though some sort of answer might lay in the cold and sterile numbers that stared back at him, for the clock seemed quite indifferent to the passage of time.


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