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The Clock is Ticking...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium
Bonus short story featuring Alissa Forecastle

Submitted: July 05, 2018

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Submitted: July 05, 2018



The clock is ticking…Or so Alissa Forecastle, Librarian to the Library of Secrets thought.

No matter how late she worked into the wee small hours in the Library, Alissa liked to be summoned out of her sleep by nine in the morning sharp.

This day, however, it was near noon when she was woken not by the grandfather clock in the study that was next to her bedroom, but by an artist’s fallen brush.

Alissa was having her recurring dream about the Luftwaffe chasing Ramesses II across the desert. (It’s a long story.) When something went plop on her head.

She stood for a moment in her dreamscape, thinking is this part of the story or did something out there drop on my head?

Alissa opened one sleepy eye and with her mono vision everything looked like how she left it. Small table with a water jug, wash basin, a stepladder.

Hold on, retrace that observation a stepladder?

When did she last put a stepladder in her bedroom? Even so, Alissa still didn’t budge from her bed this was the Library after all and anything can happen in here.

However, Alissa did budge when a young Italian man came into her view looking for his paintbrush. “Mi scusi Signorina.”

There is nothing like sharpening the reflexes of a young woman when a young male starts moving his hand beneath her bedsheets.

Alissa recoiled back, pulling her knees and bedsheet up to her headboard.
“Whoa! Whoa! What are you doing?”

The young man, looking embarrassed, held up the other paintbrush and pointed to the ceiling. Alissa then understood what the thing was that plopped on her head.

“I’ll get it.” She said fishing through the sheets and eventually handing it back to him.

“Thank you.” Said the young Italian. Alissa was pleased to hear that the Library translator had kicked in.

With the shock subsiding Alissa first asked his name and what he was doing in her bedroom. The Italian sat on the edge of her bed and gave a bow while giving his name. “Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, but my friends just called Michelangelo. And why am I in your bedroom Signorina? I’m afraid I cannot answer. One moment I’m at the Vatican and the next moment I am here.”

Michelangelo looked to the ceiling, Alissa followed his gaze to see the painting of half an arm coming out from the side of her bedroom wall. The index finger on its hand wanting to touch the index finger of another hand, once again incomplete.

Alissa looked at Michelangelo her mouth and eyes wide open. “You are painting ‘The Creation of Adam’ in the Sistine Chapel!”

“Was, Signorina. Was.”

Just then Alissa heard a commotion coming from outside the study. It sounded like a herd of elephants down in the reception hall. She left Michelangelo cleaning his brushes and took a look outside.

Alissa stood on the balcony looking down into the reception hall. Instead of seeing shelf upon shelf stacked high with books, she looked out on to a Jurassic landscape with all manner dinosaurs passing through.

Alissa knew in that moment what had happened. She went back into the study and looked at the grandfather clock straight in the face. “You’ve been fiddling with time again haven’t you?”

The clock looked sheepish and hung its hands at twenty-two-eight giving it a sad face.

“I know you’re bored telling the time.” Said Alissa. “But that’s what you do, tell the time.”

The grandfather clock was inquisitive about the workings of time like most computer users are about the working of their computer.

There comes a point where every computer user gets into the running of the machine and starts turning on and off various bits of programming to see what it does or doesn’t do. Its only when the computer stops running properly that the user wishes they left the damn thing alone.

So, was the case with the grandfather clock. It had messed about with time so much to see what it did, that when it all went to pot, it couldn’t remember what it did to put it right.

Alissa came back out of her bedroom fully dressed in her favourite red velvet dress. She held a screwdriver between behind her ear and a toolkit with sandwiches and a flask of tea slung over her shoulder.

“Right.” She said to the grandfather. “Open up your door.”
The grandfather clock reluctantly let loose the catch and Alissa heard the door in the front of the clock creak open.

With a sigh of frustration, she opened the door wide. Before stepping through she turned once more and looked the grandfather clock in the face. She rolled her eyes towards it and with one word, “Men!” she went inside.

© Copyright 2018 Markie Bee. All rights reserved.

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