An Endless Night

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A short story written for an Imaginarium House prompt -- The clock is ticking.

Submitted: July 07, 2018

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Submitted: July 07, 2018

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An Endless Night

The clock is ticking and I can’t sleep.

I try laying on my left, then I try laying on my right. I thump my pillow, turn it over, try laying flat on my back. Tick....tick.....tick.

I try to shut my eyes, picture sheep jumping over a gate, but all I can see is a murky sort of blackness. Not a sight to bring about any kind of relaxation. Perhaps I’d be better off opening my eyes and letting them grow heavy by themselves.

And still the clock is ticking away.

Has it really only been ten minutes since I last looked at it? I sit up, check the digital display on the other clock just to make sure that this one has not stopped. I shouldn’t have doubted it though; after all, it is still ticking.

Another thump of the pillow and I lay on my left side. Almost instantly I can feel my arm beginning to cramp up, so I need to manoeuvre it inro a more comfortable position.

Two hours I’ve been laying here now, and I’ve heard every single second tick past.

need to get to sleep!

My breathing starts to slow and my eyes begin to grow heavy and then this stupid little thought pops in to my head. What was the name of the actor in that film?

What does it matter? It is of no importance what-so-ever but it’s one of those aggravating things that your mind just won’t let drop, even though you know so often that it is the moment you start thinking of something else that the answer pops up.

Tick....tick....tick.

It’s kind of tempting to get up and hurl that taunting ticker straight at the wall. It’s only because I need it to wake me up on time that I don’t. Just three hours left until the alarm goes off now.

Should I give in and get up? I could keep myself going on a few extra cups of strong coffee, I know, but it’s kind of become a battle of wills. Me against that ticking clock.

Next thing I know, I’m jolted awake by a shrill ringing. I reach for the clock but it’s not the alarm. My phone, where did I leave it? By the time I find it, pick it up and press the answer button, the caller has hung up. Redial, that’s easy enough, although when I hear the angry voice of my boss I wish I’d not bothered.

Late again! He warns me he will not take much more of it. Quickly changing my clothes, brushing my hair, my teeth, I notice something. An absence. There is no tick.

I pick up the clock and the second hand is still, totally stationary and completely silent. It’s mockery is complete. The battery kept going long enough to keep me awake, only to die before it was time to wake me.

No time to decide between batteries or another clock, not now. I have to get a move on. And just as I’m going out of the door, wouldn’t you know it – that actor’s name pops straight in to my head.


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