What's Twisting Time?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts
Written for a challenge at the BoMoWriCha Prompt House.

Submitted: November 10, 2018

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Submitted: November 10, 2018

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What’s Twisting Time?

I don’t know, maybe I’m imagining it, but something seems to be amiss with time. Again! Everyone around me, from my mates, my parents, my lecturers, are going on and on at me to slow down, stop rushing. But the strange thing is that I am not – rushing, that is.

A minute feels like an hour to me right now. By the time Mom has managed to butter some toast I have already eaten two bowls of cereal and down a large mug of coffee. And I’m not a glutton; I don’t rush my food and make myself choke. I just seem to be somehow out of time.

Okay, that’s minutes, but a day at college can feel endless. Each lecture seems to last so long that I simply cannot concentrate on more than the start. And when it comes to writing exercises I seem to be done in no time. I’m sure that I’ve actually finished essays before some have even picked up their pens. And it’s not like my grades have been falling, if anything, they’ve gone up a bit.

Outside, the traffic seems to be moving along at a snail’s pace, the pedestrians dawdling along so slowly. They still stand and wait at the kerb, for the vehicles to clear. Me, I could cross the road, stand there and tie my laces in the time it would take on of those cars to reach me.

Jeez, would you ever slow down, Sophie,” my Mom says, as she seems to be dragging herself from room to room, while I am darting all over the place.

But I’m just going at my normal pace,” I insist. “It’s everything else that is going so slow.”

Mom frowned. “Maybe you should go and see....”

Grandfather!” we said together.

It’s not the first time this has happened. Time has twisted for me before, several times. Once I was moving at half speed, holding everyone up. A minute felt like a day and it was so hard to get through each twenty-four hour period. The last time was just like this one; the world around me had slowed.

It wasn’t me that was out of synch. It was the world that had slipped out of place with time.

I bet I know what’s happened,” I said, heading towards the door. “He’s baby-sitting again.”

It didn’t take me too long to get there. It was a pretty normal looking house that he lived in, my grandfather. The clock on the outside wall was a bit of an eccentric touch, but otherwise the place seemed rather......quaint.

No one would suspect that this was the home of Father Time.

As I approached I could hear the giggles and laughter, along with a few cries. How many had he got there today? Too many to cope with and keep things going, obviously. The fae had no guilt about lumbering an old man with their babies when they wanted to party, and he was one of those people that simply could not let the word ‘No’ pass his lips.

I sidled through the door, shutting it quickly before any of those fae babies could get out in to the real world. They were everywhere. Climbing on the furniture, playing with his clocks; no wonder the world had slowed right down.

As irritated as I was with him, I had to feel sorry for my Grandfather as he stood in the middle of the room looking totally bewildered. At a guess, I’d say there were twenty-five of them, romping around and twisting up time.

When are you ever going to say ‘No, I can’t’?” I said, giving the old man a hug to remove any sting from my words.

They can be so persuasive,” he said in his defence.

I’ll take care of them, take them home. You just take care of time,” I said, before moving to the center of the room and attracting the young faes attention. “Sophie’s here now kids,” I said, in a falsely jolly voice. “Let’s play a game now, shall we? First one home is the winner!”

It works like magic. Even though they are still not much more than babies they are a very competitive bunch. Without even finding out what they will win, they all begin to scuttle off, down to the gateway at the bottom of Granddad’s garden. One after another they disappear through the gateway, going back home to Lir. Once back there they will forget about the competition altogether; at least that’s how it has worked before.

With the last one gone I make my way back inside. Grandfather is twirling the last of the dials and after he’s happy with its position he turns to me with a smile. “Time should be right back to normal now. What would I do without you, Sophie.”

Learn to say ‘No’, perhaps,” I tease.

As soon as I get back on to the street I know that the twist has been untangled. The vehicles are speeding along, pedestrians are over-taking me, and when I get indoors my Mom says, “Sophie, would you please not dawdle in front of me.”

No ‘Thanks’ or anything. But then, she’ll have forgotten all about it. It seems that it is only me that remembers how fragile the balance of time can be.

 

888 words.


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