My clock has a 13th hour. It comes with a free visitor.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

I bought it the same day Medo died.

He was my first dog, a 100-pound mass of muscle, fur, and cuddles. A mountain breed from southeastern Europe.

He was a happy boy, and I was devastated to see him go. The cancer that tore through his body was unstoppable, and by the end had turned my strong bear into a frail husk.

At the vet, we shared one last look before he closed his eyes forever. I hope he felt loved in that moment. They told me I could pick up his ashes the next day. I would rather have him back.

I needed a distraction, and to be anywhere but home. I drove without direction for nearly two hours when I stumbled on an antiques store. My bladder protested, and I figured looking at old things couldn’t hurt.

The shop was bright, but my eyes only saw one thing. It was simple. A white face with black Roman numerals and hands. Unremarkable, except for the XIII elegantly blended in.

This clock was for me.

The cashier, an old Amish man with a black cap and beard to his belt, seemed in a rush to get rid of it. I don’t know how much I paid. I reached into my pocket and slapped down some bills on the counter. He seemed happy enough to stay quiet as I carried it out.

I hung it on my wall that night. The weight of Medo’s death hit me again, and I stared at his things in misery. His toys, his bed, his pictures.

I drank that night and passed out early.

I startled awake to a bark, my mind still blurry. His bark. I thought I was dreaming, but a swift slap to my own face confirmed I was awake. The clock showed XIII.

The barking continued. It came from my front door. I stumble-ran as quickly as my mushy brain could send scrambled signals to my legs. I slammed face-first into the door, barking rhythmically continuing on the other side, and looked through the peephole.

What I saw sobered me up instantly and completely.

It was Medo. Burned, ashy, eyeless. Fur gave way to skin in places, which gave way to bone in others. One black-gloved hand held his body upright, another opened and closed his mouth in sync with the barks. To call it haphazard would be a compliment. The figure appeared to be wearing a suit, but was obscured by the dark.

My blood froze. I fell to the ground, my back against the door, curled up, and cried. The barking continued. When it finally stopped, I looked at the clock. 1 AM.

I looked through the peephole to see...nothing. I opened the door and found a note on my doorstep.


We tried to deliver your order, but we must have missed you :(

Your satisfaction is our priority. We will make another delivery attempt during the following days / times:

EVERY DAY - 13:00 AM

Submitted: March 26, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Mister Skulk. All rights reserved.

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