The clock struck one

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Booksie Idol practice: Find a creative way to use the line: "The clock struck one." The story of a nice guy who waited-too long.

Submitted: January 31, 2014

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Submitted: January 31, 2014



  Charlie threw the doors open and entered the pub. “Drinks all around! On me!”  That phrase always earned a throng of cheers, and Charlie rode a wave of welcomes right to a place at the bar.  His knuckles brushed against the faux grain paneling where they were instantly met with a tall, frosty pint of the usual imbibery.

“What’s got you in such a generous mood?”  His stool neighbor asked. “Ye din’t find leprechaun gold, did ye?”

“No, Sam. No.  Better!”

“Well, what is it then?”

“You got time for a story?”

Sam glanced at the television over the bar. “There’s no game on.”  He looked at the clock. “And it’s just getting to the eleventh hour.  I’d say it’s a brilliant time for a story.”

“All right, then.  All right.  Sam, do you have any children?”

“Aye,” Sam grinned.  “Two.  A lad and a lass.”

“Did your wife want those children?”

“They were a bit of a surprise to her.  I had more to do with their planning than she did.”

“Right.  My problem is that I am not as clever as you are.  So, I don’t have any kids.”

“Awe,” Sam tisked. “Too bad.  Now, wait.  Weren’t you a Mr. Bodybuilder, what, thirty years ago?  You should have had women crawling all over you.”

“Maybe.  But I’ve never had that instinct for women you’ve got.  In my life, I’ve only had four girlfriends.”

Sam almost let out another tisk, but he stuffed his mouth with a fistful of peanuts instead.

“It took me a long time to understand women the way you do. See, the first girl, I told her I loved her.”

“Oof,” Sam bellowed.

“Never heard from her again.  Number two, after our second date, she had an argument with her mother. I took her mother’s side.”

Sam shook his head solemnly.

“Her mother was right.”

“I’m sure she was. So, let’s hear about number three.”

“Number three was a college girl.  She had no time for a relationship or children. One night, I kissed her, and the next day I hear that it caused her so much stress that she went into premature menopause. She went through months of hormone treatment because of me.”

“I’ve never heard of that.”

“It’s possible she was making it up, but am I going to question that kind of thing? No. She said she never wanted children, and I told her how one day she may change her mind.  That biological clock of hers might strike sometime far in the future, and I wanted to be there, but eventually, she assured me that would never happen and walked away.”

“Sad, sad story you have there.”

“Number four was a bodybuilder.  She’d never have children because it would wreck her body.  I told her the same thing, biological clock, urge to reproduce. She didn’t believe me either. But!  But I was right!  Finally!  The clock struck one.”

“You hit one with a clock?”


“Oh, the clock fell over on her!”

“No! The biological clock!  Number four, she started going through menopause, and she suddenly has the urge to have a baby!  Sure there’s a higher risk of Down’s syndrome, but someone wants me, me, to father a child!”

Sam sat back on his bar stool and looked thoughtfully at the dark television.  “Show me your abs,” he said.

“My abs?”

“Show me your abs, if you still have any.”

Charlie lifted his shirt to reveal a tight six-pack.

“Tomorrow, shave your beard. Color your old hair.”  He peered into Charlie’s deeply wrinkled face. “Iron your mug, and meet me here at seven.”

© Copyright 2018 Allonois. All rights reserved.

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