The Silence Among the Clock Tower

Reads: 549  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A boy experiences various oddities as he is moved into a clock tower, where he experiences peculiar characters, but these characters are nowhere near as peculiar as the thoughts within his own mind.

Submitted: August 21, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 21, 2015

A A A

A A A


The Silence Among the Clock Tower

 

Mister James says the streets did me bad. I have to agree with him, considering he is older and probably wiser than me, but none of that really matters when you're dead, I don't think. No. I busted out the orphanage and they chased me, but I'm real quick, you see. I jumped up and landed myself in a real stinker. A shit hole filled with a bunch of rotten kids, much like myself. I don't necessarily like myself- but a person, they can tolerate themselves, but as soon as they encounter themselves with a different face, they want to kill 'em; that's why you can't look in the mirror and see you've changed, you'll want to kill the poor bastard that stole your eyes. I lived with a few of these kids in their filth, and we got into some trouble, but it wasn't nothing compared to what we done in the orphanage. With these new kids, I stole, fought, and did what I wanted- 'till that bastard Timothy's watch drove me insane, damn near.

It ticked and ticked, making me about ready to scream, which was a damn shame. That watch had some nice leather and a little fake gold on the pendulum, but it creaked like a crying bitch, and paired with that boy Timothy, it was damn near unbearable. I looked straight at his eyes, like looking into a bloody mirror, and next thing I knew, I took a stone to his face until he couldn't open his eyes no more, seeing how full of blood they were.

Here's the funny thing, though. I took his watch- the very thing that made me club in his head; I hated it, but I wore the damn thing and grew adjusted to the insanity it brought me. All I heard was the clicking of the devil, but them clicks kept me on track, and I could precisely measure everything I did. Once something drives you insane, you start to appreciate it. And I used them clicks to remember how long the lonely nights would last. I could measure my entire life through these uneven clicks because while everyone you meet will lie to your face, only one thing will always remain true: time.

You see, that's the problem. Mister James dragged me into his Clock Tower downtown, and now I can't escape the clicks. I thought I liked them at first, but now the clicks echo off the walls and bounce from the ceiling and they hit my god damn head until I can't take it anymore and I holler at them, get on the floors, and I go mad pounding on the cold stone ground like some rampant zoo animal let out of his cage, wanting to kill as the clicks keep going, and keep going and tick into my eyeballs when all I want to do is scream!

 

When I throw a fit like I tend to do, I wake up to find myself strapped in a chair, watching colorless pictures with a bulb above my eyes. Mister James walks around me and scolds me real good. Sometimes, I ought to think to hurt Mister James, but I respect him. Respect keeps people from killing each other, you see- he calls me his son, which is real sweet and all, but I tell him I ain't got a daddy. I never have, and I don't plan on changing any time soon. If anything, I feel like Frankenstein in this chair with the leather straps. Mister James tells me not to get mad- I get scolded a lot, I sure do, but it's nothing worth killing over, I don't imagine. I take the beatings and respect him, but time is more important than our relationship.

I figured with all these damn clicks in the tower, I didn't need that watch no more, so I take Timothy's god damn watch and stuff it behind a brick in my room. I figure I've got plenty of them clicks in my head, and I don't need another bloody, pretty thing making more commotion up there. It's funny how we'll let things drive us to hell, but as long as it's pretty, it's okay. You never see a guy with an ugly watch, will you? Too bad for Mister James, his watch is ten stories tall and it's the ugliest, most god damnded annoying tower of shit I've ever thought conceivable; no man would wear it on his wrist, that's for certain.

 

Most days are plain, I would say. I run around the tower, let my energy out, and talk to Mister James about life, mostly. He is an interesting man- I think he's a scientist, but the sneaky bastard won't say. He says it don't matter what a man is, only who he is. And that makes sense to me. What am I? I'm a dirty orphan, but I'm also a good person that can help society- Mister James says so. Doctor Hal says it too, sometimes; that's this doctor that comes by and talks to me when I'm in that chair sometimes. Maybe once a week, judging by them clicks.

The weird thing is Mister James sits and takes notes when I talk to Doctor Hal- god only knows what he's writing. As for Doctor Hal, they just look me in the eyes and ask questions. They ask a lot of god damn questions. Doctor Hal gives me the creeps, that's one thing I'm sure about. They're a doctor, but that don't mean they know anything about humans or about me. I reckon Mister James knows a hell of a lot about life, but this grimy doctor doesn't no much about shit. I can't even tell if they're a boy or a girl- a real creep, that one is.

But I answer the questions and talk about some things that I gotta talk about and how I feel and what I think about. Thinking too much about the inner workings of a man's brain drives him insane- all they ask me is why, and I ain't even sure why, but god damn does it make my head hurt, and I can't make it stop, neither. No matter how hard I hit my damn skull, I just can't stop thinkin' why nothing and everything happens all at the same time, but it's like them cogs in the Clock Tower- I got no idea how they turn and tick all day and night, no rest. I figure that word alone is enough to kill me. Why? Maybe my brain is made outta cogs.

One day Mister James went out to take care of some business, and I was sitting in my chair, like usual, just minding my own business, when I hear a dirty rat crawling around my room, so I scream at the tiny bastard, but it sure doesn't stop. It keeps scooting on my floor and bumping into things and making a racket and driving me nearly mad. I keep screaming, but of course the damn little demon don't give half a damn. I wear myself out, screaming silly and all, and of course I knock myself out until Mister James comes back and let's me out, and we eat a nice dinner of roast and milk. Normally, I'd talk to Mister James about something significant, but this time I run up to my room to find the clever bastard that thinks he can run around my space. Of course I can't find anything, so I start mumbling to myself, normally, and get all worked up again. That was when the clicks started hurting again, and I couldn't hear my own damn thoughts over them sneaky little clicks that only come out when I need to think the most! Well, I get lucky this time because the clicks got interrupted by a loud noise in my room. And when I open my eyes, I see that little blonde bitch, Bethany.

Of all the people on this Earth, and it's Bethany. She says she come to get me out, that sneaky bitch- she's got a crazier mind than I do, that's for sure. She hands me a six shooter with only one god damn bullet in it, and she tells me to escape from this place. See, she doesn't get it- things like this take time. I have to think about my escape and how many clicks it will take to shoot and run, and the ticks 'till I'm safe, of course. Bethany says she will stay in my room 'till I'm ready and all, which is awful sweet, but I don't give a damn about no other orphans. A real nasty lot, they are. Still, she wants us to run off together and live with some of the good orphans. I say none exist, not even me.

Honestly, I don't think I wanted to do it at first. Mister James was a good man and didn't deserve trouble like this- I figure I raised enough hell for a good man to handle, anyway. Somehow, it was still tempting me. I always wanted to shoot a gun, and these walls grew a little narrow for my liking. Part of me missed seeing some of the other little shits, even though I hated them. It became mighty tempting, especially when Bethany kissed me something like four times, that dirty bitch. Sent some weird tingle down my hairs that pricked my senses real deep down, like a knife. She knew she was a bitch, anyway.

Well, the next day, I'm in my chair with Mister James, chatting like two old hags, and I had that six shooter in my pocket. I looked at Mister James' old, baggy eyes, and I felt sorry for him, mostly. No man wants to get killed by his own son, no way. I think I got a little wet eyes, but he sure sure as hell wasn't gonna see no tears from me. Mister James got real chummy and told me he was proud of me for making real good progress. I had no god damn idea what he was talking about, the poor bastard.

I figured since I was gonna blow his brains out, he at least deserved a last, good talk with his son. So I asked him what he thought Hell was like, considering we was all pent up in this damn tower, kinda like Hell. He says Hell ain't half bad. He says misunderstood people go to hell. He says the devil himself is a creative thinker, but people judged him and turned him into a bad man, but he makes it up to people by making them feel more welcome in Hell than they did on Earth. Mister James says that some people got it worse when they're alive than they do in Hell, and that's because normal people are all the Devil themselves.

God dammit, by this time I couldn't shoot the old bastard. He was too smart. So I go back up them rickety stairs to tell the bitch that I wasn't gonna shoot the old goat. I rehearse this over and over 'till I hear them clicks starting to piss me off. I get real flustered as I walk in that room and see she was missing. So I stand there, half confused, but what's more confusing is that the clicking seemed a little hollow- a click was missing. I didn't know where it was at first, but god damn did a cog click in my brain and I ran to my bed and grabbed that brick and Timothy's god damn watch was missing.

I raise hell and tear apart that bloody tower trying to find her. I go in each room and scream around for the bitch, when I finally find her in the basement, playing with the nice, shiny leather on that watch. I take that brick straight to her bloody head and she falls like a bag of sand. Her blood starts to seep around her soggy hair, but I keep pounding that brick around her face, 'till I can't hear no more snaps. I throw that brick down and look at all the whorish blood on me, but I sure as shit don't give a damn. I put Timothy's watch back on and I get happy with them clicks when they come back into my head. I lean down and give the bitch one last, bloody kiss. That's when Mister James comes in and grabs me; I don't resist none. I did him plenty of trouble, I figured.

I blink once and I see Doctor Hal and Mister James sitting in front of my chair. I blink again and I stop remembering things. I stopped feeling things too. I almost felt an itch in my nose and some screwing in my brain for a few hours, but I forgot what it was, really. I just listened to them clicks, like a melody in my ears- a dark screen that played music to my blind eyes. I wondered if I was a good person and if Mister James was the Devil, but I couldn't tell a damn thing with all the twisting and racket in my brain. All I knew was that I couldn't escape time, not even in the darkness.

Well I blinked again and they was still standing there. They released me and told me to walk. I could feel the darkness under my eyes and the numbing in my brain, so I couldn't think none, really. I just grabbed that six shooter and stared into Mister James' old eyes one last time, and son of a bitch, I thought I saw my own god damn face. I wasn't scared, but I knew that was when I saw the Devil; right then and there, that damn trickster. I told him I'd see him soon and I shot that bastard right in the jaw without a single flinching muscle in my cheeks. The clock kept ticking as I felt his bits run all over me, the poor bastard. He even got blood on Timothy's watch.

I darted out that pretty window without a second thought to it and smacked onto the concrete. I was mighty bloody at this point, but it wasn't no different than before. I brought Timothy's watch up to my eyes and looked at the reflection. I thought I saw Timothy for a second, but I ain't too sure because Doctor Hal runs up to me and jams some prick in my ass and I get real dizzy and dark. Maybe Timothy was the Devil and did all this crackpot shit to me. Maybe I was the Devil and I didn't know it yet. All those times asking why were pointless, they just drove me mad. In fact, I figure why is the Devil himself. He was in my mind the whole damn time, but maybe I put him there myself.

 

I rolled along the smooth floor, and I just sat there with a bunch of little devils all around me, causing enough noise to make me go deaf. I sat in the darkness, and I imagined we was all burning in hell, most likely. I don't remember anything after that, but I was patient and waited my turn. I know I'll see the Devil again one day, but until then, I get to listen to them joyous clicks all day long.

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Robert Owens. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

More Literary Fiction Short Stories