The Ticking of Life

He stared at the ancient clock for a few seconds. She had inherited it from her grandfather when she was only a child, passing through the generations for even longer than he could remember. Lying amongst her most treasured stones and seashells, he could hear the ceaseless ticking.

As though entranced by the sound, his eyes fixed on the slim black hand that kept moving around and around. Slowly, unconsciously, he reached out his right hand towards the heirloom and carefully picked it up.

He stared at it for a few seconds, then swiftly turned it around. His eyes wavered towards a drawer and seconds later, he was rummaging around it with his other hand until he produced a small screwdriver.

Carefully, he loosened the screws and laid them onto the table, holding his breath. Only when he at last separated the battery from the clock and it stopped ticking did he let it out again.

He stood there for a few seconds in the complete silence, as heavy tears started rolling down his cheeks. Even when the clock kept counting the seconds of life, she had already uttered her last breath. Tomorrow they would lower her into her grave.

© 2016

FFfAW, Week of August 23, 2016

Photo prompt provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode

**Sorry, this turned out longer than expected!**

18 responses to “The Ticking of Life”

  1. This is so sad! Very well well done!!

    1. Thank you – I’m pleased you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Nice connections! This is a strong story.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate the comment.

  3. Powerful and so sad.

    1. Thank you for reading 🙂

  4. His strong feelings are really brought out in your story. I can understand his desire to stop the ticking…life slipping by second by second must have been a terrible thing for him to have to endure. Great job on this!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It’s not fair that life should keep passing as though nothing has happened, when in reality so much has changed…

  5. Wow, sad, imaginative and a great parallel metaphor of life ending with the clock hand.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your comment 🙂

    1. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Very touching imagery. Lovely.

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  7. How sad. Well written too 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 It really is quite a glum subject…

  8. Well written, as if the ticking stopping does really mean her life is ending, they’re connected. But then again, it could be the man stopping the annoying ticking and the coincidence of her dying as he did this. Interesting possibilities.

    1. Thank you! It does leave a lot of thought concerning what could have happened… 🙂

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