#AtoZChallenge: Time Lapse

It was another quiet summer day. Tina Davis was in the kitchen, washing the dishes after lunch. she was trying not to cry too audibly, lest her seven year daughter Sandy hear her.

Sandy had been diagnosed with leukemia only a month ago, but things were already looking grim. It wouldn’t be too long before she had to be put into hospice care. Tina didn’t want to dwell on what would happen after that. How could things possibly have gone so wrong? She put the last plate on the rack to dry and walked out the back door into her yard.

She pulled out a pack of cigarettes from her apron and put one between her lips. She’d given up smoking almost a year ago, but it was the only solace she could find from everything that was happening.

As Tina fumbled in the pockets of her apron for a lighter, she saw a strange flash of light in the small wooded area behind the house, right near the neighbors’ yard. A glowing door had appeared there. Through squinted eyes, Tina could just make out a shape emerging from the door, which closed immediately after.

The figure that emerged from the door was dressed like an astronaut, or rather, a child’s idea of what an astronaut looked like. It wore a bulky rust-colored suit with a large chestplate that had a timer on it. Black tubes ran from the plate to the helmet of the suit, which was opaque. Yet somehow, Tina had the sense that the thing was looking right at her. It flipped open the visor of its helmet to reveal darkness. It had no face or head. Just a swirling void. Tina felt her mouth go dry and an odd tingling sensation all over her body, as if she had just touched a doorknob after shuffling her feet on the carpet.

The sensation stopped.

Tina couldn’t remember why she had come into the yard. She looked around at the cloudless sky, the lush trees, the empty space by the neighbor’s yard. What was she doing out here?

“Mum!”

Sandy’s voice jerked Tina back to the present. She turned to see her smiling face on the other side of the kitchen door. Tina smiled back. She still couldn’t believe the miracle that was standing in front of her. It was close to two years ago that Sandy had been diagnosed with leukemia, doomed to never recover from it. But then, she got better. Tina didn’t remember how. In fact, she couldn’t remember the past year at all. All she knew was that Sandy was alive, and one of the happiest nine year olds she had ever seen.


 

Dr. Adam Wilfrey walked up the steps to the Bureau of Time Management, fumbling in his coat pocket for his ID card. Doris at the security desk buzzed him through.

“Ah, thanks, Doris,” he said, still trying to find the card as he walked to the elevator. “Oh, and good morning!”

Doris smiled and shook her head.

The Bureau of Time Management was a nondescript office building in London’s West End. It had been established a few years ago, when time travel had started to become commonplace, and temporal anomalies started popping up from misuse of the technology. The Bureau was formed to track and contain the anomalies and to make sure that there were no lasting disruptions in the time stream.

Adam Wilfrey was in charge of the Bureau and liked to get in early to make sure everything was running smoothly. He made himself a cup of tea in the break room and walked into the main laboratory to check on the chronometers. They were running as expected. Dr. Wilfrey took a satisfied sip of his tea, but didn’t get to savor it for long. He was staring at one of the chronometers, which was showing something rather odd.

The previous year was missing. All of it. But there were no alarms, no notifications. Nothing at all to indicate that something was wrong.

Dr. Wilfrey put down his tea and picked up the phone on the desk. It was going to be a very long morning.

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A to Z Challenge: Time

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Time heals all wounds,

Or so it is said.

But even time has not the power

To bring back the dead.

Time marches on,

Waiting for no man.

They must keep pace with it

As best they can.

Time slips away,

Like each exhaled breath.

Every second ticks closer

Toward the shadow of death.

Time cannot be conquered,

It cannot be won.

It must be spent wisely

Until our time is done.

Slipping Away

The room was silent, except for the sound of ticking. Martin wished it would stop. It only served to remind him how much time he had lost, and how precious little he had left.

He picked up the ornate silver pen on his desk and let it rest on his finger tips. It had been a gift from an old friend whose face he could no longer remember. Martin’s name was etched onto the lid. Someone truly special must have given it to him, but whoever it was had been swallowed up by time.

Memories no longer existed in Martin’s mind. All he had were objects. Gifts and souvenirs that served as empty reminders of a forgotten past. And then there was the damned ticking.

It had been years since Martin owned a clock or a timepiece of any kind. His walls and his wrist were bare, yet the ticking persisted. It would drive him to madness soon, if it hadn’t already. He couldn’t recall a day without the ticking, or even any time that he had spent outside the room. Was it his sanctuary, or his prison? There was hardly a difference between the two anymore.

Growing ever restless, Martin opened up the notebook sitting in front of him and began to write, letting the weight of the pen guide his fingers across the page. The sound of metal scratching against paper was a welcome respite from the ticking. He savored the sound, reveled in it.

After what could have been hours or mere minutes, Martin put the pen down and leaned back in his chair. It was done. His mind would not survive the room, he knew that much. But whatever thoughts he had, whatever fleeting memories blinked dimly in the darkening expanses of his mind, would live on. He could ensure that much at least.

Sighing with relief, Martin closed his eyes.

The ticking stopped.

Timeless

Martin Wilkes was never on time.

A house full of clocks, alarms set on each one, and they did him no good whatsoever.

He was always running behind, trying to catch up.

Martin was the sort of man who would be late to his own funeral.

And indeed, he was.

Not Enough Time

Tick tock.

Time slowly slips away.

Tick tock.

The clock keeps marching ahead.

Tick tock.

A relentless advance toward that dark chamber where the Reaper awaits with his ghastly smile.

Tick tock.

I make a futile attempt to turn back. But it’s too late. Time to face him.

Tick tock.