The Clock Winked

September 12, 2008
By Nathan Cyr, Maplewood, MO

The clock winked, as it had every morning. She stared at it's face, perplexed as always. It was just a clock, with it's spidery roman numeral numbers scattered along it's circular face. Two arrows pierced it's face, changing it's expression with the time. Sometimes it was angry, or content, it all depended on the hour.
It's mood was predictable, unlike the moods of people.

But the eyes had always disturbed her. They were added by her father, in what he had thought was a great joke.
"See," He had said, "Now our clock has a face!"

But she didn't think it was funny. Because from the day those two terrible eyes had been painted on the clock would wink. Every single day, for the past twenty one years. She wondered why she didn't just sell the clock, or at least give it back to her parents. But at the same time it was a remnant of her past, the only reminder of her childhood in this dark apartment. Sometimes it was the only reminder that there was a world beyond these cool black walls.

Everyday for twenty one years she'd watched each day as the clock winked, seeming to mock her as it did, but today she had finally grown tired of the whole thing.
"Why," She asked, speaking into the calm silence, "Why do you wink at me?"
The eyes twisted to look at her. They couldn't do that.
She knew that all too well.
"Why do you do it?" She asked.

The mechanism of the clock continued to tick out laughter with each second. The eyes regarded her with an amused look. It made her sick.
"I'm sick of this game," She said.
The eyes squinted, and the tick divided, becoming a giggle.
The clock couldn't do that.
She knew that all too well.

She stared around the dark apartment, her eyes scanning the other objects. They didn't speak to her. They didn't look at her, with piercing, disgusting eyes. Her books didn't laugh. Her chairs didn't cry. Only the clock, alone in it's glee.
And oh how she hated it.
"Every day you do this," She said, "I don't care if you stop, just tell me why."
She stared at the clock, as it stared off into space, away from her face. She barely noticed the front door slide open. She didn't care that there was someone else in the kitchen.
"Did it wink again?" The new entity said, it's voice calm and polite.
"The clock, I mean," She added.
The girl doesn't turn to her mother as she answers, "Of course mom, it has every day."
She sighs.
"Every day since dad painted on those wretched eyes."
The other voice was clearly tired.
"You do know that the eyes faded off?" It asked.
"I know," The girl replied.
"You know that this is the clock from the attic?" The voice asked.
"I know," The girl replied.
"You know you're hallucinating?" The other voice asked.
"I know," The girl said.
The other voice fell silent. The front door opened and shut. And the clock closed it's eyes, fading back to normal. It was just a clock. It's spidery roman numerals scattered around it's face.
She knew this to be true.
She knew it all too well.
But tomorrow it would wink again.
And tomorrow she'd go back to the psychiatrist.
And tomorrow he'd prescribe her the same old medication.
And the next day it wouldn't work.
Nothing ever changed.
Nothing but the time on the clock.

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