Killing Time

June 13, 2010
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I sat perfectly still, pen poised over a blank sheet, eyes half-focused on a dim stain which spread over the pine board wall on the far side of the room. The clock to my left ticked slowly on, and after a while I found myself twitching the pen to its monotonous rhythm. The rhythm sounded so pure and rigid. Like a perfectly orchestrated symphony.
I put the pen to the paper and drew it back again leaving but a small pinpoint of black ink upon the page.
There was indeed a certain grace to those light clock ticks.
As each second passed, a trillion different events transpired and completed in the room where I sat. Tick: a breeze from the window rustled the pages of the Bible which lay perched in front of the window. Tick: a million unique dust motes made a million unique twists and turns in the sun which filtered in the window. Tick: a few straggling notes of the neighbor’s music echoed in my ears. Tick: a fly flitted lazily across my blank paper sheet. Tick: my pen noted the second with a subtle twitch. Tick: the wind stilled, the pages settled, a passing cloud blanketed the sun and the dust motes vanished in a flash of darkness, the music died, the fly paused on the paper, and my pen froze in an instantaneous spasm… all in one second. And I marveled at the fullness of that short period of time.
Time: that ever drawing, ever present, ever rushing force which compels us along its way, never speeding or slowing in its ever forward momentum, dragging us on at a constant rate regardless of any and all of our moods, feelings, thoughts, or acts. It is ever present in our lives, yet we hardly feel its passing until at last we can look back over countless years and see how we have squandered it and are then too decrepit to make up for its loss.
I glanced down at the clock. It had moved forward seven minutes since I had sat down to write my short story. Seven minutes I had just wasted and still had a blank sheet of paper. I felt rage welling up inside as I realized that there was now no way to regain those seven minutes. They were gone for eternity. And still that clock, the instrument which measured and alerted us of time’s passing still droned on robbing me of more time which I still sat wasting. Tick, tick, tick, tick… I slammed my left fist down onto the clock and in my fury stopped cold the wheels and cogs which turned and ground and ate up time. And I sighed in relief. I had stopped it. I could now rest, for time was not passing me by as I sat there still.
I glanced down at my right hand then and watched as it still lightly twitched, marking the seconds as they passed by. Twitch, twitch, twitch, twitch…. Time still moved on regardless of my moods, feelings, thoughts, acts, and even my recognition of the reality of time itself. It still moved on at its constant rate… tick, tick, tick, tick… even despite the loss of the clock. Tick, tick, tick, tick…

My page lay blank, the wind started again, the pages turned, the sun came out, the dust motes swirled, the music drifted, the fly took off to flight once more, all in the passing of one second. And still my pen twitched to each passing second.

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AvengedJasonFold said...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 11:54 pm

simon cowell feedback:

This was awesome. Not flawless, but effing amazing! Deff one of my favorites I've ever read on this website.

As a whole what you might want to work on for something like this is characterization and understanding symbolism and all that. I know this sounds like english class and really stupid, but hear me out:

In this story, I get the feeling you portrayed time as an antagonist of sorts. You described it in some places in such a way that Poe would de... (more »)

AvengedJasonFold replied...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Basically I feel like there were key moments in the story that lacked the power that they needed and that you could have given them. The ending was fantastic--I love how you referred to the begining there too. I'll point out these key moments in my notes. I hope they help you with this story--overall you seem to have the mechanics of writing pretty down pact. How much time did you spend editing this?

I mean, seriously dude, if you wrote this in a few minutes without much editing, you s... (more »)

AvengedJasonFold replied...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 11:58 pm

so anyway, here are the notes. they're in cronological order, I didn't make citations (sorry lol) and they point out every specific thing that I caught.

“The rhythm sounded so pure and rigid. Like a perfectly orchestrated symphony.” Link these sentences with a semicolon or dash to keep the good rhythm in your story. GREAT opening, which demonstrates a mastery of the language.


“And I marveled at the fullness of that short period of time.” I&r... (more »)

J.Octavian.R This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 10, 2010 at 6:39 pm
Wow! Thanks a lot. I think I shall take your advice on all but one of your points. I may post a revised edition later. In answer to your question, this piece I did not spend very much time editing. "Making the River" and most of my other short works I spend as much time editing as actually writing.
AvengedJasonFold replied...
Jul. 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm
well do what you like with your work--it's yours after all lol
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