Countdown to Insanity

Matilda sighed, tapping her pencil against her notebook in thought, almost in time to the ticking that came from the clock on the wall. Tap, tick, tap, tick. How am I going to write this story? She wondered. How am I going to make anything of this prompt? She sighed. Tap, tick, tap, tick. She looked at the clock. 1:39 p.m. Just one hour and twenty-one minutes till this insanity is over. She thought. Twenty-one minutes till my story is due, and I can get out of here.
She stared at the paper. Hardly making sense of what she’d written. A vast two words other than the prompt. “UGH!” She exclaimed looking at the clock. 1:41 p.m. Tap, tick, tap, tick. She looked out the window. It was pitch black outside. No that’s not right. She thought. How can it be pitch black in the middle of the afternoon? She looked at the window again, still dark. She looked at the clock. 1:42 p.m. Maybe I’m dreaming? She wondered. She looked at her paper, unable to decipher her own handwriting.
Matilda looked at her pencil, watching it hit the notebook with a small tap, and then glanced at the clock, which ticked at a steady beat. Tap, tick, tap, tick. Her eyes slowly began to close as she listened to the noises, Tap, tick, tap, tick, she lay her head on the table against her paper, tap, tick, tap, tick. She sighed; maybe I’ll just close my eyes for a few minutes. She thought. Tap, tick, tap, tick, tick, tick, tick.
She was startled awake when she realized the pencil was no longer tapping. She looked at her hand. It lay limp against the table. The pencil slowly rolled out and fell to the ground. She tried to move her hand, starting to panic when it wouldn’t move she tried to move her head, she couldn’t.
Truly terrified she tried to scream. Nothing came out of her mouth. The room was dark as the lights flickered on and off. What’s going on? She tried to ask. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the teacher helping one of the other girls in the class. What! Matilda thought. Doesn’t she see the lights? Doesn’t anyone? Matilda tried again to move. It was to know avail.
She sat there and sat there and sat there, the lights flickered on and off, on and off at the same time as clock ticked. On. Tick. Off. Tick. On. Tick. Off. Tick. The clock loomed overhead, was it her imagination or was it getting bigger. The clock grew and grew and grew. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. The steady rhythm grew faster. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK and faster. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. The clock was growing! IT was getting bigger and bigger, any minute now it would swallow up the classroom! The room started shaking, Matilda shook violently back and forth as if being pushed. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. “Matilda! Matilda!” The clock called reaching out its hands, which now had grown fingers. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. “Matilda! MATILDA!” TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. It screamed. She fell to the floor staring up helpless as she shook with convulsions. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. She closed her eyes waiting for it to grab her.
TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. “MATILDA! MATILDA!” The voice repeated her name. She opened her eyes. “Matilda. Are you okay?” Someone asked her. His shirt read Sunny Hills Psychiatric. “Matilda. Are you okay?” She smiled and laughed. Looking around the schoolroom. “Matilda say something!” He said. “Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.” She said softly. Watching the clock on the wall of the room. “Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.”





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