Something in the clock was breathing. Something with and uncomfortably acute intelligence. The breathing was irregular. It had an off-beat, raspy quality to it that was startlingly inhuman. The breathing, suddenly, was drawn into a quicker and even raspier tone, and the yellow eyes snapped open towards the deepest confines of the clock, and cast a crude yet affective light source from the mysterious creature to see. At the moment the creature’s eyes opened, the enormous clock began to chime, and the gong-like, ear-splitting rolls of thundering chimes echoed in its belly. The creature purred. It was hungry. It began moving towards the faraway opening of the clock. Its long, multi-jointed arms were gripping the gears and pulleys that allowed the clock to work. The chiming continued. It reached the opening of the clock, and looked down towards the rainy streets of London. With its hawk-like vision and razor-sharp sense of hearing, the creature immediately spotted its victim. There, walking briskly on the sidewalk was a woman. The woman was in a hurry to get to her apartment, and gripped the handle of her umbrella with a vice-like certainty. She was alone on the street. Of course, that was perfectly understandable, seeing as it was midnight. The clock continued chiming, and the woman walked quickly forward. At the exact center of the street, the woman stopped, where so many people had stopped before her. Her eyes grew wide, for she heard something. Not the faint pitter-patter of the rain falling on the sidewalk, nor the deafening sound of the gargantuan clock chiming onward, but the sound of breathing, raspy and inhuman. Terrified, the woman turned slowly around to face the source of the terrifying noise. She screamed as she saw the great yellow eyes and the scales glinting in the moonlight. She screamed as its enormous arm shot forward and gripped her arms with its claws, unintentionally snapping her left arm in the process. She screamed as it dragged her flailing body upwards, toward the small opening in the clock. And as it dragged her into the opening in the clock, the momentary screams died away, lost in the chiming of the clock and the falling of the rain. The woman’s umbrella floated lazily away, over rooftops and chimneys. The rain continued falling. And the chiming of the clock abruptly halted.
The Creature in the Clock
January 4, 2010