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Tick Tock, Tick Tock

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Tick Tock, Tick Tock. The sound follows me around, day and night, like a particularly merciless stalker, never affording any respite to his desperate victim. It is my eternal shadow: Tick Tock, Tick Tock. When I went to eat it, I expected that it would, eventually, run out of steam, because aren’t clocks made by man? Everything I’ve ever seen by man doesn’t work, but then they get one thing right, and I’m stuck with it in my stomach.

It really is quite horrible, having a ticking stomach. It’s not so much that it hurts; it doesn’t, not really. I mean, when I first swallowed it, it was a painful lump, like a tender bruise, but since then, my hard, thick skin has accommodated this unwelcome visitor. More than anything, it’s a constant nagging, a kind that’s always present in the back of my mind: Tick Tock, Tick Tock. If I dreamt, I think the unwavering drumming would haunt my dreams as well, transforming them into dark, winding nightmares. But even if it were a dream, it would be a quick one, in which day would bring peace and finality. Mine is worse – a nightmare I’m stuck in for the rest of my life.

I’ve always hoped that someone will come along and reach into my stomach, pulling the infernal thing right out. My savior, as I think of him. I have waited for several years, but not a soul has come to my aid. A few months ago, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.

The humans on this island call him Captain Hook, and that is partially my fault. As a crocodile, food is food, and during a particularly nasty incident, I swallowed the Captain’s hand. It was an exceptionally distasteful hand as well, and in retrospect, I genuinely regret eating it. Not only did it cause me an enormous amount of trouble with an incredibly hardheaded, unforgiving individual, but it also left me with a nasty stomachache for several days after my meal. I’d much rather have eaten his first mate’s hands, hands that are full of body and fat, but that wasn’t an option. I was hungry, and the Captain’s hand was just dangling there, tantalizing and utterly too easy to pass up.

He hasn’t forgiven me for eating it yet, and I don’t entirely blame him. Instead of a stump, he’s opted for a hook – a bad idea, as it doesn’t suit him. He has become a man full of anger and spite, but if he takes the clock out of me, I think that he would find peace – and maybe even his hand. Who knows? It could possibly still be digesting, bony and dense as it was, and he might still have a chance at saving it.

I’ve tried approaching him with this proposal, hoping to somehow overcome the language barrier. I’ve tried everything: slowly creeping behind him, following him endlessly. Heck, I even tried eating him once, to see if I could force him to take the clock out. But every time I’ve tried, I’ve been heard by the ceaseless babble that follows wherever I go: Tick Tock, Tick Tock.

I refuse to give into the despair that threatens to overtake me; I insist on the possibility that someday, somehow, someone will listen. It might seem like a delusion, but it’s all I’ve got. I cling to the hope that there is a single benevolent soul out there who will hear past the Tick Tock, Tick Tock that has become my voice and finally understand what I’m truly trying to say.




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