Every 3:07

February 25, 2012
It was 3:07. Roddy opened up the paper. War, politics, disaster. It was hard to concentrate on anything. In the room over, Jeremy was typing away on an old fashioned typewriter and baby Stephanie was calling for her dad, while kids TV blared in the background. Roddy found an article about the new film out in theatres. He wanted to see it. If he had time.

Frankie passed him the sports page. He read an article about the Cub’s dismal showing. He wanted to go to that game, but life got in the way. Probably best he didn’t. He rolled up a cigarette and lit the tip. He paused. Clicked the lighter again. It echoed in the newly silent house. He shrugged, squinted at the box scores. D*mn Cardinals. He glanced at the clock. 3:07. 3:07?

He and Frankie locked eyes.

“Time has stopped.”

“It’s just the clock.”

“Mine too?” she held out her watch. 3:07.


Their chairs scraped against the floor as they stood up. Jeremy sat hunched over his typewriter, the steam from his coffee hung in the air. Baby Stephanie sat on the couch, mouth opened in mid scream. A cartoon lion frozen on the TV screen.

Roddy grabbed the remote. A sitcom with a blaring laugh track, a b-movie, the Phillies v. Marlins game- frozen on the same shot, the players unmoving. TV news, the reporter stopped in mid-sentence.

The whole city was still. Frankie and Roddy wove in and out of stopped cars, in and out of silent buildings.

“What are we going to do?”

“Do? This is the best thing that’s ever happened.”

They went to a theatre, up to the projector box, where they put on a film reel, sat and watched through the tiny window. Arm in arm. Fumbling with the film, they put on two more movies. Watched the images flicker across the screen.

They stepped outside. It was still bright, still 3:07.

They snuck into Wrigley Field, climbing over the turnstiles, passing the inanimate ticket collectors.

“Why did this happen?”

A shrug

“Why didn’t it happen to us?”

The two of them walked out onto the field, surrounded by thousands of stopped people.

“It’s a gorgeous park, isn’t it?”

“And we’ve got the best seats in the house.”

They laid out in right field, looking up at the sky. The clouds frozen in place.

“How long do you think it will stay like this?”

“I don’t know.”

“What if it always stays like this?”

Roddy put on a new suit, the finest Italian suit from the finest menswear store. He tugged on the lapels, adjusted the cufflinks. He took a pack of fancy cigars and puffed on them as him and Frankie strolled the streets. A jogger suspended in the air, an elderly gentleman halfway through the crosswalk, streets crammed with silent cars.

There was nothing to measure time by anymore, so they slept when they were tired and got up when they weren’t. Frankie acquired a small pistol and took to shooting the bulbs in street lamps- they weren’t needed anymore.

Back home, Roddy spent long stretches reading War and Peace. Frankie finally had a chance to write. She took Jeremy’s typewriter and ripped out his manuscript, letting it fall to the floor. But she couldn’t write with it, she hated the noise and took to longhand instead.

They stole cars, politely moving the driver to the passenger seat and pressing down the gas. They drove around the city in the nicest cars they could find. All the radio stations were just fuzz and static so they blasted CDs from the record stores. They only hit one stationary pedestrian. And didn’t even stop.

But soon the music started to bug them, so Roddy switched the CD player off. Then the sound of the engine and the tires against as asphalt were do much, so they stopped driving. Even footsteps seemed deafening, even the sound of pages. Needless to say, they didn’t speak.

So instead they sat in silence. Unmoving.

But then they heard a rattling- the rattling of a train down the tracks.

They jumped, not used to sound, then ran. Ran all the way down to the train station.

The train ground to an uneven halt and the conductor door opened. A man in a suit jumped out, newspaper print and train oil streaked across his face, a “press” card stuck in his fedora. He stumbled, gasping for breath, clutching his briefcase close. He looked at Robby and Frankie. Looked at the silent, frozen train station.

“My god!” he shouted “It’s happened here too!”

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