Tick Tock

Tick.

I looked up, startled. That clock hadn’t moved in a thousand years, so they say. And yet, I heard the sound distinctly.

I leaned on the bars of my cage. I could see the clock in the square clearly. Had seen it dozens of times before. But today, there was something new. A man wearing a black trench coat, gray pants, and a green top hat sat on the big hand, asleep. At least I thought so, until he nodded at me.

I must be punch drunk from the prefight last night.

No, there it was again. A nod.

Tock.

I felt a tingle under the tape on my left hand. I wanted to look, but my mother’s warnings about keeping it hidden wouldn’t allow me. I’ve had the mark of a clock face on my palm ever since I can remember. A clock that read 11:55.

Just like the clock in the square.

On the night my mother was killed in the arena, she reminded me to keep it covered. I was marked by God, she said. He’s coming to save us, she said.

Tick.

I looked out of my cage again. The village square was busy with folks bartering for food and necessities for the day. Didn’t anyone see the man on the clock?

Yes, that one boy did. He stood next to his mother, staring up at it. I stared at him, willing him to look at me even though I knew I shouldn’t. He was just a boy. Did I really want him to be punished for looking? But I couldn’t stop myself. When I was about to give up, he suddenly turned my way.

Our eyes met for several seconds. Then his mother smacked him on the back of the head. He rubbed his scalp and started walking. As they passed my cage, he glanced at me and smiled.

Tock.

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Tick Tock

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