Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Mystical Clock

Jim was in his attic rummaging through old keepsakes when he came across a tightly sealed white box.

By the old fashioned paper that comprised the box, it appeared to be very old, and in Jim's 70 year lifetime, it had never been opened.

So gently, Jim opened the box and found in it a small old brown clock, with a gold key laying next to it.

The clock face was white, it's hands were black and attached below the face was a silver plaque with the year the clock was made: 1883.

As Jim took the key to wind this old clock, he saw a note that read, "Who shall wind this clock - beware for time may stop."

Puzzled, Jim hesitated for a moment and then wound the clock, while moving the hands back in time to reset the clock to the current time, as its gold pendulum began swinging back and forth.

As he moved the hands back in time, he felt an odd sensation, for his face and body tingled. Jim glanced into a mirror and saw a younger looking version of himself. This was how he looked 20 years  ago at the age of 50.

Jim was thrilled and hurried downstairs to his 69 year old wife Karen to tell her what had happened. But before he could speak a word, she said, "What happened to you? I hardly recognize you."

"I don't know what happened," he replied. "I reset the hands back in time of an old clock I found in our attic, and the next thing I knew, I was 20 years younger."

He and Karen went up in the attic, and she played with the clock, hoping it would make her 20 years younger, but she had no success.

"I'm happy for you Jim," she said softly, as disappointment gripped her.

As the days passed, family, friends and acquaintances commented on how much younger Jim looked, and he felt so good, each week he continued to wind the clock, believing he had found the fountain of youth, or at least the fountain of middle age, and that he would never die.

But as the days turned into months, turned into years, Jim grew no older while everyone else did.

Six years later, Karen passed away at the age of 75. Jim was devasted for they had been married 50 years, the age he now was. She was the love of his life and he couldn't stand the thought of going on without her.

Their son and daughter were now in their late 40's and in the next few years, they would be older than Jim and eventually they too would pass away.

Jim and Karen's friends were also growing old and were passing away.

What at first Jim had thought was a blessing was turning into a nightmare. Desperate, he took the clock in his hands and stopped the pendulum. But strangely the clock continued to tick and to keep accurate time.

Not knowing what else to do, Jim placed the clock and the key back in the white box, along with the note of warning and put it back in the attic.

Two weeks later to the minute, Jim began to feel very tired. He went up in the attic, opened the white box and heard the clock's ticking slowing down and coming to a stop. He closed the box and laid down.

Later that day, his neighbor Charlie dropped in to say hello, and discovered Jim laying peacefully on an old sofa, having passed away.

Charlie noticed that Jim looked a lot older as apparently time had caught up with him, or perhaps he had caught up with time.

Soon, Jim's and Karen's son and daughter put the house up for sale. They also held a rummage sale to sell the contents of the house that they had decided not to retain.

Among those items sold as a package, was an old white box, contents unknown, that the buyer placed in her storage bin. Some day, she thought, she would open that white box to see what it contained.


This inspired story was partly inspired by an old "Twilight Zone" episode in which actor Kevin McCarthy played an ancient man who was timeless, at first thinking it was a blessing and later regretting his timelessness.. Print Friendly and PDF

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