General Fiction posted August 2, 2014


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A short fiction.

Grandfather's Clock

by PhilipCatshill

In the corner of my grandfather's house stood an old Victorian grandfather clock which ticked away remorselessly, tick, tick...

Every single day my grandfather would bounce up from his chair, take a huge key from the mantle shelf, open the glass door, reach up heartily and insert that key in the hole. His nimble fingers would turn it once, twice and seven times in all. Every single day he'd step back briskly and watch that pendulum swing back and forth, tick, tick... And then he'd say, "We've had wars and bombs that cracked the wall, and subsidence through the coal mines underneath the floor, but that clock has stood in this corner for all these years and never once has it stopped. I reckon that clock will tick away until the day I die."

As he got older and became more frail, he'd stagger from his chair, take that key from the mantle but those later days, his hand would shake a little as he reached up with that key. He'd close his arthritic fingers around it and though it was a struggle, he'd turn it once, twice and seven times in all. Even though cataracts blurred his vision so he could no longer see the time, he'd take a step back in that same old way and sway with the rhythm of that pendulum as it swung back and forth, tick, tick... And then in a quivering voice he'd say,"We've had wars and bombs that cracked the wall, and subsidence through the coal mines underneath the floor, but that clock has stood in this corner for all these years and never once has it stopped. I reckon that clock will tick away until the day I die."

On that last day, he was barely ably to reach the key from the mantle, let alone the hole in which it fitted. He stood with key in hand and looked at that old clock standing in the corner, and the pendulum swung back and forth ... tick, tick.

Then one day, the pendulum stopped its swing, the clock stopped and would never tick again... At that precise moment, that old man's heart stopped beating.

... it fell on him.



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