FICTION: Time by Mel Fawcett

It was when I awoke on the first morning of my retirement that I first noticed something strange: the numbers on my digital clock were moving unnaturally fast. Thinking the clock had developed a fault, I went downstairs and switched on the tv. That was when I began to be concerned, for everyone on the tv was talking so quickly I could hardly understand what they were saying.

I switched off the tv and lay down on the sofa. Although I’d only just got up, I was tired. I hoped that was all it was.

Bizarrely, the next time I opened my eyes it was dark. I switched the tv on again. This time the programmes were starting and finishing with such rapidity that nothing made sense. I went upstairs to check the clock: the numbers were changing faster than ever. And outside it was getting light. People were walking past in a blur of speed. It was as though someone had pressed the fast-forward button of my life.

Trying not to panic, I phoned my ex-wife. When I got through, her voice was just a meaningless, continuous noise. I replaced the receiver and poured myself a drink. Then I lay on the bed and slept once more. When I woke up this time it was getting dark again, and the numbers on the clock were changing at such an alarming rate that I had to yank out the plug.

By the time I’d run downstairs the sun was above the trees. And the trees were in blossom. But it had been midwinter when the clock had first started playing up and that was only a few hours ago, wasn’t it? I had to lie down again.

I’d been told that when I gave up work I’d have time to enjoy life. Now it was getting dark and light and dark again so fast I didn’t even have time to get out of bed. And still I was always tired.

And soon it would be dark all the time.

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Mel Fawcett

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Mel Fawcett lives in London. His stories have appeared in various print and online magazines, including Smokebox, Skive, Gemini, Stand, and, most recently, Gold Dust. He can be seen reading one of his stories on Youtube at the launch of a Solid Gold anthology.

If you enjoyed Time, leave a comment and let Mel know.

You can read Mel’s previously published short story ‘When The Dance Is Over’ here

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