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.
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…
Twenty-four short stories, exclusive afterwords, interviews, artwork, and more.
From Trumpocalypse to Brexit Britain, brick by brick the walls are closing in. But don’t despair. Bulldoze the borders. Conquer freedom, not fear. EXIT EARTH explores all life – past, present, or future – on, or off – this beautiful, yet fragile, world of ours. Final embraces beneath a sky of flames. Tears of joy aboard a sinking ship. Laughter in a lonely land. Dystopian or utopian, realist or fantasy, horror or sci-fi, EXIT EARTH is yours to conquer.
EXIT EARTH includes the short stories of all fourteen finalists of the STORGY EXIT EARTH Short Story Competition, as judged by critically acclaimed author Diane Cook (Man vs. Nature) and additional stories by award winning authors M R Cary (The Girl With All The Gifts), Toby Litt (Corpsing), James Miller (Lost Boys), Courttia Newland (A Book of Blues), and David James Poissant (The Heaven of Animals), and exclusive artwork by Amie Dearlove, HarlotVonCharlotte, CrapPanther, and cover design by Rob Pearce.
Visit the STORGY SHOP here…
of EXIT EARTH here…
Unlike many other Arts & Entertainment Magazines, STORGY is not Arts Council funded or subsidised by external grants or contributions. The content we provide takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, and relies on the talented authors we publish and the dedication of a devoted team of staff writers. If you enjoy reading our Magazine, help to secure our future and enable us to continue publishing the words of our writers. Please make a donation or subscribe to STORGY Magazine with a monthly fee of your choice. Your support, as always, continues to inspire.