The clock is melting off the shelf. Tick. Drop by drop, it forms a muddy black and white pool on the shelf below. Tock. A larger drop falls from the shelf to the floor, where time seeps through the cracks. The numbers warp; the hours draw together in the lower quarter, but stretch out on either side. The second hand does a sharp turn around six o’clock and flies up to nine, where it slows, and drags itself against gravity to eleven, twelve. Black and white blends into gray at two and three. Time is rushing by. Time is now. Time is all we have. Time is out.
Tick-tock, falling to the floor and seeping away, second by second, muddy gray. The hour hand falls with a clink into the puddle on the shelf, scattering drops across weathered picture frames and vows in black ink on faded parchment, before dissolving, a black streak in the gray.
Noon, midnight–the hour of labor and love–is clinging still at the top of the distressed clock, but 12’s 1 is beginning to smear at the bottom. Drip-drop. Tick-tock. No one notices the clock melting off the shelf, the puddle seeping through the floorboards, unremembered and insignificant, gray. Time is ignored, till you look up and the clock is gone, the hours flew by in a gray haze and the seconds seeped through the cracks till nothing remains, and the people in the photographs in the weathered picture frames have no faces, and the black ink which signed your vow has faded and disappeared into yellow paper.
Time is rushing by. Time is now. Time is all we have.
Time is out.
By Rachel Lianna
(Read more of Rachel Lianna’s works at Robin Hood West)