Science Fiction: Broken Watch

A humble attempt at a bit of sci-fi thriller. Please enjoy. I’ve been watching too much Doctor Who.

 

Kirk watched the hour hand as it spun around the circuit of his cheap watch. The minute hand twirled so quickly now that it was as invisible as a fan blade. The black face of his watch reflected an outline of his own, a ghostly sketch of himself. He preferred looking at his watch, it had an element of stability, to viewing the amorphous world of ever shifting colors and shapes that surrounded him.

And there was another reason to look at his watch, it was itself stabilizing. The hours were passing like seconds now, leveling off at maximum speed. Sighing, he knew even that would not be enough. Holding the rotatable outer ring of his timepiece, he twisted it again. Sparks flew. He felt the temporal distortions as parts of his body aged at different rates. Years’ worth of arthritis built up in his knees in a second.

The crystal of his watch shattered, a jagged line dissecting the shiny black face. The hands stopped. Coasting through time, he watched as the world around him slowed, his timeline reconnecting with an unknown age. There was one more thing Kirk knew he must do. Unstrapping the watch, he threw it, letting it fall into time where it willed. He watched it fade, its smaller mass lending it less momentum to carry it through time. Now, all they would find was a broken timepiece, and not even he knew where he would go.

Days later, to him, he watched the moon rising over the still earth, her slow orbit assuring him he had finally settled back into reality. The nails on his right hand hadn’t aged a moment, but on his left they stretched out a whole foot. His weakened ankles could barely support him now. He ran his fingers through his massive beard, the prickly curves somehow painful to touch.

Wobbling toward the bubbling sounds of a stream, he desperately searched for water. Sinking into the mud he found the little course, and falling to his knees, began lapping the quick flowing brook. The fowl taste of dirt enveloped his dried tongue, but he kept drinking. Sated, he sat back, letting his belabored lungs struggle to fill themselves.

Catching the reflection of the bright white moon dancing on the surface of the waters, Kirk turned his gaze downward. In that poor mirror, he dimly saw himself, still little more than a shadow. How far have I come, he wonders, and is it enough? Surely, they cannot find me.

But the T.T.P.D. was the least of Kirk’s real worries.

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