Time's Keeper

3 min
The tear dropped from the side of her face; a cold trail of water searing her cheeks as if someone had a sharp knife, slowly inching it into her skin. The salty water glittered and reflected the dim light coming from the dull ancient torches that stood feet above her huddled disfigured shape, each tear-drop falling into the cracks of cobblestone. Her knees felt as if they had shattered from the impact of her hasty decent; the stinging pain continued to corrode the mental stability of the frighteningly thin girl.
Velvet blood seeped through her fingers as she held her hands in fists, one over the other, and clutched at her last lifeline in this world.
A pocket watch. Gold and silver mixed together by handy craftsmanship; it held a stunning beauty and intrigued every human, causing them to want such a priceless object. It had sat in the room when she found it. A place where time stood still as emotion was the only living substance in the mind. On the window still, the ancient pocket watch laid desperately waiting for a human’s touch. Sitting with distilled sorrow. The gold case of the watch seemed to grow dull with melancholy. Particles of dust slept on its surface, covering each gear that once worked to keep time; concealing its past life.
Time. Three forty-five and fifty-four seconds. Animation stopped at that precise time. Immortality that once seemed exhilarating now was a curse. To be stuck in time, lonely and forever forgotten.
Blood began to pollute the prized possession. The warm velvet liquid that seeped from the maiden’s hands seemed to freeze instantly to the watch due to the bitter weather. And yet, it simultaneously seemed to flow around each groove of its surface as if her blood were alive, invading every space unprotected by the metal casing.
As she sat, she became aware to the sudden change in the atmosphere or possibly her mental conscience as trepidation and uneasiness flooded her senses.
A crow flew down across the alley, with its black beauty, screaming a cry of warning. Its dark figure seemed to blur and flow as if the bird’s black feathers were of one shape and took the daring form of the crow, a figure of terror and demise. Its eyes told a story as the white within its eyes seemed to create swirls of colors, ranging between white and grey. Like a dawning sky as colors battle for dominance bringing hope and beauty to the world. This battle, however, was one of pure carnage.
Her bones shuddered under the resistance met by rock wall that forbade her entrance and refuge. She could feel the incessant tugging of her internal flame, blazing with scorching heat, refusing her eyes to close.
The air grew thinner, colder. She began to sing a faint song of release; praying for a sublime moment where she could finally submit herself to the cool darkness.
As her head dropped wearily, her slow tears began to fall upon the prize possession within her hands. Her last moments became devoted to protecting the pocket watch that she now held upon her heart as Time, the very personage, had come to claim what was rightfully his. To claim what she had stolen from him.
Time, dressed in a cape of infinite darkness, began to move towards the maiden, gracefully and without sound. He came to a halt a few feet before her, bending down as she lifted her tired eyes to meet his.
Her heart began to slow, but her soul’s proximity to death did not remove the terror that flooded her body nor the numbness of her body’s nerves. A silent sob, broken to the soul’s core, escaped her lips as she knew that she had completely, and utterly failed. Her head still hanging down, the lack of strength rendering her unable to speak, her eyes expressed her final thoughts as she looked profoundly into Time’s clear eyes.
“My dear, why have you done such a thing? You know that I can never stop; no matter how much I or everyone else wishes me to.” Time’s simple response evoking one last tear from her eyes. As it fell down her soft face, he delicately placed a hand against her cheek, wiping it from her face. Gathering her strength, she feebly turned her face to place her cold lips to his palms, planting a solemn farewell kiss.
“My love,” she whispered before her eyes gently fluttered shut to never open again.
Releasing his hold upon the girl, Time gently reached for the golden watch that sat upon her silent heart. A moment frozen in time as Time, himself, held the small object in his hands. An almost inaudible creek emanated from the pocket watch as the second hand began to move once again.
Three forty-five and fifty-five seconds.
Time stood up, glancing at her lifeless body one last time, and turned to depart from the alley. Time stopping, for the final time, before turning the corner.
“My love,” Time whispered. Echoing her final words.

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