Literary Lion. Clock watching.

Greetings my little lions and lionesses. This week I pulled from the pot a pretty piece of penmanship in pink, and it echoes the theme of a story I told last winter, which was published in Popshot Magazine.

The word is ‘time’, and you can read an excerpt of my original tale below, or you can find an online preview of the magazine here.

As always you have seven days to create a flash fiction story in 400 words or less. Include the tag ‘Literary Lion’, pingback to this post, shout at me on twitter and Instagram so I can share your literary prowess, and have a browse of each other’s tales in the WordPress reader.

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Waiting for No Man.

Mr Dufour looked at the line of people; several days worth easily, perhaps even weeks. They snaked between the weighty columns of the room and bent out of the door. He couldn’t see the end of the queue outside, but he knew it was forever growing.

When he first started taking requests from his visitors, his heart said yes to almost every appeal. Dying parents that needed more time, lost children that required longer to be found, even the young at heart that weren’t ready to grow old. But with every yes he gave, a hundred more of the same would journey to his door, and with every granted wish, his creation would be forced into overdrive.

When he discovered the bottling of time he made a promise that he would never take it for himself. But hundreds of thousands of requests later and he was weak and he felt old. The skin on his hands was thinning, his spine was beginning to curve, and his once coarse black hair was now an unkempt tuft of grey clinging to a line between his ears at the back of his head.

Initially he thought he had changed the world for the better. Over time he came to realise that he had just made it more arduous. The further he prolonged life the longer everyone needed to live, the more time he gave those who were failing, the more they needed to succeed. The days he granted to the dying meant the diseases became more aggressive, the hours he presented to the needy made them less able to survive next time. It was this very morning that he noticed more of his hair scattered across his pillow, and he knew a dark cloud was lurking in the distance.

clock

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77 thoughts on “Literary Lion. Clock watching.

  1. I love your story. Giving people more time seems like a good thing but it really results in worse problems for people. I think it would good if this story never was for real. I think we are given the time we have for a reason and if we were meant to live longer or shorter we do. It doesn’t make death easier but I think that there is a time for everything and then after we go where we go. We shouldn’t mess with this cycle. I don’t know if you know your Bible but there is this verse “For every time there is a season” it’s a song too.

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  2. good piece. i like how you don’t explain the process of extending time. “he thought he had changed the world for the better. Over time he came to realise that he had just made it more arduous”– how terrible, how beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I do always like to leave a little to the imagination of my reader, I think it gives everyone the chance to think something different and to take something unique away, I’ve always liked films that left me to make my own mind up at the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so wonderful work. I simply can’t find words to express my joy at this awesome reading. It portrays the real scenery of this human world with their growing needs and lusts as against the limits of nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Something supposed to help ends up hurting. There are always consequences! I love the idea of this – a guy bottling time with a huge queue waiting outside, the whole thing driving him to an early grave.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The best thing to do is to go to the wordpress reader and search the tag ‘Literary Lion’. It is usually only used for this challenge, and that’s one of the rules I set out each week so everyone can find each other’s work. I am looking into collating some sort of list that people can add too, but I need to find something quite low maintenance for me otherwise I might not find the time! 😉

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  5. Brilliant ~ first word that came out of my mouth after reading your story here and on the magazine page. Time is a precious thing and we realize it only when we are out of it. Off to working on my story now. Hope I can come up with something interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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