Friday, 19 October 2012
October Flash - Day 18
The Flash Fiction Project at Google+ has something new going on! There will be a visual prompt for every day in October, and I'm going to try to write a (very) short piece for it every day as well. Due to time zone differences, I'll try writing and posting mine early in the morning, so it's a day after the original post for me, but still the same for them.
Let the fun begin! Here is the prompt for today:
A very special antique clock, he'd said. A perfect highlight for your living room.
Well, damn that antiquarian! He had looked shifty and suspicious to George right from the start, and still he had paid a small fortune for the clock.
Admittedly, it had been a highlight for his living room... for a week, and then one morning it hadn't been there any more. Nothing else was missing and the burglar alarm hadn't gone off.
Well, George would solve that mystery right now!
The small bell at the door rang out in a frenzy as he stormed into the dark and musty shop. Hasty steps could be heard from somewhere around the back, and the antiquarian appeared behind the counter, muttering.
"I told you it's genuine, and what's it to – oh, it's you." A small smile appeared on his face. "You bought the clock, didn't you?"
George stepped up to the counter, hands clenched into fists to stop them from shaking. "Yes, I did! And now it's gone! Tell me you don't know where it is!" His voice grew louder with every word.
"Oh, but I don't know where it goes when it goes." The antiquarian kept the smile on his face.
"What's that supposed to mean? Huh?! Don't you dare playing me for a sucker, I've grown up with crooks like you! I want my money back."
"I'm sorry, but I can't do that unless you return the clock to me."
The antiquarian took a hurried step back as George lunged himself across the counter.
"Calm down, man! I don't have your clock and I did not cheat you! I just didn't tell you all the specifics of your new acquisition."
"So now you're going to tell me it becomes invisible every full moon or something?" George was still leaning on the counter, ready to jump when need be.
"Don't be ridiculous! Invisible clocks!" He laughed half-heartedly. "Oh no, your clock travels in time." When George didn't react to this - he was too dumbstruck by the nerve of the man - the antiquarian continued: "Your clock doesn't only tell you the present time, it can tell you the future and past as well. All right, others do that all the time, but they don't go there and have a look first, do they?"
George couldn't believe his ears. The ridiculousness of it all held him in place, so he shook his head, trying to focus. the antiquarian was still smiling.
"Tell me, are you crazy?"
The antiquarian walked around the counter towards him.
"Oh no, I swear this is the truth. Just go home, I promise the clock will turn up again. It would be a good idea to keep its place free." While speaking, he guided George out of the shop, patted him on the back and closed the door behind him.
Still in shock, George went home.