Out of Time

The grandfather clock spoke in the otherwise silent hallway with the echo of events observed and recorded for more than a century.  Every hour marked with the sombre baritone chimes, every month’s passing marked with the gradual turning of the hand painted moon dial.
A sonorous heartbeat connecting people and events across the generations, fixing them in this place like a collection of butterflies pinned in their display frame. 

A young girl, hardly more than 5 years old, ran down the hallway shrieking her delight with a slightly older boy in hot pursuit. The bow and tails of the pale pink sash around her crisply starched white dress danced behind her as she skipped and ran while the boy vowed revenge for the theft of his newly acquired glasses. For several years he had relied heavily on his sister: she could locate his beloved toy soldiers or a misplaced marble in a heartbeat, saving hours of undignified fumbling on his hands and knees in the nursery. While she teased him and reminded him constantly that she wasn’t his servant, she loved being his eyes and early warning system.

The arrival of his new glasses was greeted with enormous excitement for him and sadness for her. He had a new found independence and confidence that led him beyond the confines of not only the nursery but the house. He would run through the gardens whooping with excitement while she watched from the nursery window, she felt his loss as a bereavement. 

The children were sent away to school and time passed quietly, politely, unnoticed in the lonely house. Appointments were scheduled and kept, routines were observed, calendar pages were turned until, quite suddenly, the lonely house greeted their boisterous return. Once again the hallways rang with laughter, the floors shuddered beneath pounding feet, and bedrooms were filled with visiting friends and family. Whether it was the long summer tennis weekends or the candlelit Christmas parties, the house drank it all in and was renewed.

The young man in his stiff new khaki uniform, carefully protected with a canvas apron, stood at the bench with a brush in one hand and a gleaming chestnut knee boot in the other. For a moment he paused to admire his handiwork until a young woman darted into the room and with a lightning fast...

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Katherine Horejsi
May 9 2020

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A lovely piece of writing. Thank you.

Tony Spencer
Jun 18 2020

Just beautiful!

Charity Reed
May 9 2020

A stunningly crafted piece of work; gripping and beautifully descriptive.

Rod Webb
May 9 2020