When Time was Given Time

Time stood still when the lights went out.

Only a moment before, glasses were raised then chests plumped, as discussions led to arguments and fights ensued over who should enter the club and who should not. Regulars sat rigid in their regular seats scorning those who weren’t local in their local. There was no room for harmony in cacophony.

Despite this, the oblivious laughed and sang whilst darts were thrown.

Then the time came for the landlord to declare, ‘Time, gentlemen, please’.

The ladies, like the non-indigenous, weren’t given much time and were often left in the dark.

Locals leaned on the bar, ready to make their last orders when the lights went out

As quick as the click of a switch, there was darkness.

Silence fell fast.

Although all eyes were wide open, they were shrouded with thick, heavy, blinkers.

Unplugged music was unplugged; singers, pitch perfect, stood soundless, pitch black.

This was no ordinary power cut.

The scent of stale carpet grew stronger; the stench of fresh fear grew too. It was too quiet to whisper. Hearts drummed wildly in unison, daring to leap from the skin of their chests.

A crash of breaking glass broke, and then restored, the sudden, startled silence.

Then the slow, slow, sound of water, dripping, heightened fear further, bringing on eerie imaginings of cold stoned cellar walls.

Someone screamed.

Though blinded, they frantically searched. Hands instinctively reached out, palms supported and held firm in the unknown darkness.

Silence grew into murmurs, which grew into words of encouragement, a multitude of voices rose from all corners, all concerned with each other’s wellbeing.

Groans and stumbles punctuated sobriety, then a single voice broke into song which carried on ale scented breath throughout the inn and onto the street that could no longer be seen. Everyone joined in, men, women; local, non-local, they all knew the words and added welcomed variety to the wassail. The illumination of smiles warmed the chorus.

Differences were no longer important, despite earlier differences. Time gave time to everyone when the meter gave up.

When power was restored there was a squint of hope, they’d no longer be blinkered from the harmony of humility.

Leaving the snug, they were all grateful they had homes to go to and of a new moon to lead the way.

Time had stood still for a few moments, moments that seemed to last forever, moments that changed forever.

Time stood still when the lights went out.

Then, time progressed, when the lights came on.

Janette Ostle
Jul 18 2020

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Must be in the Blackie lol

Jennifer Lucas
Aug 28 2020

A good thought provoking read, a good use of words,the term is a wordsmith ,thank you ,well done.

Thomas Armstrong
Aug 23 2020

I love this. Some of the phrases (no harmony in cacophony, likening women to non-indigenous) are just perfect in their observation and precision. It took me back to happy times at the Seven Stars in Riddings!

Katherine Horejsi
Jul 19 2020

Excellent story.

Tony Spencer
Jul 19 2020

Vivid writing - I loved it.

Rod Webb
Jul 18 2020