The Time Clock

A vignette about a terrible nightmare.

You better not tell anybody but God, but one night, I dreamed a dream that felt like more than just a dream. There is a fine line between reality and fantasy, and when we awake from a dream, we have that uncanny feeling that it was more than just a flight of the imagination.

            It was like a normal day. I woke up, got dressed, and was at school by the normal time. Then my life jumped before my eyes and I was suddenly standing in the hallway, not exactly sure how I got there. Class should've started by now, but that's when I noticed that something was very wrong. There were others in the hallway with me, and they were all standing perfectly still. I walked up to the girl closest to me and asked, “What's going on?”

            All I got in return was silence. She was standing still and staring at the ceiling. I looked up, saw nothing of interest, and began to frantically wave my hand in front of her face. She just ignored me as if I was unimportant to her. I disconcerted her by giving her a little push and for the slightest second I could see life come back to her eyes, but she just composed herself and continued to stare at the blank ceiling.

            This was how the world was now. Everyone stood perfectly still and stared at the open sky. They all looked so vulnerable. It was as if some high-flying event was occurring, and I was blind to the festivity. I could do nothing but stare at their crass and cadaverous faces.

            My life jumped before me again, and I realized that I had changed dramatically. As my sanity began to fritter away, my voice became hostile. I had become unbalanced and odium seemed like the only answer to the problem. I wanted to reprove and debase everyone for putting me through this hell, but I knew deep down that they couldn't even hear me.

My life jumped again, but this time it felt as though many years had passed. I was walloping in my own sorrow when, in the distance, I could see something moving. A little boy approached me. By the look of dismay on his face, my hypothetical guess was that he was just as confused as I was. He seemed squeamish and when he was close enough he shyly asked, “Do you know your name?” I laughed at his question, but as I was about to answer I realized that I didn't know. A sense of panic formed in my stomach, and I raked my brain for an answer. The boy must've known what I was thinking because he said, “Don't worry… I don't remember mine either.” As he walked away, I could hear him prating on and on to himself.

            Eventually my hatred for everyone died, and I wondered if it was my job to find restitution for them, but the question was where and how. I wished I could be like them. They were all so calm, so dispassionate, and I wished that the great clock of the universe would freeze me in time just like everyone else.

            Then when there seemed like no hope left, I woke up. I got up, went to school, and went to class like everyone else. As I sat there silently, I couldn't help but watch all the bored faces. I smiled and couldn't help but wonder who would next be snared by the time clock.

The End

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