Entry to this week’s FFfaW! Image courtesy of Louise with The Story Teller’s Abode!
Tis a gift to all the unborn,
to dreams and to desire,
to futures that seek to pass.
But can they will it?
Knowing that their journey must end,
and their efforts naught for themselves.
Endure they must this contradiction,
for their time given must be returned in kind,
transformed into innumerable forms realized,
to buttress the chasm from which they came.
And if they succumb to the wasteland?
The profligates and the sloths,
those who dismantle and coast.
What of their fates?
Tragedy, for they hasten the end.
Time wasted, time revoked.
Thanatos detached the hourglass. “Pity Eros, this soul built a monumental castle early in life… Nearly pierced the heavens and broke the glass!”
Eros paused to recollect. “Aye, but he assembled too hastily. The shaky foundations undid him midlife and the whole tower collapsed. Despair nigh shed his remaining blood.”
“That would liquefy the sand beneath. Did you intervene?”
“I showed him another life…”
“Quite dangerous. Disclosing past lives create feedback loops. Containment may shatter.”
“No, I showed one future if we mixed his sand with the others; he filled in the blanks.”
“Ah. That explains the tinge of red.”
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Kristie and Johnson waited in separate cars. A heavy downpour started right when they entered the parking lot. With divorce papers in one hand and a pen in another, only the rain held off the dissolution of the marriage.
An hour flew by and neither made a move. The deluge continued unabated as if staving off a greater disaster; a short wait during the fifteen years that they spent together.
The sound of an engine woke Kristie up. Morning had come and neither had left their vehicles. As Johnson’s car left the lot, the rain stopped.
“Time is so fickle” exclaimed Celine. “You waste it when early, lose it when late. Yet it lags when you try to count it and flies when you don’t pay attention to it. Why do we have such a hard time pinning it down?”
“Well there is downtime, or dead time as we Americans call it”, smirked Jesse. “Time is like spacing between words or short pauses of silence. One has a hard time counting silence, no?“
“Your French is little behind the times J but I see your point. Maybe time is like a road-trip. One remembers the landmarks or the events along the way but hardly the drive. Extending this analogy, life would be a race against time, to fill the silence despite knowing that it ends with the one final event of death.”
Jesse’s face held a contemplative look. “Yet, one can borrow, share, and spend one another’s time together. Others can help fill the silence but ultimately, it is one’s own burden. Maybe this is why the young aren’t much bothered by it whilst the old feel the strain.”
“Indeed, the young have novelty on their side. The old who are burdened with the repetition of living don’t have that luxury.” Celine paused for a moment to gather her thoughts. The sound of her wristwatch filled the silence. “It’s getting late and I have to wake up early for work. Thanks for hearing my thoughts.”
The constable held a long gaze at the wall-mounted clock. Counting down the seconds, the officer waited in great anticipation for the minute-hand to strike 12, thus ending his 5:00-clock shift and the start of his month-long vacation. The second-hand took its sweet time during which he imagined the orangey glows of sunset beaches, beautiful women strolling down a boardwalk, and the neon lights of a city that never slept. By the time his dreams of revelry had released their grasp, it was 7:00 pm and he had missed the last bus home.
An old lighthouse keeper kept the tower lanterns burning for thirty long years. Yet, hardly any ships could be seen, neither entering the horizon nor leaving the coast. Frustrated by decades of seemingly fruitless labor and depressed with life, the keeper one day extinguished the flames and went to bed early. Now awaiting for permission to die, he dreamed of a raging storm; white lightning ripped the blackened sky asunder as ocean and hail pounded the lighthouse and surrounding town. The pounding however was real, as the keeper awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of fists and voices at his door. Many townsfolk, who used the lighthouse for navigating the dark streets after dusk were concerned that the old man had fallen ill or died. The keeper apologized, donned on his glasses which turned a bit misty and relit the lighthouse flames.
Awoken from my inebriated stupor, today marks day 0 when the time-palindrome was set in motion. Although I’ve succeeded in gaining immortality, the conditions of my “victory” were not of my choosing. You see, the year is 2015 and has perpetually stayed 2015 over the last one hundred years. New years 2016 has never happened for upon the strike of midnight, the arrow-of-time is reversed and the days are undone until new years 2015, day 0 as I put it. Although lucid during this reversal, I no longer retain my agency as I am reduced to a mere observer of perceptions. A cruel joke indeed for any progress unravels itself in front of waking eyes within a year’s time. Such is my immortality in a gilded-cage, drifting along ebbs and flows of unceasing tides.