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Once upon a Time

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She was quietly strolling down the street, gazing up towards Big Ben, snow gently falling around her. She was in London, and along with so many waiting for the new year. It would mark the anniversary of when she had first delved into the world of creepypasta, of which she was extremely afraid.

Genevieve had always been the girl waiting patiently for the scary bits to be over, huddled in the corner in a fortress of shivering blankets. She had always been the kid that still used a nightlight, the one that you didn't invite over to sleepovers. Despite these facts, however, she had many friends in school.

Genevieve was alone now, though. It was the first year out of high school, and she ha waited for so long to be able to be alone and not worry about school. She was taking classes online, so she was able to leave her old home in America and see Europe.

The ancient bell tower began its almost calming chant as she stopped. The minute and hour hand both on twelve o' clock, the snow seemed to stop for a moment. It was like something out of her fantasies, one of the many she had written as a child in a journal.

Her Once Upon A Time Journal. She had it with her, and as she relaxed in Central Park, she remembered in her mind her latest entry, named "The Clock Man".

Once upon a time, there was a young man that had an extraordinary talent for fixing clocks. Charles worked in his father's clock and antiques shop, 1053 Blackthorn Road. There, he would help anyone that came to the shop with something that needed repair.

That was all she had written so far, and she decided to flip the notebook, noticing something strange had happened. Below the first paragraph, more words were written in a scrawl hardly legible and resembling the illegible words of a toddler, only with the vocabulary of an adult.

One day, he was walking down the streets of London just past midnight, preparing to confront the new year when he saw a figure slightly shivering in Central Park.

Pulling out an eraser, she went to erase the words, but before she could, the sounds of footsteps approached.

"Aren't you freezing, miss?" a voice above her asked. Genevieve looked up to see a man, no more a year older than herself with black curls to match his clockwork-pattern scarf and otherwise plain clothes. He was staring down at her, sharp bronze eyes in a perfectly carved marble bust meeting her own emerald green pupils.

For a moment she simply stared before remembering her manners. "Ah.. no, I'm fine. Really," she insisted. She didn't want him to think she was weak. Even though she had just met this mysterious stranger, something about the way he acted made her ever-so-slightly nervous.

He stared at her quizzically a little longer before a smirk formed on his face. "Oh course you are. Well, come in when your watch freezes from the cold," he chuckled, pulling a business card out of thin air and placing it inside of her open journal.

She was startled, looking down for a moment to see if her watch was visible. It wasn't. So how had he known she was wearing one? She looked back up to ask, but the mystery man had disappeared. All she had as proof he had ever existed was the business card he had put down almost as a bookmark.

Genevieve lifted her journal back up to look at it some more. Brushing off some snow, she noticed that more words had appeared.

Almost immediately, she declined his help and after a moment he left to return to the shop.

The new writing was slightly neater, and she decided that maybe this was all a dream. Standing up, she left the business card for the morning and began the short walk home.

January 3, 2013

She hadn't slept at all the past two nights since she had met the man. Her journal lay untouched, and Genevieve had decided to finally look at his card. When she had tried to sleep before, only nightmares had come, and she would wake up to the sound of a distant clock ticking, even though there were none that made noise in her small flat.

Now it was 2 AM in the morning. Sitting at her dining table, she let the journal fall open to where the card was. Instead of looking at the card, however, she found herself staring at the page, where her own neat writing printed more to the story.

Even though she hadn't opened the journal for two days. Unease rippling through her mind, she slowly read the lines of text.

The lady spent the next couple of days restless, trying to focus on what had happened. Finally three days after the incident, she noticed that a single token she had from the experience, a card, had an address she recognized almost instantly. It was the address for James and Charles' Clock Shop at 1053 Blackthorn Road.

Genevieve's stomach churned with queasiness. She picked up the card, turning it to read what was printed on the cardstock. She anticipated something to happen when she turned the card over, but when she did, the ink had been smudged, rendered useless.

It was as if nothing had been typed in the first place. She felt almost disappointed, and decided to forget about the entire thing. Putting her journal away, she tossed the card in the trash and decided to do some studying.

January 5, 2013

It was midday, the snow had stopped long enough for sunlight to stream through an open window and Genevieve was laying on her bed. There was a knock from her door. Given that it was 10:30 AM, this was not surprising, so she reluctantly got up and stumbled over to the door.

The last couple days hadn't been good. She had begun putting entries on her blog with pictures of her Once Upon A Time Journal and writing down the new text that was appearing. It was as if the journal was telling the future, and her latest post from earlier that morning had revealed that it had predicted she would get a visitor to "change something important".

So naturally, Genevieve had lain down in good clothes, hoping for the best. Opening the door, she was surprised to see the mysterious man from New Year's. "Is that watch of yours still working?" he asked, not even saying hello before stepping inside through the gap between her and the door frame.

"Umm... fine?" she stuttered. Her watch sat on top of her dresser, and she watched as he seemed to almost instantly teleport across the large room to it and examine its face.

"No it isn't. Come with me to my shop and I can fix it for you." She had barely spoken a word before he ushered her out of her own house and into a black car that had made fresh tire marks in the snow piled in her driveway and they drove away.

"Where... where are you taking me?" she asked nervously. The car seemed almost unnaturally perfect and she felt intoxicated by how... clean the interior was. There wasn't a speck of dust on the dashboard or piece of dirt on the floor, nothing lying about and hardly anything special inside at all.

The man didn't respond, and instead kept driving. Ten suffocating minutes later, she rushed outside when the car stopped almost in the middle of nowhere, along the side of an old street by a small clock shop sitting there with snow glittering on the roof. Painted on the outside of the shop was the name. Charles' Clock Shop. Inside, the walls were littered with different ways of telling time, from ancient-looking sundials to modern digital clocks.

Almost unwillingly she followed the man (whom she guessed was Charles) into the back. There wasn't much light, and what little light there was from the shop front disappeared as the door slammed shut behind her and a deadbolt turned silently in its lock.

A little ways ahead, a light illuminated a small part of the room. The man was there, gesturing to a chair. "Please sit down while I work," he insisted, his voice smooth as silk. She obeyed, noticing how the light perfectly struck his face to show the almost stone-like quality of his pale skin. It was almost as if his face was the back of a clock's, and as she approached, a ticking sound slowly got louder.

Almost immediately after she sat down, the light flickered back out of existence and the room seemed to be filled with the sound of ticking clocks. There was the click of a lens and the flash of a camera for a split second, and she heard footsteps shuffling around her.

The uneven ticking was getting louder and louder by the second. Almost like thunder in her ears, she almost began lifting her hands to cover her ears but it was as if every one of her muscles had been frozen when finally the ticking stopped as a light shone on the clock man. He was holding up her watch.

"This is your life. Always ticking... until, unfortunately, it skips a beat." He paused, pulling up the dial on the watch to adjust the time. She felt her heart stop as he began rapidly spinning the time forward. He stopped as it reached 12:00, and looked back at her.

Before he could speak, she spoke to him with fear in her voice. "Let... let me go," she barely whispered. Charles stopped to stare at her.

"Now, why would you assume I'm not going to? Just wait a little bit... after all, I still need to fix your watch." His voice was of mock puzzlement, and his mouth spread into a wide smile to match the Cheshire Cat's and with a subtle smirk cloaking beneath false kindness.

He stepped closer, and the light went out again as the ticking thundered in her eardrums to match her heartbeat, and almost as quickly, she lost all senses.

January 10, 2013

Post from January 6, 2013:

Hello people. This is Genevieve again. I can't say much, except that I think I'm free for now. I say for now because I just read what's written last in the journal, and I fear the worst. I'll just type everything for one last time. I hope that someday this will help someone in the future and that my family and friends read this.

"Once upon a time, there was a young man that had an extraordinary talent for fixing clocks. Charles worked in his father's clock and antiques shop, 1053 Blackthorn Road. There, he would help anyone that came to the shop with something that needed repair.

"One day, he was walking down the streets of London just past midnight, preparing to confront the new year when he saw a figure slightly shivering in Central Park. Almost immediately, she declined his help and after a moment he left to return to the shop.

"The lady spent the next couple of days restless, trying to focus on what had happened. Finally three days after the incident, she noticed that a single token she had from the experience, a card, had an address she recognized almost instantly. It was the address for James and Charles' Clock Shop at 1053 Blackthorn Road.

"Almost immediately, she was afraid. When she searched for the shop, there were no leads and it was as if it was all false. However, she was not deterred, and finally decided to try and tell her story. No one would believe her, though, thinking she had made everything up.

"Finally after a couple of days she was home alone when she got a visitor, one due to change something important.

"After the encounter, she was even more scared, and decided to tell her story in full one last time. One last time she would be able to speak out before the Clock Man fixed up the clockwork of her heart."

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