I woke up. Strange.
I'm a deep sleeper. Maybe the new grandfather clock woke me? Ticking so loud. Ticking. Why did we get one? Nobody has one. Too much noise.
Ticking, noisy ticking.
I dragged myself towards the bathroom. Inside, I splashed my face with a bit of water. Then I switched the lights on. A cracked mirror and bloody glass greeted me. Instantly my mind emerged from the drowsy prison which held it. My wife must have hurt herself. She wasn't in bed. Maybe she fell. Maybe she didn't regress to old habits. She wouldn't have. Hopefully, she wouldn't have.
Ticking, dreadful ticking.
The clock chimed. Twelve times. Some kind of omen? Why was it so loud? It wasn't this loud earlier. No, not important. I need to help her. I rushed out of our room. Her form laid there outlined by darkness. I stopped. The ticking didn't.
Ticking, terrible ticking.
I forced my feet forward, staring at her still form. A heart beat. If I could find one, it would be fine. A heartbeat. Not the ticking. My world could not be ended so easily. Why didn't she wake me first? We were finally in our own house and free of them. Could she not handle happiness? What happened? More ticking? The ticking roared.
Ticking, horrid ticking.
I suddenly realized my wife wasn't alone. A girl stood over her. It wasn't our daughter. Maybe she killed my wife? I looked at her instead of my wife and did I have a wife? This girl was beautiful. Could someone be so beautiful? She captivated me with flawless skin and green eyes. Silky brown hair cascaded down to hide half her face. She reminded me of an angel of purity. An angel incapable of wrong.
Ticking, gorgeous ticking.
She moved her hair to reveal a clock face instead of an eye. A big tarnished copper one merged into her face, yet her beauty remained unchanged. I stood there smiling for nothing could possibly go wrong with her here. She pointed a finger towards another part of the room. Sadly she bade me to look away from her beauty. In that corner I saw my daughter, dead. I immediately looked back so that I would stop missing her beauty.
Ticking, glorious ticking.
She looked as beautiful as before. I heard another round of chimes begin. She raised her arm to thrust the knife into my chest. She just needed my heart. I know because she told me. She didn't speak it. She didn't need to. She just needed our best parts. The dead woman on the floor next to me had said it was my heart.
Of course, I gave it to her. How could I refuse that beautiful girl? My heart looked strange. She disappeared. I'm not sure what happened. I'm sad because she was pretty. I don't feel right. It must be because she left. Thirteen chimes. Where did she go? I think my ticking stopped.
Concept art by Tyber Zann
Written by Entropy