The Timekeeper – Friday Fictioneers, September 2015

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

The watchmaker removes his eye-glass, sweeps the assorted gears, balance wheels and mainsprings to one side, and stares down the street.

She’s late. She said she’d collect it at four – it’s gone five now.

The bell over the door tinkles; the fragrance of violets suffuses his second-floor workshop.

“I’m sorry,” she gasps, flushed and bright-eyed.

“Don’t worry,” he murmurs, handing over the dainty silver wristwatch, “everything’s fine now.”

Refusing payment, he watches her leave, packs up his tools and locks the door behind him.

There isn’t much he doesn’t know about time; so he knows that hers has come.

Birthday wishes for Friday to Rochelle, our illustrious, if slightly bad-ass, leader. It’s good to know that all is well in her world.  I’ve responded to her gentle hint about keeping to 100 words. Usually I endeavour to come in between 100 – 103 but I made a special effort to stay in line for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Just creeping. 🙂

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to The Timekeeper – Friday Fictioneers, September 2015

  1. micklively says:

    Oh Sandra, that’s so creepy. Well done.

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    This could be one of those intros to The Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Subtle yet ominous undercurrent. Very well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    PS Thank for your diligence to keep the word count at 100. I’d hate to have to make and example of you. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    You inspire me to write, just to try to reach the height of the bar you set each week. This story was, oh, so good.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      When I read your comment, Doug, I went looking for your story. I’m hoping it’s in the pipeline. Thank you for being out there and commenting, and I look forward to your being back amongst us. Take care.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Sue says:

    Subtly done, a very gently sinister atmosphere….well done indeed!

    Like

  5. I don’t find it creepy, I think it is wonderfully fantastical. Especially that title – The Timekeeper. I imagine him sitting in his workshop, listening to all the different clocks/hearts marching to the beat of their own drum….with countless stories to tell. This is truly beautiful, Sandra.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’m so glad you saw that Lore. I wrote the story, intending it to be a sinister tale, and then, because it seemed a tad flat, I went back and purposely edited it so it could be read in an entirely different way. The flushed cheeks, bright eyes, could be signs of fever or excitement, gasping could be an indication of consumption or just simply climbing to a second floor workshop, etc etc. I was going to change ‘violets’ to ‘lilies’ but in deference to our birthday girl – whose love of purple is well documented…. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting – it made the extra effort well worth it.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Sooo clever, my dear. But what a burden that omniscience must bring him.

    Like

  7. I like it. The eye-glass threw me for a loupe! 😉

    Like

  8. Graham Lawrence says:

    Lovely but sad ending. Nice story/

    Like

  9. Danny James says:

    I hope I don’t meet that watchmaker.

    DJ

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story.. loved the ending! Will look at watch repairmen a whole new way now… 🙂

    Like

  11. paulmclem says:

    Chilling ending. Enjoyed this one, Sandra. Cheers!

    Like

  12. elmowrites says:

    Gloriously evocative, Sandra, from the violets to the wordplay, past the creepiness. I think this may be you at your best

    Like

  13. What does it mean when you’re late “to meet your maker”? I think I would welcome a detour.
    Tracey

    Like

  14. jwdwrites says:

    Lovely polished tale Sandra, beautifully crafted and a pleasure to read.

    Like

  15. A lovely story with many possible outcomes. I enjoyed imagining all of them.

    Like

  16. Dale says:

    It could be ominous, it could not be. I like how it is open!

    Like

  17. Truly lovely, and no not sinister at all. Kind of sweet! Well done!

    Like

  18. Ooh, that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. A great story, wonderful premise.

    Like

  19. Great tale which leaves the reader in suspense. What does the watchmaker know that we don’t. Whatever way you read that last sentence I fear her demise is imminent.

    Like

  20. I loved how it progressed from being innocent and common-place to serious and morbid. I first thought he was in love with her, but with his talent, how can he?

    Like

  21. Good story, the loneliness of the watchmaker but the care he takes in his work, her excitement and then the twist at the end.

    Like

  22. ceayr says:

    This is a magnificent tour de force, Sandra, as good as anything I have seen from you.
    Which means it is as good as anything I have seen full stop.
    I was surprised not to hear a clap of thunder at the end!

    Like

  23. Loved it and the way you ended it.

    Like

  24. yarnspinnerr says:

    In hindi ‘time is also called as ‘Kaal’; and kaal also means death.
    A superb take on this prompt.

    Like

  25. draliman says:

    Great creepy tale.

    Like

  26. Love it. Her time has come? Interesting. That is the last time I bring a watch in to be repaired.

    Like

  27. rgayer55 says:

    Everyone seems to jump to the conclusion that the phrase “her time has come” means the end is about to come for her. Perhaps she’s finally getting that chance or opportunity she’s always dreamed of, about to meet her Prince Charming, etc.

    I like the fact that it could be interpreted more than one way.

    Like

  28. This has a wonderful imaginative story line, Sandra. The watchmaker puts on an impressive performance for this fine lady whose picking up her expensive silver watch even though he was frustrtae minutes before. I felt he was looking forward to seeing her for, perhaps, other reasons.
    Great prompt interpretation …. as always you never disappoint.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  29. I agree with Doug whole-heartedly, Sandra. You can create a scene like very few writers I’ve known, which is tangible and vivid and trussed up on only a few well-placed words. Great job.
    -David

    Like

  30. Sandra, I don’t find this creepy. Rather, in a subtle, gentle way, it’s lovely. Of course, the question is, does he end her time or simply know it’s ending? Either way, so well written.

    janet (who actually wrote this week)

    Like

  31. Jan Brown says:

    What a wonderfully creepy twist!!! You amaze me every week 🙂

    Like

  32. Dee says:

    I’ve decided that it’s a tale of unrequited love as that is the mood I am in at the moment.
    Great scene setting and atmosphere, evoking Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes for some reason… very well written as always. Take care in France I’ll be thinking of you.

    Like

  33. Melanie says:

    She came for time and time came for her. I love this story.

    Like

  34. liz young says:

    Oh dear – that doesn’t bode well.Good story.

    Like

  35. gahlearner says:

    I love how you interetwine all the uses of time, clocks, and lives. The watchmaker as timekeeper who knows when our time’s run out. Great story.

    Like

  36. SarCou says:

    I love this! Sinister and threatening!! Great piece. Sarah x

    Like

  37. He should have told her that her watch was kaput – since he knew she was, too. Ha.
    Randy

    Like

  38. Amy Reese says:

    A timekeeper who knows all. I’d be afraid to meet him. This is so well written, Sandra. Great read!

    Like

  39. mjlstories says:

    Love the violets and the turn on that last line and the character of the timekeeper that can be read in so many ways.
    I want more of this!

    Like

  40. Alice Audrey says:

    Was he afraid she might not make it back for her watch at all?

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Ula says:

    Wow! What a wonderful twist at the end. I agree with Rochelle. This would make a great intro. Definitely something I’d watch (or read).

    Like

  42. Margaret says:

    He’s an intriguing character. I love the possibilities this raises – lots to think about. It’s a fascinating idea, well told as usual.

    Like

  43. Well, that’s either good or bad depending on what he knows. I hope it’s good, but it’s a bit of a mystery how he knows. Well written as always, Sandra. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  44. subroto says:

    Beautifully written with such an understated sinister touch at the end. Turned the story around.

    Like

  45. MissTiffany says:

    Oooh. I got chills! Love this take on the prompt.

    Like

  46. wildbilbo says:

    A commenter said it earlier: ‘sinister’. That last line changes the story from that simple set up into a tale with some real menace.
    Lovely work.
    KT

    Like

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