Ebony Chimes

Time stood still when the lights went out! Patrick stood still as a statue. I joined in, holding my breath, desperately waiting for the familiar chime of the clock but there was only the deafening sound of silence in the dark hallway.

Lights gently flickered back to life and the awful reality appeared before me. Great Uncle Arthur’s grandfather clock, the family heirloom which I had forever loved and been enchanted by, now stood eerily quiet, seeming for all the world as though it was also holding its breath and waiting for the next chime to sound. The violent jolt of my hand when startled by the sudden power cut had caused the mechanism to be forced and I just stood there in disbelief as the enormity of its loss hit me.

Disturbed from my reverie by a loud meow from Patrick, the black cat I’d adopted the previous year, I followed him to the kitchen and watched as he hungrily ate a pouch of food and then ambled out of the cat flap to explore the growing shadows in the garden. I made a cup of coffee and sat at the table, my thoughts returning to when I was a young child and obsessed with counting the clock’s hourly chimes. Always a lover of books, I was enthralled by Tom’s Midnight Garden and used to long to h...

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Lorraine Squire
Aug 17 2020

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