Please Wait

jhc-clock

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The harsh florescence made the plain white walls, floor and ceiling burn my retinas like fire.  My eyes settled back on the only thing in the room, the overly ornate clock.

TICK

It had been less than a minute since I had looked at it, but it felt 100 years.  I once again tried to trace the intricate patterns, but was soon lost.

TOCK

My outside attention on the clock, I ran through everything in my mind, thought of every detail.  The end stood out.  “Please wait.  We’ll be back soon.”

TICK

If a second is eternity, what is forever?

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Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © J Hardy Carroll.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

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I’ve been off of the blog for a couple of weeks (again).  I think I am finally back :) I will try to stop by and visit other FF stories.

43 thoughts on “Please Wait

  1. aheartforafrica641064503

    It’s interesting who time operates. It crawls when you’re waiting or have nothing to do but flies when you’re busy. Great take on the prompt. We can all relate to the character.

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  2. pennygadd51

    For me, the story was about a child – perhaps seven or eight years old – left at home by their parents for perhaps fifteen minutes. But it also reminded me strongly of an old science fiction story where an astronaut was testing a new star drive, and found that it dramatically changed his perception of time making it seem to cycle from very slow – as in your story – to extremely fast, so the seconds went past in an unfathomable blur.
    Nice story, Trent!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think I read that story ages ago. Time was goign very slow for him, so he started counting, then time sped up, but his internal “counter” was still in that slow time, so in a few minutes he had counted into the billions, or something like that.

      Time does go on forever for children. A second seems eternity. I think of a Calvin and Hobbes where all of the action of the entire Sunday strip takes place in the 1/500th of second as his dad tries to take his photo.

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  3. Inside the Mind of Isadora

    Tick Tock Tick Tock … this ran trhough my mind the entire time I was reading your interpretation of the photo prompt. I love the idea of leaving it vague and open ended. A good write … enjoyed it very much. I think many can relate. I know I can.
    Isadora 😎
    ps: just started following you by way of Priorhouse. He spoke highly of you. : )

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I think we’ve all had those eternal waits.

      I recognized you from Friday Fictioneers, so it is nice that you got here via Priorhouse. A lot of people I follow I’ve bumped into from a few different directions. I’ll try to stop by your blog later this weekend.

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  4. Rowena

    Hi Trent,
    Great to catch up. I really loved this one, both in terms of the structure with the ominously slow tick tock culminating in the brilliant last line: If a second is eternity, what is forever?
    It’s so profound and really resonates with me.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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      1. Rowena

        Time is certainly proving elusive at my end, although I am trying to get a bit of consistency in place. I have struggled with those basic routine tasks and have made good progress this week. Have been feeling a lot better over the last month too, which has been great. It’s the first year I haven’t been seriously ill in August. A friend, however, ended up in hospital with influenza A and complications so it pays to be on guard. I really haven’t been out in circulation very much and I think it’s paid off.
        Best wishes,
        Ro

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I was purposefully very vague – He might be waiting for the chance of a lifetime, something awful, or is just impatient. Of course, it is also possible that this is his version of Hell – all eternity watching a slowly ticking clock…

      Liked by 2 people

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  5. Prior...

    I feel like I was right there (and I read the comment above and like how you left it open for us to insert different vantage points – and for me – I felt an empty wait – and a familiar mode years ago)
    also love the mere mention of the overly ornate – nice contrast to this dry passing of dead time – not ornate at all then the details –
    and then the whole waiting vibe does make time drag –

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Time does slow down when we are waiting. Sometimes something catches the attention and time seems to be going by at good rate… until you look at the clock again. Been there, done that. Thanks, Y.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That was the idea ;) I tried to make it vague so you can choose if the person is waiting in anticipation of something really good, something really bad, or is really waiting for eternity, a private Hell where the seconds tick off one at a time forever…

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