Twenty past three…

It has been there for as long as I can remember. My mother loved it, and when guests came to the house, she would show it off with pride. On the table next to the window it stands, glowing gold when the rays at sunset strike it at just the right angle. There were others in the house too. Antiques… my father’s old hobby. Most of them have been sold now for rent, but she says memories are too near; too dear to let go of that one. I don’t mind that. I look at it and share her pride too, for after years in that spot, it hasn’t rusted. It still has got that luster to it.

“Mom, where’d you find that beauty?” I asked her once.

She smiled. “Your father was the one who did. Long back when you were just a boy… He had an obsession with these antiques. One day, he brought it home. In one hand was the antique; in the other was a bottle. He looked at me and smiled. He smiled just like you do now. Both were priceless, he said. He kept that clock right there. And for every time the clock struck the hour, he would come find me and give me a kiss. He didn’t care if anyone was around.”

She stopped then. “Go on mom”, I prodded her.

“One afternoon, a stranger had come looking for him. As he sat there in the hall with him, I could hear their voices slowly rising. I couldn’t go in to the hall, I was scared. So I paced the kitchen, praying for the clock to strike the hour soon. And it did, just a few minutes later. A minute became five, five became fifteen and still he didn’t come. Five more minutes passed, before I heard the door shut.”

“I went into the hall, and he sat there in his favorite armchair”, she continued after a pause. “His face was ashen, but I got my kiss. I felt a hand on my leg, and there you stood, hugging me tight; and then…”

“What you guys talking about?” came Dad’s voice behind me as he came up the stairs.

“Nothing”, we replied together.

“Mommy, I can hear voices from the attic again”, called Angela from below us. She’s seven now. Just about my age when it happened. No one can see it; no one wants to actually. Twenty minutes past three that day, it stopped; never to tick again…. And still to this day, on it remain three lone drops of dried blood…

(Succeeding Part: — 2 —)

For Thursday Tales, image courtesy Caralee at DeviantArt.

© Leo 01/July/2011

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

24 thoughts on “Twenty past three…”

  1. Took me on a surrealistic mind-trip, my friend. This is good. Better’n good. I can to the surprise endings fairly well I think, but it takes me longer and it isn’t quite as effective as is this.

    I am in awe.

  2. The description is wonderful..but I’m so sorry I couldn’t quite get the ending 🙁
    what had happened?I may sound dumb but I really want to know…

    • Oh.. the protagonist, his mother and father were killed long back on the day when the clock stopped, Rinaya. They now haunt their own home.

  3. Hi Leo,

    A brilliant piece. What I like about it is the mystery that remains, even at the end. Though it ends, the story lingers on in our mind. 🙂

    Thanks, Sayantika

  4. wow… should i say it was brilliant??? it doesnt seem a nice enough word to cover to cover your amazing story.. well written Leo!!(as always 😛 )

    • It is ur wish, Kirti. You’re the reader and the comment is about how you felt 🙂 Thank you for the praise.

  5. Spooky….. 🙂 I’ll have to admit that I read the piece thrice to understand it completely. Brilliantly composed. leaves a lot of questions unanswered which makes it all the more mysterious

  6. Leo…its awesome….the first part was soo beautiful…I loved it to the core…but at the end of the tale, my heart skipped a beat 🙂

    wonderful tale Leo..!!

  7. Great story! Took me a while but I read through all the comments before understanding the last bit. I did catch the part about the father dying but how did the mom die?

    • I’ll be taking this story forward, maybe like a short story series, Clariice. I hope the mystery in the mystery is solved somewhere along the road for you..

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