The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Tock Tock Tock
by Alex Grehy
William the watchmaker, divorced four times, never understood the human mind. “Too messy!” he thought as his wives broke free. All he wanted was a tock to his tick and, living alone, it could never be.
He decided to make a new wife. Clockwork, of course, over which he had complete mastery. A cunning escapement would keep her in check. He’d manufacture a mate who’d look good, never argue, meet his wants utterly.
Tick..Tock – Tick..Tock
His first was a mimic who followed him accurately. It was fun for a while, then it was tedious, then one day he thought “She’s too much like me!”
He took her back to the workshop and pulled off her head; then he hammered the rest down for parts, which he spread on his bench and started again.
His second was random, sometimes obedient, his soulmate and friend; sometimes unruly and out of control. Her arrhythmic nature he could not transcend.
Tick…Tock – Tick…Not
He beat her to teach her, but still she rebelled. He dragged her into his workshop and pulled off her head. He cast it aside and it landed, unsmiling, in the bin with the first, little guessing they still had enough life for a curse. Oblivious to her suffering, he drew out her innards and started again.
His third was the charm. Accomplished and lovely, she tocked to his tick. But then he thought, “Did I just hear tock…tick?”
Tick…Tock – Tock…Tick
He grabbed her hand roughly and pulled her towards him, intending, as always, to fix her up good. A tap with a hammer should align her skewed gears. But she pulled him back sharply and hissed in his ears “Dear husband, I cannot abide your dominion, it’s your turn to hurt and play the minion.”
With one hand she held him, her strength was uncanny. She climbed up the tower and lofted him high, snagging his collar on clock’s hour hand. His heart raced as he wriggled, but time would not free him, not quite yet.
TOCK…tick, tick, tick
She gathered her sisters, their beautiful faces now bright with malice, their eyes filled with avenging tears. She set them down gently and said “Watch! Now he’ll find out what it’s like to be driven by another’s clockwork desires.”
TOCK…TOCK…TOCK – tick, tick, tick
Upright at midnight he felt very secure, but he started to dangle as the hours passed by. At three he was swaying from the tip of the hand; at six, he would slip and would fall to his doom. His wives’ laughter chimed as the hour drew nigh.
Fiction © Copyright Alex Grehy
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Alex Grehy:
After a lifetime of writing technical non-fiction, Alex Grey is fulfilling her dream of writing poems and stories that engage the reader’s emotions. Her work has been featured by a wide range of publications including Siren’s Call, Raconteur, Bookends Review, and Toasted Cheese. One of her comic poems is also available via a worldwide network of public fiction dispensers managed by French publisher, Short Edition. Her ingredients for contentment are narrow boating, greyhounds, singing and chocolate. It is a sweet life, yet Alex’ original view of the world has led to her best friend to say ‘For someone so lovely, you’re very twisted!
Please click here to discover more!