Short Story: The Pocket Watch

By: Martina I

Chapter 1:

I poured lazily over the dead, crispy grass. The sun was rising, adulterating the solid obsidian sky with watery shades of cobalt and marigold. The powdery, dove clouds floated away from each other, drawing the curtain of darkness to reveal a blade of pure, pearly light slashing the starry sky in half. The marbled ebony freed the scene as it swiftly disintegrated, making space for the glorious sun rays to thaw the arctic and sapphire tones. Soon the golden glow dispersed in the day, and the luxurious silver pool was hugged by the two bold mountains protecting it as it prepared for the new morning that the birds were joyfully announcing. I stared blankly at my opulent, antique pocket watch for minutes, more concerned with the time than the heavenly vision that was unfolding in front of me. As every nerve in my body wrestled the agony of uncertainty that was thundering for me to flee, I breathed once, deeply, a smokey porcelain cloud forming before my eyes and mixing with those in the sky as I exhaled.

“There you are.”

I beamed pathetically as she approached me wearing a plain black suit, startling me with the  modesty of her attire. Her pale shoulders had been hidden by a silky black shawl, and its folds cascaded over her arm casually, gleaming in the foggy air where they encountered the sunlight. She reeked of smoke and concrete. A withered, white rose rested gently in her pocket, bearing the scars of her own stress and restlessness, like she had been wearing it forever. The hem of her scarf was faded and disheveled in various points, it looked misty, like it had been cried upon for days. Her luscious, umber curls were restrained into a neat braid at the back of her head, which revealed her limpid, reddened eyes, tarnished with a distress and melancholy that would have never left her.

“Don’t act like you’re happy to see me.”

She ambled distractedly to a spot in front of me, lifted her wary cheeks, and expanded her shoulders to their maximum extent.

“Sara, be strong.”

Humiliating me with a forced smirk, she perched on the edge of the hill, glancing at the horizon that stood triumphant over the celestial valley of sprigs and sierras distastefully.

“Isn’t life torturous? You reach the apex of happiness after years of misery, only to slowly lose it all before your eyes, and then suffer once more as you try and accept it.”

A single acidic tear peeked at me from the corner of her eye, and within the blink that allowed it to caress her cheek, the strong, independent woman was gone, and she became my little sister again.

“Well, of course you feel this way right now.”

I thoughtlessly extended my arm in her direction, but stopped short a few millimeters from her shoulder, dropping it to the ground and deciding to rest my hand next to hers instead. I wrapped the thin, shiny chain of my watch around my nimble fingers, and lifted it to the height of my eye as it dangled impotently in the wind. When certain she was watching, I fired it into the water with a spasmodic gesture of the arm and simpered through a powerful roar.

“What did you do? I wanted his watch!”

“I don’t want you to think about the past right now,”

In an instant, Sara sore off of the ground and pivoted her head fiercely towards me, her braid lashing the side of her face.

“You selfish, miserable thing! Have you always been this stupid? He sure didn’t teach you well!”

Defeatedly, she willingly relinquished control of herself and dove into the grass face first, her fists punching the ground in unison at their impact. She snaked her lingering hands above her head and her body spiked up towards the sky. Between sniffles and childish giggles, she rolled over to my side and awkwardly patted my hand.

“It’s fine, it’s not your fault. I have had an awakening, you blind, deaf, sleeper. Quite simply, there is no reason to not think about the past when it’s the only thing that makes you happy. In the future there will be no happiness for me, and no one in this world will be affected by it, except for myself.”

Sara floated up to her feet keeping her eyes fixed on the horizon, the rose she was wearing fell to the ground.  

“You know… maybe you did the right thing after all by throwing that watch away. Having it would have made me happy. I don’t want to be happy anymore. I won’t give life the satisfaction of taking my happiness away again.”

She then left. Every step of the way she killed the grass under her feet even more, and everything living in it. Then, warmly, without turning back she exclaimed:

“Good night, sleeper!”

The morning sun highlighted my hand on the floor with a burning ray.

I sprawled on the sloping hill languidly, the grass comfortably pillowing my head as I shut my eyes and let them burn inside me, like two incandescent stones. Against my will, my mind replayed the story of my life cruelly, boiling my brain in my blood, gnawing me with stabs of distant memories.

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