Will Write 4 Food: Winning Stories July 2009
Ticking a Life
By Glenda Rynn
She had always had a thing about time. It couldn’t be seen, smelled, tasted, heard, or touched--much less delayed for a second, but it was the Master Controller.
As a girl at the piano, she was prisoner of the metronome. When she ran track, the chronometer determined her value to the team. As a wife, she made a game of racing against the hands of her wristwatch to complete chores and duties. As a career woman, she measured her accomplishments against the succession of numbers on her desk digital clock.
Then he came home that day, shut the door, and stood in front of the wall clock. “It’s over.” With his reddened eyes contradicting his set jaw, he went on to explain—and even embraced her briefly.
But to this day all she can remember is that it was 39 minutes and 17 seconds past 6 PM.
By Donna Holland
Karen held her brother’s stopwatch vehemently to her chest, “Harry, what are you trying to tell me?” she questioned out loud.
Just that morning, Karen had been drawing blood from an elderly female patient wearing a long warn smooth POW bracelet upon her fragile wrist. When asked about it, the woman reverently touched the bracelet and recited her covenant. “I will remember his name as long as I live! Harry Jenkins.”
“Harry, you know that I don’t believe in coincidence.” Karen spat in frustration. “We laid you to rest 20 years ago, but I miss you every day, brother.”
Through tear filled eyes Karen clicked the stopwatch, and watched the hands spin on its face. The sound made her feel connected to her long lost twin. Tearful torment ushered Karen into a fitful sleep.
She found herself in the midst of a lush jungle. A steamy mist bathed the leafy green. Before her flowed a stream which sprang from the opening of a low standing cave. One by one, she witnessed ragged men wading out of the cave in chest deep water, with their hands clasped atop their heads. Silently, empty eyes filed past her as if she weren’t present. Strangers all, until out he sloshed from the opening of the cave, inline with the others. He turned and stared directly at her, piercing her soul. Tangled hair over sunken eyes and emaciated features, while older, she would recognize him anywhere.
She awoke soaking wet, gasping, “Harry, you’re alive!”