The best story to come out of YWP just recently.

by Hazelnut

The last screw in place, He shuts the door. A final twist to the knob on the back brings the gears to life.  Pride on every feature, He gently hands the tiny clock to waiting hands, eager to display it in their home.  Fragile and fresh, the little hands tick, telling the time on its shining face.  The clock strikes one, a sweet note. A little scratch adorns the back, but none can see the fault, hidden behind the golden face.  Life goes on as the clock strikes two, still the pride of its caretaker’s eye.  A smile creases every face while it boldly chimes out three, still young, still strong.  Four ticks by, followed by five. Now, as it sings out six, trembling hands remove it from the mantle, torn by the parting soon to come.  As seven echoes through the halls, it greets a new caretaker. Surviving the bumps and bruises of the transplant, it is soon found comfortable on a new mantle chiming eight.  Nine watches fresh faces join the room. Ten brings trials soon left behind. Eleven seems to run away, while noon drags on.  Now one comes again, an echo of younger days. Chipped paint reminds all that its youth is past. Two creeps by.  Three comes far too soon.  Four brings company to the growing room.  As the wind blows, five sneaks by, unnoticed. Careful eyes note gold now grayed when the hands skip six and rush to seven. Eight reflects memories in the polished face.  By nine, they begin to fade. Now the speeding hand slows. But the steady rhythm beats on, tempered by years. At ten, the merry voice croaks and sputters.  Eleven is shuddered away, purposefully ignored by the caretakers. With a tear in their eyes, they hand the little clock back to Him as the clock utters twelve. The gears cease to grind. The hands cease to move. The notes cease to chime. Care in His face, He gently dusts the dented clock and nestles it onto a broad shelf, amid many other such clocks, worn by time, with room for many more, before turning back to his bench and turning the knob on another little clock, fresh and new.

Read it on YWP


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