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Young Writers Project: Clocks

Lydia writes: "I wrote this late one night after being surprised at how late it had gotten so quickly. It made me consider how fast time flies and how people are, in reality, quite similar to the clocks ticking away on our walls - time going faster than we ourselves realize."

By Lydia Smith
Tenth grade, Home-schooled in Charlotte

The last screw in place, He tenderly shuts the door. A final twist to the knob on the back brings the gears to life. Pride etched on every feature, He gently passes the tiny clock to waiting hands, eager to display it in their home. Fragile and fresh, the little arms 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 closely 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 but not forgotten. Eleven seems to run away, while noon drags on and 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, unheeded. 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, leaving only scars behind. Now the speeding hand slows. But the steady rhythm beats on, tempered by the hours and the years. At ten, the merry voice beings to croak and sputter. Eleven is shuddered away, purposefully ignored by the caretakers. With a tear in their eyes, they hand the little clock back to Himas the clock utters twelve. The gears cease to grind. The hands cease to move.The notes cease to chime. Tender care in His face, He gently dusts the dented clock and nestles it onto a niche on a broad shelf. It is surrounded by many other such clocks, worn by time, with room for many more. Turning back to His bench, He sets the screw, winds the gears, and turns the knob on another little clock, fresh and new.

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