Tick Tock – A Short Story


Alas, I grow ever wearier of the passing minutes. The hands tick by eternal, the gears and cogs ever wearing down until someday they shall succumb to the inevitable decay.

Who twisted your chain? Time is always passing, and it will always be so. Even if time ever comes to an end, it will still have been. Time passed before you began to count the minutes, and it is likely they will still pass long after you have stopped.

That is exactly my point! We shall not be remembered when we are gone. We are merely here to count the moments until death.

That is a terrible way to read the ticks! Each tock is another blessing, old friend. I hope that someday you can find your way to see it as such before the passing of moments catches up to you.

You are just blind to the evils of the world you rusted cog! Every moment that passes is another opportunity for the perpetuation of vile purposes. The sooner this wretched existence ends, the better, for less destruction will have been visited.

Every opportunity for evil is an opportunity for good. Don’t count the minutes and call them seconds, they are not the same. If you choose to dwell on evil, then it is evil you shall count. If you dwell on the good, then the good shall be counted as well. You cannot know if they are in balance if you only count one, for the other will always be nothing.

Phaw, that kind of talk is what leads to the nonsense of daylight savings. As if clocks all suddenly lost their count and must be corrected. A ridiculous notion if you ask me.

At least on this, we agree. They say the man who came up with the system was as quick as a second hand, but even the quickest hand can count wrong if it is not properly centered.

Well said, well said. A rust on the lot of them I say.

Humans do not rust you old cog.

Well of course not, but what else am I supposed to wish upon them?

Perhaps a long and prosperous life.

Phaw, so that they can dream up with new ways of wasting every second they have?

If you were to ask me-

Which I most certainly did not.

Of course you didn’t. I rarely ask for you opinion and yet you never fail to give it.

Fair point, fair point. Speak your piece.

Every second that passes is a choice. A choice to spend that second on something one values, or something one does not. It seems to me that the only moments wasted are those spent on things unvalued.

I fail to find fault in this nonsense of yours, but give me a minute and perhaps I shall tell you the errors of your ways.

A whole minute? Has the rust finally gotten to your gears? When we were young, you could make retorts in seconds.

Alas, ever since my second hand broke, it seems as if I only think in minutes.

Haha! Now that is as fine a joke as you have ever told.

I suppose it was quite clever, wasn’t it.

Indeed. You still have your old wit about you whether the seconds be counted or not.

And yet I long for the seconds. I wish I could count them as I used to.

If you spend the rest of your countings moping about the seconds lost, you will miss all the precious minutes that may yet be. You well know that I have never counted the seconds-

So you don’t know what you are missing!

True, true. But perhaps yours are the cogs that are slipping, not mine. I have never had a second hand, true, yet I have always looked beyond to the next minute. It is the anticipation that brings joy, you see. Counting seconds there is no waiting to be done, no looking forward. They come too fast and are gone. Immediate rewards bring immediate disappointment. Don’t look back on what was lost, my friend. Look forward to the next tock. That they be further between only makes them all the more joyful. A rust on my own gears if I’m not right.

Phaw, still sounds an awful lot like daylight savings to me.

Why don’t you just give it a try so that you can prove my time is off.

That’s not a bad notion. I do so enjoy correcting your time. Very well, I shall look forward to the tock of the minute, and when you are proven wrong, I shall complain all the more.

Very well. And if I am not wrong, then you shall try it for the next minute to try to prove me wrong again.

Of course I will. Now quiet your cogs, I must feign excitement.