Eclectic Voices

Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More

The Ticking Of My Heart

Old clock close up view

Part of the Halloween Issue 2015

By Jeff Folschinsky 

She could hear the ticking of the pocket watch. Like the unending heartbeat, it’s gears moved along, pulsating with life. Life that its owner no longer had. Life that the woman holding it had taken. A moment of insanity on her part, one she would forever regret. At the time though, she felt that she hadn’t had a choice. Like a part in a play she were merely acting out. A play she was attempting to now write as she sat in front of her keyboard.

Everything seemed like a dream though, and she couldn’t concentrate. She just sat in front of the computer and stared at the blank screen. Rubbing her thumb seductively over the front of the pocket watch. Every once in awhile clicking the button, so the front of it would open up. Only to close it again, without even looking at it.

A ritual she had seen him do many times while he was writing. A brief pause in the endless clicking of the keyboard, when he would be thinking through an idea. Ideas that seemed to flow to him, like a river that had no end to it. A river she seemed never to have access to.

His death was a dreadful thing, and even though it had been deemed an accident by the authorities, she knew the truth. He hadn’t slipped in that subway, he was pushed. Pushed by the one person that he loved most in the world. The one thing that he claimed to love more than his stories. The only one that he trusted completely with all aspects of his life.

She had never loved him that completely, and felt guilty for not being able to return the same intensity that he felt for her. She had cared for him, and even at times felt that she loved him deeply, but was constantly left with the feeling that the relationship was uneven because of her.
Even now, she felt like she should be feeling more about his death. Feeling anything but the indifference that had taken hold in her. For example, the one thing that she knew she missed was not even him necessarily, but the clicking the keyboard made as he typed away. The clicking that used to inspire her to write. The clicking that she was now unable to produce herself.

The clicking was now replaced with the ticking of the pocket watch. The pocket watch that somehow ended up in her hands as he fell from the platform. It was the pocket watch that saved her from suspicion in his death. As it looked as if she were reaching out to grab him. She would like to think that this were true, but it didn’t change the fact that the man was dead now. The victim of an emotional outburst of a jealous mind. She did reach out for him, this much was true. Whether it was to save him or finish what she started she couldn’t honestly say.

She just knew the look of fear that he gave her as he turned around, desperately trying to grab on to anything, was an image that would be forever etched in her mind. She wasn’t even sure of what happened next. Only that when it was over she was standing there holding the pocket watch. Holding it and stroking it in the same seductive manner he had done. For him this was always a clear indication that another idea was forming in his head. For her though, there were no ideas forming in her head, no matter how many times she stroked the accursed thing.

The only thing it filled her head with was memories. Memories of their life, memories of him, memories of what she had done, and as much as she hated the damn thing because of this, she just couldn’t let it go. She found herself holding it without even remembering how or why she picked it up. Holding and rubbing the cover with her thumb, almost as if she were trying to call forth a genie to wish all her problems away. There was no genie though, only images of him she would see in the reflective cover.

She tried not to look at it, but had moments where she caught herself staring at it for long periods of time without even realizing it. She had no idea why, only that time had passed as if she had fallen asleep. A pitiful dreamless sleep at that, because when she came to, she would still be staring at the same blank screen that mocked her. Everything seem to be mocking her these days, even his unfinished novel that sat on his desk across from hers mocked her. Even with it’s creator gone it seemed to be more productive than she was. Seemingly growing bigger every time she looked at it.

She wanted nothing more than to throw it out with the rest of his things, but couldn’t bare to touch it. The things on that desk represented his life, a life she had already taken. It didn’t seem right to take anything else away from him. Besides, throwing it out would look suspicious, and his family would be around soon enough to take it all away, so all she had to do was wait. Wait for it all to be taken away. Wait for his memory to fade. Like the ticking of the pocket watch, time would move on and erase all that she had done. All she had to do was wait.

Given enough time, even her writers block would become a distant memory. When the memory of him, and what she had done wasn’t so fresh on her mind, she would be able to write again, she was sure of it.

For now, she would just have to endure and hope that she wasn’t beyond salvation. She would just have to endure the ticking as it marked the passage of time.

Time. The thought of it made her laugh as she noticed the darkness outside the window. This wasn’t unusual for her. Lately she found herself getting lost in thought to the point where time became meaningless. About as meaningless as her sitting in front of her computer all day with nothing to show for it. Still she went through the ritual, hoping that day would be different from the others. Ideas would begin to flow to her like they did him. The only thing that flowed to her though was disappointment.

She opened and closed the pocket watch again without looking at it. She started to rub her thumb over its cover but stopped and began clinching the pocket watch tightly in her hand. So tight that all the color momentarily left it, as she channeled her frustration on to it.

The birds broke her out of this self loathing rage as she looked at the window and saw the early morning light breaking into her room.

Light; but it had been night, she was sure of it. Did she fall asleep in the office again? This had happened before but the pain in her hand from squeezing the pocket watch so tightly would argue against it.

Time it would seem, had gotten away from her again. Another useless all nighter she couldn’t recall and nothing to show for it. Her desk appearing to be the very model of order with absolutely no proof of productivity to it. While his desk, an absolute disasters area practically has another finished manuscript laying on it.

She could almost see him now doing his little victory dance around the table that he did when he finished a new manuscript. It always made her laugh when he did it, and she suspected her laughter was the whole reason he kept doing it.

He loved to make her laugh, and she almost smiled at this memory, but this memory didn’t make her laugh. It only made her cry when she thought of it. She wished she could turn back time but the ticking only went forward.

The ticking was almost becoming deafening now. Filling her head with more memories she would rather forgot. Some happy but mostly memories of what she had done. She looked at the watch and could swear for a brief moment, she saw brief image of him smiling and saying he loved her.
She didn’t want to see that though, it made her hurt. She squeezed the pocket watch again trying to get the ticking to stop, but it didn’t stop. Like the unending heartbeat, it’s gears moved along, pulsating with life. Life that its owner no longer had. Life that the woman holding it had taken. A life she could never forget, and so the ticking continued, on and on and on and on.

His family was early to pick up their son’s things. Luckily the manager of the property was already there with a cleaning crew. Eager to clean the apartment so it would be ready to rent to a new tenant. This seemed a little insensitive to the family but they didn’t say anything. The manager was kind enough to wait for them to show up, rather than just collect their son’s things and send it all to a storage unit.

“It’s too bad what happened to him,” the manager said to the mother as he let them all in. “He was one hell of a writer.”

The mother nodded in agreement and began looking around, slowly making her way to the office that her son and his girlfriend shared. A wave of emotion came over her as she looked at his desk.

“Everything is just as they left it that day. Nothing has been touched.” The manager said to the mother trying to reassure her. “Even her stuff I left alone. Although I haven’t really heard from her family yet. Yes, ma’am, it sure is a shame what happen to those two. The authorities ever figure out what happen?”

“No,” the mother replied slowly looking around her sons desk. “A lot of theories but no one really knows for sure. Thank you so much for waiting for us to arrive. It will be nice to see if there are any keep sakes to remember him by. All I have right now is this broken down pocket watch I got from the police. I guess it fell off of him during the accident.”

“Too bad it doesn’t work. It’s a good looking watch,” the manager said looking at his reflection in the shiny silver cover. “Say, I think I know a guy that could fix that up for you.”

“That’s all right, probably best to just leave it alone. Who knows what kind of memories this thing could hold.”

Jeff Folschinsky’s plays have been seen at various theaters across North America. He is also creator and staff writer for Perilous and The Trials and Tribulations of Vicky Vixen, a serial late night soap opera spoof at the Eclectic Company Theater in North Hollywood, California. Jeff’s plays The Unsinkable Bismarck, A Pill By Any Other Name Is The Wrong Dosage, Rendezvous and Revelations and Kisses From Abroad are published by One Act Play Depot. His full length play Turkey Day that had it’s world premiere at The Eclectic Company Theatre, is published by both Norman Maine Play Publishing and Big Dog Play Publishing. His play he co-wrote with Tyler Tanner The Singing Bone is published by JAC Publishing. Jeff has written and produced the popular podcasts Virgin Falls, Pasiones Obsesionantes, The B-Movie Bastards and Cult Movie Cuisine. Jeff has also written a movie with Tyler Tanner and Stephanie Wiand called Revenge of the Bimbot Zombie Killers which was directed by Joe Camareno and is due to be released later this year.

2 comments on “The Ticking Of My Heart

  1. taybrook
    October 12, 2015

    Love the inanimate “character” – works on so many levels! Objects can hold so much… Great read. Always enjoy your delightfully twisted mind…

  2. jfolschinsky
    October 16, 2015

    Reblogged this on Jeff Folslchinsky.

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This entry was posted on October 11, 2015 by in Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , .
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