The House of Many Clocks


“What time did the ghost appear?” The spectrologist adjusted his laptop.

“Midnight.”  Dana, the large woman sitting beside him on the couch, edged closer, looking over her shoulder.

“But…” The smaller woman, Beth, fidgeted in her chair. “That means it wasn’t… wasn’t midnight. If it’s twelve o’clock in here, it’s already twelve oh five in the bedroom and nearly …”

“But midnight exactly in this room.” Again, Dana edged closer.

The sisters contradicted each other this way throughout the interview. What time did they eat dinner?  (Five, five oh five, quarter past five.) Go to bed? (Nine, nine oh five, nine fifteen). There were clocks scattered around the house, none of them right, all set a few minutes apart. The spectrologist had noticed it on the initial walkthrough and resisted the temptation to correct every one of them.  Now, his body tilted towards the sinkhole Dana’s rump created in the cushions. “Let’s say it arrived around midnight and leave it at that. And,” here was the heart of the matter, the important thing, “What did it look like?”

“Like anybody. It was solid as you are sitting there. Liked to have scared poor Beth to death!”

“I… I turned on the light, and it didn’t go away, and I screamed so loud.”

“Not transparent?”

“No,” said Dana. “It looked a little … a little like this.” She began to laugh.

“I don’t see …” The spectrologist half rose, then dropped his notebook and pencil. He screamed, but only a short burst, as Dana’s head flipped back, revealing the stump of a neck oozing with gore. He tumbled into the opening sofa gulf, his eyes wide and sightless long before he vanished into the ether.

Dana giggled some more as she readjusted her skull.

Beth looked away. “I… I don’t like this game.”

“But you’ll play.” Dana told her. “Because I told you to.”

The grandfather clock boomed twelve noon, and throughout the rest of the house, the other clocks ticked on.


Things appear to be just about normal over at Trifecta this week, and I’m entering a story. Watch this space tomorrow for the story I nearly entered, but wound up taking in a different direction.


About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


The House of Many Clocks — 19 Comments

  1. That Dana is one cantankerous ghost! I love this story, and I can’t wait to see what you didn’t write today (or at least did not share yet).

    I have a cousin who works with antiques, in one room of his house he had wall to wall (three of them, one was an arched entryway into another room) cuckoo clocks, they were all set on time (within 45 seconds) and at the bottom or top of any hour it sounded like a madhouse!
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  2. The sinkhole created by the rump is priceless! Can’t wait to read the tomorrow edition.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Haw! Love the surprise ending.
    I really enjoyed the varying clocks – Lovely detail.
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  4. Yikes.. I think Dana ought to sue her chiropractor. That’s a heck of an adjustment to take your head that far back. Great story. I can relate insofar as the clocks here seem to be off by a couple of minutes from the kitchen to the bedroom. A common occurrence, I imagine. But what you imagine is quite something else. Spooky and funny at the same time.
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  5. We’re so glad you were able to re-link, JQ! This spooky story was definitely worth it. The fact that he was sucked into the sofa is very fitting given how often one loses stuff in them.

    Thank you for linking up!

  6. The sinkhole in the sofa cushion was great. The humor in that part didn’t prepare me for Dana’s neck trick. That would be terrifying to see!
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  7. the sinkhole Dana’s rump created in the cushions
    That line was so funny, and then when the spectrologist sank… too much, Jessie! I’m already trying to forget the image of Dana’s gory portal.
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