Thousands of unclaimed clocks tick out of sync in Albert’s repair shop, chiming, clanging, tocking. Deaf and hunched, Albert registers only stillness perfumed with stale tobacco and dried codfish until whoosh—lights pop, blackness rains from above. “Noch nicht.” Albert gropes for the store’s shuddered door front, his heart cuckooing inside his chest, until his gnarled hand suddenly smacks the dead bolt. He licks his bleeding knuckles, tries the lock, but it’s jammed. “Bitte,” he prays as he rattles the door only to be spat out into another darkness. Albert cowers as a wispy shadow skates toward him tapping its wristwatch.
By Pamela Kenney Basey