Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2295911-Tick-Tock
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Dark · #2295911
It's about a woman being haunted or is it just her losing touch with reality.
A woman stands in front of the large kitchen table eyeing a box marked return to sender.
An ominous ticking can be heard throughout the kitchen, the source seemingly coming from everywhere.
concerned and frightened, she bites her bottom lip hard enough to draw blood. The ticking grows heavier and more foreboding. Placing hands over her ears, squeezing bloodshot eyes and what begins as a low mumbled chant crescendos to a screeching wail.
"Just fucking stop!"

The silence is deafening as the ticking ends abruptly the only sound a tremulous heartbeat.
Relief and fear fight for control on a haggard face looking down she picks up the box gently shaking it.
An old cuckoo clock shifts gently in packing peanuts innocuous, silent,
placing it back down she looks over her shoulder through the back door to the burn pile slowly smoldering in the lawn.

The cell phone jingles, disturbing what little silence remained.
Overwhelmed, hand hovering over the cell phone, indecisiveness controls the moment, as the ringing stops only momentarily.

Lips in a thin line she answers the unknown number.
"Why...why did you return it? "
Her voice is amazingly stern filled with a false assurance of bravado.
The sudden silence fills the air, broken only by the phone's speaker blaring the ticking of a clock growing; louder and louder filling the kitchen till the cabinets rattle and her back teeth ache.

Throwing the phone across the room, she rushes to the counter stuffing napkins in her ears, only muffling the agonizing sound.
Frantically looking back at the table, grabbing the box and rushing outside across the yard throwing the box onto the already heaping burn pile.

The box lists precariously on old burnt and charred mound of former clocks encased in their individual cardboard vessels.
Digging into her pocket for a worn lighter, whispering to herself, "Why don't you fucking light, you fucking worthless gas station piece of junk!"
Growing into a singular piercing scream as she flics.
Grabbing the lighter fluid, begging for enough juice to ignite the box. Frantically squeezing the plastic container wringing out the last drops for the cardboard to soak up.
"Why don't you fucking burn you bastard, burn!'

The box finally catching as the ticking grows louder filling the air with its timorous beat then begins to fade as the fire consumes the clock.
Transfixed, drool rolling slowly down the left side of her mouth wiping it absently as she begins to giggle, taking the napkins out of her ears.
Breathing in deeply the smoke and spring air whispering "Finally." giggling loud enough to startle the birds shouting" Finally!"

Wiping grubby hands on tattered and torn jeans walking back to the house shoulders finally relaxed and the relief building with every step.
Smiling, as she opens the door into the kitchen.
Realizing freedom has finally been bought mumbles "I've done it, its over " and giggles.
The smile slowly drains from her face, jaw dropping in horror." No,no,no,no "she screams" not possible I've won this time."
The kitchen table no longer sits bare another box with return to sender sits unharmed with the cuckoo clock atop it is catching the sun rays of off its dark wood frame. Intact and ticking, growing steadily louder, her screams fill the silence.
© Copyright 2023 EchiekonTamu Wenrich -Clegg (artiste50 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2295911-Tick-Tock