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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2261075
Better never than late.
The Master of Time

Jarrett stopped on the sidewalk. He walked past this clock shop, The Master of Time, every day exactly at 2:55, on his way to the gym. If he was passing there at 2:55, he knew he'd be at the gym at 3:10 and the class would have cleared out of the yoga room, so he could do his stretching exercises alone. Then, after 20 minutes, he could head into the weight room, where everyone who stopped in there for some perfunctory lifting after yoga would have departed with their gym companions for The Ground Up, the coffee shop next door. The scheduling worked out perfectly for him, every day.
          But today, Jarrett stopped and looked into the front window of the clock shop, at the antique Waltham railroad watch nestled into a small silver box. He knew immediately it was a railroad watch because the numerals on the face were Arabic, not Roman, and they were oversized, so a railroad conductor could see them in dim light. He knew the Waltham would have a full 24 jewels, to ensure accurate time. It was the pocket watch of his dreams.
          He hesitated. If he was late to the gym, the 3:30 aerobics class would have started filling the yoga room, and he'd have nowhere to stretch. If he waited to stretch, he'd be late getting into the weight room, and the early after-work crowd would be in there, blocking his access to the machines. He looked down the street toward the gym, then back at the watch. If he had it, he'd never be late. For anything. He walked into the shop and said to the proprietor, "The Waltham in the window."
          "Ah, yes," said the proprietor. "Let me help you. Let me help you be The Master of Time."

(Word count: 299)

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