[Short Story] Fracture Point

[Writing Prompt] You found a watch that doesn’t tell time, instead it has a count-down timer. Tomorrow it reaches 0.

Day One: Hour Twelve: Cycle 1

Cracked glass, good condition of metal, I can take this apart and sell the individual parts to the local watchmaker. Hour hand is at 12, must be broken. No minute hand, interesting. I look along the edges, no screws. I’ll need a wedge then. If I’m lucky, I can get the golden cogs within it. This could cover rent for the next three months. Gives me time to figure out a way out of this hell hole. This is good. This is really good.

Day Two: Hour Eleven: Cycle 1

I don’t know what that handwatch is made of but my tool broke when I tried to take it apart. Of course it’s unbreakable. Of course I can’t take it apart. Of FUCKING course I won’t have an easy meal ticket. This goddamn world isn’t that nice. Ruddy thing is useless to me now! Wait, the hour hand is at eleven. Okay? So it works but it’s worthless as a watch. Breathe Tyler. I could take it to Old Man Ty anyway. Gotta be worth SOMETHING. The back of the watch says S.H.E.L.Y. Never heard of the company before.

Day Three: Hour Ten: Cycle 1

The old man told me its value only existed in my hands. Useless in anyone else’s. He had a shit eating grin when he said I should hold onto it. I threw it in the trash as I walked out. Ty, you’re my best friend but once of these days I’m going to poison your corn flakes.

Day Four: Hour Nine: Cycle 1

I woke up with the watch in my hands. Hour hand at nine. I breathe in. Ty, I swear to god if you’re pranking me with this shit, I’m going to really poison your food, man. Walking out onto the balcony, I chuck the watch into open dumpster lid in the other apartment complex.

Day Five: Hour Eight: Cycle 1

Watch is back. This time it’s back with a note. I wouldn’t do that again Tyler. You have to do important things with this watch. Copper fills my mouth as I bite into my gums. I rub my head as it begins to throb. I’m going to punch whoever wrote this note in the throat. It’s probably Ty, more than likely Ty. Ty you shithead, what are you doing? I know you like talking to me, but I have work to do. Okay, maybe not “work” but it still helps pay the bills…

Day Ten: Hour Three: Cycle 1

The watch glows now. Pretty light show. Hour hand is three. Hmmm. That… Should it be doing that? Hmmm. The moment I touch it, the light transfers to my left hand.

“Host accepted. Immunity granted. Wait until Hour One to use the device.” A robotic voice comes out of the watch. The light continues to spread, growing like cancer until it engulfs my entire body. What the hell is going on? “Scans indicate an excessive amount of adrenaline, lowering amount to calm the Host.” Like a light-switch, I feel calmer. What the hell is this watch?

“What the fuck is going on?” The light intensifies.

“Scans indicate the mind has broken serotonin receptors. Restoring brain functionality to 100%. Scans indicate a severe allergy to peanuts. Removing deficiency.” The color of the world changes slightly. Like, my dreams aren’t as hopeless as I thought. It feels weird. Me, hopeful? In this shithole? Next thing I know, I’ll be hugging Ty and telling him I love him. Hah.

“Diagnostic sweep complete. New class unlocked: Scavenger. Natural aptitude in finding fissures. Natural aptitude towards fixing broken paths. Deficient aptitude in self-control. Deficient aptitude in safe butterfly insertion. Powering down.” The blue lights on my body and the watch die. A talking watch? Glowing body? This… This is new.. Would Ty believe me if I told him? Probably not. But the thing he likes more than telling stories is hearing one. Kinda hoping he believes me though.

Day Eleven: Hour Two: Cycle 1

I talked to Old Man Ty. He started laughing.  He takes out a gun.

“Finally accepted you, did it? Take good care of Shelly, will you?” He points it towards his head.

“Ty no! Don’t do it!” I scream out at him. Please don’t do this. You were the only one who looked out for me all these years. Don’t take that from me…. Please…

“Save me.” He pulls the trigger, that impossible smile not leaving his lips. Save him? What? The watch begins glowing bright again. Why now of all times?

“Medic’s connection has broken. World Path has broken. First assignment: Fix the Path. Assignment will be explained in two days.”

Day Twelve: Hour One: Cycle 1

I could barely get out of bed. The police questioned me for hours before releasing me. They said I couldn’t leave town. Hah… where would I even go?

Day Thirteen: Device Unlocked: Cycle 1

The watch opened. “Uploading the World Paths. Uploading the Maps of Time. Uploading potential Fissure Points in time.” Within my mind I could suddenly see what I had to do. Ty wanted me to save him. His death broke a World Path… Just how important was he? But, Time-Travel is impossible! It has to be!

“Returning to two days prior, do you accept?” The watch spoke. I gulp. Ty always knew me. He chided me when I worked for him. What are you going to do when I’m gone and not around to tell you what to do? He’d laugh. Now he was gone, and I knew exactly what I was going to do.


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