and time marched on

the clock struck midnight

she stood up, an unrelenting spring in her step

balanced herself on the unbroken arm of her chair

walked out of the room, froze at the entrance

but didn’t look back.

the clock struck one.

street lights flickered

dim light drifted lazily over the street

the door handle was cold as she pulled it closed

so she drew her hand back.

the clock struck two.

silence muffled the town, her footsteps cut through it



the air grew colder.

the clock struck three.

stars twinkled in and out through murky blue

as fog swam around her ankles

she knelt by the stream, water flowing against the frozen ground

the street lights continued to flicker.

the clock struck four.

the clouds parted from the moon

she stared at the sky

and as nothing in the world seemed to move

she left the river.

the clock struck five.

warmth trickled down from above

fog turned to mist

mist turned to dew

she continued down her path.

the clock struck six.

and the town began to wake

the breath held in under the moon released in tandem with the rising of the sun

she breathed in

and didn’t bother to exhale.

the clock struck seven.

the padlocked gates guarding the glen didn’t stop her

as she moved through the barrier

wincing as the iron burned

content that no one saw.

she leant against the oak tree and slept.

the clock struck eight.




the clock struck noon.

sun centered in the sky,

tittering winds

giggling creeks

she slept on.

the clock struck one again.

then two.




the clock struck six.


howling winds

roaring creeks

she shifted on the verge of consciousness.

the clock struck eight.

and she jolted awake

flushed cheeks gone ashy, sparkling eyes dulled

hair brittle, skin stretched taut and cracked over broken bone

too feeble to fight off the entangling branches.

the clock struck nine.

pulling herself from the ground

roots ripping

falling behind the scurrying creatures

as she crawled towards the padlocked gate.

the clock struck ten.

harsh moonlight falling on her

she stumbled through the streets towards the only light

leaving wilted flowers in her footsteps

not once turning back.

the clock struck eleven.

her withered hands fumbled with the warm door handle

not caring that she cracked the arm of her chair, only caring that she was there

she finally breathed out in conjunction with the town

and sat in her broken chair.

the clock struck midnight.