Zero Flashes

I decided that I needed to write something…anything. Today’s word prompt for the 6-Word Story was time and thought why not continue it to something longer. I edited it and rewrote parts trying to keep in mind what I have learned so far in my writing class. I focused on a character’s description trying to use as few detailing words as possible. The end goal was for the main character not to live hour by hour but rather moment by moment. This was achieved by force from an outside source. I think I may have failed at this. It feels generic and boring. I haven’t really written anything in length in a while and lost my train of thought more times than I can count. I know it’s the pain in my jaw but it’s less today and I need to get back into the swing of things… especially ones that I love. The prompt was, ‘All the clocks stopped working’.


sundialSam ran her life by the clock. The little timepiece on her wrist, on her phone, in the car, and even in her bathroom added numerical values to her daily life. Sometimes it was stressful and sometimes it felt like time would drag on. Some days she would have everything completed while others she had nothing but time left over with nothing to fill the tick-tocks between numbers.
5am- Run for half hour
5:30am- Shower
6am-Dress, gather and pack purse and lunch
6:45am-Breakfast
7:30am-Arrive at work
Sam’s mornings were always like this, day in and day out. She was a creature of habit and completely ok with her life, all while checking what time it was.

It was late fall when she woke up to her alarm clock flashing zeros. She panicked a little knowing she woke up late and behind schedule but also concluded that the electricity had gone out. Picking her phone up she realized the time face on her device was flashing zeros. Now confusion was added to her panic. She thought her watch would be able to tell her which number in the day she was really at but the little thin gold hands weren’t making their rounds. As she went from room to room all her clocks stopped and that’s when she thought her brother was playing a prank on her. The previous night she told her brother that she would have to check her calendar to see if she had time to meet him for dinner next week. When she was looking through her phone’s calendar app she told him that she could set a reminder for 7pm next Wednesday. Her brother laughed at her, ‘You have to make time to see your family?’ he said laughing at her. Dismissing the memory of the conversation, she turned the TV on to find the time. Nothing.

It was light out already, not yet bright and Sam thought it was past time for her daily run and shower. She shoved a hastily made sandwich and water into her purse and ran out the door. The clock in her car wasn’t any help either. Some people sped past her and some she had to pass. Once she was at her office she noticed it was absolute chaos and confusion. Some of her coworkers were present and some were not. She sat at her computer discovering all her programs and internet were working correctly but the clock. That damn useless clock displaying zeros. Was her time up? Was the world’s time up?
‘SAM!’ she turned to see her little round boss red, sweaty, and out of breath.
‘Yes, Mr. Timbalt?’
‘Do you know what time it is?’
Knowing this couldn’t be a trick question and that she wasn’t in trouble she answered honestly. ‘No,’ she said in a lost voice.
Mr. Timbalt’s face dropped and he took off in what would be considered fast for him but regular pace for Sam. A newspaper runs on deadlines but there was a story. They are ALL living it right now.

The news channel in the office sputtered to life with both anchors looking disheveled and unprepared. They couldn’t give answers as to why no one could tell time but it happened all over the world and all at once. They explained experts were going to come and help tell what time it is by the sun during the days measuring light to add back a semblance of order to the chaos. These experts were actually hunters, farmers, fishermen, and astronomers to name a few. Sam thought it was unusual to refer to this method as a lost art but in reality, the confusion the entire world was going through proved that it was.

A year later, life was still productive and scheduled but it was relaxed and prioritized with the essentials. The world wasn’t thrown back into the Stone Age and technology still advanced. Time was a gift now appreciated and not live by. Sam still works at the newspaper and still makes deadlines but isn’t a slave to her watch. All around the world, the clocks that remained in place stand like statues with their hands resting at 12 and one seconds over. Some speculated that the time loss was due to a magnetic phenomenon while other’s suggested that it was an act of God. Sam thought it was an answer to bring life back to what’s important no matter what caused the zeros.

Photo: Sundial

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