“The Clock” by Alexandra Weinstein

Written by plumtree

Topics: 2021-22 School Year, Complete Archive (2012-2020)

My days are numbered, I know it. There is never silence, always a little tick, tick, tick in my brain. We live in a utopia now so I should not be worrying about death, at least that is what Mayor Shunda had told me. We now live in a world without death of any kind and the perfect well… everything. I want to run away from Harpston. There must be something else out there, a place where people do not grow to be in their 500s and a place where every day is not a loop of the day before it. Every day starts the same, ends the same and stays the same. I hate it.

I started my morning like every other, waking up to birds chirping lullabies. This time it was “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Then I got up and stretched, telling myself “today will be different,” even though it always stays the same. I then went to the dining room and ate the breakfast that magically appeared on our table. My dad, mom, and little brother were there too. During breakfast they say the same 3 things. They talk about how nice the weather is, telling me not to go to the edge of the beach, and that today will be great. I had not told them about the clock in my brain yet. It has happened ever since I turned 13. Normally it is quiet but still very noticeable. About the beach, it is one of the 2 laws to never go to the edge of the beach. They claim that is where all the human eating fish are but I have ridden my bike past there many times and never saw a single animal. I then got up and changed into my uniform. Everyone is given a uniform that they must wear every day. That is the second law. Always wear your uniform, there is no fighting it. Girls wear white or blue shirts, gray skirts that cannot go above your knee, hair either in a ponytail, pigtails, braids or down, Mary Jane shoes, and socks that go to the knee or higher. For the boys, they have to wear the same thing except their hair always has to be down and they wear gray pants instead of a skirt, they also have to wear dress shoes instead of Mary Jane’s. I then continued my day by grabbing my bag and rode my bike to my best friend, Henry’s house. My bag had plenty of different materials in it that I used for investigating. Ever since I started to hear the ticking, I knew that the government was hiding something from us. As I passed the little prairie, the ticking got louder and louder. Every time I pass it my body begins to shake and the ticking gets as loud as a scream. As I got further from the prairie the ticking got quieter and then I had made it to Henry’s little yellow house. I opened the door and Henry was waiting for me on his fuzzy white sofa. Henry is the only person who understands how I feel. We spend all day looking for clues. He has a box under his bed, hidden from his parents, that is filled with things we found underground or materials. It has coins from the 2000s, a telephone, stuffed animals and a remote. Each item has a purpose.

“Wanna get a snack?” Henry asked. His green eyes shimmered as the sun made a streak of light through the window.

“Sure,” I said as I put my denim tote bag down at the door. He pulled out a big box of crackers and we had the same conversation as always

“How was your day?”

“Fine, thank you. And you?”

Tick tick tick tick


Tick tick tick tick tick

“What do you think we will find today?”

“I don’t know, hopefully something new,”

Tick tick tick

“These crackers are good,”


Tick tick tick tick

We then put away the rest of the food and went outside to go and find some hidden treasure. We pulled out our metal detector and started scanning the ground. Then, something different happened. I remembered this morning, and the many before that, when I said “today will be different.”

The only way I can make it different is if I do it myself, I cannot keep waiting for it to happen itself. It has been 13 years, and there has been nothing different. I need to take action! I then turned off my metal detector and told Henry, “let’s go to the prairie,” I stopped to think, “Better yet… The beach!”

Henry looked skeptical but I told him that if we get punished then I will take all the blame. We started toward the beach, through the prairie and onto the beach. The ticking was as loud as a concert. And I thought the prairie was bad. I covered my ears and turned on the metal detector. Right when I turned it on, it went ballistic and Henry and I started digging through the rough sand. Almost immediately a big piece of reflective metal appeared and we kept digging and digging until it was clear what was hidden under the sand. It was a nuclear bomb. It was too big and heavy to lift out of the pit it was hidden in but then it all clicked. I told Henry to watch the bomb while I go and get something. I grabbed the box from under Henry’s bed and ran back to the beach. I put the box down on the sand and started looking around to find the materials I was looking for. It all made sense. All of it! As I put all the pieces together Henry gave me a look he never gave me before. Confusion.

“Henry, don’t you see! These items were not buried for no reason. They were hidden. Mayor Shunda has not turned this world into a utopia. She has been planning to blow up the entire world. She gained everyone’s trust and made this place seem great and pure but they just want us all to suffer. You know I have told her many times about my ticking and that I knew I would die but she just said I was insane and that I am good. Oh, my she said I was ‘the bomb’ maybe she said that as a joke. The ticking was not a clock. It is the bomb,” I said as everything came together.

“This is why we are not allowed here! They were scared someone would find the bomb,”

“But they cannot kill us. We all are immune, right,” Henry said as he sat down next to me.

“We are, maybe so we suffer forever! This will be our first-time feeling pain,” I grabbed the remote and placed a thing of batteries in the open area. Then I noticed a missing button and the old coin fit perfectly in the slot. It glowed red and lastly the stuffed animal. What would the stuffed animal do. I then realized that we found it with the metal detector so I tore it open and inside was a cover for the batteries. I connected it and I realized. I had all the control over the bomb.

“Hey! Get outta here! It is against the law!” yelled Mayor Shunda

“We already saw everything, mayor!” I said as Henry held me back, afraid I would strike.

“You are under arrest for breaking law number 1, never go to the edge of the beach,” screeched Mayor Shunda. She signaled for her bodyguards who shoved Henry and held him down. He started screaming, a sound I have never heard before. Henry was being beat up and another guard was heading my way. I knew the only way I could escape him is if I started the bomb. I pressed the glowing coin and I heard a little sizzle and BOOM! Within seconds everything I knew and loved was… nothing. We were floating in a pit of black. I was in so much pain, I guess this is what pain feels like. I was not dead but definitely not alive. I was not asleep nor awake. I could think, but not move. I could not open my eyes but I saw the people around me. My ticking was gone, it was replaced with a high-pitched sound that I cannot explain. Then everything was light. I could not think, see, move, or anything. Now I am just… gone.  I am just dust, and Harpston is now a pit of nothing.



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