Ticks and Tocks…


Jamison looked at the golden pocket watch in his hand, closed the cover, and tucked it back into his vest, patting the spot twice before buttoning his black suit jacket closed.

“Is everything fine, sir?” The porter asked from the station platform.

“Hmm.” Jamison looked up into the bright portly face of a man in his mid-forties who’s glasses did little to hide his face. “Oh, yes. Quite so.” Jamison curled the edge of his mustache up.

“It’s just that, if you begging my pardon for saying so, sir,” the porter looked as if he was trying to choke down an entire side of pork, which invariably he had done in days recent.

“Out with it, man, you haven’t got all day.”

“Well, that’s my point sir. That is the eleventh time, in as many minutes, that you have checked your time piece.” The porter bent low to retrieve a bag back to the cart, causing his face to flush.

“Ticks and tocks, my good fellow.” Jamison responded as he tapped his cane on the wooden platform’s deck twice.

“Sir?” The porter seemed as confused as he was winded when he looked up.

“Just a saying. Just a saying.” Jamison gazed intently at the porter. “I say, dear chap, are you feeling alright?”

“Yes sir, just fine.” Sweat started beading on the porters head as he heaved the last bag onto his cart. “It’s just unseasonably warm today.”

“I do say, I think you are right.” Jamison unbuttoned his jacket, pulling his time piece out again and gazing at it. He snapped it shut and tucked it away again, patting the pocket twice.

The porter pulled himself up to full height, all five foot, eight inches, and wiped his brow with a handkerchief he pried loose from his pant pocket. “Unseasonably warm.” He huffed.

“You might want to sit down and take a moment. You aren’t looking all that well.” Jamison sounded almost concerned for the man.

“Yes sir. But for just a moment.” The portly porter sat with a thud, breathing out loudly through his mouth.

“That’s a good chap.” Jamison pulled the watch out again, the gold catching the sun and glinting into the porter’s eyes as he flipped it open and looked at it. “Almost time. Ticks and tocks.”

“Excuse me sir?” The porter huffed. “What’s that?”

“Ticks and tocks.”

“No sir.” The porter breathed out heavily, almost gasping. “That noise. Is the train coming?”

“Ticks and tocks, my good man. Ticks and tocks.” Jamison took one final look at his watch. “Almost time.” Jamison stood in front of the porter, looking down at him, watching as the porter winced in pain and grabbed his left arm.

“I… don’t… sir?”

Jamison knelt down, placing his hands on the porters knees, listening to him breath slower, watching his face contort with pain.

“Henry, look at me. I’m here.” The porter looked at Jamison, and in a that moment Henry knew peace. “It’s time.”

Henry heard the bell strike loud and thunder in his ears as light washed over him. As his final breath left his mortal body, Jamison watched.

Jamison stood, straightened his jacket, snapped closed the gold pocket watch and tucked it back into his vest pocket, patting the spot twice.

“Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.” Jamison tapped his cane twice on the platform and vanished.


FFwRW #9


The Challenge
FIRST OF ALL: Please remember, this is NOT a race. Take your time. Friday is only a part of the title, not a deadline.
Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.
  1. Include the above sentence somewhere in your work of fiction. (Required.)
  2. Keep your word count at no more than 500 words this week. (Suggested.) Do NOT let your story suffer because of the word count limit. Remember, it is a suggested part of the prompt.

Published by

R. Todd

MFA from the Queens University of Charlotte ('21), BA in English from the University of Central Florida ('17), Group leader for the Florida Writers Association since 2019, member of AWP and ACES.

8 thoughts on “Ticks and Tocks…”

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