Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Pocket Watch Strange Short Stories - free short stories

It was 6:00 AM; time for Amy Lefeaux to finally get off work. She was a security officer for a large lab hidden off the beaten path near her hometown of Feldspar. Her relief came a few minutes early so that the infomiation of what had happened the night before could properly be passed on. Working the night shift had its advantages. For example, Amy could be home when her son got off the bus from school. This allowed her to spend valuable time with him and still make an honest living. Her son was seven years old and was in the second grade. Unfortunately, Amy’s husband, who was also a security officer, had been killed while on duty about three years ago. It had been a somewhat difficult struggle for her to overcome the odds. Nevertheless, she was fmally getting over his death and was not planning on getting remarried anytime soon. Amy liked her job and preformed it well for her company. The nighttime shifts her sergeant had put her on gave her lots of free quiet time. Often, Amy would wander through the complex in between her rounds looking at all of the strange experiments that were continually being conducted in the labs. However, Amy was a simple woman, and did not understand most of the rather complex chemical processes. After chatting with her fellow relief officer for a little while, Amy quietly headed out the door and went to her old and beat-up, but reliable car. She drove home in a sleepy daze and crawled into bed until her boy came home after school. She spent the afternoon helping her son with his homework and doing various chores around the house. Fortunately, Amy’s mother lived with her and was able to watch her grandson during the night while she worked. Ten o’clock came rapidly and Amy was back to work again. Little did she know that this night would change her life forever. It started out to be a fairly routine night with not much going on. Then, while on rounds in the parking area, a silver gleam caught her eye from the far corner of the lot. Curiosity grabbed on to Amy and sent her over to investigate. It turned out to be a beautiful sterling silver pocket watch with inlaid scrolling designs covering it. It appeared to have been modified from its original design though, because there were two ugly plastic buttons sticking out of some freshly cut holes in the side. One of the buttons was red and the other one was black. Amy wondered why someone would ruin such a pretty watch with the gooir-looking plastic buttons. She pressed the red button and the watch second hand stopped. Then she pressed the black button and it started back up again. “Well, I guess someone wanted a fancy stopwatch or something,” Amy said quietly, “I will never understand these lab workers with their crazy ideas.” Amy slipped the fancy watch into her pocket not giving it much thought until later in the night. On her 3:30 AM round, Amy remembered about the watch. She pulled it out and began to examine it more closely now that she was inside a well-lit lab. She flipped the top open and noticed that someone had put a small red sticker on the inside cover that read, “Emergency Use Only.” Amy wondered what the strange sticker meant as she slowly strolled through the lab. A bubbling sound grew louder as she approached a rack of glassware with colorful chemicals whizzing around inside. She pressed the red button again but this time more than the second hand stopped. The bubbling noise had stopped also. Amy looked up from the watch to see the chemicals frozen in time. A drop of a red chemical was floating in mid air above the pool that had collected in the bottom of the flask. Other tubes of chemicals had air bubbles seemingly frozen into the liquid itself Amy’s jaw dropped open at the amazing site. She quickly pressed the black button on the watch. Instantly the drop hit the pool below while another one slowly formed from the end of the pipe above it. In addition, the bubbles began flowing from bottom to top in the tube again. “What the heck?” Amy pressed the red button once again and time seemingly stood still. Then, she looked at the clock on the lab wall. It too was affected by the strange watch. The second hand was seemingly paralyzed and unable to move. Again, she pressed the black button thus releasing time to flow normally. Fortunately, the bizarre watch seemed to have no effect at all on Amy herself, but had a definite effect on the world around her. She continued on her rounds, searching each lab for something to test the strange watch on. One lab had several monkeys in cages along the walls. Amy pressed the red button and sure enough, the monkeys were frozen in time. She walked up to one of the caged animals and put her face right next to its face. Next, she pressed the black button on her new toy and started up time. The monkey almost had a heart attack. It jumped up screaming at the top of its lungs and hit its head on the top of the cage. To the monkey, Amy disappeared from across the room and instantly reappeared right in its face. Amy finished her rounds and slipped the watch back into her pocket. She finally realized that if she had continued playing with it, she would have never gotten off of work! She sat down at her post and began to think of all the possibilities that were now available to her with the device. Then she remembered about the warning on the label. It was right. She could not simply play around with this thing. It was far too valuable for that. She tried to reason to herself of what the consequences of using the watch could be. Then the answer hit her; she would age more rapidly than everyone else would. Every time she stopped time itself, everyone around her would stop aging. She, however, would continue to age. Depending on how much she used the watch, she would turn gray much faster than all of those around her. The thought of this saddened Amy, but the fact that she would be able to do practically whatever she wanted to with it outweighed that drawback. Now Amy could sleep in as late as she wanted to with her new ‘snooze’ button. She played with the new watch for weeks, tiying it when nobody was around. Finally, after much thought, she decided she would only use the power when it was for good purposes. After all, it was her time on this earth that she was using. She knew she could never use it in front of anyone because of the monkey’s reaction. A human would definitely question any disappearing tricks by her more than the monkey did. Amy then put the watch in her purse and almost forgot about it. Several months later, Amy was at the local bank cashing her meager check when several men armed with shotguns entered. Fortunately, Amy had her purse open and was standing near the counter signing her check when they arrived. One of the evil men quickly drew a bead on the security guard in the bank. The guard was reaching for his trusty .38 special by his side when Amy quickly stopped time with the watch. She stormed over to the man with the shotgun with an angry look on her ffice. Thoughts of her husband came flooding back to her mind. Unfortunately, it was almost the exact same situation that took him from her. She began to cry, missing her husband dearly as she was deciding what to do next. She regained her composure and vowed not to let this robbery take place. Amy grabbed the bank robber’s shotguns and emptied all of the shells out of all of them. She put the empty guns back into their hands and walked over to the security guard on duty. He was a young man, probably about twenty-five. Amy noticed his wedding band on his left hand. She was glad that she could make a difference in the outcome of the situation. His wife at home would never know that Amy had ultimately saved his life today. Amy walked back over to the counter and set the watch back into her purse with the black button facing out. She tried to get in the exact same position that she was in before she had stopped the world around her. Then she pressed the black button and released time. Almost instantly the shotgun let out a loud ‘click’ as the firing pin fell on an empty chamber. The man quickly raked the slide again attempting to chamber another shell before the security officer shot him. Click! Again, the shotgun said it was empty. Mother one of the armed men saw Amy’s uniforni and clicked his shotgun at her. He too could not believe that he had forgotten to load it and raked the slide again in disbelief Again, the shotgun would only click in response to his request to fire. By this time, the security officer on duty had instinctively pointed his revolver at the center of the chest of one of the robbers. Boom! The man slumped to the floor after the slug tore deeply into his chest. Boom! Boom! The other two robbers dropped just like the first did. After all the chaos of the situation had died down, the bank security officer stood there shaking with his revolver still in hand. He could not believe his incredibly good luck. He was baffled by the fact that all three men had forgotten to load their weapons before committing their crime. A later investigation by the local police revealed that the men, for some unknown reason, had thrown all of heir shells in a trashean just outside of the bank. The security officer that Amy had saved was made a hero in the small town having thwarted such a robbery single handedly. Amy kept her secret to herself She knew that if anyone ever found out she had such a device it would probably be gone forever. Unfortunately, Amy’s purse was stolen out of her car about a month later and the awesome watch went with it. Amy only hoped that the new owner would use the watch wisely, but somehow she knew it probably would not happen that way.


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