Prompt 34: Begin a story with the line, “The clock winked.”


The clock winked. I blinked and looked again, and sure enough it was smiling a big toothy grin at me. “You’re never getting out of here,” it seemed to scream at me. I rubbed my gritty eyes and looked again at the smiling clock. It had grown legs and was climbing down the wall. I stared in amazement for a second but then realized that no one else was noticing that the clock had come to life.

I looked around the room. It looked the same as ever, Mrs. Margle was in the front talking about where Africa was, like anyone cared. Every one of the students were doing something other than listening, except of course Maisy Ann. She sat in the front eagerly staring at the teacher, as if that would give her a better grade. Maybe it did, I shrugged.

I jumped out of my seat when I felt someone tap my shoulder. It was the clock! “Do you think you can help me?” he whispered.

“Me?” I jabbed my finger into my chest.

“Yes, you,” the old clock said in his deep tired voice.

“I can’t. Mrs. Margle…” But the teacher wasn’t talking anymore. In fact, no one was moving anymore. Everything was standing perfectly still, as if someone had pushed pause on a movie. “What’s going on?”

“I am time. I just paused everyone else so you could help me.” My mouth dropped open. Not every third grader could say that they talked to clocks. “It has to be better than geography,” the clock said. It was a smart thing to say. Anything was better than geography.

“What do you need help with?” I knelt down so I could hear him better.

“I’ve lost my second hand.”

“Your what?”

“My second hand. Look, it’s gone.”

I peered inside the clock, but I didn’t notice anything missing. “There are still two hands,” I told him.

“The small red one is missing. My second hand.”

“Oh.” My mouth formed a perfect O. “How can I help? Do you know where it is?”

The clock shook his head. “The janitor took it out the other day.”

“The janitor?” I looked around the room that was no longer alive. “Come on, I think I know where to look.” Even though it seemed crazy, I scooped up the broken, winking clock, and headed for the hallway.


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