Jan 21, 2013

Write-A-Day Challenge

In one of my past posts, Empty  I wrote how I had the desire to write, but didn't know what to write about.  A great website was referred to me, and I am going to try my hardest to write one prompt a day.

Creative Writing Prompts

Day 1:  Close your eyes and think of an object in the room and focus on it.  Without opening your eyes, recall as much detail about it as you can.  After 3 minutes or so, open your eyes and write about that object without looking at it.

In the darkest corner of my living room stands a grandfather clock, tall, proud and majestic.  Its pendulum has stopped swinging since 4:36 this morning, and the slender, golden weights are resting at the bottom of the clock.  It needs to be wound, but I often forget.  Somehow, I'm bothered by the job of pushing the minute hand around and around the clock until I reach the correct time, and so I wait until the time is the same as when the clock stopped.  It usually stays this way for several days until I happen to catch the time just right.

This clock with the moon and ship that slowly, ever so slowly, sail around and around with the passing of time has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  It was in the house where I grew up in, and it was given to me when my parents upgraded to a newer model just a few years ago.  Its simple color and design are nothing compared to others, but to me, it represents a wonderment that I carry with me from childhood.

The door to grandfather clocks has always fascinated me.  It's long and narrow--just tall enough for a child to step through.  I pictured it opening up to another world, and as a child, I frequently saw myself stepping into it and finding myself in another place, although I was never brave enough to step inside.  I suppose I wasn't ready for magic, nor am I to this day.  I like to think that it's still possible, that hidden behind the glass and the frozen pendulum is a gateway, leading to who knows where.  I'm too afraid to find out.  I only hope that one day, one of my children are brave enough to step into the beyond, and tell me of the adventures that I've sadly missed.

I remember listening to scary stories on tape that my father recorded in the 1970's, usually on stormy nights with the house lights off.  Mom would be away, and it was just Dad and us kids.  One story's ghost seems to linger, though my mind feels thick with cobwebs as I try to recall it, and I'm uncertain of anything except that a clock kept chiming and a ghost made its presence known.

One night, when the children were sleeping and I was lying in bed, waiting for my husband to return home from work, I suddenly realized that the clock had been chiming for some time.  I often don't notice it, having grown accustomed to listening to it as a child, but on this night, it suddenly caught my attention.  One...two...three...I counted along with the chimes, waiting for it to stop.  How many times had it rang out before I kept track?  I reached twelve, anxious for it to end, but still it continued, over and over again, as if a doorway to a ghostly realm had just been opened.  Would it ever stop?  Was my house being possessed?  I frantically called my parents, anxious for an answer.  I was instructed to remove the weights.  As I lifted one from off its chain, the clock continued to ring, echoing loudly as the sound reverberated from the cherry wood and glass.  I took the second weight down, fearing that the clock would scream all night long, but then only the ringing from my ears was what was left.  Never before had I felt so scared about a clock.  Ghosts don't exist...but this night tested my belief.

In the corner of my living room sits my grandfather clock, older than me, yet just as magnificent looking as I remember from my childhood.  Whether or not it's a doorway to the beyond doesn't matter; what matters is that I believe in the possibility, and with that possibility is a magic that will forever remain with this clock, stuck for the time being at 4:36 with the moon-face knowingly smiling back at me.

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