For Ronovan’s Friday Fiction prompt.
Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.
She tore the newspaper page across, crumpled it angrily and threw it in the grate.
Smart arse editorialist.
It was her own fault; she should know by now not to read the obits. As if people needed reminding about the fleeting nature of human existence. Her eyes flicked automatically to the clock on the mantelpiece, an heirloom inherited from parents-in-law, a cheap, mass-produced monstrosity, a wedding present, no doubt, from the sepia days before the first world war. She hated that clock, the infernal, lugubrious tick tock and the chime every quarter. Every quarter! How had they stood it all these years?
She dumped the newspaper and its tidings of doom and gloom and took her coffee into the garden. Maybe she was just tired. She grimaced. Coffee was hitting the stomach rather hard this morning. She poured it over the roses and sat on the bench, watching the clouds race and a robin taking a bath in a rain puddle.
Nothing changed except the pattern of the clouds. He was still gone. Still left, leaving her with the house, the bills and the burden of… everything.
She closed her eyes but the earth carried on turning. Her stomach carried on turning. Tears squeezed out from behind closed lids. It took so little to knock the whole world out of kilter. Everything was wrong. Each second that flicked past was wrong. There were not enough of them left to waste them like this on pain and morbid thoughts, bills and emptiness. She winced. The spasm passed. But it would be back, like clockwork.
Tick tock said the clock. Cloud thickened and covered the morning sun. Coffee dripped from the roses, and the robin finished his bath.