The clock chimed the hour with a loud, bombastic boom before the hands stopped and the pendulum ground to a halt. Silence descended on the room. Everyone turned to look at the old clock that dominated the tiny, cluttered room before flickering to the gnarled figure wrapped in a plaid, scratchy wool blanket. A bony leg encased in shabby trousers pushed out from the cover followed by the rest of the old man’s body. The rubber from his slippers slapped against the wooden floorboards as he trudged to the clock.
The collective intake of breath suspended in the frigid air as they waited for this irascible pensioner to explode.
Fingers gnarled from arthritis opened the front of the clock and fiddled, but to no avail. A rare, beatific smile lit up the wizened face as he turned to face them.
“I thought the bleeding thing would never shut up!”
by Maria Gibbs