Author : Dakota Brown

The familiarity of it comforted her, but her mind was busy with preparation.
The lights had gone out in a moment, the fluorescent image of the room around her burned into her eyes. The radio had ceased the peppy tunes of bands long disbanded and commercials for products long forgotten. What remained was the towering clock perched against the wall near her bed… ticking… tocking.
Clockwork. In a way it was all like clockwork. She checked to see that the front door of her twelve by twelve room was locked, despite the fact that she had abandoned the idea of leaving it unlocked long ago. The process involved testing a series of bolt locks and iron bars covering the lone entrance/ exit, and though the security measures were constantly in place, she found that the check settled her mind. Next, the candles were lit. Fifteen candles scattered around the room somewhat resembled electricity, but with two now burned out and another thirteen near the end of their wicks, the room was far from its typical acceptable state. She would have to leave for some more candles when the lights came up. But for now, she fell to her bed gripping her father’s knife tightly and waited.
Tick, tock.
Tick, tock.
At first it was tolerable because she could see the other apartments being illuminated as well through her now boarded up window. But one by one the candlelit rooms remained pitch black and neighbors she had once known had been whisked away.
Despite it all, the silence forced her mouth into a smile. It gave her purpose, it gave her fight. The dragging sounds and dull, wet thuds echoing in the hallway made her giggle and when a hollow voice would call “Please come with us” she had to bite her lip to keep herself from mocking the creature on the other side of her door.
She would wake in the morning to a prerecorded radio show she had heard many times before and wipe the drool of a pleasant night’s sleep from her jaw. She would turn the radio down and listen to the gentle pendulum of the clock while considering her next night.
Tick, tock.
It has been fun.
Tick, tock.
But there’s no one else left.
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
I guess that makes me the winner of this little game.
Tick, tock.
Maybe tonight I’ll let them give me my prize.
Tick, tock.
Tick, tock.

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