Tick, tock -#writephoto

Sue Vincent’s prompt this week for her #writephoto series is:


I’ve told old Hotspur about it before – waiting at the foot of the stairs like that. He wasn’t there a minute ago, he was standing to attention like me in the old cellar, abandoned but dutiful down here…

The sliding of youthful slippers on the worn stone, three circuits of the spiral upwards, was all he needed, of course. Clack, clack and he’s over in the shadows, waiting for the final lap of the unwary guest – or in this case, son of guest: James MacVitie junior, a first-rate horror story himself, know-it-all, like his father, obnoxious teen… We’ve watched him grow up, if that’s the right word. We’ve been the space in which his secret self – even more loathsome than his public one – played, on the occasions when he sneaked away from what passes as ‘parental control’ and tip-toed down the worn stone spiral to reach his goal.

Hotspur’s noisy limp, my missing hour hand, the tiny air-gun holes in the old, discarded masterpieces on the damp walls, all his work…

But it’s one minute to something on Friday the thirteenth and he’s got two circuits to go.

Hotspur’s raised his sword. He won’t kill the little sod but he’ll take a few hairs off his snotty head when he reaches the foot of the stairs and trips over the old cannon ball that my metal friend has left there.

And me?

Well, as he’s falling to the hard and unyielding floor, I’ll chime hickory, dickory, dock over his sprawled body. It’s the one he hated as a child, the one he hates now, the one that only works for him, despite the best attempts of his ‘engineer’ father to coax it out of my rusting mechanisms.

That’s how they know he’s lying, when he staggers back up from the cellar, snivelling…

Tick, tock…


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Priceless, or should I say Timeless. Brilliant Steve. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you so much, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TanGental says:

    Yes I enjoyed this. Revenge is best served with hickory. I’ll bear that in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Geoff. I have a dark side, too, I’ve decided…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like it, Steve. Awfully creative. James no doubt deserved it, and perhaps he straightened up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      I like to think so, Diana. But don’t hold your breath…

      Liked by 1 person

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