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9:46 pm

~Demon Maxwell~

The Clever Girl
The numbers on my clock kept stopping. I never knew why they did it. I thought, maybe… the clock was broken, or my laptop had frozen, or my phone was just jittering because I’d dropped it recently. But no; the time kept freezing.

See, this story is different because this is usually the part in which someone tells you “it stops at the exact same time every single time, I’ll bet it means something!” - I’m not going to say that. I had random times before my time eventually stopped on its now-current numbers. They changed almost as often as regular minutes, just not consecutively.

3:45PM

11:20AM

2:04AM



But then, they stuck still on the same goddamn time - and I haven’t drawn a single connection as to why. I still have no reasons, still don’t understand what is happening and why only I can witness it.

9:46PM.


I wasn’t sure why it kept happening - the first time it began to worry me was when I was out walking - this was the beginning of a downward spiral for me. See, my mother was keen to let me walk around and the streets were quiet by early night so I preferred to go then, but she always wanted me in by ten. Ten was when the rowdy kids came out, when the drunks walked by and the drug-users emerged from wherever the hell they stayed and everything seemed to transform into a little piece of hell. It was just the way those people were - they were good at breaking things, but no good at fixing them. In the late hours, my street was lost to a bunch of hoodlums and trouble-makers. I was always surprised my house was never robbed or even afflicted by anything.

As I walked, I checked my phone - 9:46PM. I had a few more minutes, I thought it’d be fine to go around the block a couple more times to get my blood running. I often had trouble sleeping, so getting as tired as physically possible in the time I had was often a goal of mine, even if it ended up being fruitless. Insomnia wasn’t easily curbed.

So I walked. And I continued walking for minutes on end. I picked my phone out of my pocket again- it had to have been close by now. But my eyes scanned over the same numbers.

9:46PM.

My first reaction was to dart back to the house, before I missed curfew, but I came home to find my mother standing angrily in the front garden, arms folded over her chest and eyes dark. The look that let me know I had screwed over. That I had done something incredibly wrong.

"What time do you call this?" she demanded. For a moment, I was more focused on the fact that she was just standing there rather than out looking for me; as if she’d known I’d be back right then and there. But eventually, my head caught up to the question and I pulled my phone out of my pocket.

"9:46PM." I handed her my phone and she snatched it quickly enough to make me flinch. A moment passed, the screen illuminated her features, and then she looked up at me once more. Her lips tightened into a fierce frown. She didn’t need to shout for me to understand just how pissed she was.

"Get in the house."

And that much wasn’t to be debated with.

I stumbled in and immediately ran up the stairs. She still had my phone but I didn’t see it as wise to hang around and wait for her to give it back. In fact, there was a very good chance she’d keep it for a few days as punishment. As I passed through the living room to get to the stairs, I spotted the clock on the fireplace. My eyes widened.

10:57PM.

“Jess.”

I winced. She was calling me back and I knew a lecture was on the tip of her tongue. At least I had my apparently frozen phone screen to prove to her that I had reason to believe it was so early. Or at least, early enough so as not to avoid getting in the house on time.

Reluctantly, I slid down the stairs and looked at my mom. She looked cold, and she tossed me my phone carelessly. I caught it - just. The plastic struggled against my flailing fingers for a moment before I had the chance to tighten my hold. Good. It couldn’t risk another drop.

“Read me the time.”

I sighed, outwardly. Certainly not in the mood to play games, and she said it as if she had already seen it. If she had seen it, why wasn’t she apologising for being so angry? I pressed the button with a somewhat hefty jab of my thumb—

— and instantly looked surprised.

Now,It may not be that big of a shock to you, but it certainly was to me. It read the same as the fireplace clock did, now at 11:03PM. The blood pumping through my veins was enough to make a cold chill run down the length of my spine. I couldn’t tell you why - it was as if my body had sensed something was wrong before my brain had.

“Well? You can tell the time, right?”

"…11:03…" I answered slowly, dejected.

And straight afterwards, my mother burst into a cacophony of insults. Her voice didn’t raise by too much, it was late and she had always been overly considerate about the neighbours on either side of us, but she certainly delivered her point to me in an unnecessarily vicious way. I tried to argue, tried to tell her that there was no gain to me staying out past ten because I knew I would come home to this same lecture. That there was no reason for me to want to be out there with the problematic people. That my phone, newly dropped and faltering, really did say 9:46PM.

She just refused to believe me.

Being sent upstairs to bed when you were almost seventeen is embarrassing, especially when it was an honest mistake. So I laid there in my bed, arms crossed over my chest and knowing my insomnia, fueled by aggravation and anger of the late-night disagreement, was going to be even more vindictive with me tonight.

I rolled over, already finding the quiet stillness of my room tiresome. It would have helped had I had my phone; I could’ve done something, could’ve listened to a narration of some sorts, or maybe some music or even read something… but no. Hell, I had enough books to read without my phone… but I knew if my mom saw the lights on, she’d snap at me all over again and probably confiscate those too.

Still, something didn’t feel right. Things didn’t feel… correct.

I know that’s an odd thing to say - but believe me, it’s even more odd to feel that way, particularly with no discernible reason.

Except I did have a reason.

My reason was staring back at me, blinking. Little red numbers that illuminated the area around my head briefly as they continued to flicker. My blood, once hot with the premise of rage and annoyance, was now replaced with an icy chill, vein’s blue suddenly incredibly suitable as the cold snap of fear crawled up the length of my spine and embedded itself deep within my memory.

9:46PM.

With a speed I hadn’t known was possible, I got up. Tore forwards with feet as quick as a wild animal’s, heading down the stairs at least two at a time. No, this wasn’t right… I’d seen the fireplace clock. Even my phone had read 11:03 earlier. Surely this was just a mistake. But sure enough, the clock that sat snugly on the mantlepiece, read 9:46 too. The hour hand beamed at me in the lowlight of candles, which I presumed my mom had lit with the assumption she’d be alone for a couple of hours since she’d sent me to bed. Said woman lifted her head, scowling at me.

“What are you do—”

“See! 9:46! 9:46!” I screamed at her, fingers jabbing forwards with vehemence. As if a general point wouldn’t have sufficed, wouldn’t have let her see what I saw.

Apparently, no amount of pointing would let her see what I saw.

“Jess, I’m sick of these stupid games of yours - if you’re not going to be sensible, then just stay out of the way!”

I continued that way for a few minutes, until my siblings emerged from around the corner of the door to see what all the noise was about. Eventually, as my mother just stared at me in horror, I broke down into tears. Why couldn’t she see…? Why couldn’t she… see…?!

9:46PM.

From then on, I had little to no memory as to what really happened around me. I remember countless doctors appointments and psychiatrists being thrown into the mix, and each one became more incredulous towards what I was telling them, to the point in which they just stopped listening all together. They were tired of me - hell, I was tired of me.

At home, conversation was almost a thing of the past. I took to staying in my room, locked in a lot of the time, just staring at the clock. There had been a period in my life in which I hadn’t eaten for consecutive days, and had only done so because my mother had forcibly bashed in the door and force-fed it. I didn’t protest to the food; I protested to the notion of being interrupted. I didn’t want to miss a second of what that clock was doing - what if it changed for a moment while I was busy doing something else? I slowly became obsessed with the damn thing.

Hell, I was terrified.

And to this day, hooked up to a heart monitor and breathing hospital air, I still don’t know why those numbers are frozen there, ingrained into my head like some kind of mythical code, the stuff heard of only in legends. They blink at me, bright red and glaring. Haunt me - and they probably know that they’re causing me so much upset, yet they continue anyway. They’re all I see— all I can see. I turn my head to look at the bedside clock.

And they’re the last thing I see next to me as the machine I’m hooked to releases a long, drawn-out beep.

I suppose 9:46 PM has been my time all along.
 

bobandbill

Winning Smile
Staff member
Super Mod
Just a quick note to let you know that I moved your thread to the non-Pokemon subsection, as I didn't notice any mention of Pokemon within it.
 
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