The Horologist


Hickety dickety dock

The mouse ran up the clock

The clock struck one

Down the mouse ran

Hickety dickety dock


Richard Hicks had run The Horology Shop for four decades before leaving it to his scapegrace of a son, Dick Jr.  Local scuttlebutt had it that Dick was as devious as the day was long. Everyone knew someone who knew someone else who had seen Dick up to no good. Nothing definite mind.

Contrary to expectations the shop thrived under Dick’s management. He worked late each night, repaired clocks and watches on time and lived quietly above the shop. After a few years the village forgot all the rumours of Junior’s misdoings. He had become a permanent fixture.

In Dick Jr’s workshop there stood a decrepit grandfather clock. It had been in the family for years he would say and one day when I’m no longer so busy I shall repair it. What he neglected to mention was that the clock did work. Once a day the clock let out a loud peal. Bong!! 1:00am. At this time the clock face would open up, the pendulum would begin to swing and Dick Jr would ride the waves of time to any era he so wished. Always returning at five past the hour.

Dick was as bad as he was formerly painted. He didn’t use the time machine as his father had for wonderment and curiosity, he used it for gain. He dropped in to different eras, stole jewels, coins, technological plans. He sold secrets from one era to another. Supplied information on enemies. Anything he could slip into his pockets and take with him through time. This was how The Horology Shop was thriving. He made a lot of money, could afford to pay others to complete the repairs and to keep silent. He paid well.

One night as he entered the time clock about to travel back in time, a mouse ran up his leg. The clock struck 1:00am, the mouse ran back down, straight into the pristine wilderness of another planet. Somewhere in the time/space vacuum of the vortex of the time clock one small mouse had interrupted the works.

The pendulum had swung away from Dick Jr. He sat on the surface of this planet listening to the strange sounds of numerous unknown beasts, waiting for the clock to strike one, for the pendulum to swing so that he could get back home. Unfortunately for him this planet had a day 364 years long in earth terms. 1:00am would not chime for another 189 years.

Meanwhile the mouse met some local inhabitants not unlike himself. He started a new gene pool.

Copyright April 2013


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