August 8, 2009

Seven Thirty: A short story

Seven Thirty

Bill William tossed and turned that morning trying to sleep. After working all night, he wasn’t used to sleeping with the sun shining through the window.

The company he just started working for had come up with new work shifts no one liked. He was stuck on the 6 PM to 3 AM shift. The company said the employees got to vote shortly, on which, of the many shifts they’ve tried over the last two years. Bill just got off the swing shift. This was his first week on the new graveyard. Well, what they used to call graveyard.

Bill could not complain too much. All he did as a night watchman was sit in one of the newest vaults ever built. The vault was ten floors underground. That place had more alarms, bells and whistles than any other place he had worked.

Bill looked at his alarm clock. “Great,” he told himself. “I haven’t even been asleep for three hours and I’m wide awake. I might as well get up and putter around the house till I get tired.”

After getting dressed, Bill walked down stairs and found his wife sleeping in her recliner. When he kissed her forehead, she woke up and asked, “What time is it?”

Looking at his watch, Bill smiled down and said, “Seven thirty, love. Sorry. I couldn’t sleep.”

“Well, go for coffee then. I didn’t sleep well last night with you gone. You know how much noise you can make and I want to sleep,” she muttered.

“Okay, honey,” he said. “I’ll be down at the coffee shop if you need me.” He closed the door and left.

As Bill walked into the corner cafe, he looked around for the people he normally talked to at this time of day. He smiled at the server and asked, “Hey, Shirley, where is everyone?”

“They all left. You’re running late today. Why?” she asked over her shoulder as she took some plates of food to two ladies sitting in their normal place.

“I’m not late. It’s only,” he paused as he looked at his watch with a questioning look on his face. “Seven thirty? Hell. My watch stopped. What time is it?

One of the men sitting at the counter looked at his watch. “Eleven fifty six,” he told Bill.

“Thanks. I guess I better stop by Wal-Mart and pick up a watch battery today,” Bill said as he sat down.

“So,” Shirley said. “What’ll it be? Tea or coffee?”

“Go ahead and make it coffee. I have to go find something to put over my windows to keep the sun out so I can sleep,” Bill told her.

Shirley leaned over as she handed him a cup of coffee. “You know what my old man did when he worked the night shift down in Texas two years ago?”

“No. What did he do?” Bill laughed.

Shirley gave Bill one of those “Do you want to hear this or not?” looks that she gave out quite often and then went on talking,” “He got some of that aluminum-backed foam from the lumberyard and a roll of duck tape. Cut chunks to fit the windows. Duck taped around them and then used long tack pines to put them over the windows. It made our bedroom darker then a coal mine shaft.”

“Thanks. I’ll look into that after I get this watch running. You know how I hate not knowing what time it is,” Bill said as he sipped his coffee.

Bill looked down at his watch again. It wasn’t like him to let the battery go dead. “Hey, Shirley, get a load of this. My watch stopped at 7:30 PM on the 15th of March,” Bill said with a smile.

Shirley looked at him with a “So what?” look.

Bill laughed. “This is the 15th of March. Don’t you see? It stopped tonight.”

“You probably had it set wrong,” Shirley said.

“Probably not. You know how much I depend on this watch. I would have seen it last night at work. Oh well, I’ll get a battery and keep an eye on it. I can’t have a watch changing dates on me. Might be time for me to get a new watch anyway.”

Bill tossed Shirley two fifty for the coffee and tip, then headed straight for Wal-Mart.

***

As Bill handed his watch to the lady behind the glass case, she took a look at it and said, “Another watch battery. I sold more batteries today then I have in a long time.”

Bill grinned at her and said, “Well, that’s because of the time loop.” He was just joking, but then Bill loved to play word games with people.

“Time loop?” She said questioning.

“Sure. Look at the date on my watch. It stopped at 7:30 PM on the 15th of March. That’s tonight.”

She just smiled back at him and rolled her eyes.

“No. Really,” Bill, still joking, continued, “Something the Government did later tonight. It threw us into a time loop.”

“Sure.” She smiled. “I suppose you have proof. That will be $3.97.”

Short on cash after giving Shirley the two fifty for coffee, Bill used his credit card.
As the clerk handed Bill his receipt, he held it up. “Here is my proof.” She just looked at him. “Today I will have this in my wallet when I come in here and buy a new battery.”

***

Short on cash after giving Shirley the two fifty for coffee, Bill used his credit card.
As the clerk handed Bill his receipt, he held it up. “Here is my proof.” She just looked at him. “Today I will have this in my wallet when I come in here and buy a new battery.”

***

Short on cash after giving Shirley the two fifty for coffee, Bill used his credit card.
As the clerk handed Bill his receipt, he held it up. “Here is my proof.” She just looked at him. “Today I will have this in my wallet when I come in here and buy a new battery.”

***

Short on cash after giving Shirley the two fifty for coffee, Bill used his credit card.
As the clerk handed Bill his receipt, he held it up. “Here is my proof.” She just looked at him. “Today I will have this in my wallet when I come in here and buy a new battery.”

12 comments:

TALON said...

Wouldn't it be terrible to be stuck reliving the same moments over and over...well...maybe not - if the moments were especially fine ones :)

Snaggle Tooth said...

Cute Sci-Fi story! Almost ready for "The Outer Limits"- remember that one?
Usually when time skips ahead on me, it's cause I wasn't paying attention tho! I can picture being so tired it seems that Deja-Vu is going on over n over.
Could be a warning tho- that glitch...

Tony Single said...

Oh yes, I like this one. You should post some more short stories, Ellis, because this was very entertaining! :)

Lynn said...

Reminds me of the film Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray had to relive the same day over and over. Wouldn't that be awful. Unless it was a particularly good day.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your story Ellis. It was entertaining and believable. Now, to me that's the biggies in any story. Especially the believable part.

I'm still having problems posting a reply with my ID.

Elizabeth at Ramblings (wordpress)

Meredith said...

I didn't want to stop reading, Ellis. A sign of a good story, in my book. :)

I like your thinking. What you said in response to the first comment, about the universe expanding and collapsing in on itself over and over again, has bothered me -- and fascinated me -- ever since I first heard of it. There would be literally no way to know. And also, no way to know if in fact any of this is real, or if you are real, or any other beings but my own consciousness. Matrix, anyone? We've come a long way since Descartes, I guess. ;)

p.s. Is this your first short story, or have I just not been around long enough? Good work!

Sara said...

Okay...I was wondering where this would go and you delighted me with the "stuck in a time loop." I agree with Talon, I wouldn't want that to happen.

Then again, if you get caught in a really great moment that you'd love to repeat over and over again, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad:~)

Great story and fun, as well:~)

desk49 said...

Talon:
Like Bill William, how would we know.

Take the big bang. for billions of years we have been going out then for a time we're not moving then back in again, until boom the big bang again over and over How many millions of times have I written this reply?

Snaggle:
Deja-Vu why not, there might really be loops in times.

Tony:
Will stick around or come back Monday for Monday matinee.

Lynn:
Yes but in Groundhog Day Bill Murray is the only one that know. A true time loop, none would know.

Elizabeth:
Sorry about the link problem. I have you on my page in where I go.

Thank you for the entertaining and believable part.

Meredith:
I went back and looked and you missed three. Whistle, Talon's Woolly Bears and John Thorson and the Snake.
Starting Monday tune in and you'll see the start of a three chapter 17,000 + word short story. One page a week for 42 weeks. This is one all pages will stay up till it’s finished posting.

Sara:
Yes a good time would be good but then is there good without bad?

Mandy said...

Welcome to the Twilight Zone! Your story would make a great episode. Haven't seen that show in years...

desk49 said...

Mandy:
Well thank you. or is it will thank you. Anywho which is not a word eather. Thanks Sorry was in one of them their moods.

JamieDedes said...

Chuckle...Clever short story. There's some good stuff in that head, eh? :-)

I'll be back for more...

desk49 said...

Jamie:
I’m LOL. For some say, what is between my ears should be locked away forever. Other say it’s so far outside the box it’s never seen the box. But most of the people that will tell me only say, I have way too much time on my hands.