October 26, 2017

Six 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. Today was his wife’s birthday.

          The company he just started working for had come up with new work shifts no one liked. He was stuck on the Six PM to Three 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, “Six thirty, love. Sorry. I couldn’t sleep. Happy Birthday”

          “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. "Thanks."

          “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.

          “I’m not late. It’s only,” he paused as he looked at his watch with a questioning look on his face. “It’s still Six thirty PM? 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 sleep a lot longer than I thought. 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 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 Six thirty PM on the 16th of March,” Bill said with a smile.

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

          Bill laughed. “This is the 16th 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 Six thirty PM on the 16th of March. That’s tonight.”

          She just smiled back at him and rolled her eyes.

          “No. Really,” Bill, still joking, continued, “Something the Government does today will threw us into a time loop.”

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


          Bill was thinking about his wife not liking what he got her for her birthday. He looked up at the clock on the wall over his desk. Six twenty eight PM. He felt a low rumble


          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. Today was his wife’s birthday.


          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. Today was his wife’s birthday.


          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. Today was his wife’s birthday.


Snaggle Tooth said...

Welcome to Ellis "Outer Limits"! I like how it skips at the end there like a broken record!

desk49 said...

Snaggle: Again you show supper thanks.

Over and over
Time now runs
Will any know
The loop spun

Denise Covey said...

Hi Ellis! You sure had me intrigued with this one. It's not only Bill that's confused. Wouldn't that be creepy if our clocks stopped before that time. Doing this new shift is messing with Bill's head in more ways than one. Clever with the repeat at the end. Time after time...

Thanks for posting for WEP, Ellis!
Have a happy holiday season and a great 2018!
Hope we see you next year!

Denise :-)

Deborah Drucker said...

Oh no, Groundhog Day over and over. That is beginnings over and over. :)

Olga Godim said...

Poor Bill - he got into a time loop. I hope he can get out again one of these days. Fortunately, a birthday is not a bad day to be caught in. Did they have cake?

desk49 said...

D. Covey, D. Drucker and O. Godim:

Yes this day goes round and round
but this time no one knows.

Elephant's Child said...

Poor Bill. He was righter than he realises... Or at least I hope he doesn't realise how stuck he is.
Great take, though the hackles on the back of my neck are tight and tense.

Liz Leighton said...

Nice foreshadowing with the time on the stopped watch. Round and round and round they go...I love time loop stories.

Pat Garcia said...

Like a spinning wheel, Bill is caught up in a spiral that never stops. Will he get out of it? I wonder. The reality of what is happening on the outside of the spinning wheel will leave him behind.
Wishing you a Merry Chirstmas and a successful crossover into 2018.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

Tyrean Martinson said...

That doesn't sound like a fun loop, but I really loved how you brought us to that point in the story with the looping sections. Great writing!

desk49 said...

Elephant's Child:
No story did I find. And Thanks

P. Garcoa and T. Martinson:
if the wheel spins
every day
Who or will any
get away

desk49 said...

L. Leighton:

How rude could I be
I left you out
That’s not like me

So thinks for dropping by
And I hope this don’t
Leave me with a black eye

dolorah said...

It would be just my luck to get stuck in the worst moment of my life, lol. Do-overs can't all be good.

desk49 said...


So many would be
forever in torment
And those in great joy

Snaggle Tooth said...

Saw a link to "Ashes & Dreams " but it is vanished? Hmmm

Yolanda Renée said...

There are definitely days like that, but what a concept. Some say that's what Hell consists of - a repeated version of the mundane. Great entry for the WEP Challenge!

Wishing you the Happiest of New Year's!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Great take on the prompt! Loved the repeats at the end - very effective. Bill's new shift timings certainly don't seem to agree with him.

Wish you all the very best for 2018, hope to read more from you in the New Year.

desk49 said...

Y. Renee and N. Bose:
Thanks for dropping by

It seems I have new ones
To show up at my blog
A truly felt thank you
Making my heart throb

D.G. Hudson said...

I like this story, as I do all time warp tales. I wouldn't like to be caught in a time loop and btw what was that low rumble. . .what did the govt. do? Try to go back in time to change the world? (and they screwed that up too?) Interesting dilemma. . .but annoying too - if you know you're going to do this again, and again, and so on. . .

desk49 said...

D.G. Hudson:

Yet over and over
in a time loop we run
We'll never know
in it we've begone

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ellis - what a terrifying time loop ... I hope that's something I don't ever experience ... this will stay with me - perhaps it'll leave me as the new year comes along - cheers Hilary

desk49 said...

H. Butcher:

It will stay with you
Till the end
Until the New Year

Thanks for dropping by.

Adura Ojo said...

The time loop is fascinating. I love how you let the reader in on Bill's bewilderment.

desk49 said...

A. Ojo:

Bill knew but
didn't know
as the time
around him goes

About a day
is all he got
till he reset
his clock

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'd hope if I got stuck in a time loop, it would be during a fun day, like Christmas.