The sky collapses in globs of lead. All that remains of the city once named London will soon be crushed. I would run, but I have nowhere else to go, so here I remain. There is no moon, no stars, just the crusted remnants of the clouds, solid and untrue. Heaven sinks ever lower, and at some point it will fall forever. I have no intention of letting myself be flattened by the weight of the universe, but I am too much of a coward to take my own life. I shall perish in obscurity, but how remains unclear?


Why I need to be outside when everyone else is in, I do not know. Families cower together praying for salvation; I have no family and want no salvation. The planet grumbles and tumbles its protests drowning out all but the loudest screams. I care not for I have become fixated by how long we all have left. I count the seconds as they tick in time to my pulse. I doubt there any point to counting by the minute.


The once great clock, Big Ben, towers over me. The behemoth’s gigantic dials creak ever on, its tiled head poking up in defiance to the sky. Perhaps the temporal beast will pierce the cloud bursting the balloon of uncertainty, set us all free. Perhaps so potent a symbol of mankind will defy the earth it stands upon, remain rigid and unbowed. But, I am a realist, and know that the heaving, cumulous giants will not succumb so easily. Still, there is comfort in looking up to that face that has seen so much. It is reassuring to bask in the false assumption that if the giant timekeeper has survived the eons as it has, then it may continue to do so. There’s always a chance, isn’t there?


A flash of jagged lightning shatters the moment. The explosion is more rainbow shards than golden forks. Even so destructive a force of nature is corrupted at the end. What did they do to the world? Why did no one stop it? I regurgitate the same old questions when I should plot a chosen demise. A grumbling as of God’s hungry belly growls in agreement. I believe he wants rid of me now, rid of us all. I can’t shake the feeling that here as the apocalypse engulfs me, I should not mire in the past. But when there is no promise of a future, what else is there to think about?


A cat hurtles by, the freedom of the city his. I smile despite the acid rain that slides from above. The semi-wet stuff stings my face, cuts sliver-thin trenches across my flesh. If not for my glasses, I would be in far more pain than I am; my inability to fit a contact lens has never been so useful. I watch the almost-liquid settle on my jacket. The stuff pools then consumes the leather in slow motion. If nothing else, it passes the time.


The roof of cloud is even lower now, ever descending. I don’t think I would know for sure but for the fact Big Ben has lost his pointy hat. A shower of tiles scatters through the air each one narrowly missing me. Two steps to my left and it would all be over. Knowing my luck, wherever I stand they’d still miss. I contemplate climbing under one of the deserted vehicles, perhaps, break into the archive that was once the Houses of Parliament, but I cannot. I am stuck, my feet refuse to move, my mind as gelatinous as the atmosphere. Everything is changed, everything is wrong. Only Big Ben’s incessant ticking offers security from the onset of madness.


The sky has reached the clock face now, the heavy clouds nibbling at the ancient landmark. The universe impinges upon our own private space seeking to take it back by force, reclaim what we only borrowed. An atmosphere abused to the point of extinction licks at England’s shell, rolls it around pulsing lips, before spitting it back out. The aftertaste must be unpleasant. I know just how it feels.


I’m scared, at least, I think that’s what it is? The inevitability of impending death has hit me and I crouch low to the ground. A little ball of what once was a man huddles before all I now despise. There must be some irony in there somewhere, but my usual sarcastic self is past caring. Another rumble, another few meters lost, as bit by bit Big Ben crashes to the ground around me. Pieces of a legacy we never thought to lose are being exterminated before my tired eyes. It’s all such a shame, such a waste of time and effort. The twisting of fractured metal interrupts my solemn thoughts. The sounds of inhuman resistance screeches through the enforced night. I cannot take my eyes of the clock, as dark hands are ripped loose from its crumbling façade.


The last time count for Planet Earth is exactly three thirty-five. I can no longer recall if it is morning or night, they have blended to one. I can’t help thinking that a strange thing to be worrying about as the clouds collapse, the clock falls, and I’m crushed beneath the hands of time.



24 thoughts on “TimeFalls

  1. This is excellent! It really has that feeling of spiraling down to disaster. I like the, tick! It adds urgency and suspense.

  2. Wonderful story Richard, Loved the imagery of it all and especially of that Cat that Hurtled by gaining its short lived freedom..
    Loved this line
    “The universe impinges upon our own private space seeking to take it back by force, reclaim what we only borrowed.”

    True, we are I think an experiment that has failed its custodianship

    Have a Peaceful weekend Richard

      1. Ha ha ha. Thank you. I’m just in awe of your writing. I can’t wait for your next book!! Let me know if you want a beta read. I’d be happy to, since I’m going to read it anyway 🙂

  3. Sir, this is tell you that I loved your writing. Actually, I’m an aspiring writer and blogger. I have written a bunch of short stories and want to publish it. Sir, would you please give me some tips and advice so that the publishing process gets a little easier. Thank You.

    On Saturday, 3 September 2016, Richard M. Ankers wrote:

    > Richard Ankers posted: ” The sky collapses in globs of lead. All that > remains of the city once named London will soon be crushed. I would run, > but I have nowhere else to go, so here I remain. There is no moon, no > stars, just the crusted remnants of the clouds, solid and untrue.” >

    1. It isn’t easy, but the more you write the better you get. Using prowriter.com is a good tool to catch mistakes and it’s free. Other than that send your stories to magazines and publishers and never be offended by rejections. Most will not be accepted, but the few that do make it all worth while. 🙂

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