The Old Grandfather Clock

At the hour when all seems still in the dusk of night, the sky sits an unwavering sheet of black, blanketing the horizon. And the old grandfather clock chimed midnight. Noise erupted from its bellows, sending forth a shrill sound through the dead night of the old, crickety house. Though none of the residents of the home but the eldest son were conscious enough to hear it shreak.

Kicking and turning in his sleep from his frequent nightmares, he jolted awake in bed. Suddenly, very aware of the stillness of night from all but the old grandfather clock.

It struck it’s second chime, with a loud, ferocious ring, sending the boys ears into panic.

He noted every shadow in the room, every creak of the floor board, and snap of a branch beating at his window, straining against the wind. Through his closed bedroom door he noticed a glint of light shinning under the crack separating the door from his floor boards.

The old grandfather clock hit its 3rd chime, and the floor boards creaked in the hallway.

They had always done that although no one was there. If the wind shifted and the house shook, under the right circumstances the floor boards would creak. But this time felt different to the boy. The wind howled from outside his window, sending shivers down his spine.

The floor board creaked again, and a shadow shifted across his room sending odd shapes of things unknown through the open space. His brain flooded with thoughts and fears of ghosts and goblins and all things fearful to the lasting grasp of innocence. In a quick instant, he feared all the terrors night had to offer the young mind.

The old grandfather clock struck its 4th chime, and the light vanished as quicky as it appeared, leaving the boy in heart-wrenching darkness. Fearing any noise he could make to alert the source of light, the boy sat paralyzed in his bed.

The old grandfather clock struck its 5th chime, and the sharp creak of the door shot through the deafening silence of night. Complete and utter terror filled the young boys heart as the door opened further and further. It cracked a quarter of the way, then half, then further and further, until the door gently pounded against the wall.

His heart fluttered like the beating of a hundred ravens’ wings, as the large figure masked by the darkness of night shifted closer and closer. The gravity of the situation thickened the grave feeling in the air, making chocking on it almost palpable.

The old grandfather clock struck its 6th chime. The boy kept his eyes on the dark figure, too afraid of what may happen if he moved them. And the musty smell of wet soil untouched by the recognizable grasp of man began to overpower the natural musk of the room.

Again, croaking under the weight of the dark figure, the floor boards shifted. At this, the figure stood practically on top of the boy, towering over him. The strong, musty smell became unbearable, stifling the oxygen. And the boy began to choke up in fear. He tried to scream, but the harder he tried the more light headed he began to feel, and the quieter what little noise he could make came until his voice was nothing more audible than a whisper.

The old granfather clock struck its 7th chime, almost deafening, filling the whole of the house. As the boy cringed, staring into what he believed to be the eyes of the strange, dark figure, he noticed something he hadn’t before. The light had not come from any oil lamp or candle, it had come from the deepest depths of the figures eyes.

The old grandfather clock struck its 8th chime and the light grew brighter. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then this dark figure’s soul is that of a fiery, unforgiving inferno. And the boy knew this too. Beaten down with fear, gazing into the eyes of his unforgiving watcher, he knew no kind touch of hand or sweet word.

The 8th chime struck and the boy lost all feeling of forgiving innocence. He no longer was pure from the wretched glare of the heinous world. He had been stolen by its grasp, and this dark figure was his fiery prophet of its evil.

The 9th chime struck, then the 10th and 11th. Any fear of the horror that is the darkness of night fled from him, until nothing was left but an unnerved husk of humanity. Because what is human-kind without fears? What is man without childlike innocence?

The 12th chime struck in the old grandfather clock and the dark, fiery figure was gone. It had disappeared with the final blow of the old clock’s chime, and dissipated as quickly as it came into the darkness of night. The fear and terror it brought with it had left just as quickly, and all seemed as well.

At the hour when all seems still in the dusk of night, the sky sits an unwavering sheet of black, blanketing the horizon. And the old grandfather clock chimed its last for the evening. The old, crickety house sat unusually still. There was not a creaking of the floor board though the wind blew hard. The residents slept in their beds, unaware of the events that had taken place. All but the eldest boy.

He was gone. Just as quickly as the figure had came, just as quickly did the boy leave with it.

(Author’s Note: I wrote this in October 2019 for my AP Language class. Basically I was given a bunch of words from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe and I had to use them in the given order in my writing. Hence why it’s a little weird sometimes. I won’t lie.)

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