Wednesday, November 16, 2016
[Short Story] The 25th Hour
[WP]: You discover a 25th hour of the day, in which the universe is frozen in time for a whole hour each day. You are the only thing that can move. You must decide what to do with your new knowledge.
When I first discovered my power, I thought my friends were playing a silly trick on me.
We were playing board games over at Julie's house, just the five of us, our weekly activity. It was my turn to roll the dice, when I noticed a sudden silence had descended upon the room, when seconds ago laughter and chatter filled the air. I turned around to find my friends all frozen mid-action, just like the childish mannequin challenge that was making its round around the web.
"Come one guys, not funny," I told them, nudging David who sat beside me. "You know how I find the mannequin challenge ridiculous."
I took the dice and threw them, wanting to see how long the four of them could keep their antics up. Still, none of them moved, holding perfectly still.
"Still want to play, huh?" I asked cheekily, still unaware of anything wrong. I took Julie's cup of soda and David's glass of milk. "Let me see what happens if I mix this two drinks up, and feed it to you."
Still no reaction. I poured the cup of soda into the glass of milk, the drinks mixing vilely together. I then brought the glass close to David. "Last warning friends, or this putrid concoction goes into Wizard David's poor opened mouth."
It was when the soda milk overflowed from David's mouth unto his clothes and the floor, without the tiniest response, did I realize that I have the power of time in my hands.
I panicked at first, as I assumed that the world had stopped, leaving me alone as the sole person who could still move. But when David started choking on the soda milk that magically appeared in his mouth, and the rest of my friends going hysterics at the unexplainable situation before their eyes , did I learn that there may be more to what I was experiencing.
I thought it was a one off occurrence, like a freak dream at first. I shrugged it off and pretended to freak out like the rest of my friends, as I was unsure about what had exactly happened.
Until the same thing happened the next day, at the same exact timing.
I was walking home by the roadside when cars mysteriously stopped, like someone hit the pause button on a remote control. The air hung still, and not a sound could be heard, except those of my own.
It didn't take me long to figure out my power. It follows the same pattern consistently. For reasons that I could not fathom at that time, the universe decided to give me an extra hour everyday, precisely at 0000 hours. Not a second less, not a second more.
I could literally do what I want in that one hour.
I used it at first to play pranks on those around me, pulling their chairs away, changing their sitting position or making two strangers hug each other. I used it to catch up on sleep. Mostly harmless stuff, if you'd ask me.
But then I started getting bored, and my actions slowly escalated. I started stealing. It was easy anyway. All I needed to do was to dip my hands into an individual's purse or wallet, and removed whatever I could find in there.
When that too became mundane, I started to look for more challenge. A stopped hour meant that I was as close to being a god as possible. Or a demon, in my case. I gave in to my darkest fantasies, my primal desires. During this period, I lived in the shadows, having already eliminated any trace of my past life. My friends and family thought that I was dead.
Elsewhere, authorities were baffled by a string of mysterious crimes. Heists and rapes that seem to seemingly occur at random. Without a cause, without even the slightest hint of a perpetrator.
Deep down, I knew that my actions were wrong, my conscience was practically screaming at me. But I had learned to lock it in a cage.
I thought my actions had no consequence. Until the death of Amanda.
She was one of my many victims. Looking back, I'm not proud of the things I did to her. How I fell in love with her, how I tried to pursue her only to be rejected, and subsequently using my power for revenge. She had tried to convince people that someone had been taking advantage of her but without any proof, and driven to the verge of madness, she chose to take her own life instead.
It was only after that did I found out about her history. She was abused since young by people she was supposed to trust. It was not easy for her to break out from her childhood hell, but she did. Only to have her life destroyed again by me.
In my midnight crime spree, it was never my intention to take someone's life, but I had unwittingly splashed Amanda's blood unto my hands. Someone who is full of life, with a bright future awaiting her, only to be extinguished in a moment of passion by someone with a stupid power.
I attended her funeral, the day they lowered her body to the earth. I stood far away, but I was close enough to see the pain that I had inflicted. To see the true horror my power is capable of. Seeing those people crying, while being reminded of the thrill I felt I committed my crimes, I couldn't feel more disgusted and ashamed with myself.
It was then when I decided to use my abilities for good. To wash away the innocent blood on my hand. With the blood of those who are guilty.
[WP] source: https://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/5d1efc/wp_you_discover_a_25th_hour_of_the_day_in_which/