"Quiet!" I look up and see the librarian scowl at the children a few tables from me as they laugh at the pictures in the anatomy books they found. They quietly push their chairs in and return the books to the shelves, mumble a few inaudible words with a few muffled chuckles thrown in. Their exit was quick and peace was restored.
I rummage threw my backpack without a sound and pull out my notebook. As I raise back up into my seat I see a man sitting in front of me smiling. His two-piece suit slightly glimmers in the sunlight leaking in through the windows and a faint tick-tock from his pocket watch is the only thing heard within the library. "He's awfully overdressed for a trip to the library," I think to myself. I smile back and begin my studies.
He slowly puts his hand on my wrist and looks into my eyes. "Not yet my friend. Hold on." He whispers to me, and as quickly as he appeared he was gone. I snicker to myself and brush it off as I pack up to find a more secluded space to work.
I silently acknowledge the librarian and leave the building, thinking about what that man said as I cross the street. "Hold on.... hold... on." I awake in the park. "How did I get to the park? I must've dozed off again." I sit up and put my back against the tree, open my backpack, and grab my notebook.
I look beside me and see the man sitting on a bench thoroughly absorbed into a book. I decide to walk over and sit beside him. "Hey. So about the library..."
"Shh... not yet." She smiles at me and opens his pocket watch.
"Hold on." He hands me the watch. I look into it and see that the hands aren't moving yet the ticking continues. Suddenly the world around me begins to crumble and distort without a sound, the only noise heard from the pocket watch as it burrows into my mind, enveloping my very being.
The bench begins to melt as I fall back onto the ground my chest burning. Everything inside me wants to throw the watch but something compels me to grasp it tighter.
I wince from the pain I feel racing through my body. I rip my way through my shirt and examine myself. Two brands sit upon my chest, hot to the touch, and boiled up. LIAR. CREEP. names I have been called many times before.
I curl up in pain once again as another brand appears. RAPIST. I touch it and begin to sob. "No. It's not true.... i... I can't..."
The tree breaks behind me and floats away as if made of air. I look at the ground and see the tears hitting the concrete pathway
And sizzle away like water on a hot griddle. I begin to cry uncontrollably and start praying as the steam from my tears cloud my vision. "The time for prayers around done my friend." I look up and see the man. Always smiling. Always calm. Always polite.
He walks over and leans over, putting his lips next to my ear. " that woman had no time to pray before you took advantage of her, why should you have the opportunity. Now stand up and take your sentence with some dignity." He held his hand out to me. I take it and we begin to walk across the nothingness to an archway. We pass through and start walking down a seemingly endless set of stairs. I pull the watch from my pocket and see it is in fact broken. I fight through the pain and manage to ask the man about this. " Your watch.... is broken. Why do you keep it if it doesn't... work?" I lean on him fighting the urge to faint as he assists me during our descent into the dark. He looks into my eyes and smiles with the widest grin I have ever seen. "It's not my watch friend. It's yours."