I had this odd bit of dialogue just pop into my head. It’s part of a bigger story that’s been rattling around in there for a while. Maybe if I drop this here it will inspire me to get back into that world and finally flesh it out.
Clarence: Check out what I found!
Annie: Another clock?
Clarence: Look, this one still works. All I’ve got to do is replace the glass.
Annie: What do you need with another clock? That’s like the fourth one this week.
Clarence: I can’t believe people just throw these things away. It’s still good.
Annie: Are you even listening to yourself? To me?
Clarence: This one even has the pendulum. I won’t even have to mock up a power source.
Annie: Sure, but what are you doing with all these things?
Clarence: I fix them and spread them around. Different places in the quad.
Annie: Wait. What?
Clarence: Someone will find it.
Annie: Let me get this straight. You are picking up broken clocks, fixing them, and then leaving them for people to just find.
Clarence: Exactly. Do you know what time it is?
Annie: Yeah it’s… A man obsessed with clocks doesn’t know the time? The Tower says 10 minutes ’til lights out.
Clarence: I don’t trust The Tower. It just counts down to the next arbitrary point. That’s not Time; it’s control.
Annie: But clocks are okay?
Clarence: Clocks are different. They are like history. You look at a clock to orient yourself at a specific moment in time. A clock is like a connection to freedom. I can decide at what hour I wake, eat, and sleep. That’s why I leave them for people. So they can connect to their point in history too. Besides, The Tower changes. I think ‘lights out’ has been happening earlier and earlier since Michelle disappeared.
Annie: Not that again. Look, we all miss Michelle, but she’s been gone for two years now. She didn’t ‘disappear,’ she’s dead. She went outside the wall. No one can survive out there.
Clarence: You can believe whatever you’d like. I know she’s still out there.
Annie: Why does Time matter to you so much anyway? They’re going to shut down the grid when the countdown hits zero, regardless of what your clocks say.
Clarence: What if I told you the sun still shines outside the wall?
Annie: I’d tell you you’d better get home and take your meds. You’ve been reading too much ancient history again. I’ve got to get going anyway. If I’m not in my rack in five, I’ll be stumbling in the dark.
Clarence: Be careful out there, Annie. My offer still stands.
Annie: As does my decline. This place creeps me out when the lights go out.
So, there it is. A window into the world building in my head.