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This time

– tock. Tick-tock.

Three beats from the watch of a stranger, momentarily within earshot as the crowd surged together. I stumbled blindly aside, heedless of how many feet I trod on, how many coffees I spilt, until I found, through chance, the solid, grounding stone of a balustrade beneath my hands.

– tock. Tick-tock. Tick –

I stared blindly into the basement area. I suppose it had the usual things, a boot-scraper, a tub of flowers perhaps, a line of laundry fluttering defiantly in the breeze. I saw only the looming faces of the clocks, and my own hands, reaching; felt beneath my feet the distant rumble that became, as the vision faded, only traffic once again.

It was gone. Over. The crowd passed on, oblivious.

I drew a tentative breath, let go the balustrade.

It was over.

This time.

Another last minute VisDare entry, another hurried glance at the prompt, another plea that you go and see what my confreres have made of it … you’re missing a treat otherwise, really, you are.

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Esther Chilton - Writer and Tutor

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