The Many Morbid Tales of Spookinite Valley
The Pendulum Clock
Written by Benjamin Fouché
Augustus Charles moved into a rather quaint suite of apartments—and these apartments were once the lively chambers of a beautiful manor house. However, over the past decades, the final heirs could only keep the house by leasing out the many rooms. Thankfully, rent was not too costly. And thus, Augustus was destined to find his home in one of the many dust-accumulating chambers. Upon arriving, Augustus was shown the available rooms by the proprietor. The first chamber was much too large—and the second room was much too small. But the third, and final, unoccupied room was perfect. It was on the third story, at the end of the hall. The view from the window overlooked the garden and lush estate grounds.
“I find this chamber to be splendid,” said Augustus. “I’ll gladly take it.”
And so, Augustus unpacked his luggage and moved in his belongings. Once evening came, he reclined on his bed and faced the window. The sunset created a ruby-orange-ashy sky. While he continued to watch, his eyes became tired, and he descended into a slumber.
But at eleven p.m., he awoke to the sound of a loud, long-case pendulum clock tolling. As Augustus kneaded the sleep out of his eyes, he wondered why he only now realized there was a pendulum clock—and why he only now heard its thunderous toll. Curious, he crawled out of bed and began searching his room for the clock. He cast the light from his candlestick’s wriggling flame around the apartment, yet the pendulum clock was nowhere to be seen.
“Surely it is in this chamber—how else could it be so noisy?” Augustus asked himself. But again, he could not find the pendulum clock in his room.
The proceeding night, he was again awoken at eleven p.m. by the unseen pendulum clock. And this time, its toll was offensively louder. Madly wanting to find the clock, Augustus left his apartment and proceeded down the hall. And as he did, there commenced a ticking—it resounded throughout the entire third story. But it was nowhere to be seen in the hallway. Soon, Augustus’s exhaustion was too unbearable, and he returned to his chamber. The ticking endured as he fell asleep.
When dawn rose over the horizon, Augustus knocked upon the doors of the neighboring tenants, asking them if they owned a noisy pendulum clock that only sounded at eleven p.m. To his confusion, they all answered, “No.”
That evening, Augustus sat up in his bed, listening for the clock, waiting. But the leadenness grew on his eyelids and he could not help but fall asleep underneath the bleak shadows of his dark chamber. But at eleven o’ clock p.m., the pendulum clock tolled its unworldly chime—and there was ticking—constant ticking. The kind of unceasing ticking that conjures forth one’s slumbering insanity. Augustus climbed out of bed and listened. He knew there was a pendulum clock—what else could be causing the toll and ticking? Perhaps it came from the floor below? This, Augustus Charles did not know—but this Augustus Charles would find out.
He walked out of his apartment, down the hall, and into the stairwell. It was here that the ticking became more unendurable. Cautiously, Augustus made his descent to the second floor. Yet as he investigated the hallway on the second story, the ticking ceased like an expired flame. The following daybreak, he asked each tenant below him if he or she owned a loud pendulum clock that only tolled at eleven o’ clock p.m. They all said, “No.”
Now vexed, Augustus complained to the proprietor. Even so, the proprietor explained to him that no one in the entire manor house owned a pendulum clock. Feeling foolish, Augustus left, endeavoring to understand where these haunting sounds came from. Before he retired for the evening, he paced up and down the hallways on each floor. But he heard not a ticking, nor a tolling. And thus, he returned to his chamber and climbed into his bed, exceedingly weary.
The pendulum clock tolled at eleven o’ clock p.m. And the ticking echoed through his apartment. Augustus covered his ears, but it was only in vain, for this did not even stifle the sounds. On the contrary, it seemed to increase the insufferable noises. At length, he rose to his feet and thought logically: perhaps it was in the attic—the only place in the manor house he had not searched. Chuckling, Augustus left his room and stepped out into the hallway. He opened the door, behind which rested the creaky and narrow attic stairway. Then, he ascended each step—and the ticking became louder—and louder—and louder. Upon reaching the attic, the pendulum clock tolled for the second time that night.
Yet Augustus could find it nowhere.
“Where is this most diabolic mechanism?” he yelled.
“In here,” a deep voice whispered.
Augustus’s heart nearly died.
“In here,” the low, forbidding voice said again.
“Where?” Augustus questioned.
“In here,” the voice croaked.
“Where is ‘here’?!” Augustus shrieked.
“In the depths of your skull,” the deep voice answered, menacingly.
At that moment, an antique pendulum clock appeared before Augustus at the end of a lightless hallway. He hurried over to it—but something was horribly wrong about its face: the longer he peered upon it, the more arcane it appeared, for the numbers changed to alien symbols and designs that perplexed his mind—spiraling for an eternity—as if these mysterious symbols were the means by which other long-destroyed existences measured time. And then, the unredeemable revelation came to Augustus. The voice had done this to other worlds and realities. And the clock operated by a different time—a time that was waning rapidly like the remaining, loose sands in an hour glass. Yes, the Eternal Night was coming—and it was coming soon.
“Patience,” said the dark voice. “When comes my hour, the disturbing amusement begins.”
And the pendulum clock tolled again.
© Spookinite.com - All text, music and photographs by Benjamin A. Fouché