Losing Time

by Jacqueline Doyle

Her watch was slow. Little by little she found herself behind, rushing to catch up. And then she stopped, unwilling to obey the world's timetable. If her watch said 2:00, then why not behave as if it were 2:00? In this way her life gradually changed. She lost her job, a loss she did not regret, and found another, where she worked from home in her pajamas. She stopped watching television, which she hadn't particularly enjoyed. She no longer accepted invitations that required meeting here or there at a set hour. She foresaw a time when she might be hours behind others, inhabiting a world of marvels. "How bright the nighttime sky is," she might remark, "cerulean blue instead of black." She would no longer celebrate her birthday on the proper day. Instead she would celebrate the anniversary of the day before she'd actually left her mother's womb. Perhaps she would remember the last day she'd spent curled in darkness dreaming of the world outside, unwilling to embark on the long struggle to emerge into the light. "It's time, little one," her mother whispered. "Not yet," she said.

Jacqueline Doyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her flash has appeared in Vestal Review, The Rumpus, Sweet, Monkeybicycle, Prime Number, Everyday Genius, 5_trope, Bluestem Quarterly, Word Riot, and elimae, among others.