Shambolic Review
Published in

Shambolic Review

the clock swallowers

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Unsplash

Jimmy is a clock swallower. He does as his title implies. There are 473 clock swallowers in the world. They have a strict code of conduct:

1) Never swallow a clock after midnight.

2) Never get a clock wet.

3) Who are you and what are you doing in my house?

Jimmy is a rebel. He does’t believe in these rules. And as a result, he is the most powerful clock swallower in the world. Now when he slurps down the face of a clock, he slurps time itself. Sometimes he is 500 years old.

The clock swallowers have a big convention in the torch of the Statue of Liberty. 472 people are in attendance. Bill the clock swallower was unable to make it. He was hospitalized the week before for trying to swallow Big Ben.

Jimmy attends the convention. It is a grand affair. There is a feast of the finest clocks on display from the finest artisans in the field of clock making. Jimmy gorges on clocks. He makes a bit of a scene, takes more than his share. People find his time slurping distasteful. He does not care. He pours water on all his clocks. 471 clock swallowers look on in horror.

The mayor of the clock swallowers steps forth and commands that Jimmy be apprehended for his crimes. But Jimmy runs to the bathroom ahead of the mob and locks the door. He knows he will never be able to leave.

So he takes a big shit. He shits out all of his time, and gears, and sprockets, and hands, and springs, but mostly time.

He looks deep into the toilet bowl where time swirls with the guts of clocks and is struck by the beauty of it. Time seems to build a tunnel to infinity.

The mob outside bangs on the door. They’re being rather raucous about it.

Jimmy climbs inside the toilet and joins the infinite.



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Marty Shambles

Marty Shambles


Pushcart nominated author of short fiction. Words in: Class Collective Magazine, Hearth & Coffin, The Sparrow’s Trombone.