"Time Perception"
By Lauren

Disclaimer: I don't own, I only borrow.

I got the idea from a writing exercise in the book "Now Write!"


Slip awoke abruptly and looked around the room. He wasn't in his bed, but rather found himself on the couch. He used a sliver of moonlight peeking through the blinds to read the time on his wristwatch. 3AM. It was the middle of the night, but what woke him? He then realized after taking stock of himself that he was breathing heavily. Slip didn't remember any dream, let alone a nightmare, but it had left him anxious nonetheless, his nervous stomach letting itself be known.

Slip groaned. "Knew I shouldn't have had Sach's soup. Never know what that maniac puts in his food." He got up with the intent of getting some milk from the kitchen, but paused as something caught his eye, glinting against the moonlight.

He walked over to the object and picked it up. Slip ran a thumb over the smooth cover of the pocket watch. It hit him like a ton of bricks, the anxiety, caused by a dream he hadn't remembered having. He held it between his hands. Carefully, he opened the cover to reveal the relatively plain face of the watch.

The watch had been a gift a number of years ago. He and the other boys had just started hanging out at Louie's Sweet Shop. They hadn't even run up a tab yet.

Slip remembered how some goons had tried to rob Louie, but he and the others had been in the back room, playing cards, when they first heard Louie's cries of "help, murder!" etc. No matter what happened, Louie's fearful cry was always the same.

Slip and the other boys had run into the main room and began dispatching the robbers, except for Sach. He sat himself on the counter and cheered on the other boys. They'd managed to make enough noise to draw the attention of a cop and the robbers were arrested.

Slip smiled, remembering how he'd stayed as Louie closed shop that evening, while the other boys had left. He was wiping the counter when Louie called him over to a table. Slip had had no idea of what was going to happen. He'd briefly thought he was in trouble and that Louie was about to yell at him.

Instead, Slip was surprised when Louie placed the pocket watch in his hand. He'd called it a token of his gratitude.

Slip sighed, relishing that memory, as he looked down at the pocket watch again. There was no longer anxiety in his stomach. Rather, another emotion was running through him.

Another memory came forward. This one was disjointed, broken. Only bits and pieces lingered. The accident. The thought of never feeling the same again... wondering if his friends would still be behind him.

Louie had stopped by the hospital after the others had left. He'd said he had found something of Slip's that he wanted to make sure he had. Slip had argued he didn't need anything, but Louie had asked him to hold out his free hand, which Slip did. Louie then placed the pocket watch in his palm.

Dumbfounded, Slip had merely stared at the watch.

Only to find himself once again staring at the pocket watch. He didn't remember taking it out. Slip turned it over in his hands and felt something odd on the back.

Slip walked over to the window and pulls the blinds up enough to use the moonlight to see the watch.

Engraving had been added to it!

Slip smiled, reading it: "To my favorite boy. Louie."

Slip pulled off the wristwatch he wore and left it on the coffee table. He vowed to stop leaving the pocket watch lying around and actually use it.

Slip was looking forward to seeing the look on Louie's face the next day when he brought the watch out to give the time.