Story Contest 2020 #2 Results »

Junior 1st Prize Winning Story - The Clock Watch

“The Clock Watch” by Sue-Ning Chee, All Saints’ College, Australia, is the First Prize winning story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2020.

Sue Ning is ten years old and lives in Perth with her parents and grandma. She has no pets but has a very special imaginary pet frog called Hoppo the 1st. Sue Ning enjoys reading a lot and is inspired to write from the books she reads. She hopes to be a writer when she grows up.

The Clock Watch

“Turn to page 209,” Samuel Rilcha droned. Alex Chenrile rolled his eyes once more, feeling them droop with boredom. Don’t think I’m not counting. This is the forth time the teacher elected you to teach, and I see that lots of people are getting bored, Alex thought. He looked around the compacted classroom, and saw around 20 out of 30 students laying their heads gently on the desktop. A few were playing eraser football and folding paper aeroplanes.

Alex stared at the clock. Still 30 minutes till class ends. I’m getting tired of this. He sat his head down on his tired arms. If only time was in my possession…

Alex sighed as he walked back home. Lonely again, with no friends. I guess some things will never change. “Hey Alex? Where are all your friends? Did they all run away from you?” Samuel snickered. His four other bully mates laughed along with him. Alex ignored him, but deep in his mind he wanted to grab his schoolbag and slam Samuel in the face. Sadly, he couldn’t. Stupid rules. If I was the principal I would kick Samuel out of school. Suddenly, Samuel ran in front of him, flashing a sparkling gold clock watch at Alex’s face. “Bet your family can’t afford this, huh?” Samuel’s voice mimicked a stupid toddler’s.

Alex felt his face boil with fury and rage. How does he know I want that gold skylor clock watch so badly? “Anyways,” Samuel said, interrupting his train of thought. “I guess I’ll just leave you now. Don’t forget anything!” Alex pretended to be oblivious, and reached to grab the straps of his schoolbag, ready to go home. But his school bag wasn’t there. It was in Samuel’s hand, and he and his buddies were tossing it around like a ball. That’s it. I don’t care anymore. The wall around Alex’s growing anger evaporated like mist, and he ran at Samuel, shouting: “Give it back!”

“Hah!” Samuel laughed. “Try make me!” As Alex ran at Samuel, he saw the gold clock watch glitter in the light, and yanked it from his wrist. Suddenly, before Samuel could grab it back, the clock watch clattered to the ground, smashing into a thousand pieces. Samuel was so shocked he stood there, while Alex grabbed the silken band, and read the tag. It read: Chenrile Supplies, Clock section. Alex suddenly felt like he was in a flashback portal.

He felt as though the watch was ripping the thin threads of space and time, pulling and tugging, then stopping to a halt. Alex looked around him. He was no longer outside the school, but in a small room with three chairs and a table. This is what grandpa must have meant. One day time itself will be shredded, as easily as paper. That is, if you have the key. Alex looked in his hand. The destroyed golden clock watch was as good as new, and he put it on with a great sense of pride. “Where did you take me?” He whispered. He was going to find out.

Alex pushed his way through the chairs, remembering what his grandpa had said. If you alter the past, horrid things could happen. The butterfly effect, Alex realised. As he made his way out the door, he saw a young boy with black hair and thick round glasses, around the age of seven. He was mending a gold clock watch, one that looked similar to Alex’s. The boy looked up. “Would you like something?” He asked.

“Uh… no. Just looking!” Alex hurriedly replied. The little boy frowned, then continued his job.

“Samuel? Have you finished the clock watch?” A deep male voice asked.

Samuel? As in the bully? Alex wondered. “Nearly, father. Just give me half an hour more.” Young Samuel said, cautiously, as though he was talking to a king and he was the servant.

“You had better finish it, unless you want to starve another meal.” Samuel’s father replied. Gosh. I have to help him, bully or not. Alex realised, then remembered his grandpa’s words. Don’t alter the past. But If I help I might stop him from becoming a bully! Alex protested with his own mind. He thought hard, then came to a decision.

“Let me help you.” He whispered to Samuel.

“I don’t even know you,” Samuel said suspiciously.

“You don’t want to starve, do you?” Alex said.

“No,” Samuel admitted. “Please help! My father is cruel and he doesn’t care about anything but this business. There are only 2 golden skylor clock watches that he knows of! If I don’t get this done we will have to sell this watch to the Chenrile family!”

Wait, what? So this our family’s ancestral watch? Alex realised with a shock.

“Okay. I’ll start making the gears.” Alex said. He stayed hidden behind a dustbin, hammering the metal.

“Thank you!” Samuel said, his eyes filling with tears of joy. Alex worked until he felt like his hands had melted. When he was done, he helped Samuel to attach the parts together.

“Half an hour is up!” Mr Rilcha boomed.

“Here is the watch, father,” Samuel said in a trembling voice. Mr Rilcha snatched it from his son.

“Good job. You can have dinner today.”

“Thanks, father.”

“Thank you for helping me. I..I don’t know how to thank you.” Samuel said to Alex after his father left.

“You don’t need to.” Alex smiled. As he left the workshop, he felt time again falling apart, and he was back outside of school.

“Hey,” Alex turned. It was Samuel, surprisingly. “Nice watch.”

I have turned him! I actually did it! Alex gasped. He saw that Samuel had the same gold clock watch, mended and good as new. Alex turned to see his wrist. There was a watch with a leopard print band. His new watch. And on the band it read, “Thank you for helping me. From Samuel.”

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