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Family, Flash Fiction, Writing

Daily Prompt: Tock

It’s Saturday, and I think I’ve got a touch of a cold. Christopher has been ill for over a week and despite our best efforts not to share germs, it seems we’ve spent too much time breathing in the same space. Fortunately we have access to a wonderful herbalist and plan to be well on the mend quickly.

Now that you know a bit about the goings-on of our household bodily fluids, on to today’s inspiration from the good folks over at WordPress’s Daily Prompt.

Write about anything you’d like. Somewhere in your post, include the sentence, “I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock.”

I offer through my illness, “Tock:”


Stan was feeling a bit melancholy since Christina had left four days, nine hours, 30 minutes, and 17 seconds ago. He couldn’t help himself for counting so carefully; it was just his way. Christina had gotten tired of his incessant numbering, counting, scoring, census-taking, tallying, and sums. I’ve gotten tired, she’d said at 4:07pm on the evening she’d decided to go. By 6:42pm, she had packed what she wanted (10 pairs of shoes, 20 tops, 17 pairs of pants, 6 skirts, and two weeks’ worth of knickers). The car started at 6:53pm and she had disappeared from the driveway by 6:55pm. She’d called him once (one day, three hours, four minutes, and 52 seconds) after she’d left; Christina knew him better than anyone and was concerned that he wouldn’t eat. He tried to explain to her that he’d reverted to TV dinners but got lost in the telling; he had gotten the number of macaroni and cheese dishes he’d grabbed confused with the number of healthy vegetable meals. Christina became upset and hung up before he could sort it out. Stan cooked one of the vegetable meals for the requisite two minutes and 40 seconds, then went to bed.

The next morning over breakfast as Stan pondered whether he would take milk in his tea, Christina came back. When she entered the kitchen he seemed as though he’d been expecting her. She smiled at him as one who has pity for a helpless thing. “Stan–were you expecting me?” She asked.

Stan blushed and shook his head. “It’s 8:25am; that is your regular time coming back from your morning visit to your mum’s. I knew it was you when I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock.”

Sighing, Christina pulled the milk from the fridge. “Now you know you take milk in your tea every day, Stan.” She was home.


  1. likeitiz February 16, 2013 8:54 pm

    Nifty story. Enjoyed it. Thanks.

    • AR Neal February 16, 2013 9:04 pm

      {curtsies awkwardly} Thank you!

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