In the corner between two bay windows, an old grandfather clock sat framed by dark red curtains. Within the heart of the oak timekeeper was a gold pendulum, its hands above shifting as they moved in harmony with the swings. In this corner was an instrument of Time, and in Time is where all stories start. Shall we begin?
Where the clock stood on steady feet, Time watches as a young man emerges onto the play of history that humans call life. When those moon-cast eyes scan the room for the man he calls his father, the minute hand points anew.
At the click that resonated throughout Time’s body, it perked up - surveying the mortal with a more scrutinous eye. It wonders how to use this new puppet with eyes the color of night, how to use a different color on a canvas filled with only red. Then it grins, in the way one could perceive as a grin, and gripped the swinging pendulum in excitement. The human breathes shakily, shoving his hands into the pockets of the green jacket hanging off his thinning frame. Time had been cruel to him, as the thing itself laughed at the male’s sunken cheeks and hollow face. But in those depth-filled eyes was the life that his appearance lacked - a unique fire of strength and will. Time it lips with the promise of a feast.
The sound of footsteps came from behind the door the young man was staring at. Time cocked its head as a taller man filled the doorway, his build a point of comparison to what the younger man’s used to be. But, Time supposed - with humans, a look was as deceiving as an expression behind a mask.
“Son,” he inclined his head towards the desk resting in the room behind the door. The latter strode towards the chair in front of the table, his face equally impassive. Once the other was seated, the former finally sneered before recovering his cool facade and shutting the door with a resolute click. Within the grandfather clock, Time moved, leaping for the crack between door and frame, finding refuge in the circular clock perched on the polished mahogany of the desk.
The man finally seated himself behind his desk, observing the light-haired man in front of him. His eyes fell on the glittering white, twinkling faintly from where it lied on the male’s fourth finger. Then those brown orbs widened imperceptibly, as it recognized those dark crystals imbedded within the metal band. Then the older man revealed the first hint of emotion besides indifference.
It was a humorless one at that, neither remotely funny or mocking. It merely existed.
Just like Time.
Hidden in the clock, it watched as the man who laughed open his mouth to speak.
“Golden obsidian, Minho? Your fiance must be something.”
The addressed gave away nothing, but his eyes simply flashed in something Time would call anger. That was another fun thing to play with - a constant with humans.
The man spoke again, “What’s the poor girl's name, son? Who would want the last picking of the Lee family?”
But from the direct jab at his own name, the man, Minho, did not care to reply. But he softly murmured the name of the person who carried the counterpart to his own engagement ring.
Somewhere across the country was the gleaming warmth of rose gold, resting on a younger man, lethargically blinking off the heaviness of sleep from his eyelids. A disgruntled groan filled the room along with an alarm blaring from a phone, thrown off the side of the bed. Tousled hair the same color of his ring lifted off the pillow, and lanky limbs stretched out lazily. The man looked out the window, and a few moments later the soft padding of feet on hardwood echoed around the room. When the footsteps stopped, the alarm was silenced.
In the pale hands of the young man who gazed at his screen, they not only did they hold the phone, but the heart of a fire-filled dancer.
What’s the poor girl's name, son?
The risen male turned off the device with a sigh, and stood to move to the kitchen. The sound of water and gurgling followed by a small beep could be heard in the cozy apartment, and then silence blanketed the place once more.
After an hour or so, the young man went out the door, coffee in hand and a jacket haphazardly put. He walked around - with no course or direction - letting his legs figure it out and his mind to wander. Tucked beneath his arm was a sketchbook bound in leather and clutched in his fingers was a plain pencil. The sun hadn’t made its arrival into its throne, still sleeping in the horizon fringing night with the traces of its brilliance. And with the pleasant chill of the early morning air, the male found himself on a bench in the nearby park.
Who would want the last picking of the Lee family?
The creak of weathered wood and the soft thump of a sketchbook were the only response, the pencil wagging in the air with the man’s contemplation. The man debated what to sketch, looking towards the hint of sun in hopes of a masterpiece to capture. As he opened the sketchbook on his lap, a small voice startled the steady descent of his hand.
“Can you draw anything?” the man whipped his head around to see a small boy with big eyes. Then he huffed in amusement to himself, before replying,
“Would you like me to draw you something?”
The boy nodded in excitement, but paused in his eagerness.
He looks down, “I want you to draw something I haven’t seen before.”
He probably wants me to draw a dragon or something, the man thought. “Sure, I can do that.”
The tip of his pencil grazed barren paper, but halted in surprise as the child looks back up with hope in his eyes -
“Can you draw love?”
The artist felt a pang of sorrow in his heart, a regretful smile filling his face as he told the child -
“I-I’m still learning about love myself,” he lowered his eyes. “I don’t know what love looks like yet.”
Instead of receiving a forlorn response, the artist’s head shot up in shock as he heard innocent laughter from in front of him. The boy gazed at him with a wisdom that felt too old to belong in those reflecting orbs.
“Isn’t that part of it?”
In the boy’s jacket was a pulsing glow, and a small hand gingerly removed it from where the light resided. In his outstretched palm was a flower that the man had never seen before.
The child gingerly took its stem and tucked it behind the artist’s ear. Then he leaned in.
“It’s a he,” the son scowled, though his eyes shimmered with wonder. Wonder for a boy who found him, as he found the boy.
The child tilted its head, as if trying to hear something in the distance. Then he smiled to himself.
“Jisung,” the son and boy said together.
Time is cruel to many - yet in trembling hands held a gift of time, a flower blooming despite the sun rising to burn it into ashes.
Stirring within the depths of a nameless abyss, a sleeping thing begins to dream.