The Mouse Ran Down

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Credit: Google (original source not found)

Hickory, dickory, dock. The hand on the clock, faster and faster towards its inevitable end. To the number thirteen. Thirteen? Well yes. A special clock, one with thirteen at the top instead of twelve because the Greeks may have liked even numbers, but only because they liked order. I, I am chaos. And they? They’re dead. Like the rest of them. Because even numbers kill, or so say the Chinese with their fear of four.

Thirteen always frightens people. Perhaps because it comes from me, from chaos, from darkness. Or perhaps because it always has an odd feeling about it. They avoid it, claiming the devil’s number. I don’t mind. They fear the devil, so by extent they fear me. But I, I came before the devil. I came before the Greeks created Zeus and Hades and Olympus. I came before all of it. With the darkness of the night, creeping in. Instilling fear. For what truly lurks in the dark at night? Only I can answer that.

But you know, don’t you? It’s chaos. Chaos lurks in the darkness. It is that which they fear when they look upon areas light cannot reach. My wretched brother created the light, believing that my darkness had too much power. But even in the day, there are places his light cannot reach. Places where creatures, my creatures, have never seen a ray of his invention – they could not imagine it if they tried, and they do not want to try. They feed off chaos and the darkness, growing stronger in perpetual night.

Some say darkness is only an absence of light, that it does not truly exist, but this is wrong. Can a creature feed off something which is not real? Can a mere fiction hold power like that? Who would dare suggest that I am only the absence of my brother? Though, in some senses, each of us is everything the other is not. But I digress.

My eyes lazily drift back up to that clock. The hand is so close to thirteen. I love the beauty of it, the way the digits twist. It’s deliciously unsettling. I get lost in thought so often… But such is symptom of knowing too much. Knowing what happens when the hand reaches thirteen… I stifle a chuckle. All in due time.

It can get sort of lonely when you are everywhere and nowhere all at once. Knowing everyone and everything but not having them truly grasp what you truly are. They call to me, pray to me. Fear me. But they do not know me well. Some call me sin and some call me savior, but what a human thing it is to divide the world. I am. That is enough for your fear and devotion, your indifference and your spite. I will exist whether you embrace me or reject me. And you, oh you, my dear– You will perish and join me no matter the hours and days and years spent reaching for the light.

Love? Oh, I know not nor care for love. Your prayers and pleading are met only with interest and never with emotion. Or with every emotion. There is no swaying what is eternal, no story that will turn me or persuade me. When the clock strikes thirteen you are over and you rest in me, and I–

I think that good.


Based on the prompt: Take the first line(s) of a nursery rhyme and turn them into the beginning of a dark narrative.

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