Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Horologist


Ivan had been a clockmaker for decades. He could still do it well, in spite of his advancing years. Of course, it was more than that. He fixed clocks of all kinds, too. Ivan even cared for the clock in the town square.

All around his tiny storefront the town had grown. You could hardly call it a town anymore; it was now more of a city. Business wasn’t the same, either. There wasn’t the same call for what Ivan did, as there once was. Yet he continued on, feeling a purpose.

Ivan took great pride in his shop, as well as his craft. He surrounded himself with clocks of all kinds. He had fancy clocks, simple clocks, grandfather clocks, and cuckoo clocks among many others. He had new clocks, but he preferred the old clocks feeling a connection of age with them. He understood them, as if they were his family.

Every morning before dawn, Ivan would rise in his little apartment at the back of his shop. He would wind his pocket watch, and then go about winding each clock in the shop carefully. As he went he would inspect each one. It was important to keep them wound and in good working order. He didn’t do it for sales really, but rather feeling he was doing each one justice. He did his job so they could do theirs.

Finally, Ivan would check the time on his pocket watch once more. He was always careful to open on time; it was important. Sweeping his sidewalk, he would wave to the other shopkeepers. Seeing his familiar, dependable and friendly face, they waved back.

Ivan had clients who had come to him for many years. These days however, most people usually came in to have their watches repaired or batteries changed. That was fine with him. On a good day, someone brought him a clock to fix. Sometimes they came in just to see his clocks. He liked to tell them about the clocks and their history.

One morning the sign did not turn to “Open”.  People immediately knew this was not like Ivan. His routine was well known, running like proverbial clockwork. He was a fixture as much as the town clock was.

The police were called to assist with a well check call.  They found Ivan seated at his workbench. A smile on his face, he looked very peaceful they said.  In his hands was his old pocket watch; both now still. 

Story by: McGuffy Ann Morris
Photo by: Photobucket

38 comments:

  1. Sad yet happy . . . . .

    You're a good story teller ;o)

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    1. Thank you for this kind comment, Abelle. I appreciate this.

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  2. my favorite line: He did his job so they could do theirs.

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    1. Thank you. I try to get into the heart of my characters because I care about them.

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  3. A truly wonderful story, Annie! I love the way you used the prompt word, and how skillfully you wove the tale so that we could get the sense of Ivan's connection not only to his beloved clocks and watches but to punctuality. I loved the character you created for him, he is someone I would have enjoyed knowing. Thank you for an awesome contribution to Two Shoes Tuesday!

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    1. Thank you, Josie. I enjoyed telling this story. I appreciate your prompts.

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  4. I loved this tory. It was so bittersweet. The man lived a good life nad was gone overnight. He died with a smile on his face. Wonderfully, written.

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    1. Mary, thanks for this comment. I appreciate it very much.

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  5. Wind those clocks, Mister ~~ This is a very nice use of the prompt, Ms. Mack. I did think of it when doing mine but I had this photo sitting around of the trapeze school equipment so I used the other definition.

    There was an old movie I saw on TV about a clock winder/repairman and of his son who was following his steps. My favoriet clock was the one above everything in the train station. It reminded me somewhat of the clock in Musée d'Orsay of Paris, once a train station.
    ..

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    1. I am glad this brought you some good thoughts, Jim!

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  6. He could ask no finer end than to be doing what he loved the most.

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    1. Melissa, I really appreciate that very much!

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  8. This is excellent. Bittersweet indeed. He died with a smile on his face as he'd done what he loved all his life. Love this.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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  9. Hi Ms. Mack ~~ The Movie was "Hugo" and Mrs. Jim said we went to the movie instead of seeing it on TV. It was a November 2011 film. There is a scene from a train wreck in the Gare Montparnasse railway station back in the late 1800's.

    You would like it. It is about an orphaned boy whose father had been the official clock winder. The boy runs away from his step-father, lives in the train station, and begins his own Horology career. And also he is busy evading capture as a run-away thief.
    ..
    ..

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    1. Jim, I am happy this brought you good feelings. I have not heard of that movie, but it sounds interesting!

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  10. I envisioned the old man as he went through his daily routine in his shop with a sense of purpose and pride, unassuming and gentle.
    Very well written.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  11. This was a lovely story. It reminded me of all the interesting clocks family members of mine have owned. My great-grandma's cuckoo clock, my mom's grandfather clock, my grandma's mantle clock. I do love them, and can picture your clockmaker taking such care to wind them and check them each day.

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    1. Oh, I am happy this brought you such nice memories! Thanks!

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  12. You write the best book reports. I was bad at that. :(

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    1. Thanks, Roe. This is one of my own stories. I'm glad you like it!

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  13. Wonderful. I love that he passed doing the thing that he loved all his life.

    McGuffy Ann, I wanted to let you know I've started reading "Weeds." So far, my favorite poem was "Rain," but all of them have spoken to me on some level.

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    1. Thanks! I can't wait to hear what you think of my book, "Weeds"! I am glad you like "Rain". I do, too.

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  14. You all seem to have such a delightful time with these!

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    1. Join us, Patty! It is a creative challenge, and yes...fun!

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  15. It brought to mind the words of the old song - "and the clock stopped...never to go again...when the old man died."

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  16. He died happy and doing what he loved. What a beautiful story with a slight twist at the end.

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    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful to go peacefully, doing what you love? Thanks for your comments!

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  17. A great way to go...excellent story and writing.

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    1. Thank you for that. I am glad you enjoyed this story.

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  18. I knew this man ... he had a shop in a little country town near where we used to live. We used to take our antique clocks in to him. He was such a gentleman and had so many stories to tell about the clocks he had. He was still there when we moved away, but he was old and this was long ago ... I hope he died with a smile on his face as Ivan did. That would be a fitting end, as it was in your story. Another great job and I love how you used this prompt in an uncommon way :)

    Andrea

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    1. I am glad you liked my story. If you knew someone like Ivan, you were blessed. I created him from my heart & soul.

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  19. Very nice. You really are a master at these very short stories. Janet

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  20. Lovely story. I like that you used "wind" rather than "wind". :`)

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