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The Pocket Watch
The soft light of the candles danced around my face rhythmically as my parents dropped a shiny red present onto my lap. I stared at them anxiously and they nodded.
“Go ahead, open it,” my mom said. I smiled as I ripped away the fancy wrapping to reveal a pocket watch. My smile widened and I stared at my parents in awe.
“Is this what I think it is?” I asked them excitedly. They nodded again and I inspected the small golden watch. After I had confirmed it was the same one I had seen online, I flipped it over. The back was just as wonderful as I had hoped it would be. My fingers shook as I ran my fingers over the slowly spinning spiral; it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I wound the watch and stared as the spiral slowly turned. It stole all of my attention, and I seemed to fall farther and farther into it the longer I stared.
“Hey, Earth to John,” My brother, Simon waved his hand in front of my face and I jerked my eyes away from the spiral. I rubbed my pounding head and looked around. The candles had gone out, and it was pitch black outside.
“What happened?” I asked. Simon shook his head.
“You’ve been starin’ at that watch for a few hours, now,” he said with a smirk. “Mom and Dad are angry at you for not goin’ to bed.”
“A few hours?” I said slowly. Simon punched me in the arm.
“That’s what I said,” He stood up and left me sitting in the dark living room. I looked at the watch, and sure enough, it was nearly three in the morning. I dragged my surprisingly heavy body up to my room and lay down in my bed. How had it been a few hours? I let my eyes close, and I slept deeper then I had ever slept before. BEEP BEEP BEEP! My eyes flew open in alarm and I stared at my alarm clock. My headache was still there, and the alarm certainly wasn’t helping. I hit the off button, but it didn’t stop. I pressed it over and over again, but to my dismay, it refused to shut off.
“Enough!” I yelled as I chucked the alarm clock at the wall. It popped open, and an explosion of springs and metal bits showered down on my floor. I cursed under my breath and threw away as much as I could gather.
“John, hurry up, you’re gonna be late for school!”
“Okay, okay. I’m coming!” I called downstairs. I through on a t-shirt, jeans, and right before I raced downstairs I slipped the watch around my neck. I looked outside and saw Simon laughing at me from the bus; the bus that I had just missed. I cursed under my breath again and ran outside. My parents had already left for work, so it was up to me to find a ride. I ran to the side of the road and stuck out my thumb. Hitchhiking may be dangerous, but so is my mom when she finds out I wasn’t at school. A red car pulled up and an old man rolled down the window.
“Hi,” I said nervously. The man didn’t say anything; he just stared at my chest. I looked down to see what he was looking at. All that was there was my watch. I took a deep breath and continued. “Could you please give me a ride to school?”
“What? Oh sure,” he said suddenly. I got into his car, and after I told him the directions, he took me. Once we were at school, the man resumed staring at my watch.
“Need anything else?” he said slowly. I laughed.
“Some money would be nice,” I said sarcastically. The man said nothing and handed me the entire contents of his wallet. I gaped at the amount of money he had just handed me; there was easily over two hundred dollars. I got out of the car in awe and stared at him.
“Are you sure?” I asked. He smiled kindly.
“Keep it, and have a nice day!” The man drove off and I pocketed the money. I walked into school happily. I had just made a huge amount of money, and it seemed that today was going to be a good day. My thoughts were cut off by a painful punch to my arm.
“Hey, give me your lunch money, nerd,” I gulped. Without turning around, I could tell who it was; Carver, the strongest kid in school, was looming dangerously over me. He reeked of rotten eggs, and his always greasy hair and stained shirt made me gag.
“Well?” he said, pulling out a small knife. “You gonna hand it over?” I turned around, and instantly Carver backed down. He stood staring at my chest, seemingly frozen in place. I waved my hand in front of his face, and Carver never broke his gaze.
“Give me all your money,” I said, remembering the old man. Carver reached into his pocket and dropped a crumpled twenty into my hand. I smiled and walked away, leaving him stuck in the hallway. I stared at my watch and grinned; it must be allowing me to manipulate others. There was one more thing I needed to do to find out. I walked into the principal’s office, and stood right in front of him, my watch exposed and shining against the light coming through the single window in the office.
“Let us have the day off,” I said with a force I didn’t know I had. The principal nodded and picked up his microphone.
“Attention, students,” he said in a daze. “We are closing school early today.” He rang the bell, and I heard the beautiful sound of thousands of kids screaming and vacating the school grounds. I walked gallantly out of the office and headed towards the door, when once again, I encountered Carver. I faced him, but before he even looked at me, he yanked at my watch. The chain broke and he held it in his hand.
“So, this is how you did it,” Carver said angrily. “This is how you controlled me.” I shook my head innocently.
“It’s just a pocket watch,” I tried to back away, but Carver grabbed my collar and pulled me close enough to smell his rancid breath. I coughed and Carver laughed, sending even more of his breath into my face.
“Ya’ know, I’ve always wanted a slave,” Carver said holding up the watch. My eyes caught the spiral and instantly I forgot my surroundings. I heard one voice, and I don’t know how, but I just knew that I needed to do whatever the voice said.
“Pick up my books, Slave,”
“Yes, Master,” I said as I scrambled down to gather his belongings.
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