Today’s extract is from Joshua Holland’s The Watchmaker…
THE YEAR IS 1765 and I am making my first watch. My father is hovering over my shoulder, making sure I do not make a mistake. It takes me over three hours to craft and, while it is basic in design, I am fiercely proud. So is my father, who hoists me on his shoulders and parades me around the village and proclaims my achievement. They say blessings and give both him and I pats on the back for our fine work. Back at home, my father says I can keep the watch. I hold it tight and thank him. I place it in my keepsake box.
The year is 2072 and I have jumped again. I seem to be drawn to this period and its people. I have a girlfriend and many good friends. I am living two lives. I am at my girlfriend’s home. She looks at me and says she loves me and never wants to let me go. I smile at her and lie, telling her I will never leave her. I know I will jump again. She knows as well, but seems to enjoy hearing the lie. We make love.
The year is 1769 and my father is dead. Raiders attacked our village and burnt down our home. My father perished saving me. I stand at the edge of my home, watching the flames dance around the wreckage. The only thing I am able to save, apart from the clothes on my back, is my first watch. I cry as I remember my father and all he taught me. I hold my watch close to my chest. Many of the other villagers were attacked. Some come to console me and put out the fire. The village priest pulls me in against his cloak, hugging me and saying reassuring words about God. I continue to cry.
The year is 2075 and I am married. My new wife and I stumble over the threshold of our honeymoon suite and laugh. I pick her up and carry her to the bed. We look each other in the eye. I smile at her. She smiles at me. I never want this moment to end. We make love all night. In the morning I get up and go out to the balcony. My stomach churns as the familiar feeling washes over me. I am going to jump again. I call out to my wife, but it is too late.
About the Author
A random collection of cells, sinew, nerve endings and grey matter came together to form a consciousness of infinite possibility and wonder. It taught itself to read, write and speak in a beautifully lyrical cacophony of sound and meaning. Then it started drinking too much sugary drinks and playing too many video games. Its name is now Joshua Holland and it resides somewhere in the ichor of the internet.
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