IN THE MORNING, MY CLOCK DOESN'T STOP

AN LIN HUNT-BABCOCK

I woke up at 1:58 this morning with a cup of tea and a biscuit that made my mouth drier than
when I woke up at 1:59 this morning I was on the moon, still and quiet I felt like an alien with
too many eyes I was meant to be in homeroom right now with all my classmates listening for the
bell to let us be released but how can I when I am not on Earth and it is 1:59 in the morning
because I haven’t gone to sleep yet, I am watching the big hand curl its way around the numbers
on my clock, dragging the smaller hand with it but the smaller hand is staggering behind and
doesn’t want to go to 2 in the morning too many times and all I want is to visit anywhere but my
house, perhaps travel until I run out of time that is all false and the big hand is still trying to
move but I want it to stop, to not waste its energy on me I want to leave it behind and never see it
again until it turns 2:01 in the morning, where I can find it on the side of the street, tangled in its
own wires and broken, it doesn’t cost any money and I can bring it home if I so desire right here
and right now, if I so desire to take this stray to call it my own and get buried with it because it’s
now mine even though it’s 2:02 and the minutes are getting shorter and the hours longer when I
didn’t even want this clock back, it groans in the late evenings as the sun goes down with my
energy at 2:03 because a zero is separating a pair of lovers, zero money I have stashed in my
pillow case and now I can’t travel and my dreams are being crushed in the span of a minute and
all I can do is let them, they aren’t my dreams anymore, not mine, a minute passes to 2:04 and
I’m trying to find a face in these numbers, I’m looking for a sign to reassure me that I’m going to
do something productive today, maybe do my laundry that is piling too high in that one corner I
find lonely, or wash the dishes that I stole from my mother’s house before I moved out, but at
least I didn’t take anything from her China cabinet when I rightfully could’ve but I didn’t need
expensive plates and bowls, I needed stuff I could eat off of when I am awake at 2:05 in the
morning, maybe I could even open the curtains apparently it’s been sunny lately, or at least that’s
what the weather says, then why can I hear rain on my roof pounding on my door asking why I
haven’t left the house in a couple of weeks I can’t answer the rain because I have found myself
hating it and I just want the sun to peak out of my curtains and ask me why I haven’t left the
house in a couple of weeks but I hear thunder at 2:06 in the morning, I decide that today I will
rest, I wonder how long I can survive off of potatoes and dried apple slices, I wonder why I ever
needed lunch when breakfast and dinner are more than enough but in school they made a whole
hour for you to eat such a stupid meal, I was never hungry during that time and used it to count
how many steps it took me to reach the school entrance from my homeroom that I never attended
because I was on the moon at 2:07 in the morning, I was alien, I had too many eyes, I wasn’t
Earthling and didn’t need to eat lunch with others and sun was never out when I wanted it, it ran
away from me and I wonder if the big hand on my clock has been hiding it from me I need to get
rid of it because just like lunch, it is not necessary for me to keep just because it was what I grew
up with chasing bugs until they grew boring and I squashed them and I can’t even remember
when I stopped that but now that it’s 2:08 I’m thinking of making a cup of tea for myself but no
biscuits because only people who drink water can have that privilege and the big hand is
dragging itself to 2:09 and I’m feeling a bit tired, maybe the sun will eat me alive, I’ve always
wanted to die in my sleep.

AN LIN HUNT-BABCOCK is from California, United States. She is currently 17 and a Junior at Idyllwild Arts Academy, majoring in Creative Writing. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards as well as a finalist for the 2019 Faulkner Short Story Competition. She is the fiction editor of her school’s online magazine, Parallax.