Goddamn it, this is hard…
How do I even begin to tell you about the…the fucking nightmare I’ve been through.
Give me a moment…let me gather my thoughts…let me prepare myself to relive the events that led me here. You’re going to think I’m insane…you’re going to think this isn’t true. I can’t say I blame you. I still have a hard time believing any of this is real…
But Jesus…the things I’ve seen.
It’s been five years now. Five confusing, hard years. You can’t comprehend what I’ve had to go through. There’s no way you’ll ever know what I’ve been forced to surrender. You can’t fathom how many things I’ve had to relearn. And there are still so many questions that absolutely terrify me…
But I’m rambling. I told myself I was going to sit down and record everything that happened. I suppose I should start from the beginning.
Christ…I don’t even know where the beginning is anymore.
It started with the watch. I bought it at a flea market on the day I was going to meet Megan for the first time. I had a date with her that night. A blind date, something one of our mutual friends set up. But, but the watch, that fucking watch…some kid was selling it at a table, along with dozens of others.
They were all different, but I remember that specific one immediately caught my eye. It was made from some kind of black stone, the polished ebony band coiling around my wrist as I tried it on. It was breathtaking, a one of a kind piece. The face was colored red in the center and then faded to black along the edges. The hands were colored in swirls of matching shades. The round face was encircled with beautiful shining stone, that same inky black practically glowing as I inspected it. It was heavy on my wrist and I remember liking that.
The kid…that fucking kid. He was watching me carefully the whole time with this glint in his eye. He knew…of course he knew. I know that now. He told me I could have it for five bucks. The price was unbeatable and he could tell I had fallen in love with it. I didn’t hesitate, purchasing it as quickly as I could pull out my wallet. I was thinking about how it would impress my blind date.
The kid snatched the five dollar bill from my hand and started packing up his table. I didn’t think anything of it, but as I turned to go, he called out to me. I turned around, expecting him to ask for more money. Instead, he had a torn look on his face. Finally, he spoke.
“Listen…that watch has an alarm on it…it goes off randomly. It’s important you turn the alarm off before it beeps three times. Just…just trust me ok?”
I remember being confused, and rightly so I suppose. I asked the kid what would happen if I let the watch beep three times.
His eyes filled with darkness, “If it beeps three times…he comes.”
The kid leaned towards me and whispered, his voice hoarse, “The Tick Tock Man.”
I think I said something rude after this reveal, brushing off the warning as some kind of immature superstition. He was just a kid, probably ten or twelve, with fears he hadn’t worked out yet. I think he made me promise to remember what he said before I left.
Obviously, if I had actually listened to him I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. I wouldn’t be telling you all this.
I wouldn’t have met The Tick Tock Man.