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One Minute to Midnight

Just a Minute Challenge Entry

By Paul StewartPublished about a month ago 3 min read
One Minute to Midnight
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

One minute to midnight.

Thunder broke the silence of the night, as the rain drenched the land outside the humble abode of Thom Watkins. The sound of the rain pelting against the double-glazed windows that were reinforced with steel grates, eased Thom…a little. Just a little…but he welcomed it.

As he sat in his DIY prison, flicking his hand through the shock of jet black hair on his head that had a light sprinkling of grey through it, he psyched himself up. Looking at the marks on the backs of his hands, and the tribal-esque stamp-like tattoo on his right wrist, this was the calm before the internal storm. Already his body was on fire. He was sure he was ready, but no matter how many times he had already gone through the exact same routine, he tried not to be complacent. Just one mistake - missing one step - could have dire consequences. Forty-five seconds to midnight.

Thom made sure the clocks on all his devices were correct. He had a fancy steel strapped watch with a traditional clock face on his wrist, a clock on the wall in front of his favourite red armchair and several "spares" placed at various places around the room and indeed throughout his home, not that he would be venturing into any of those spaces until morning. He had sufficient amounts of water - around 3 to 4 litres was the volume he aimed for, and a lot of high protein snacks to keep hunger at bay. Thirty seconds to midnight.

His eyes darted around the room as he made sure the doors were all locked shut and that the reinforced steel, the same as that on the exterior of his windows, was firmly in place.

Thom was never really sure what was worse. The wait or the aftermath. Everything in-between was a blur. The build-up to that blur and the gradual come down following the blur were intense. His pulse increased, his heartrate quickened, and his breathing slowed down, while sweat drained from his pores and his senses were wired. his pores drained sweat like there was a heatwave and his senses were all enhanced. Fifteen seconds to midnight.

That was how he was feeling right now and with all these heightened sensations, came the dread, anxiety and disconnection that came from now really knowing who he was, or more accurately, what he was and what he was about to do.

The come down was gradual, and while that meant his pulse, heartrate and breathing would return to normal and he would stop feeling so wired alive, it also meant he was left wondering what he had done this time. What blood had been spilled to satiate his lust and hunger and what trauma had he inflicted on more victims, both direct and indirect. Ten seconds to midnight.

With each and every transformation, he lost a little bit more of himself...lost a bit more of the man he thought he was.

Thom...was becoming increasingly a thing of the past...a distant memory. He worried that there would come a time when he changed, and Thom had disappeared forever. Five seconds to midnight.

He was seconds away from midnight now and although he was unsure if everything was in place for a safe spell, there was no more time to do anything about it. That last bit of conscious nerves and anxiety, fear and dread gave way to serenity. Serenity in the release. Serenity as he was forcibly unburdened of his human instincts. As the clock chimed for midnight, the last minute of Thom's life finished and made way for "it".


Thanks for reading!

Author's Notes: Written so it works as a standalone...though I feel I might explore Thom's story more. The picture may or may not be suggestive...more symbolic.

HorrorShort StoryMysteryFantasyFable

About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

Overflowing in English language torture and word abuse.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!

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Comments (2)

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  • Joe O’Connor21 days ago

    Felt very Jekyll and Hyde-esque, particularly when his doubts start to creep in the closer he gets to midnight. Could be transforming into a werewolf, and locking himself in so he doesn’t harm anyone. A tense read Paul!

  • JBazabout a month ago

    An excellent entry into the challenge I thnk I may have missed the other part ot htis so I was in the dark a bit. At first I thought he was going into a drug enhanced state.

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