The Ornate Clock
The blow landed right on my jaw, knocking me to the floor. The sur-
roundings went blur. I lay on the floor reeling from the punch. Wrong were
those who said such heavy impacts didn’t hurt initially. The pain, so in-
tense, spread like wildfire from the point of impact. My jaw felt dislocated. I
pressed my hand at the junction between the jaw and the skull, where it hurt
the most. Everything appeared to be in place, at least for now.
The assailant was a heavily built person, who wore a grey coloured
golfer’s cap that was mostly trendy amongst the older generation. Sitting
right on top of me, he had his hand held up, curled into a fist, ready to throw
the next punch. Only thing, I had no idea why he was assaulting me. The
next blow came right at my nose. Just in the nick of time, I moved away.
Missing me, he smashed the ground instead, letting out a loud screech in
pain. It only made him angrier. I tried pushing the bulk of the person away.
But he was too heavy and firmly seated on my chest.
I then tried lifting my legs, but it was pointless. For some reason, they
felt firmly pinned to the floor. A man, wearing a mask, was holding them
down as if restraining a wild animal. His firm grip rendered them totally
As I struggled under the weight of these two, the man with the golfer’s
cap grabbed hold of my neck firmly. He then slipped his right hand into his
pocket only to pull out a shiny object. It wasn’t clear what the object was at
first, as my eyes felt teary. But the reflection caught my attention. Squeezing
my eyes, I could see it.
Alas…it was a knife, much larger than a pocketknife!!
The thought of it puncturing my chest made my heart pound like a
vicious wild animal that refused to be tamed. With each thud it felt as if it
would jump out, breaking the rib cage, tearing through my skin.
Having realised that my end was near, I pushed the man holding my
legs away by kicking frantically like a mad man. He fell to the side, hitting
his head on the sidewalk. A distinct thud and a squeal confirmed that the
impact was severe. It would take at least another minute or two, before he could get back on his feet.
Not long after that the man with the cap, tried stabbing my throat with
the knife. In a split second I reacted, moving away just in time, as it grazed
the side of my neck, raking away a few skin cells in the process. The knife
penetrated the ground instead, right in between two slabs of bricks beneath.
Before he could pull it out, I grabbed hold of his turtle like neck, squeezing
it as tightly as possible. His face turned white. With eyes almost popping out
of its sockets, he hopelessly gasped for air. With every passing second my
clasp only grew tighter, nearly dislodging his Adam’s apple.
‘Aarghhh,’ I shouted out loud, putting all my energy into it. The insides
of his throat could be felt by my bare hands. A few more seconds later, he
stopped moving. The struggle ended and the lifeless body slumped on me.
Pushing it aside, I got to my feet.
The lifeless body lay on the floor, facedown.
Was he dead?
There was no movement at all. I looked at the accomplice who was
also on his feet by now. He too stood staring at the body of his partner, eyes
gaping in horror, through the slits of his mask.
Two to three minutes must have passed, as the two of us stood like
statues. The sound of a police vehicle approaching brought the accomplice
to his senses. He darted off like a deer that had just spotted a lion. But I
stood frozen on the spot, watching the lifeless body, horrified at what I had
The tires of the police vehicle screeched and halted right next to me.
Out of nowhere, two cops sprung out of the vehicle.
One of them shouted in a high-pitched voice ‘FREEZE’ while the
other sprinted in my direction and pinned me to the ground in a jiffy. My
face hit the hard-tarred road, but at this point nothing hurt. Nothing mat-
tered anymore as I felt mortified, unable to believe what I had just done.
“Did you kill him?” one of the officers asked.
How was I to respond to that question?
“Did you?” he snarled.
“Yes…” I said, regretting the answer almost immediately, as without
any further questioning, he twisted my hands behind my back and put on
the manacles. He then hauled me up and shoved me into the back seat of
the police vehicle.
“Trrrngg……” the alarm rang. I sprang up on the bed, breathing rap-
idly, strands of sweat flowing down my face, soaking my shirt.