Out Of Time from Anica Demiste's blog


Two years ago…

A gold-plated pocket watch tick-tick-ticked as it swung freely from a hand upon a matching gold belt chain. Though the hour read plain upon its weathered face, Anica lost all trace of time in the darkness of her abode. Unobtrusive in both size and fashion, the structure she inhabited was hardly passable as a home; perhaps more a hovel, but that mattered very little to its resident. All the wealth and extravagance she possessed in the world could not be quantified by the state of her property, but rather what lie within it.

There was no space within the room unconquered by display cases exhibiting rare artifacts, chests of heirloom jewelry spilling over the sides, paintings by the hands of famous artists, threads on hangers fit to adorn the body of a count or baroness, and more; all of them trophies inherited by circumstances shrouded in mystery. A trip down the stairs here, a suicide there, and the occasional disappearance. No matter the flavor of accident, each one was accompanied by a single clue in which all affluent surviving family members failed to detect at the scene of the crime: one item was plucked from it's position, never to live among the gaudy nobility again.

An involuntary smile, drenched in irony, curled at the corners of the woman’s lips as she reminisced on each acquisition in her morose collection. Her verdurous eyes scanned all four corners of the room slowly, methodically. She could recall the moment she lifted each one, and to which deceased the item once belonged. It was so pitiful, so hauntingly heart-breaking that Anica should have amassed such an incomprehensible trove of riches, yet felt none of the comforts that she hoped might come with achieving such wealth. After so many years of living off scraps and amid the stench of dung and heaps of trash in the alleys, these mountains of lavish spoils appealed to her in equal kind. But what truly brought her to her knees, beyond any pain she might be willing to endure, was certainly derived from that longing for relief at the end of a bloody, storied career, yet finding that the unquenchable hunger for revenge at her core remained. She was now forced to retire not only a murderer and a thief, but also a failure.

The ticking from within the watch case slowed, no longer keeping with the passing of seconds. It distracted her wholly from the silent eulogy she paid to a life of vigilantism. Her finger pressed a button to release the catch on the lid, and, peering into the darkness, discerned the final shift of the hand before her mechanical companion ceased to function. Her sardonic smile faded... she was out of time.

Anica gently set the watch down upon the dresser beside the bed, gracing the gold surface with a farewell caress of her finger. The blinds were drawn, snuffing out the slight traces of moonlight which had for so many months bathed her treasures in a pale glow. Now they reflected only the soft illumination of a single struck match held aloft at the center of the room. The small flame would soon grow into a raging inferno, and all her worldly possessions burnt to ashes; her miserable past along with them.

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By Anica Demiste
Added Jan 18


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