I can remember a time before the timelessness came. It’s only been five years, and I’ve been alive twelve. Twelve years, four months, one week, and two days, not that I should be keeping track. No one is supposed to know how old they are, how old anyone else is, or anything else to do with time.
Before timelessness, there were clocks. Everywhere, I guess, but usually one to a room anyway, and people had watches and pocket watches. Then the world was taken over by the Suit People, a group of people who well…wear suits, only suits, all the time. Their leader, who’s our leader since they took over, is named Rhonda Wilson, and she decided that time was unnecessary, and eliminated all clocks. Tore through buildings and people’s homes. I still remember when the pair of Suit People came into our house, tackling my parents and taking their watches, including my mom’s mom’s watch, which was gold. Then they locked us in the living room and searched the rest of the house. They came to school, too, and we were sent home early so that we didn’t get hurt.
Now, there’s no time. Not yet. We’re working on it. We is the Time Catchers. I’m one of them, but really, most people are, then again, I suppose I’m sort of at the front of the mission. I am one of the leaders of the Time Catchers, in our area, anyway. And tonight, we pull off the biggest job of the past five years, since the Time Catchers have started. We’re tyring to bring back time. Why? You can’t understand without having to live without it, but time is very useful. That’s not the only reason, though. Look at history: people will rebel, no matter what it is against, because as a species, we do rebel. We fight for what we used to have, or what we think is coming, and that’s what the Time Catchers do. We’re only fighting for what the Suit People took away from us, time.
“Penny, get over here!” My uncle shakes me from these thoughts. He’s standing twenty yards away from where I’m crouched on top of a pile of wooden boxes, reviewing the shedule in my notebook. I hop off of the boxes and grab my rucksack, slipping the notebook into it and buckling it as I jog over to the others. There are eleven here now, because it’s early in the day. I usually take off from school for the big projects, but most people can’t do that, whether it’s school or work that they’re skipping.
“Theo! You shouldn’t try to carry the glass all by yourself. You’d get hurt and Mama would be mad! Besides, I was coming.” My uncle Theo is trying to carry a huge piece of stained glass by himself, even though it’s a rule among us Time Catchers---if a bit of an unenforced one---that we can’t carry stained glass by ourselves. I know it’s a bit funny to have a rule that specific, but we do a lot of work with glass. I duck under the piece that Theo’s carrying and start walking backwards in the same direction he was walking. We’re underground about ten feet, in tunnels that go underneath a lot of the city. They have huge concrete columns and concrete floors and ceilings, but bare dirt walls.
“And…Stairs!” Theo announces, for my benefit because I’m going backwards. I start walking up, counting to seventeen. It flattens out again and I twist my head so I can see the tower. It’s stone, and maybe twenty stories tall, easily the tallest building in town. It used to be the clock tower, and it’s about to be one again.
“Penny! We’re going to need it, let’s see, right here.” Ms. Winston’s voice instructs. I set down the piece of glass, then step back to admire what we have so far. Seven triangles of colored glass, a minute hand, an hour hand, and 12 black metal numbers lie on the ground, on top of the brace. Things are falling into place.
TWO DAYS LATER
It’s the longest that one of our clocks has stayed up in public. It took a while---relatively---to get noticed, and then to get the crew of Suit People here took nearly a day. Nearly two days of time! It feels like magic, beauty. These are the moments when I feel like I can see a time with time again. These are special moments.
Posted in response to the challenge Timeless.