The great, ormolu grandfather clock stands
Dominating the room.
Its heavy pendulum swings
Back and forth, back and forth,
As if guiding the rest of the clocks.
From the ceiling hangs low
A candle-lit chandelier—an eerily cold flame
Sits on top of each blackening wick.
No warmth is generated no matter how long it burns,
No matter how much wax has melted,
For what warmth is deserved by the cold-hearted sinner who has claimed this house as his home?
Dead or alive, there is no mercy, no forgiveness.
It is past the point of return.
Nothing is darker than the nature of the secrets this room conceals.
Cries of help and begging screams echo through the room,
Rebounding —rebounding—off the tetrad of walls.
An acrid stench of greed commands the room.
It is a room poisoned by wealth and the undeserved luxury of high living.
The gilded furniture stands atop the loop-pile carpet with the embroidered clock,
Could from afar fool an audience,
Convince them that it has been barely touched,
That only innocent memories are tied to these particular, inanimate objects.
However, the closer one gets, the more the pungent, dated odor grows,
The more the dried specks of blood reveal themselves in the carpet,
The more the fingerprints of the gluttonous owner make themselves seen.
Only then is it discovered that it is no more than a masquerade of deceit.
Besides the few pieces of furniture that occupy the otherwise swamped space,
It is overflowing with priceless items and ornaments,
And embellished with clocks.
Dozens of clocks.
All of which sing the same tune, not one millisecond behind or ahead.
They tick tick tick in unison as if a warning of what is to come.
The room is as crowded as the mind of a paranoid and restless insomniac,
And yet, every artifact present has its own place, its own calling.
By 9 o’clock, the sun is near its downfall.
The scarlet red and fiery orange of the golden hour sky scream
Their last screams behind the clouds which are draped loosely around the sun.
Thus, the golden ball, which hangs in the sky,
Like Icarus, falls violently to its death and drowns in the horizon,
Succumbing to the viscous, and what always feels like, eternal night.
In these last moments, nothing but the unanimous ticking of the clocks can be heard.
Then, precisely ten minutes later,
As if the clocks have finally reached a verdict,
The day dies and in turn, the night awakens.