Ten years. After ten long years, he finally found it. He climbed over the ledge and stepped on the other side – the graveyard of time. Clocks of various kind lay scattered everywhere – hourglasses, sundials, cuckoo clocks, radio clocks, grandfather clocks and clocks he had no clue what to call; the rooftop was filled with them.
He wiped the tears from his leathery cheeks and quickly got to work. He picked up a clock, read the name etched on it, shook his head, and picked up another. He needed to find hers – her clock, her time. He need to find it and turn it back. He needed her back.
“You ain’t supposed to be here.”
Adam panicked at the voice and dropped the clock he was holding. He quickly turned around and tried to find where the voice came from. His olive green eyes landed on a small man seated on the ledge, a long, narrow pipe caught between his lips. The man looked at him, unblinking.
“Wha–who are you?” Adam asked.
“Am the timekeeper, I am,” the small man sucked on his pipe and blew out long, streams of smoke from his nostrils. “And I repeat: you ain’t supposed to be here. How did you find this place anyhow?”
“A map,” Adam answered. “Someone gave me a map.”
The small man leapt from the ledge. “Aye, interesting that is. A map?” The small man smiled. “What is it you’re looking for?”
“I need to find my wife’s time. I need to reset her clock. She’s dying.”
“My name is Jim,” the timekeeper extended his small hand. Adam reached out and shook it. “Aye, resetting her clock can extend her life. You know a lot for a mortal,” Jim said. “Someone gave you a map, you say?”
“Yes,” Adam answered.
Jim laughed a throaty laugh and spat out black spit. He puffed on his pipe and looked at Adam with narrowed eyes. “I’ve been timekeeper ever since the first man walked this ball of clay you call Earth. I believe this is the first time I get to have some fun.” Jim bent down and picked up a watch, a small golden watch. “Here’s your wife’s time.”
Adam looked at it as if it was a living thing. He took it with both hands and held it in his palms.
“Reset it like how you’d reset a normal clock, just turn the knob and the hands will turn. Be warned though…time is meant to run forward, lad.” Jim laughed and laughed and the laughter echoed all around. Adam felt an ache behind his eyes and when he looked around he found himself back in his flat. The golden watch remained in his hands with the second hand ticking forward. Hands shaking, Adam started to turn time backwards…