Hourglasses, Inc.

Nothing but a clever guise.
One must suspect, at least, that there was a connection to the timepiece. Yet one would be pressed to venture their guess very far from this realm. This, I gathered, was exactly the point. The truth was that hourglasses had nothing to do with it, but Hourglasses, Inc. would guard this secret well.
Only one man worked there, as far as I could tell. He would come in the mornings, stitched in a pinstriped suit and donning a bowler hat, his briefcase in hand, and he would exit in the evenings with no more or less than he had brought. When he wasn’t in view, his door remained closed and his sign would summon my eyes. Hourglasses, Inc., it read.
Every day, someone new would come to knock at his door, and after a time he would answer it before carefully ushering them inside. Hours later, they would leave as they had come. What was strange though, was how they had changed. Nothing about them had altered in any discernable way, nothing I could place, anyhow, but there was a difference there that could surely be seen. Everyone that exited seemed brighter, like they were somehow better than they had been before, and not one of them ever looked back or returned. Each carried with them an hourglass as they went, but one could tell that it was only a rouse; a mere memento for whatever had happened inside.
I’d caught as many glimpses as I could of the building’s depths, from whatever angles I could manage them as the door opened for a few seconds at a time, four times a day, but there was nothing I had ever seen that offered anything more.
There would then come the day that I couldn’t handle the mystery any longer, and after I’d witnessed the man enter his door that morning, I waited for a time before knocking upon it myself. He wouldn’t let me in. I could hear him through the door though, and I told him that I knew he was there, but he didn’t answer. I knocked again, but was left alone.
I tried harder the next time, having watched more closely those that had actually made their way inside. There was a certain knock that I had failed to notice before, and I would soon come to master it, but once again I would be denied.
In an act of desperation, I cried and pleaded with the man to let me in.
“Please sir,” I said, with few words left within me. “I beg of you.” Yet only silence was returned. That is, until he opened the door.
Lost in the moment that would follow, I stood aghast as all was unveiled before me, though it lasted just a moment more. When it was over, the memory was gone, and all that remained was the hourglass I held in my hands.
Soon, everyone would have one.

Hourglasses, Inc.

rsmullig

Calgary, Canada

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