Aphelion Issue 265, Volume 25
September 2021
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Time Is Not Amenable

by Theresa C. Gaynord

The cuckoo-clock lays broken.
A once impressive showcase piece,
a curiosity the local shopkeeper
loves. He reaches for the pieces
of wood, beneath his hands blood
spews through stumps of fingers
exposing wounds. Rising horror
lessens the pain to a dull throb,
as hideous roots spring from
shaking hands. He crashes it
to the ground in another attempt
to kill the beast, the indefinite
continued progress of existence.
A shrill screech, a distant cry, the
sharp, slashed throat and pallid skin
that breaks open revealing rotting
flesh to rotting wood, scrapes against
the dirt of time.


Blood breathes like a crackling fire
gasping in terror. Within the curiosity
shop, marmalade kittens roam among
shiny silver while the portrait of twins,
whose eyes follow, meet your stare.
There is a ballroom where men escort
fancy ladies dressed in white through
the library, providing trickery and spectacle
mirrored in stained glass windows. Anonymity
takes center stage so as not to interrupt
the ghosts that time has rendered.


The girl is young, clever. Magic is
her secret. Puppets and widgets spin
in careless splendor all around her,
suspended in air, dwindling only in the early
morning hours, where a subtle smile and
the gaze of patrons lay sentiment to the
antiques propped on the window for display.


Ruby-red wine in cobalt blue glass
share the warm blues of a twilight
sky when they find him. A special
invitation under his velvet suit reads
danceable, melodic tunes chime
patiently from the cuckoo-clock;
come and see. The movement of
tropical birds spill over a platform,
slowly, very, very slowly releasing it
only when secure, round and round
until latched or hinged, or broken

2020 Theresa C. Gaynord

Theresa likes to write about matters of self-inflection and personal experiences. She likes to write about matters of an out-of body, out-of-mind state, as well as subjects of an idyllic, pagan nature and the occult. Theresa writes horror, as well as concrete gritty and realistic dramas. Theresa is said to be witch and a poet. (within the horror writing community).

Find more by Theresa C. Gaynord in the Author Index.

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