The intriguing

Third prize of the new contest of Appaméennes Book 2008

When I entered the room reserved for travelers, my first glance was for the clock before turning to a TV showing the schedules of departures. The flight No. 3472 Frankfort appeared at the bottom of the screen. The gate was not displayed. My check-attached weighed increasingly heavy.
When I entered the room reserved for travelers, my first glance was for the clock, or rather the horror that took the place. I could not believe my eyes and a strong feeling of anger came over me: we had replaced the old clock that since the opening of the station, almost a hundred years ago, we watched fondly on other users. What had been done to her, anyway? What obscure local and under what pretext had be relegated? It was unfair because she had always faithfully and accurately indicated the time in its classic rounded and friendly. This disposal was also a costly stupidity: there was no need to be an expert, in fact, to assess the price of technological jewel installed above the wharf.
I was boiling inside detailing thin and ostentatious intruder. I would have become squint to distinguish it showed. I have glasses, obviously, but I’m sixty four stylish. I hate the face that make me yet signed the frames and me “going to wow,” as my optician and some so-called friends. I am far from being convinced I am myopic, blind!
Where had they unearthed this intriguing? The rectangular housing divided into two parts gave him stupidly. In the upper part, two “arrows” shiny tiny but took the place of needles. The lower part was a digital screen that displayed in phosphorescent characters “5:45” instead of “5:45 p.m.,” which ulcerated me to no end. Thinking that it would probably delight ignorant, increasingly many, who can not tell time, fanned my fury.
Regardless of all these details, also minors, I was certain that the object would mood swings and would soon advance, delay or hang.
My eldest son had once offered me a “modern” watch equipped with a numeric keypad to replace my old watch that yet but it worked great was “cheesy”. Nerdy? Perhaps ! But after six months, problems of incompatibility between having declared my new watch and I had to rid myself to resume my watch admittedly “cheesy” but functional. It was obvious that this new clock would soon be too whims, and that it would replace or reinstall … one that had been unfairly evicted.
I cast a fierce look at the unfriendly intruder and remained puzzled. I felt, oh! fleetingly but very clearly, that this clock had for me a hatred as intense as that which I dedicated to him …
I écourtai my journey to return more quickly at work. It was decided: I’m moving of crowds, would circulate petitions, would get the option of force or the return of our old clock.
I had time to mull over my resentment for the past three days with my son (one of the watch!) and my daughter. He was chagrined to see me go so fast I cook better than his Chantal, but she was delighted to see me heels it. No open hostility between us but this young woman, capable, supports neither advice nor criticism. God knows if I give sparingly and delicacy.
In short, I returned as soon as possible in my little Tournus to try to round up friends and require repayment of OUR clock.
It was necessary first of all to make sure that still existed and was in working condition. This was the case: it had not yet disappeared and she was telling faithfully but morosely hours, wedged between office Volatier Jerome, the station master, and the partition. Confident in the friendship that had bound us once Jerome and me, I was allowed me to enter his lair, yet “closed to the public”
– Well Carole! We just see his old friend before his retirement?
– You’re going to retire! I mumbled, aghast.
He first laughed and then he was saddened. He had left his post as long as possible but at sixty-five, he had to make his cap and make way for a young person. I learned at that time that it was the young in question, already named and held to familiarize themselves with the location and function, began to renovate the station. I had nothing against the fresh paint and new benches; on the contrary ! but the clock, huh! Why change a clock whose only fault was his age …?
We had the same look of pity to the helpless who continued to whisper her “tick” in the dark. We soupirâmes concert: belonging in the direction of the railways, the clock would return to the direction of the railways. What they do? How to know it! One thing was certain: they do not expect she whispered her last tick to get rid of God knows where.
He had to do something, but what?
The back? Out of the question. We do not turn like this one unused material and found unusable.
The buy? Certainly not! It was impossible to bring such a recipe in chapters budgeted.
Steal the nightly? Neither Jerome nor I had the makings of thieves.
“Caring” on the other? But how? Go up to her (and how) to the traffic, put out of working order to force the management to hand the old service? Neither Jerome nor I had notions of electronics and gifts acrobat …

Less than a month later, the day before his departure, early morning after a stormy night, Jerome called me on the phone.
– Come quickly, Carole.
He refused to tell me anything but his voice was relieved and contained more than energizing zest. I ran as fast as my poor varicose legs allow me and manquai fall of shock on entering the hall: our clock had regained its place and intriguing lying on the ground. A workman in overalls crouched at the foot of the ladder that allowed him to win one and reinstall the other, finished storing its equipment in a metal box. The “ticking” of the ghost sounded bright and cheerful.
– The storm! Jerome muttered, putting his arm around my shoulder. It is through the storm … I think they will not try to replace it anytime soon!
We laughed, and both the clock, echoing, let out a whole string of “tic tock “joyful. The worker raised frightened eyes:
– Did you hear? us he said.
– Hear what? we said a candid air.

He’s gone, troubled, turning several times to discuss the “infernal machine” … She also fall down, for sure! But it should not be counted on to get their hands on the housing!

We, we laughed all over again and stayed abreast to contemplate our clock a bit. Then it was necessary to leave. And there, you believe me or not, she happily agitated his hands as if to say goodbye.

Joëlle BRETHES
Saint-Denis, Reunion