The death of the Clock-Woman [English translation]
A motion. Thin. Light. A quivering maybe. A vibration. A quake delicate like an origami. So little and unreal one could have missed it without even noticing. Yet, the motion was here. It was trying to grow bigger. From sigh to wave, from echo to resonance, it wanted to grow.
It was time.
The Clock-Woman didn’t know how to react. The space had moved. She felt it. While her body was slowly swallowed by the frozen water, she felt the wreck moving. Nothing, it was nothing. It wasn’t even supposed to happen. The uroburos had frozen time. Any move was impossible. So the bathroom, in the boat perfectly moored, could make everyone safe. Stopping the run of time had been life-saving. For this, the Clock-Woman had given her skin to record every single second, memorise any single image and sound. Today, her whole skin was covered in key moments. Keys that would never open any door again if the wreck was about to get lost at sea again
Everything is fine now.
Something had to be done. But the cold had stiffened her body until the unconscious. Until she fell on the other side of pain. Until that moment where pain is just the ghost of another life. She had to move anyway. Someone had to face the extent of the damages. And she was the only one who could do it. Someone had to move. The motion was still getting bigger. A simple touch of the floor was enough to realise the motion was real
Supposing that there was still a floor.
The Clock-Woman looked at the bathroom again. The water had invaded all the available space. The lines of the tiles were losing their consistency because of it. There was no precision in their layout anymore. Impossible to go between them, impossible to avoid them. Simply impossible. The lines were blurry, threatening. The disolved lines were announcing the end of the world. Maybe it was a trick of the eyes, but they seem to get mixed up under the pressure of the motion, still growing, and soon to be a shock wave. The vibration seemed to prepare itself to ingratiate themselves better in the flaws.
Someone had to stay
Someone had to observe
Someone had to write it down
But there was no one. There had never been anyone. Maybe there will never be anyone. Something had to be done. The vibrations would soon swallow them all.
The Sandman couldn’t. Entirely dedicated to the panic of the moment, he was unable to fully understand what was going on. He was splitting up himself in states of emergency, still looking for a way to stop the water. The rise seemed impossible to stop. And so he was running. No time to find a solution to the problem. No time to find the original leak. So he was running, he was spreading himself in sandbags everywhere he could. He spread and spread, grain after grain, unable to know if he would ever be strong enough to stop the flood. The Sandman was getting out of breath in panic in this space where air was getting rarer by the mnute. Between the frozen water and the rough sand, what was worse between the poison and its antidote ?
There was no one else and yet someone had to handle the emergency
Because without the usual run of time, everything was an emergency
And the vibration was still getting bigger.
Pandora had created the surprise. She had moved when everyone thought she was finaly dead. Unconscious lack of concern, her arms kept wearing away by the acid finaly freed from the box. Her skin in shred was like a delicate veil, ready to wrap her if she could find how to move to act on the guilt that kept making her swallow the pain even more. If someone had told her to stop, that would have changed nothing, she would keep swimming, forcing the waving of her body until the now-exploded box. She stopped to listen long ago. Her throat was trapped by the weight of contradictory messages, and so she stopped listening.
Figute it out
No, you’re not hurting
You should have came earlier
I don’t understand why you hurt
It’s pure stupidity to have waited so long
Why did you come
I don’t see where is the problem
You can’t handle that alone
Figure it out
on your own.
Pandora held her head straight and her voice dead for long now, she had swallowed all the snakes coming, even for a moment, in the crew. Pandora might have ended up pulling off her own tongue. She had bitten it so much to shut up, to shut up the weaknesses of the rats from the crew : the uroburos who was dying under its own weight, the laugh of Cassandra like a curse she threw to the others as much as to herself, the blood of the dead girl unable to die for real, the unabling panic of the Sandman, the skin of the Clock-Woman who was so sick of remembering… Pandora has swallowed her own tongue and tones of her own blood in the time. Never ever complaining. And when the bow had broken under the pressure of the screaming, the nightmares and the smell of rot, when she has been accused of every miseries, she did not complain. She laughed until she suffocated under the rising water. Because it was the only thing to do. Because it was all that was left to do. Because it was the only reasonable option.
And now the mooring lines have broken.
Pandora knew, but Pandora couldn’t tell. Pandora was not allowed to tell. Never. She swore. She, more than anyone on the ship, knew the price of blood. She was not allowed to tell. Time passing by, she had even forgotten how to speak.
Can you blame people for not seeing what you hide from them ?
The Clock-Woman had to move. There was no one. The vibration had got so big it has nothing to do with a vibration anymore. The vibration turned into a seismic rift. The wreck was struggling with even more rage. The lines of the tiles would soon have lost all sense if nothing was done. The lines of the tiles were not lining up any though now.
It was time.
The Clock-Woman had to move. There was no one else. The Sandman couldn’t stop his run. Pandora was swimming without any faith, looking for the pieces of the box. The Clock-Woman had to move, it was her job. She always brings them home. She promised.
When she forced her body to stand up, the whole pain woke up. The violence of the shock cut off her breath during another shock wave. Breathe, send back the pain where no one could hear it, move on. It wasn’t the first time. But so much time had passed by since a pain screamed so loud to be heard. So much time since she had to tighten her teeth so strongly she could break them. It was impossible to lock this pain in the box.
One gets used to anything, even the worst
Especially the worst
Body memory has no equal
The first impulse is always the hardest. Force the body to go against its instinct. Force the loop. Become the uroburos. The first impulse is still the hardest. The run-up, everything lies in the run-up. You had to know how to prepare the run-up and use it for the best. Becoming the evergoing motion. That was the key. The price to pay was known. Cassandra smiled between the erased lines of the tiles. Cassandra had always known. She had simply waited. When her eyes met the Clock-Woman’s, who ignored her so often, she simply landed her hand. Between the white fingers of the curse seller, a simple crack of the tiles. The Clock-Woman knew… but the key was needed, she had to force this body to make the first impulse. She had to get out of the frozen water. The first impulse is always the hardest…
Blood relationships are nothing more than a story with an unknown ending
The Clock-Woman swallowed the crack without a second thought. The waves of shock were multiplying and getting closer. They were throwing themselves on the wreck with no warning. It was time. Her legs reacted to the poison before her brain could even name it. The first impulse was given, the Clock-Woman was now able to reach the surface… Following her, a thin line of blood was slowly flowing out of the crack in her right arm. The Clock-Woman didn’t notice the wound, or she pretented so. The Sandman tried to throw the necessary sand to wipe it off. Pandora collected the drops to add them into the box. Cassandra was already back into the lines of the tiles, silently crying and blaming herself for being right once again.
It was time.
Outside, the storm was raging. Once she arrived on the deck of the wreck, the Clock-Woman understood. The mooring lines had broken. And now they were wandering onto the ocean. Without a map or a compass, the boat had floated away, following every passing winds. The eye of the storm only hid them for a moment before abandoning them. And now they were trapped right in the middle of the storm. The waves were throwing themselves one the hull like they had nothing left to lose. The wind was rushing into the cracks of the wreck, twisting the wood that was screaming all the silence filling it. From the silence of the wreck ready to split from the inside or the screaming of the hungry waves, it was impossible to know what was the most hurtful. Anyway, they couldn’t hear a thing anymore…
Tell me why people are afraid of the dark ?
The monsters hide in the silence…
In the middle of the random row, the Clock-Woman couldn’t hear a thing anymore. There was nothing anymore. There is no one. Cassandra’s laughter, the crack of Pandora’s bones, the Sandmand’s wandering steps, the Uroburos’s floatting… nothing anymore. There was nothing anymore. The Clock-Woman might have never felt so alone than here, on the deck of the wreck, naked in the middle of the storm where whe couldn’t hear a thing anymore. Her tired skin couldn’t follow the rythm. The violence of the wind right on her bleached skin revived every scar. Alone, naked, in the middle of the storm, the Clock-Woman would have cried, but her eyes had once again forgotten how to do it.
No, this is not how you feel
That’s not why you’re not fine
No, you’re not so down that this
The Clock-Woman couldn’t hear anything to guide her anymore. There was no one anymore. The storm took what should have never been lost. Loneliness hugged with her with sticky and heavy arms, with no possible exit. The storm was still raging. She started to believe she would die suffocating under the silence and the loneliness when the sea opened… Summoned by the smell of blood, mermaids had reached the surface. They wanted more. They have been called and they wouldn’t leave empty-handed. Everything comes with a price and the first impulse was always the hardest. The Clock-Woman finally discovered the crack in her arm.
After her, it was nothing but a suspended sentence…
The cut was beautiful, precise as surgery. The blood was peacefully flooding, as it has always done, bringing with it the usual floods of rot like some kind of necessary evil… Silence was still screaming around her, hitting her ears as an ever-going reminder. The mermaids did what they knew best, they started singing. Their song pilled up in the row of the storm. Impossible to hear through this. Impossible to find her mates. There was no one anymore now. The mermaids sang the enigma from inside, the unsolvable equation.
Someone had to die.
The Clock-Woman understood that long ago. But who was to sacrifice ? They survived to the mad ocean, together for so many years…. Who was to scarifice ? Cassandra and her cursed prophecies ? Pandora and her bones broken by the silence ? The Sandman who fixed only the immediate emergencies ? And why ?
Somone had to die
and someone had to chose
The mermaids were still singing, the mermaids would keep singing, and the mermaid would sing forever until finally someone answer. The time to look away was out. An answer was needed, an it was needed now.
It was time.
Maybe she had to die. Her skin still suffering from the wind was begging for the pain to stop. The first impulse was always the hardest, but the body never really forgets. Naked under the winds, the Clock-Woman had finally understood, maybe. She had to die. And it was unbearable. Was it what the dead girl felt when she was killed ? Nothing else but a deep feeling of being abandonned, a feeling covered by silence heavy enough to weight the whole world ? This kind of huge emptiness that screamed her name ? The mermaids smiled, the answer was given. Only the emptiness knew the name of the Clock-Woman. One could trust that kind of signs. But who would have her blood on their hands ? Who would take this new blame ? The sacrifice was compulsory, the guilt unavoidable. Everything comes with a price and someone had to be guilty.
So now who will have my blood on their hands ?
Maybe deep under the water, the rats would find someone to replace her. Maybe it was high time for them to find someone else in the deep water. It was time to have a name. Even though, she would never be completely reassured : who would bring them home once the water will have swallow her ? Who would come out of the storm ? Someone had to die…
Resigned, the Clock-Woman climbed the guardrail, and her eyes dived into the emptiness around. The mermaids were getting prepared to welcome her. They song slightly changed, from chord to perfect harmony, their voices promised peace, silence far away from the row, and even a name. Could she believe them ? The warmth of their smile didn’t lie… Maybe it was time. She tensed her hand one more time, they were numb by the blood dried by for years, without anyone being able to remember whose blood it was. Her fingers were still trying to hang on to something, as an old habit. Finally, the Clock-Woman closed her eyes. And in the wreck, they all held their breathe.
The first impulse was always the hardest.