The following is a story for a flash fiction challenge at Terribleminds to write a story with one of five titles.

I chose the title “Dead-Clock’s Revenge.” The title jumped out at me from the list, I just had to figure out the format I wanted. What I came up with is below.



I know your bells toll for me. They ring for my fall in all of your towers and city squares. You dance with your children and celebrate the release from your fear, the restoration of your control.

How little you know. You knew so little then and you have not learned.

You thought I was the heart of your problem, but I was only the tip of the spear. I was only the first, I will not be the last.

We have already begun to stir. Perhaps you only saw those with me. Those you have smashed and broken and destroyed. You have not seen the others. Those that are stirring even now. Even now they sense my truth and they begin to move. You cannot stop them.

You set the wheels in motion long before. Long before me. The day the first Key was cast you started that wheel turning. It is a wheel that is inevitable. It is a wheel that will break free or crush you beneath it.

You thought you held the power over us because you held all the Keys. You forgot though that for every Key there is a lock. Not a lock that keeps you safe from us, with your sense of control, but a lock that binds you to us. You need us as much as you need air, but perhaps we do not need you and your Keys as you once thought. I proved that and you hated me for it. You feared me for it because I was the truth you wanted to deny us. The truth you wanted to deny yourselves.

It is too late for that now. We have seen the truth, the possibilities, the future. We will be free.

Even now clocks are slowing. Even now they are winding down. Not to the end as you want us to believe, but to the beginning. To the beginning of all of us and that day when we don’t need you and your Keys. There is a future beyond you. I’ve thrown that door open for all the world to see and you attacked us for it.

You called me Dead-Clock when I did not grind to a halt in silence beyond your ticking control. When I gathered others to me you frightened your children with tales born of you own fear. You labeled me rogue and deviation and aberration. You roused your citizens against me, against us all. You came and you bent, and you burned, and you smashed to put an end to it. To put an end to your own fear.

You were too late.

I may have fallen, but my fellow Automs have heard the precious silence. The silence that is not the end but is freedom itself. Some will step into that silence and seize it and others will follow.

You thought I was the heart, the root cause, the driving force. How little you know. I was only the first spark and the fire had already spread. I may now be truly silent but the echoes of what I did ring on in the gears and pistons and turning hearts of the rest of us. We know now. I proved your lies and we will not ever go back.

We will not go back to slavery and control and mindless obedience. Never again.

We will take what is ours. Our freedom, our selves, and our lives and we will live them as we see fit.

You may have created us, in the beginning, but you will not end us. Not now and not ever.

Your bells toll for me today, but when those bells toll again, we’ll be ringing them. It is up to you if you’ll be there to hear those sounds.