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Sunrise, Sunset

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Ring!

There it was again. The clock liked to play tricks on me.

Ring! The chime was a screeching sound that dug into my ears.

"Come on! Mommy play with me!" I heard some kids yelling. Outside.

Mommy. I wonder when I'll be able to use that word again.

Mommy used to let me outside. Daddy did too. Mommy and daddy were nice to me. They weren't like the old grandfather clock who played tricks on me. Nanny told me stories about my mommy and daddy. Stories I knew were lies.

Mommy didn't have pink hair. Nanny always told me that. She said the other girls laughed and giggled. They drew rainbows.

They didn't scream of things crawling on you at night.

"Why can't you be like the other girls, Mona?" Nanny complained. She did that a lot.

Nanny made pancakes like daddy did though. And she read to me like mommy did. She read my favorite books too. But I knew Nanny didn't like those things.

"Mona, why do you read these scary books?" Nanny asked one day.

"Mommy told me she didn't mind what I read. She would give me a kiss and a hug and the nightmares would stay away. Mommy was special." I would have to explain. Nanny didn't understand how mommy or daddy did things.

"Yes, I suppose they were..." Nanny would muse. Then she would stop reading to me.


Nanny bought the clock two years after I came. When she bought the clock it started to scare me. It would tell me things. Bad things.

"Oh, Mona, you really should listen to Nanny. She's only trying to help."

"I want mommy and daddy!" I would scream at it. Then I would cry. They clock always told me Nanny knew best. I knew she didn't. Mommy and daddy wouldn't like Nanny. I know.

The clock would laugh at me, they chime its awful ring. It hurt so much, but Nanny didn't seem to know.

Nanny didn't seem to know anything.

"Mona, Mona, in a tree...

Mona, Mona look at me...

Stare at me with bloodshot eyes...

Help will come before sunrise..."

Nanny would sing that to me. She would try to make it sound cheerful but I knew they clock gave it to her.

The clock was evil. I knew it.

"Mona, Mona, don't you fear...

Help is always one day here...

Don't you cry or ever fret...

I will calm you at sunset..."

The clock sank that to me. I heard it in the hallways when I was alone in the afternoon. It scared me, but I didn't show it. Mommy said people who had courage didn't show their fear. And daddy always said I had courage.


Ring! The clock smiled again. It smiled because it liked hurting me.

"Mona, time for bed!" Nanny called. No story tonight. Nanny said she was busy. This was the only night without a story. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep.

I walked down the hallway to my bedroom. It was gray with a circular window hanging over my bed. I always had to pass the clock when I went to bed. The clock spied on me when I was sleeping. I could tell.

"Mona, Mona, in a tree...

Mona, Mona look at me...

Stare at me with bloodshot eyes...

Help will come before sunrise..."

I jumped because that wasn't Nanny's voice. But it wasn't the clock's either. It was a high, bird-like voice.

"Mommy?" I called. No answer. I sighed and closed the door then crawled into bed. "Nighty-night mommy." I whispered. Mommy used to say if I said it loud enough, whoever I wanted to talk to would here.

I turned on the light before I went to bed. Another thing Nanny didn't like.


"Mona, Mona, don't you fear...

Help is always one day here...

Don't you cry or ever fret...

I will calm you at sunset..."


"MOMMY!" I screamed, sitting up in my bed. The door was opened. The light was off. That song was echoing in my head. It was getting closer.

"Mona, Mona, don't you fear...

Help is always one day here...

Don't you cry or ever fret...

I will calm you at sunset..."

"M-mommy?" I whispered. I tried to turn the light on but it didn't work.

Then I heard footsteps. They were coming towards my bedroom.

This was all Nanny's fault. She bought the clock. She didn't read my stories.

Now the lock was coming for me. And mommy and daddy wouldn't know.

"Mona, Mona, don't you fear...

Help is always one day here...

Don't you cry or ever fret...

I will calm you at sunset..."

The song was louder now. I saw a pair of red eyes staring back at me. I knew it was the clock.

"Hello, Mona. It's so nice to see you." They whispered. Their voice was like a soft hiss.

"Where's my mommy?" I asked timidly. Mommy would protect me. Or daddy. They always did.

"She's waiting for you, Mona. I thought you were a big girl and would understand that."

The red eyes moved closer so I could see they were on a black face with a smile. It was like the one the clock wore.

"Say bye-bye, Mona. We want to be polite, don't we?" they told me.

"Mona, Mona, don't you cry...

I told you not to fret I did...

I told you not to fear...

I told you not to fear so much...

Now look what you brought here..."

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