art by Jeffrey Redmond
The Watchmaker's Wife
by Lydia S. Gray
***Editor's Note: Here be mature and potentially disturbing themes. Read on upon your own recognizance***
The old watchmaker went to the builder of dreams. "Make me a wife," he said.
The builder of dreams looked at him and smiled. "Yes, sir," he replied, rubbing his hands together and nodding his head. He looked into the mind of the watchmaker and drew from it the hopes, dreams, and memories that he found there. Taking these, he set to work, fashioning them into a young wife for an old man. He gave her the image of the watchmaker's first love, her hair the color of a summer sky and eyes as dark as night. Then, taking the thought of the most complex and delicate timepiece, he set a pendulum to swing as her heart, wound her once and set her to life.
For days she sat in the dream builder's shop, her black eyes staring out through the window, a hollow shell waiting to be filled. After a week had passed, her creator asked a boy to fetch the watchmaker and tell him that his bride awaited her groom.
"But he's dead," the boy said. "Robbers set upon him not far from here, just a week ago."