32 The Lesser Darkness


Not long into my wandering, I kicked something beneath the water. It clearly was neither rock nor tree, but felt as some type of metal. I expected it to be much heavier given its size and was surprised that with only moderate difficulty I was able to pull it up out of the waters that had now risen even higher. Nearly two cubits tall, it was an hourglass of inordinate size. The thick glass was fastened firmly between two rectangular plates of a golden metal connected by three silver rods. It was of intricately crafted and shaped edges with grooves encircling the length of the three silver rods. 

I was inexplicably intrigued by this astonishingly unmarred find, and moved to a nearby meager stream of light to take a closer look in detail. 
I began to notice even more astounding craftsmanship the longer I looked at this piece. Most remarkable of all – rotating the glass in my hands in any direction- even upside down, the sands remained unshifted, unmoved from the customary shape of an undisturbed hourglass’ sands. There was such a large quantity of sand and so tiny of a passage between the two glasses that I could barely determine if any sand was even passing through at all.

 Squinting in the rains which continually blurred my eyes, it almost appeared as though the sand was moving upwards; grain by grain as if trapped in a vacuum and propelled by an unexplained force independent of gravity. The more time I spent watching it in it’s hypnotic pace, the more I doubted what my eyes were telling me- that the sand was indeed falling upwards, and continued in its direction despite my repeatedly tipping it on its head. It appeared that it would take an exceedingly long period of time for this hourglass to reach its end. Much more than I had. 

 I started to again ponder if perhaps I was hallucinating, all by suggestion of the disorienting manner of passing time in this dark place. 

I tilted the hourglass another couple times to commit to verifying and settling upon what my eyes told me. The sands remained unchanged. I took one last glance at this peculiar timekeeper and noticed something engraved along the edge of the bottom plate. 

WHAT IF”
Was all it read.

I immediately tossed the hourglass aside, suddenly immensely perturbed by the ridiculous implication that time could- or was- running backwards. This must all be a cheap trick, yet one that had indeed struck a chord within me that I had long been trying to ignore, for no better solution.

 I hated Time. 

All Time ever seemed to do was cause every beautiful thing to wither, vivid passion to fade to indiscernible grays, love to be lost and misunderstood, and the child of faith to die. I could indeed never see or feel outside my experience that we were all alone in this together. An impassable void standing between each soul- felt only as an unfamiliar voice, and far too great an aching distance to ever be touched. The inescapably cavernous and bitter reminders of Time were my only constant companions, and I loathed them. I had failed to ever perceive the beauty in perpetual loss. 

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