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    No one expected such a finely built clock to die. But upon its death, no one cared.
    For one hundred years the clock stood on the corner in front of the jewelry store, faithful to keep the town on time. Two bright white faces with long, slender, finger-like black hands could be seen from either direction along Main Street.
    A lumber baron built the town he named Firgrove and gave the clock as a gift to honor the town’s official founding. The community rejoiced and named the timepiece “Lloyd’s Clock,” after the benefactor. Out of respect for the gift, townspeople built a cement pedestal to raise the clock’s base above the mud and filth of the dirt street.
    The clock’s workings, the eight-day variety, required the spring drive be oiled and wound once a week. The town assayer and jeweler received the commission to perform this task, a duty he gladly held and passed down to his progeny: his son, grandson, and great-grandson.
    Once a year, the townsfolk of Firgrove gathered on the corner beneath the faithful clock, celebrated the founding and to gave thanks for those who built the town. Together as one family, they held parades, danced and sung, recited the history of the town, and told stories of the old days.
    Slowly, the years passed. The town grew up around the clock. Cement replaced rough board sidewalks. Citizens paved once muddy streets, first with cobbles, followed by concrete and black tarmac. Curbs and Model A’s replaced hitching posts. New buildings sprang up, some of clapboard, later of cement and cinderblock. Still, the jeweler’s offspring cared for the clock and faithfully wound and oiled the works.
    The town council, in an effort to beautify the community, planted small trees in a space between the sidewalks and curbs. Workers planted varieties of fast-growing maple and ornamental cherry. The townspeople eagerly awaited the blossoms in spring and fiery colors of leaves in fall. At these times, Lloyd’s Clock, its bright face faded from years of exposure to the sun, stood stalwart among the colors, hidden by leaves.
    Then a generation arose who did not remember the traditions behind the clock. More important things occupied their attention. These children’s children carried the time with them on their wrists or in a pocket. The town clock became an anachronism, hidden in the trees and invisible to all but the oldest of citizens who still remembered, both relics of earlier times.
    The community gradually abandoned celebration gatherings on the corner beneath the clock. The town and its people grew up and matured. They no longer needed the mundane, the trivial.
    Time passed, and older generations died. Others, for one reason or another, moved away. Two wars took their toll on more townsfolk. Boxes with moving images of people not only told the time but also the date and weather. Eventually, few remembered the story of Lloyd’s Clock: where it came from or why it still stood on the corner.
    One cold December morning, the clock keeper pulled the drapes aside and peered out the window. The storm still raged on. For the past five days, a storm pounded the valley where the town lay secluded between steep hills. Snow and rain slashed the square. Winds howled, whipped and broke naked limbs of maples and cherry trees along Main Street.
    Not in this rain, he thought. Perhaps tomorrow the storm will let up.
    The rain did not let up. Not the next day, nor the next. On the ninth day, the clock died, alone. Only the storm witnessed the passing. No one noticed. No one cared.

    High in the mountains above the town, an earthen dam crouched against the onslaught of time and weather. Built by the same lumber baron who built the town, both he and the earthworks became all but forgotten. Over one-hundred years ago pent-up water supplied power for the mill and fledgling community. No longer needed, the dam, like the clock, languished.
    Water from the heavy rains gorged the reservoir and began to overtop the obstruction, first a trickle, then a stream. Unable to hold back its burden any longer, the ancient dam ruptured. The torrent raced down the valley like a hungry beast and, in a horrible moment, erased the town.
    Now all that remains where the town once stood is an empty expanse of hardened mud. The tops of several cinder block foundations protrude above the field. At the corner of one of these stands a concrete pedestal with a brass plate, which reads:

Lloyd’s Clock
Dedicated to
The people of Firgrove
1885
Time never stands still
This flash-fiction story is less than 800 words. It is based loosely on the Tony Randall movie, "The 7 faces of Dr. Lao," and is inspired by the town clock that sits on the main street of every small town in America.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2018-05-15
The Town Clock by LipsterLeo ( Featured by akrasiel )
:iconchasmandala:
What primarily struck me about this story is the compassion that can be plainly understood - not just for the clock, but for the spirit of years gone by that it symbolized... the vehicle of the passage of time was well played here, albeit somewhat out of sync with linear reality; the allusion to ultra-modern devices of the early 21st century are woven into the references regarding the two world wars. Nevertheless, the clash between tradition and progress is brilliantly portrayed, with a feeling of poignancy - I truly felt for those landmarks, though they weren't human. And the ultimate fate of the town - how time's tide will smother us all one day - was both a testament and a warning to us all.

All things said, I find this to be a most impressive work of art - great storytelling, and an engaging read. Congratulations to you, Leo! :clap:
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
13 out of 13 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconlykosonette:
lykosonette Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2018  Student Writer
After all your advice and support, it only feels natural that I would find your work so impressive and striking. 
I'm not sure how you did it, but reading through, it feels both timelessly ethereal and solidly grounded with its references to history. It's beautiful. The DD was very-well deserved (though this comment is very, very late). 

~Chensonette
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:iconjessamar:
JessaMar Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Congratulations from CRLiterature on your Daily Deviation!  We are holding a chat event in CRLiterature on Saturday, June 9 from 11am-1pm Pacific Time to discuss May's batch of Literature DDs and we hope you will be able to join us.  Readers will be discussing and reacting to a selection of Literature DDs; we're not sure how many we will have time for, but priority will be given to works whose author is present for the chat.  We also encourage you to spread the word to your watchers!  Or, if for any reason you prefer that we not include your work in our discussion, just let us know.
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I'll join the chat if I can figure out how.  :-? (Confused) Granny 
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:iconjessamar:
JessaMar Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Just click this link: chat.deviantart.com/chat/CRLit… at the right time (that's 11am Pacific Time - make sure you convert to your time zone).  I do think that the chat room works better from a computer than from a mobile device.
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Got it. Thanks. I live in the Pacific time zone.
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:iconbubbybubbles12:
bubbybubbles12 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2018   General Artist
Absolutely brilliant!
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! :)
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner May 21, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Wow! A DD! I am SO honored. Blush 
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:icontinselfire:
Tinselfire Featured By Owner May 15, 2018
Now this is a great delight to see. But knowing your skill, it is not an equally great surprise.

It is somewhat unclear exactly when the story takes place. With a range from 1885 and a hundred years forward the generations seem short, but perhaps the exact dates are not important. The American history thus far is quite short and intense, and the wars that etch themselves in memory tend to be matched in pairs. Perhaps ambiguity is a good thing, as it certainly makes the story immediately relatable. But then again I am strongly biased in favour, being raised in a small factory town, and one of few towns in Sweden with an official town clock: Raised in 2000 in memory of the millennium gone by, and as a guide to that to come.
I am not shy to admit the inscription on Lloyd's Clock brought a tear to my eye.

The only - and I do mean only - thing that stands out as jarring is the sudden repetition in the last paragraph, where two sentences in a row end with "mud". But this is a minor, forgivable and to most probably familiar failing: Everybody can make mistakes in the excitement at wrapping up a tale.

Nearing the climax, it suddenly struck me that, why, I have actually read this story hundreds if not even thousands of times, none of which is the reference mentioned in the description. This may sound like a very peculiar claim at best, and an accusation of unoriginality at worst, but please do hear me out. For indeed, this is beyond a doubt the most original, atomic version.
Fantasy, new and old, is teeming with ancient horrors that are only kept at bay with equally ancient and increasingly misunderstood rituals, the purpose of which have almost invariably long since been lost as the story begins. Somebody - sometimes an antagonist, but not necessarily so - ushers in a new age based on reason rather than myth, and before you know it Absolutely-Not-Cthulhu comes ashore. Usually said myth also contains a riddle as to the weakness of the boss monster, and with a bit of detective work on part of the hero the beast is soon put back in its cage. (No such luck in Firgrove!)
Hard sci-fi - and some serious space colonization proposals - struggle with a similar threat from monsters when it comes to generational ships, or indeed any isolated habitat intended to remain self-sufficient. The monster is named obscurity. Preserving the hard technical know-how on how to run a starship may seem easy enough, but there is no predicting what happens once cultural isolation sets in, languages mutate, the holistic view of the craft is lost and the purpose of certain tasks lost with it. A favourite example of mine - if with a comical twist - is the game Generations Lost, taking place on a generational ship where neglect has allowed greenery to spread outside designated areas, engulfing the ship in a jungle and rendering it largely inoperable. The "sacred brotherhood" tasked with keeping the jungle roads open is called "the Jani-Tors"...

Lloyd's Clock is itself obsolete; the townspeople are perfectly right on this part. It no longer serves a purpose beyond being a beautiful ornament. It has no relevance to current events: That it fails the moment the dam breaks is plain dramatic coincidence. But they have made the mistake of emphasizing the clock itself - the idol over the ideal if you will - rather than the story behind it, and in doing so confused its irrelevance with the still highly relevant chain of events that put it there in the first place.
Like the spacefarers, they have forgotten they are on a ship. And theirs is ghost ship now.

I would recommend this not just to anyone with a liking for storytelling, but in particular to archaeologists and researchers of folklore.

Well done.
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner May 19, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much.
I was parked on the street in my little town, next to our town clock. It, too, is surrounded by trees that have grown up around it. The inspiration for the story.
What you don't know is, our town sits at the edge of a small river. The area used to be a floodplain, but the water is kept in check by dikes, built about the time the town was first built (around 1880-1900). If you look up river, you will see the largest dormant volcano in the continental U.S., Mount Raineer, also known as Mount Tahoma. The picture is in my gallery.
If you were to dig down under the town, you would find 300 feet of volcanic mud, silt, and petrified trees 12 feet in diameter. Raineer has erupted many times in the past, and covered the flood plain with as much as 100 feet of mud each time.
The mountain is dormant, NOT extinct. It could erupt at any time. The local Salish indians tell the story of Tahoma, in her anger, throwing rocks at the other mountains. This happened as few as 1500 years ago. Yet, a quarter million people live along the flood plain, nonchalant, and seemingly, uncaring. We have more important things to do. Besides, she's so beautiful!
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:iconcatgirldstr11:
Catgirldstr11 Featured By Owner May 15, 2018
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner May 19, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much. I can't express how thankful and honored I am. Thank you! Thank you!  Love
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:iconmichawolf13:
Michawolf13 Featured By Owner May 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner May 19, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much! Love 
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner May 15, 2018
I love clocks. This is a wonderful depiction of the instrument as centerpiece of the passage of time and dissolution of memory. Very well done. Congratulations on the feature!
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner May 19, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much. I can't express how thankful and honored I am. Thank you! Thank you!  Love
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:iconlindartz:
LindArtz Featured By Owner May 15, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This wonderful work is already in my favs! ) :thumbsup::)!

Congratulations on your much deserved DD!  :)
Congrats on DD By Marphilhearts by LindArtz
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner May 19, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much. I can't express how thankful and honored I am. Thank you! Thank you!  Love
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:iconkida-neechan:
Kida-neechan Featured By Owner May 15, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Congratulations on the well-deserved daily deviation, dear~ :love:
Have a fabulous day~ ☆ :iconfabulousplz:
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner May 19, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much. I can't express how thankful and honored I am. Thank you! Thank you!  Love





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:iconmrsecretary:
MrSecretary Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2018  Student General Artist
YOUR AMAZING AT WRITING YOU TRULY HAVE A GIFT
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Well, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.  Nod 
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:iconmrsecretary:
MrSecretary Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018  Student General Artist
Yw!!! Your really good!
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:iconorsatursusactos:
OrsatUrsusActos Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Nice story :)
Beautifully written :) 
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. Hug 
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:iconorsatursusactos:
OrsatUrsusActos Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
:) :D :) :D :) 
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:iconrickwaterman:
RickWaterman Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
Great job had I not read Chas’s critique I probably would have missed the wonderful opportunity to see your work. As an old timer I was hoping for a happy ending for the old clock, but I guess the real moral of the story is enjoy the time you have and don’t worry or stress to much remember those that you love and those that love you and if you want something....go for it. In the end there is no memory just is a stone in a field with an inscription.
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.
I watched too much "Outer Limits" when I was a kid. ;)
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:iconrickwaterman:
RickWaterman Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
Lol good one 😊 of course you are certainly welcome.
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:icondoc-skitz:
Doc-Skitz Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very lyrical! Beautifully written!
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! And thanks for the fav. I'm honored.
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:icondoc-skitz:
Doc-Skitz Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's my pleasure!
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:iconscaronus:
Scaronus Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I liked it! The feeling it left in me is very interesting and very difficult to describe. In the beginning, it felt very nice, very calm. Slowly it was building up as the lives of the citizens were getting faster. It got a bit sad when the people forgot about the clock. The end felt to me surprisingly relieving. When the town was swept away by the water it was a symbolic return to the beginning of the story when there was nothing but muddy streets and the clock. It went full circle. It felt as if the time suddenly stopped in the end and slowed down. The hurried pace of the age before was gone and everything felt calm and pure in a sense. As if it was the biblical flood.

Very good work! I enjoyed reading this.
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I love doing Flash Fiction. Hug 
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:iconandibi:
Andibi Featured By Owner Edited Mar 24, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really nice -- I don't know if writing can be described as "chromatic" or not, but this story certainly feels that way.  I can really sense the colors and textures of this ill-fated town and its steadfast clock.  The cautionary aspect comes through loud and clear, most obviously at the end.  I like the implied irony in your comments about how the townspeople "grew up and matured."  The foreshadowing in the clock keeper's failure to do his job reads well, too. 

My day job frequently takes me to Johnstown, in Pennsylvania, where another old earthen dam was similarly neglected.  That story is a little bit different, but the ending was equally final.  Time never stands still, but every minute should be accounted for, 'cause you don't know when you will run out of minutes :-)

Excellent work!
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:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! I appreciate your input. If you haven't ever seen the movie I mentioned, you should see if you can find it. Tony Randall plays seven different parts. It's one of my favorite movies.
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:iconandibi:
Andibi Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool -- Will keep an eye out!
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