The Click Hunt


I hate winter. The cold gets in my joints like they’re full of shattered steel flakes. Things don’t smell right either. In the summer, the world smells — things growing and things rotting, the natural and the unnatural. In winter, everything smells…cold. Sharp. You can’t tell if something that makes no sound is sneaking up on you. You can’t get that whiff of elsewhere the Clickers give off before they click right next to you and take your spirit to…wherever.

I know he’s out here. Too many reports plus the Livingston family got clicked two days ago. Neighbors found them, horrible looks of fright and resignation frozen on their faces forever. Even the little girl. Eight years old she was. My daughter knew her. Not well, but well enough. I volunteered to take her out of the house. No one else would. She had a doll in her time-locked hand. I’m glad she was standing up when she got clicked. Made her easier to bury. Her parents weren’t. The undertaker had to grind them into their urns.

Gah. I’m woolgathering. Have to pay attention. The Clicker is out there. I know it. Just past the bridge, maybe, toward the old clock tower. We know they tend to congregate around things that keep time, or kept it. Older the better. Maybe time reverberates. Don’t know. That’s for smarter men. Don’t care.

Sssh. Smell that? Dust and leather but new and clean? It’s him. Look up the path.

That’s my son. Careful. Oh.

Today’s story started with “What if the man in the picture isn’t moving because he’s not part of time” and then followed it up with “What if the man in the picture is a zombie?” I like playing the “what if…?” game when I’m a bit stuck for a story idea, or even if I’m not. “What if” is a good way to generate ideas. You can always sort the good from the bad later.

Play along with the prompt here.

(Photo Credit: TanteTati on Pixabay)