Posters were plastered all over town, filling us with expectation: ‘OGDEN’S EXTRAORDINARY OBSERVATORY – ONE NIGHT ONLY’. We had to go.
It’s in an abandoned factory that was closed when we were children, the year my best friend Rachel discovered astronomy. I’m glad I remembered to bring a torch.
Ogden is a creepy man, clown-like in purple suit and star-strewn top hat.
“Welcome, my dears,” he purrs. You are my first visitors.”
“The only visitors,” Rachel says under her breath.
There’s a forest of different telescopes, all pointed at the missing roof. Rachel makes a beeline for the biggest, shiniest antique telescope I have ever seen. We take turns, gasping at the clarity of the lens.
Suddenly, the telescope swings around and we look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope. Of time we have no idea – everything has stopped. Ogden grins.
Kim M. Russell, 12th October 2020
My flash fiction for dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Telescope of Time
I’m hosting Prosery this Monday, when we ask our barflies to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of our choice, with a limit of 144 words, or 144 exactly, and including a complete line from a poem.
The line I chose is from D.H. Lawrence’s poem ‘Humming Bird’:
‘We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time’.