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Old 07-11-2008   #1
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G. S. Carnivals
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The Clocktower

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“ In time, I began to hear the sound of ticking. I walked through the dimness of the emporium until I stood before the glass case wherein originated this sound. Inside the glass I could see a glinting object which appeared to be some type of tower. Again, the general outline reminded me very strongly of a coffin. Hoping with all my heart, I wondered if this machine would bring to me the deliverance I had craved for so long; if it could afford me the eternal loss by some sensitive mechanism of its internal carriage. I made no delay in finding out.

For just a few coins I enveloped myself in the folds of Time itself. The sudden light of an artificial moon afforded me the sight of the Clocktower. But I became shocked to find the tower had been constructed in such a very gruesome manner, and from a building-material of such a grim type. For all that bizarre structure was made from an intricate network of tiny, fragmented, yellow-brown bones.

Yet it was the actual face of the clock which was the most intriguing part of all that strange mechanism, for I saw the indicating fingers upon it were the detached fingers of a corpse. The pointed nails of both these fingers detailed the actual time with precision, giving out the message that just five more minutes would bring the arrival of midnight. Beneath the face of this clock was a balcony of bone and a large silver chime-bell, and I also noticed that many areas were decorated with tiny wreaths of autumn leaves and miniature parodies of dying roses. Peering to the very back of the balcony, I carefully counted eleven tiny wreaths which had been nailed upon the black wood of a most foreboding, coffin-shaped door.

And so I tried to lose myself in the vision of that Clocktower, but time moved so invisibly that I could not hope to locate its momentum. So once more I resigned myself to death, with my only certainty now being that annihilation could never be granted by a mechanism unable to provoke even the merest sign of loss. Yet with only one more minute to midnight remaining, the slow opening of the coffin-shaped door upon the balcony, was to promote a fresh sense of hope and interest in me. For through that door walked a mechanised representation of a figure dressed in black, and very soon I saw the cruelly smiling countenance of Death itself.

This wooden figure was cloaked in the black shadows of its own eternity, and yet I certainly wanted no part of that false and sinister state. The time remaining to complete my deliverance was now growing very short, for held within this cruel figure's hand was a scythe in the guise of a hammer.
  John B. Ford and Thomas Ligotti - “The Mechanical Museum”
Added by: G. S. Carnivals on 07-26-2008 #280

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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