The hourglass sat upon the mantelpiece reflecting the blue moonlight that trickled across the room. The sand within it was a contrasting red, which dropped a grain occasionally to the base.
It was almost finished, maybe a handful of sand left to fall to the bottom. Since the first day it was taken into the house it had slowed, as had Sally’s heart.
She looked over to the hourglass with a weak smile. It was one of the last gifts she had received. Although it was from a stranger, Sally liked to pretend it was from someone close to her. In fact, she liked to pretend she even had someone close to her anymore.
The room seemed to creak with every troubled breath she took; the walls looked as if they were closing in. She choked up a cough and looked at the hourglass again.
After so many years of Sally having kept it, finally it looked as though it were going to run out of sand. It was just a pinch away from finishing up now.
Sally wandered back into her thoughts, to remember when it was given to her. A hooded man had appeared at the door, handed her the hourglass and left without saying a word, answering no questions and giving no reason as to why he had delivered it.
As if that weren’t strange enough, the sand seemed to fall slower than any hourglass she had ever seen. It had become an important ornamental focus of the living room, and she had always found herself taking care of it with a good wipe down or a dust. The bizarreness of it had become ordinary for Sally.
Just a few drops now and it would be done. Sally squeezed her eyes shut gradually as the grains fell, and noticed her breathing had become so shallow it was almost non-existent.
As the last grain hit the pool of others, her breaths no longer came, her heart gave a last beat before it stopped and her arms slid further down her lap.
Her time was up.