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.

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Great progression through the story, Emilie, and I can’t help but wonder who was the mysterious stranger who gave her the hourglass. I guess we all have an invisible hourglass and I wonder – if we knew, would we live our lives differently? Sally’s life seems to have been enhanced. Thought-provoking. Well done 🙂

Roberto Rayo Herrera
Roberto Rayo Herrera(@roberto-rayo-herrera)
Reply to  Sandra James
1 year ago

The grim reaper? Dunno, but that’s my guess.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Hi Emilie and welcome to This is a very intriguing first story. I find the idea of having an hourglass showing the remaining measure of a lifespan quite terrifying. We all accept that our lives are finite, but seeing your life slipping away one grain at a time would give me the chills. Well done.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Welcome to, Emilie! Your story is very well-written. You have a clear and mature language which makes it easy to follow and visualize your story. Another detail that I like is that I see parallels between the hourglass and Sally’s heart: the color red and the slowing down until they are done. Great job!

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

Emillie, you’ve nicely used a ‘personal symbol’ (here it is the hourglass) to create the spooky atmosphere. First class!

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Emilie Stewart
1 year ago

You’re welcome.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Hello, Emilie. Welcome to the Voice club. It is a terrifying story. But on the other hand, it’s also great. So each can prepare and enjoy the rest of our days. Well done. And I love the nice progress of your story. Excellent job.

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