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Time No Longer

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The clock that had given him that secret, extra hour for so long now only ticked on, marking ordinary, pointless time. Tom listened to it, uncaring; letting misery swamp him. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t truly lose an hour that had never existed. He had. The grandfather clock hadn’t struck thirteen today, his last day. He could never see his garden in the moonlight again – or Hatty. Everything had gone. Time had played unfair tricks.

No more magic, and Hatty hadn’t heard him call. She was a ghost; he’d known that all along, and ghosts were dead, weren’t they?