Time is a Social Construct

alarm clock illustration

Rachel’s back ached and her calf muscles were in spasm. Her alarm blared at her incessantly like a child screaming for its mother. It wasn’t the most pleasant way to wake up, and she groaned as she willed her eyes to open and figure out the cause of her pain.

It was the cats, of course. One was curled up in the crook of Rachel’s knees, and the other stretched out in a curve parallel to the uncomfortable bend in her spine.

She slowly adjusted her position, taking care not to wake the beasts who snored happily beside her. Then she reached out for her phone on the bedside table and poked at it until it was quiet.

The urge to roll over and succumb to sleep once more was unbearably strong, but she found it within her to resist. At least until she could check the time and figure out how much longer she get away with snoozing for.

She read the time on her phone and all of a sudden, the urge to sleep was gone. She sprang out of bed, causing a round of perturbed mewling from cats which suddenly found themselves buried in discarded duvet and bereft of their human hot water bottle.

Rachel bolted to the kitchen and checked the clock on the wall. Then she checked the clock on the oven, and the one on the microwave. She then ran back to the bedroom, poking her head around the door of the living room along the way to check the carriage clock on the mantelpiece.

In the bedroom, Rachel grabbed her phone and started tapping away at the screen. She’d hoped Google would help her, but it only left her feeling even more confused.

She pulled back her bedroom curtains and peered at the street outside. A couple of people strolled along the pavement, the sun shining down on them merrily. Relief flooded her; the melodramatic part of her brain had half expected to see fiery hail falling from the sky and lava flowing through the streets.

But she still didn’t have answers.

She tapped at her phone again, and held it to ear. If in doubt, always call Mum.

“Mum. Mum, I’m freaking out. I think I’ve lost an hour. It’s just… it’s gone. I was asleep and then… it’s gone.”

She waited, frowning and shaking her head as her mother cackled and garbled words at her down the phone.

“Mum, what you on about daylight savings?”

Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance content writer and copywriter from Yorkshire. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, writing-related blogs posts every Sunday, and book reviews for short attention spans once each month. Her most common pastimes include procrastinating on Twitter (@itsemscott) and hibernating on her sofa with a book and a (very large) glass of gin. If you like the cut of Ellie's jib and would like to support her writing habit, you can buy her a coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/H2H059UG

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