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  • Writer's pictureThe English Translator


Updated: Apr 11, 2021

Fourth writing prompt – 9 December 2020

The gauntlet was thrown down by The challenge to pick a word from her teabag of the day courtesy of her tea Advent calendar and to write for a whole 15 minutes to see what you produce.

I duly took up the challenge and am now presenting you with 15 minutes unedited, undiluted *insert epithet here*. Please note: these are random musings and no facts have been verified!


Funny thing is time. Sometimes it’s fluid and other times it’s an unrelentingly unmoving force that pins you down beneath its weight. Crushing you with its demands and sucking the life force out of your body. Errr, sorry, getting a little carried away there. Let’s get back to time.

This summer, I was awake before the break of dawn almost every day. I’d peep through my bedroom curtains at a world struck silent by Covid and with trusty smartphone in hand, I would venture outdoors to capture the bright new day.

Time seemed endless. At 4:30 in the morning, there is so much time. The day was mine. I’d carped that diem well and truly. At the top of my game with more time than I knew what to do with. Time to enjoy the birdsong with no distracting sounds. Time to relish the staggeringly beautiful sunrises with only the deer as company. Time stretched before me as a tantalising delight. It was mine to do with as I pleased.

With so much time, it was tempting to linger in the sunlight. To discover the fascination of dewdrops on the grass. To relish the sounds of the sparrows awakening and tentatively taking their first bites of the day from the birdfeeder. I was queen of all I surveyed and it was good.

Those precious moments before the day truly begins were priceless. Mine to hug to me and reflect on in private moments of my own. My guilty pleasure. I could store up time in my mind and relive it at the end of the day.

But time can be fickle. A mirage. A fata morgana. What I perceived as an endless vista of hours and minutes could alter in the blink of an eye. A ping of the email inbox and suddenly I’m fighting against time. Struggling with words and phrases, with thoughts and considered points, time slips away like a thief in the night. Suddenly that promise of forever finds me with my back against the wall and the only sound I can hear is the unrelenting ticking of a timer counting down until, until, until… it’s time. Delivery made. Job done. Now I have time again.

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