Old Tom watched the clock. At two in the morning, they always came back to haunt him, but only on this day of the year when he’d forgotten to put his clocks back an hour before going to bed. The same ghosts, year after year, but only on the night that the clocks went back.
An hour later, they were gone, and he could sleep, but one year he never woke up again.
The day before the clocks went back, Monica moved into Tom’s old house the following year. Tired, she decided to put the clocks back an hour when she’d wake up the next day.
She was woken at two in the morning to the sound of her bedroom door opening. She froze in terror as the ghost of an old man danced around her room while slowly making its way over to her.
“What are you doing in my house and in my bed?” the ghost bellowed.
When the clock struck 2am for the second time in an hour, Tom’s ghost disappeared, and Monica’s eyes opened. Had she just had a nightmare?
Monica noticed that her bedroom door was wide open, sitting up in bed. She was sure she had closed it. She always closed her bedroom door at night.
As the cold autumnal air hit her bare skin, Monica felt a shiver go down her spine as she got out of bed, walked across the room and closed her bedroom door.
Getting back into bed and pulling the covers over her head, Monica soon fell asleep.
When the clock struck 2am for the third time, it was the sudden movement of something under her bed that convinced Monica it hadn’t all been a nightmare.
Sleep tight tonight and, on the night the clocks go back, always remember to put your clocks back an hour before going to bed.
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87 thoughts on “When The Clocks Go Back”
Nicely written Hugh. It reads like a fable.
Thanks, Rob. Never had that said about my writing before. It’s a big compliment.
It does. There is a child-like quality beneath the adult tone of voice. It has a musical quality. And now I will try to stop my self from further over-clarifying. 🙂
That’s most observant, Rob. I wrote this story two years ago and, when writing it, I wrote it as if I was writing a piece of young adults poetry. However, it developed into a piece of flash fiction.
That’s interesting to know. Thanks Hugh.
Ooooh, that was very creepy, Hugh!!!
Thank you. I love the word ‘creepy’ when it’s connected to my stories, Judy.
HA!! I forgot to mention on my last comment that it is strange with the orbs keep visiting you. Does it freak you out?!
It does, Judy, because that orb keeps visiting me. Not all the time, but I’ve seen it floating by the side of me when I’ve had the webcam on. People I’ve been on calls with can also see it. 😱
Brrrrrr! That gives me chills Hugh! 😱😱😱
Thanks for the reminder! (And giving me a reason to not sleep on the night we change the clocks!)
Yes, it’s Saturday night, isn’t it, Kat? Make sure you check under the bed before bedtime. 🎃
Thank goodness I have drawers under my bed so I’m safe on that count. (That doesn’t stop me from keeping my arms and legs safely tucked in and safe from accidental dangling over the edge! You can never play it too safe!)
Has anyone told you that Old Tom can also hide in drawers, Kat? In fact, he can hide just about anywhere. Best put those clocks back before going to bed. 😀
Well, darn! No one told me he was tricky like that! Now I really need to be on guard!
Yikes! I always leave it till the morning after! Safe this year, phew, but I’ll remember for next year. Great story, Hugh! Happy Halloween. 👻🎃😙
Thanks, Ali. Glad Old Tom never found out about your clocks. You’re one of the lucky ones. I’ll remind you next year.
🎃 👻 xx
Lol! Thanks Hugh! Hugs to you. Xxx
I’ve been warned! Loved this! Hugh is back with another great story! 🙂 ❤
Thanks, Debby. Sleep well on Saturday night when the clocks go back. 😴
Ours go back next Saturday. Now I’ll be afraid to sleep. Thanks a lot Hugh (Stephen) King LOL 🙂 xxxxx
I’d suggest sleeping on the floor so nothing can get under your bed, Debby. Then again, just remember to put the clocks back before going to bed. 😁
LOL Hugh. I won’t forget!!! And I’ll be checking under the bed! 🙂 xx
Creepy one, Hugh. It’s that time of year, for sure!
It is, Diana. Autumn has always been a favourite time of year for me. Darker, chiller nights, and things that start to go bump in the night (usually me falling down, after that extra glass of red wine). 🍷
Ha ha. Enjoy yourself. 🙂
I do it in the morning! Tom would not be pleased!
Nope, and sometimes he can get under the covers. 👻
I wondered who that was…
I just read you changed your time this weekend. Ours is next weekend, I suppose to accommodate Halloween. But I’ll be keeping your story in mind..:)
I recommend you do, George. Old Tom has paid a few visits to households on this side of the pond. 👻
Good story – sent a shiver down my spine!
I have just returned from Malta where the churches have two clocks, showing different times. It is said that the one on the right shows the correct time for the religious locals, while the one on the left shows the wrong time to confuse Satan from disturbing the mass.
How far is the time out on the left clock from the right clock, Andrew?
I am not sure it matters Hugh, just so the Devil is confused!
True, but I just wondered how much the time was out? A little or a lot? If a lot, I can imagine a lot of people (including me) wanting to say something about it until they knew the story behind it.
Oh I see, actually I don’t know if it is a consistent time difference at every church or just entirely random.
A few years ago we went to Portugal and as we landed we automatically adjusted our watches to European time. What we didn’t know was that Portugal keeps the same time as the UK so we spent a whole day one hour ahead of ourselves. We were confused all day long until we belatedly understood our mistake.
lol, what a great story. I’d have automatically done the same.
Spooky, spooky! In the US, the clocks fall back an hour next weekend. It’ll be tricky to figure out where all the clocks are in this new to us house where we are pet sitting for three months. None in our room, for example… Maybe I should ask the owner before she leaves, or more than one ghost might get upset!
Make sure you do ask the owner, Liesbet. Old Tom is already on his way to your part of the world as I hear the clocks don’t go back until Nov 5th. Sleet tight next Saturday night. 😴
Love it Hugh! You are so good with scary stories! Thankful the time doesn’t change tonight here, only next week! Have a great nigh!
So, that means Old Tom will be visiting your part of the world next weekend then, Elizabeth. Remember to change all the clocks before going to bed.
Thanks so much for linking to the story. I appreciate it.
I will definitely set my clocks back BEFORE going to bed. Thank you for the warning!
You’re welcome, Donna. No looking under your bed, either. 😱
You must be getting into the Halloween spirit, Hugh 🙂 Now, if your ghost was a young Tom, whole different story 🙂
I seem to be in the Halloween spirit for most of the year, Aimer. I think a young Tom could have been a whole lot nastier after checking out Monica’s Facebook page. 😀 But, let’s not go there.
LOL! Yes, that’s true. You have a Steven King kind of mind. 🙂
What a lovely compliment. Thank you, Aimer.
Love it!! I change our clocks (maybe two manual ones), the rest are digital and automatically change. Our Daylight savings time doesn’t end until next week Nov 5th. Still don’t know why we still use this archaic time function. Most of us don’t live in an agricultural society any more…
True, Terri. I do enjoy the lighter mornings, but the darker evenings can be rather stressful thinking that I’ve done hardly anything all day when it gets dark. It gets dark here at 4pm in December & January, but we do get the benefit of long Summer evenings that are light (providing the weather also plays ball).
Eek, I remember living in Northern Oregon for a couple years as a kid and hated that it got dark at 4pm!
For a moment I thought the old Tom was going to climb into bed with Monica!
lol, Tom would rather dance and scare people. Being a ghost, he’d fall straight through the bed if he attempted that.
Well!!! That’s put paid to a good night’s slepp, that’s for sure. Thanks a bunch, Hugh. Whooo-ooooooooo
I hope you had a great night’s sleep, Judith. 😴 Only another year until Old Tom visits again…unless any of your clocks or watches show the wrong time. 😀
I change my clocks back the next morning and then spend the next two weeks trying to figure out what time it really is. Why don’t they just leave time be? It’s unnatural to mess with time!!!
Something to do with the farming community (as far as I’m aware). It’ll be strange in the morning when it’s lighter than it should be.
I tell you, it is all so unnatural!!!!!
The stuff of nightmares…..the world changing while you sleep.
Indeed. We just never know what we’ll open our eyes to.
Oh!Hugh I shan’t sleep a wink !!💜💜💜💜💜
Good news. That means more time for writing, Willow. 😀
Oh! Yes indeed, I never thought of that
When I was younger, I loved the extra it meant an extra hour in the nightclubs, now it really does confuse my body
I know. I always feel sorry for those working night shifts. Then again, I guess they get that hour back in the spring when the clocks go forward.
Good story, Hugh!
Thanks so much, Jennie.
Oh,that haunting hour.
Thank goodness it’s only once a year. 👻
you know how to ruin a good night’s rest, don’t you?
Rest? Who said anything about any rest? I’ll be staying up until at least 3am. Or should that be 4am? Is it forwards or back? Gaining or losing an hour? Or is it 1am? Let’s just say until I hear the dawn chorus. 😀
you are officially a mess, Roberts…
Very creepy, as is the time change. Hate when we have to mess with our clocks, takes me weeks to recover.
I get jet-lag over it, Van. It may only be an hour but completely mucks up my days for weeks.
We in Arizona don’t do no stinkin time changed but continuously stay on Arizona time.
You’re lucky not having to remember whether it’s forward or back with the time change. However, old Tom dislikes any kind of poor timekeeping. Just make sure your clocks and watches are never out by more than an hour. You’ll be fine if you remember that good piece of advice from me.😱
The perfect story…. 👻
Thank you. Enjoy your extra hour, Erika. Known in Old Tom’s world as the ghosting hour. 👻
Haha…. I will need the extra hour later when I catch up with sleep after your story 😂
Oooh! Creepy! I always do.mine before going to bed!
Good to hear, Ritu. You’ll sleep tight tonight, then? 😳
I’ll be trying my best lol!
Fortunately, I don’t have to be concerned, Hugh. We don’t have daylight saving here. 🙂
That’s great to hear, Norah. However, remember never to allow your watch or clocks to be an hour too slow or too fast. Old Tom dislikes any kind of bad timekeeping. 😱
Is five minutes okay? 🙂
Umm, better ask Tom. 🎃