© Johannes Evans 2019

The grind and creak of mismatched gears was palpable on the air. It wasn’t loud, not by any stretch of the word, and yet he heard it very clearly, felt it even. He could almost feel that unpleasant sound, as though it were such an awful utterance that it should reverberate through him, chilling his bones.

He checked, first, his own pocketwatch. She was silver — he’d made her himself some night long ago. If there…