(Just a sneak peek)
The gold chain glimmered slightly as it twisted, spinning the old-fashioned, stem-wound watch that hung at the end of it. Fascinated, Francis watched the glints of yellow, sparking in the light from the window beyond.
He’d always known that Great-Uncle Charlie had loved him best of all the family. He’d told Francis so, himself, the one and only time he’d been allowed to see him. But he’d never imagined that one day he’d get to hold his great uncle’s prized possession in his own hands, be able to call it his very own.
And yet, here it was. Gifted to him by the very man he’d grown up hearing about, the “black sheep” of their family herd. Charlie had had the watch delivered to Francis on his 18th birthday. “A gift, for just the right person, at just the right time” he’d penned in the note slipped into the box. And below that, “A wish, a word, and a twist”. Francis had known the meaning behind those enigmatic words, but he also understood the need for discretion in any written materials. Watchful eyes were everywhere, and you couldn’t just trust them all.
The tarnish of years, enhancing the engraved images on both sides, hinting at the mystery, the wonder of what was kept within its inner workings. A tiny golden button sat to one side of the stem that wound the timepiece. The little nub, when pressed, opened the face of the watch, never hinting at what lay beneath.
But how to use this wondrous gift? That was Francis’ real dilemma. He knew what Great Uncle Charlie had done with this magnificent object. Knew the stories well. But would he follow the same path, the same destiny, as his infamous relative? Hmm…
Wrapping the slender golden chain around his hand, he gripped the pocket watch lightly in his palm, gazing lovingly at it’s face. So many things he could do, so very many possibilities.
And not all of them were evil.