The Shack

The freezing snow and wind railed mercilessly against the solitary house high in the Swiss Alps. Set apart from all other life, the house should have existed only as a cold and lifeless hut. Yet a single light shone out against the mountains and storm, defying the heavy darkness enveloping the house. The walls of the house looked as thin as sheets of paper and logic could not explain how the house bore the weight of such massive amounts of snow. A loose shutter slammed against the side of the house that had a window, the slamming creating a rhythm that would remind one of a beginning musician.
Inside the house there sat an old man hunched over a table in a room with at least ten lanterns hanging from the ceiling and burning faithfully into the darkest part of the night. The man sat at a table that stood chest-high from the floor and was about as long as he was tall. Two large books lay open at the edge of the six foot table and the rest was covered in watch-making pieces. This man was thoroughly engaged in his work, fiddling here and there with pieces and parts, always returning his hands and gaze to the important work at hand. Sweat dripped from his brow as he worked diligently with the small, intricate pieces of metal. One wrong move and he might have to start all over again. Experience had taught this lesson very well on more than one occasion. But soon enough, all was secure, and a recurring tick told him the watch was alive. Relief seemed to cover the man, his muscles falling and relaxing and his face becoming calm. He put the back casing on and carefully secured it to the watch with four tiny screws. He admired the face of the watch, his eyes following the hands and counting the ticks, then he set about connecting the watch bands. The silver color of the bands was unnaturally bright, shimmering and casting an eerie color against the walls of the house with every slight movement.
When he finished the watchmaker held up the silver watch and looked it over with the eye of a master craftsmen. Though, to look into his face in that moment, you wouldn’t see pride or accomplishment. No, you’d see piercing blue eyes that reflected almost as much light as the silver watch. Eyes that told countless stories and held many memories. Eyes that had seen things such as this watch too many times before.

 

 

Art by Ivy Giddens. Used with permission. May not be reproduced without permission.

 

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  1. Better each time I read it

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