Younger

Abhishek had just found himself a pocket watch with a yellowed face. It far too weighty to ever be worn comfortably.

The old Bunglow was supposed to be cleaned out but someone had missed this little crumbling box, damp and old, hidden in the nursery rooms cabinet. It was hard to say how old it really was, this mansion was built more than a century ago and had burned through a endless series of families.

Abishek clumbsly turn the heavy clock around, using both hands as one grew tired. It’s chain was abnormally shiny thought it seemed to be of the same metal and make as the watch. It had ivory encasing it, the image of Janus, the two faced God, etched onto the front. No details or other markings were present – not even a date of manufacture.

He rubbed his arm across his sweaty brown and went back out to set the watch right. He made his way back to den and jumped suddenly noticing the icy cold of the watch and more importantly the ticking that had returned to it, like a heartbeat. Amazed but a little unsteady, he sat down to test it. Another chill climbed up his back as he realised it was only off by a few minutes. “A minute too late” he told himself.

He heard his children’s footsteps across the attic and down the stairs. He sighed- they would be before him in a second. As he moved slowly to correct his watch their footsteps were almost on top of him. Clumbsly he set it back by an hour. He sighed again and put his hand on his chin and felt… his bread?!

His mouth agape he went through the events of the morning. He had shaved before starting his work on the nursery. He stepped out of the room to get some quite. He set the watch back by another hour. Then another. He tried setting it right but it didn’t work. He couldn’t change it again either. It kept ticking backwards.

He looked in his dresser mirror disappointed by the watch, then shocked. His beard was no longer full, rather it was scraggly like it had only begun to grow. He looked again at the watch delighted. The watch was making him younger. He struggle to force the hands of the watch back by a few hours again. He was so happy he never noticed his children grow quite. Eventually after several hours before the mirror he heard the screams of babies. He walked back to the living room, and saw two babies inexplicably in his living room.

He ran across the house looking for his children, running faster then he had in years. He came back to the living room with a heavy feeling in his chest only then recognising his children. When people across the world first started noticing themselves growing younger, the oldest were delighted. A few weeks later the Earth’s last human child cried it’s last, unattended.