Midnight Calling

by Elisabeth Long

Synopsis: Every turn of the Circle, Midnight calls forth the new day, alone.

Until today that is...

Having pondered weak and weary the endless passing of the days, the black robed Hour of Night’s Plutonian shore decides to punish the other twenty-three Hours who’ve left their posts to live in the human times they should have presided over.  

And so one by one, a vengeful Midnight takes over their Watches. 

But an unexpected revelation uncovers a most shocking secret, one protected by the sole Hour who may stand a chance of stopping Midnight from calling at the last minute.

An original paranormal-fantasy novella.
© Elisabeth Long, 2021

Midnight Calling

X – By the grave and stern decorum

Mangled wings flopped open onto the crushed remains of Noon’s clock.  Pursing his lips, Midnight blew off the tiny yellow splinters clinging to his palm.   The child dropped to her knees within an eddy of stardust and gently picked up the wrenched cuckoo to cradle in her hand. Her glance flickered to the now silent…

Midnight Calling

IX – Post Meridiem

They’d been lucky to get a booth inside. The weather was proving unpredictable. They ended up not needing their umbrellas. A brisk wind had cleared away the morning’s rain clouds. But everyone who thought to take advantage of a warm sunny June day being back on the menu by sitting on the diner’s cramped terrace…

Midnight Calling

VIII – Deep into that darkness

Midnight stormed off Eleventh’s sigil. Nearly half the Circle was now obscured in shadow. Turning once he reached the centre, Midnight glared deep into that darkness peering. “Who else knew? Who among you knew about this supposed child of Twenty-third’s?” There was no reply from the morning Hours. Each stood upon their places with eyes…

Midnight Calling

VII – Nevermore

She plopped the toilet brush and cleaner bottle back into her cart, wiping her hands dry on a towel draped over the push bar. “Alexa, play the local radio news,” Maya called out. “OK,” answered the virtual female voice from atop the kitchenette counter. The 9 AM news report cut in. ‘—ty roadwork department is…

Midnight Calling

VI – Of Two Worlds

The deep lowing of the wildebeests across the river held a melancholy air, the whuffling snorts and grunts from the giraffes farther afield adding a mournful refrain. Feels like a storm coming. Park ranger Kanja Onyango squinted up at the sky. Not a cloud in sight. Great. Now he was beginning to imagine things on…

Midnight Calling

V – Next Departure

Radio stations across the globe had their feeds hacked by some kind of cyber breach. No one understood how. The stations weren’t networked across time zones and continents. “Once upon a midnight dreary, did I ponder, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious sigil of forgotten lore—” The gruff voice recited some bizarre…

Midnight Calling

IV – The Past of Yesterdays

Maya spread a third dishtowel on the counter before plunking the coffee machine on it. There. That should muffle the sound.  For good measure, she draped another over the machine, blocking out its flashing red 5:40 AM. Even though she’d resisted brewing a pot til sunrise, Maya couldn’t help but feel self-conscious. ‘Coffee’s bad at…

Midnight Calling

III – The wind and nothing more

The cottage was nestled within a stand of wild ginkgo trees. If not for the shiny SUV parked in a paved driveway, the house with its intricate timber and bamboo framework and overhanging tiled roof could have been part of a landscape watercolour from centuries past. The earthen hues along with the fresh, cool smell…

Midnight Calling

II – At the last minute

[PAYMENT CONFIRMED] “Yesss,” Maya cheered in a terse whisper at the screen. She puffed on her fingertips as if they were smoking. The concert tickets had been too sweet of a last minute deal to pass on. And now she had the perfect gift to give to her co-worker Gracie at her bachelorette party next…

Midnight Calling

I – Here and Now

The brown leather jacket landed atop the mini bar in a smooth, draped toss. The plasticky clatter of a hospital ID on its lanyard followed. Toeing off his shoes, Dr. Oskar Andersson reached behind the marble countertop and snatched a clean glass along with the bottle of 12-year old Glenfiddich. He poured himself a double.…

Midnight Calling

Prologue – Once upon a midnight dreary…

Midnight stepped forward onto his sigil, raven black robes flapping behind him like dark feathered wings. Tendrils of his long silver beard and hair billowed and curled around the staff he held aloft to the sky. “Let the Hours pass on to the New Day!” he proclaimed. His voice echoed hollow in the emptiness. With…

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