Disturbed Clock – Under the Hood: TIoJK (8/44)

The Preacherman

Think of this facility as a place to be when there’s nowhere else to go.


Disturbed Clock

Like the other houses on Madison Avenue, the house at the end of the road has a short driveway; unlike the other houses on Madison Avenue, the house at the end of the road isn’t a house. At least, it doesn’t seem to be a house; most houses don’t have parking lots.

Jonathan Knox pulls into the parking lot and finds a nice spot for himself somewhere in the middle. He turns to face the light shining from above the building’s door and squints, then turns back away from it to scan the area basked in its faint glow. There are no other vehicles in the parking lot tonight. The lot itself is bordered by grass held in place by concrete curbs. There are trees of some sort – maples, perhaps – growing from the grass, but not close enough together to act as a wall. Jonathan turns back to the building and tries not to squint.

“I don’t think anybody’s home,” Jonathan says as his hand subconsciously kills the engine. “They must have left in a rush, whoever they were. Leaving the lights on like that.”

The metal brain under the smart car’s hood ticks like a disturbed clock as it cools ever so slightly against the night. Jonathan pushes the glasses up his nose with one finger. They slide right back down into place.

“I bet they didn’t mean to. Leave the lights on, I mean,” Jonathan says and then clarifies for himself. “Bet they’d be grateful if they came back in the morning and found that someone turned the lights off.”

Not a single hair of stubble tickles Jonathan Knox’s knuckles as he absentmindedly brushes his right cheek.

“Bet they wouldn’t even remember leaving them on.”

Jonathan Knox opens his car door a crack and then grabs himself by the wrist to slam it back shut.

“No! It’s a bad idea, I have no plan! I’m getting myself all worked up over the light and I don’t have a plan, I’m going to goose it up.” He puts his hand on the keys as if he was about to turn his smart car back on and leave the lot, but… but the lights are on. Someone left the lights on. WHY?!  “Maybe they did it on purpose… maybe someone’s in there. Or someones are in there. Maybe…”

Jonathan’s hand finds the doorhandle again.

“Maybe I could just walk up, press my ear to the door… if I hear anything I’ll turn around and leave, easy peasy. I’m not eavesdropping, I’m… I’m a concerned neighbor, is all. Just a concerned neighbor.”

Yes, a concerned neighbor. Who doesn’t live on this street.

“You shouldn’t leave the lights on when you’re not home,” Jonathan explains to nobody as he creeps across the parking lot. “Unless you are home, then it’s okay. But there are no other cars in the parking lot except mine. I’m just go’n’a turn the lights off is all. Easy peasy.”

Jonathan skulks up the steps with his hands buried deeply in his pockets. The back of his neck is level with his shoulders. His breathing is erratic, heart beating like a drum roll. The wooden door is smooth and cold against his ear, but Jonathan doesn’t mind. Jonathan is listening too intently, and he doesn’t hear a thing.

“Nobody’s home,” Jonathan whispers to himself, then licks his lips without meaning to. “I bet they left the door unlocked, too.”

They did indeed, the door pulls right open. No knob to turn, no lever to depress, only a cool metal handle. The door just pulls right open.

Jonathan looks over his shoulder again. The parking lot is still empty aside from his smart car, the disturbed clock still ticking under the hood, but slower now. The metal is cooling off. Straightening up as though he was supposed to be here all along, Jonathan Knox walks into the building.


Hello Commons, this has been the second subchapter of the second chapter of Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox, a novel about a man who likes to eavesdrop on his neighbors.

Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is the second book in the W-2222 series, a series of books which take place in Universe W-2222.

Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~

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