Another of my “scientific fictions”. I guess they might also be called speculative fiction, which is a preexisting genre.
Also, the title is an obvious allusion to H.G. Wells’ fantastic book, The Time Machine, though this story is, as you’ll be able to see in a minute, completely unrelated.
I hold in my hand, as I write this, a small clock or watch, driven by some force, mechanical or electrical makes no difference.
As I watch the hands slowly go around the central axis, I wonder to myself the true driving force of time, or of the things to which time is the driving force.
We typically think to ourselves of time as something that controls, or regulates, or is merely above other things, or matter and existence itself.
But is it any of those things? Perhaps it is not.
Perhaps, truly, the things that seem to “run” on time are actually the very force controlling it in the first place.
Suppose clocks, instead of, as they seem to do, “sensing time”, in a way, actually add the most infinitesimally small amount of force to the great mysterious machine we know as “Time”.
Perhaps the “end of time” is not as we think it is. Perhaps, instead of it being the “end of time” in the sense of time ending first, then all reality falling in as a result, it is actually all reality ending, and therefore there no longer supplying time with the inexplicable energy required for its existence, and the machine of time slowly slowing to a halt.
All things, oin some way, mark the passage of time. Light travels at a recorded, in vacuo speed of 300,000 kilometers per second, and, sound, 342. Other things show age as they travel through time, decaying and eventually turning to nothingness, merely from the elapse of time, as is derivatively shown in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
The most obvious example of such things, of course, would be that of the time-keeping device, the “clock” or “watch”. or, more historically, the sand-glass or sun-dial (though, of course, the latter of those is merely a tool to read the measurements of time from another of these time-running objects). But all of these easily readable to human time devices came into existence much more recently than the others, and were not those things which had started the movement of time in the beginning. They are all, of course, much lower and minor to the others in the force of time, but the continual addition and creation of them, and, as such, the constant adding to the power of time, could cause… Who could tell?
Who would even know or notice? Could anyone, anyway?