Carolyn Croop

The Hands of Time

[BOOK 1]
(Part 1)

Four teens – seventeen
Tom, Ingrid, Melissa and Ed
Made quite a scene
A story to be spread

The four were friends since they were six
They were always seen together
One day, though, a clock would tick
A clock discovered they would treasure

The day was a Friday
To the prom the friends were going
They were on their way
Until Tom’s car needed towing

Tom’s car broke down
While he was driving
Nearby, an old woman in a long gown
Seemed as though she was spying

But she was trying to help Tom
And invited the friends inside her home
While they waited for a ride to the prom
The woman lived all alone

It took hours for their ride to get there
In the meantime, they talked to the woman
She had many stories to share
What happened next, though, was not in her plans

Ed was looking around her place
And touched an antique clock on the wall
Just then a frightening look on the woman’s face
As the clock began to fall

Only the old woman knew what had really happened
As the four friends continued to wait
Yes, the clock was old fashioned
But is would also create their fate

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 1]
(Part 2)

In the niche of time
Melissa grabbed the falling clock
Suddenly it chimed
The four friends soon would be in shock

Ed, being curious
Moved the clock’s hands
The old woman became furious
And shouted out a command

“Change the clock back to now
To the time it is this instant
You must all now take this vow
To this I am insistent!”

Before the time was changed back
Tom got a phone call
The person on the other end yacked and yacked
And wondered why Tom was not at the dance hall

Tom said to the person
“I called you an hour ago for a ride”
The person said, “No you didn’t, I am certain”
That’s what the person replied

Tom then hung up the phone
He didn’t understand
The old woman who lived alone
Then changed back the clock’s hands

The old woman and the friends
Then stepped into the dining room
But Ed remained and did intend
To stay in the living room and loom

Ed was suspicious
He moved the clock’s hands back and forth
He wasn’t trying to be malicious
But discovered time changed henceforth

Time changed when Ed
Moved the clock’s hands
He thought in his head
His discovery was quite grand

Ed then shared the news
With his friends and the old woman
The old woman said, “Do not misuse
The clock by changing the hands”

Ingrid then asked
The old woman if she already knew
That the clock could change future and past
Ingrid asked, “Is this true?”

The old woman said it must be a secret
That the clock can move time to future and past
She said to not regret
And do not think changing time is a blast

The friends did not ask anything else
But they were not about to obey
They wanted to test the clock out for themselves
And to the future and past – they were on their way

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 1]
(Part 3)

The four friends
Whispered to one another
“We must send
The old woman to somewhere other

We need the clock to ourselves”
They were whispering
But the old woman herself
Was intensely listening

She said, “Be forewarned” to them
Just then Melissa stepped forward
Melissa said, “The clock is a gem”
Then asked the old woman straightforward

“Why do you not want us
To go back and forth in time?”
She said, “Me you must trust
For I am wise and beyond my prime”

Melissa said, “Tell us more
Exactly why”
The old woman asked, “Are you sure?”
Melissa said, “Yes”, with a wink of her eye

The old woman began like this
“You see – a long time ago
I was in love and in much happiness
I wanted too fast to know my fate though

So I moved the clock’s hands
To future days
What I discovered was not so grand
My lover had left me and gone away

He broke my heart
Now I dwell alone by myself
For now we are apart
There’s his picture on the shelf”

Ingrid said, “That is so sad”
The old woman said that when she and he would date
All along she was mad
Because she knew their fate

Ingrid said, “That won’t happen to Tom and me
Would you mind
If we were to see?
Please be so kind” 

The four friends spent an hour
Convincing the old woman
To allow them to see the future
And to see that it would be grand

The old woman gave in
Tom took control and was in power
He took the clock’s hands for a spin
Suddenly it was twenty years later in future hours

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 1]
(Part 4)

The friends looked at each other
But Ingrid was nowhere in sight
They then witnessed Ingrid’s brother
“I miss my sister”, he did recite

They had stepped into
Ingrid’s funeral
If beforehand they knew
They would not have gone at all

Just then Melissa looked at a ring
It was on her marriage finger
She did loudly sing
And her singing seemed to linger

Tom then said to Ed
“How can Melissa be happy
When Ingrid is dead?”
Ed ignored him and said, “Let’s be snappy

And leave this place in time
To the past I’d like to go
The beginning when the sun first shined
To prehistoric time – let’s see the show”

Ed then turned back the clock
To prehistoric days
Sure enough, there were many rocks
And dinosaurs to their dismay

“Run!”, Tom shouted
But Ingrid and Ed stood still
As Melissa cried and pouted
Way up on a hill

Ed knew there was no need to run
For he held time within his hands
Although, he found it fun
To see Tom scared where he stands

A dinosaur was approaching
Ed decided the fun was done
He said, “Calm down”, as though he was coaching
“There is no need to run”

Tom screamed, “Hurry up, Ed
Move the hands forward”
The power was going to Ed’s head
Tom was being straightforward

“Now! Now! Move the hands”
But Ingrid was the one
Who took a stand
And moved time to 1401

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 1]
(Part 5)

Ingrid had set the year to 1401
But Ed quickly grabbed the clock
To change it to a year more fun
To study the future stock

Ed changed time to one year ahead
To study the stock market
And lottery numbers he said
“Seems it’s best to invest in rockets”

He wrote down the lottery numbers
Then the friends went to the present
During their time travel they did slumber
But they broke out in an argument

They were fighting about what years
To travel next into
Ed said, “Have no fear
We will all have a chance to choose”

Tom was first to decide
He said
“How about 1953?
That was fine by Melissa, Ingrid and Ed

The old woman was there too
For now they were in the present
The friends asked her for her view
About their argument

The old woman remained silent
For she had already forewarned them
Just then Tom and Ed became violent
Over the clock is where their fight stemmed

Ed said, “1953 – count me out
I do not need to time travel anymore
I will win the lottery no doubt
And the stock market I will score”

Ed asked Melissa to please stay
In the present time with him
She said she may
But turned away and grinned

So Tom, Ingrid and Melissa were left there
To travel to and whenever they wanted
They were a little scared
As though they were haunted

Tom said, “Off to 1953”
Ingrid said, “Then to 1985”
Melissa said, “Afterwards to 2005”
This plan they all agreed

Ed stayed in the current day
He had seen enough
He was on his way
To win money and buy a lot of stuff

Ed and the old woman conversed
She asked if he had learned anything
“Yes after seeing Ingrid’s hurst
And Melissa with another man’s wedding ring”

“And Tom and I had an argument
Nothing went right
It was a bit turbulent
That we did fight”

The old woman was glad
Ed had seen the light
She was now not mad
That Ed had done what was right

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 1]
(Part 6)

Tom, Ingrid and Melissa took a trip
To the year 1953
Even though Ed had given them a tip
To stay and not to flee

The 1950’s seemed quite grand
But not for everyone
For women’s rights the girls would stand
Life was not always fun

So for fun the three decided to see
A professional baseball game at
Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.
And watch the players hit the bat

They would need to earn money though
In order to attend
So Tom got a job at the movie show
Being from the 1950’s he would pretend

Ingrid and Melissa got jobs too
So that they had a place
A hotel to move into on the avenue
And not look like a charity case

The three changed their hairstyles
And their clothes as well
After working a while
They left the hotel

The three bought tickets to
The New York Yankees game
To Washington, D.C.., they flew
For they knew Mickey Mantle’s name

Tom knew baseball inside and out
He knew this game would be amazing
The players swung their bats about
Melissa and Ingrid learned as though in training

Then Mickey Mantle hit a 565-foot home run
Tom was so excited
For he was New York Yankees fan number one
All the statistics he recited

The girls found the game interesting
But wanted to leave soon after
To another year of visiting
Time traveling brought them laughter

So Tom picked up the clock
To change the year
But the clock stopped the tick tock
This was what the old woman had feared

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 1]
(Part 7)

Tom, Ingrid and Melissa were trapped
In the year 1953
Melissa just about snapped
Then they all agreed

That a way back to the present
They would find a way
Then they bought a tent
In D.C. where they stayed

Tom tried to fix
The broken clock
It was stopped at six
With no tick tock

He examined it carefully
And in tiny letters
Without his glasses he could see
Although with them, he saw better

That the location where the clock was made
Was written on the back
It did fade
But he could read the writing in black

How lucky they all were
For it had been made in D.C.
The writing, even though was blurred
The three of them could see

28495 Sixth Street
Was the address
They traveled there by feet
They felt they had been blessed

It turned out to be
A jewelry store
Called Sixth Street
Then all three entered the door

The place was a bit run down
Inside was a beautiful woman
There was no one else around
She said her name was Joanne

Tom handed her the clock
And asked if it could be repaired
Joanne looked as though in shock
For this she was unprepared

“Where did you find it?”
Joanne asked with wide-opened eyes
Tom used his wit
And said, “It fell from the sky”

Joanne told the teenagers
They must be truthful
Even though they were strangers
And the three were youthful

She also said
She could fix the clock today
If from their heads
They obeyed

The three told the truth
Of how the clock they acquired
“We didn’t get to see Babe Ruth
As we desired

So for telling the truth
Please fix the clock today
So we can see Babe Ruth
In a baseball game play”

Joanne knew far more
Than she would say
From within the store
She fixed the clock that day

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 1]
(Part 8)

Tom, Ingrid and Melissa had been spared
For they traveled back to current time
After the clock had been repaired
And the clock again chimed

The old woman and Ed
Welcomed the three back
She had food for them she said
And even some small snacks

Ed told the three
That the old woman he had gotten to know
He said, “You will see”
As the old woman sewed

Then Tom, Ingrid, Melissa and Ed
All agreed
That they never wanted to time travel they said
They said they would let time be

Just then Ed
Walked toward the door
The four friends were leaving he said
Then Tom, Ingrid and Melissa almost fell to the floor

As Ed said, “Goodbye”
To the old woman
“You have been more than kind
Thank you, Joanne”

Just then Ingrid, Melissa and Tom
Stopped dead in their tracks
They had forgotten about the prom
And stepped – not forward – but back

“What name did you call the woman?”
Tom asked Ed
Ed said, “Joanne”
“In 1953, we met Joanne”, Tom then said

“That’s right”, Joanne said
“I am the same Joanne”
“Enlighten us more”, said Ed
But she said she never can

And so the four friends
Continued onto the prom
The prom was near its end
Their lives continued on

The mystery of the clock forever
Would remain a mystery
Although the four friends had been clever
To get a glimpse and see

The four friends said to each other
To leave the mystery be
They went on with life together
Although the mystery would someday open with a key

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 2]
(Part 1)

The year was 1953
Joanne was twenty-two years old
She worked for a jeweler for a small fee
Jewelry and clocks he sold

The jeweler’s name was Sam
He was liked by everyone
Sam trained Joanne
How to fix clocks and jewelry for fun

Every now and then
Sam was visited
By a group of men
Badges on their uniforms they exhibited

Joanne only knew
That they were from the government
Because the badges were in her view
Though she was in wonderment

As, one day, Joanne worked at the store
Sam had a massive heart attack
He fell to the floor
Dead on his back

About a month later
As Joanne tried to keep the business going
A man entered the store to greet her
Though she was unknowing

That the man
Worked for the government
He asked Joanne
If the clock had been repaired for his department

She informed the man in uniform
That Sam had died
He said he had been informed
And asked if she fixed the clock or tried

Joanne informed him that she knew
What the clock was for
He then questioned her through and through
Until he felt quite sure

He trusted what Joanne had said
And handed her a key
The key was colored red
And would open up the mystery

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 2]
(Part 2)

Joanne had lied to
The man in uniform
She only knew
What Sam had informed

She knew Sam had been on
A secret government mission
She then came upon
A secret safe in the store’s location

Joanne figured out that the key
Was to open the secret safe there
Inside it would be
The clock and parts to spare

Also inside the locked compartment
Were many papers to read
They were the documents
That she would need

To fix the clock like new
But then she read to her amazement
That there were only two
Clocks owned by the government

Clocks that moved forward and back
The hands of time
She thought for nothing she would lack
After she fixed the clock and it chimed

What a discovery she had made
But nothing like the next one
For a young man walked in the store and conveyed
That his heart Joanne had won

Joanne then giggled softly
For he was someone she knew
A young man she knew fondly
Not someone new

Alex was his name
Joanne loved him too
Back from the Army he came
To say, “I love you”

They had crushes on each other
Ever since the day they met
But Alex moved from one place to another
Even when he became an Army vet

Joanne gave the fixed clock
To the government men
The clock worked fine and would tick tock
The men said, “Thank you”, then

She spent the next month or two
With Alex having fun and happiness
Until the day he flew
On a plane into the darkness

It was to be
The last time
She would see
And say, “Alex is mine”

Her heart was broken
That she could not repair
She was forever soft spoken
About losing him and her despair

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 2]
(Part 3)

Time moved on for Joanne
Though she never married anyone
She later fell in love with a man
Her memories of Alex were done

The new man’s name was Simon
He was, in her eyes, handsome
And he was well known by everyone
Except for only some

Simon was a professional football player
His wealth he flaunted about
He became a small city’s mayor
And was not afraid to use his clout

Joanne always waited
To spend time with him
Simon she overrated
And Joanne rarely grinned

She was so in love she thought
But she had enough
She had even bought
Him a lot of stuff

That’s when Joanne decided
To witness their fate
She was guided
By the clock like bait

Joanne stepped into future days
And saw that she, Simon had left
He stole her heart away
As though there was a theft

So as they dated each other
She knew all along
That they would not end up together
She knew not where she belonged

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 2]
(Part 4)

The year was 1973
Joanne was forty-two
Simon wanted to be left be
He said, “Goodbye to you”

So Joanne spent the next four decades
Dwelling for her loss
She wished she never learned the trade
Of fixing clocks from Sam her boss

The time travel clock on her wall
Was to always be in her possession
She never wanted anyone else to fall
Into the clock’s deception

The only other clock of its kind
Was the one she fixed for the government
She knew within her mind
That the clocks possessed empowerment

Four decades had since passed by
The year was 2015
Joanne was 85
Always sweet and never mean

Though she lived alone
And was in good health
She rarely left her home
She saved her money for her wealth

Joanne prayed there would come a day
When God would show a sign
And lead the way
Before the end of her time

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 3]
(Part 1)

Tom, Ingrid, Melissa and Ed
Had just left for the prom
The old woman, Joanne said in her head
That she will miss them

She thought about them for hours
She then wondered if they had been
Her sign from God’s powers
Her awareness did begin

Joanne realized their names
Spelled out T.I.M.E.
Just like a game
Thoughts began to fall in line

The four teens must have been sent
To her as a sign
But what it all meant
She would discover in time

Teenagers whose names spell out “time”
But what could it all mean?
Then a man beyond his prime
Entered the mysterious scene

Joanne’s doorbell rang
The man outside
“I’m in love”, he sang
He sang with all his passion and pride

Joanne could do nothing but laugh
She thought this stranger was cute too
He then said he found the path
“The path to you. How do you do?”

She was smiling ear to ear
Then her jaw dropped to the ground
He was Alex! – this was clear
The love of her life had been found

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 3]
(Part 2)

Alex and Joanne spent the next few days
Reminiscing about their teenage years
It was as if they were in a daze
Though they celebrated and cheered

Both Alex and Joanne
Were happy to be together in their hearts
But could not understand
Why they lived their lives apart

Joanne then explained
About the clock to Alex that night
The knowledge that he gained
Gave him much insight

Just then Joanne started to cry
For she blamed herself for moving the hands of time
Alex then sighed
And told her everything would be fine

“Understand this”, he said
“We are now together forever”
Joanne nodded her head
They were perfect lovers

They spent the rest of their years
Traveling back and forth in time together
Dying they never feared
For they were rather clever

They only traveled to the past
And rewrote their own history
They had a wonderful life to last
There was no more mystery

“Joanne, this was all meant to be”
Alex softly said
They were together forever free
Small tears they both then shed

THE HANDS OF TIME

[BOOK 3]
(Part 3)

And so the night
That Alex and Joanne reunited
They danced into the moonlight
And became united

And so and thus
That is the story of the hands of time
It teaches us
That each life shines

And reminds us that fate
Is something that stays the same
We can change the path at any rate
But fate remains unchanged in any game

For whatever path we took or changed
God already knew and planned
He had already arranged
For the two soulmates to forever live in time’s hands

THE END