Once Upon a Time
by Fabrice Schomberg
There was a king whose subjects were so loyal
they obeyed his every whim.
They deeply desired sovereignty since it lessened their need for philosophical argument regarding their existence or direction. The King dealt with what life's dilemmas had to offer, which effectively gave his subjects more manageable time to devote to productivity.
Gradually, their efficient productive life became dull and their existence had no relevance to their ancestral descent, which anyway lacked a few missing links. This left the community that had evolved from what appeared to be an ape, to origins that now resembled more that of a ticking contraption.
Till one day, the king came upon a philosophical thought of how to mend this detachment from nature. He decided his kingdom should be formed of individuals. It could easily managed be by attaching a clock's ticking mechanism to a persons heartbeat. The idea was that each individual lived according to his own rhythmical pace, a person would retrieve once more the use of his or her biological clock, assuming that by using this approach people would regain their self awareness and be successful individuals in his kingdom.
The following day, the best scientists and physicians in the kingdom set to work on this ambitious project that would mathematically permit people to live life by their own rhythm. Once a remarkable adjustment had been made to synchronise the seconds of a wristwatch to that of a beating heart, humanity was set ready for the unknown.
A euphoric echo was heard that day, when one given moment ignited plenty of others. There was a symbolic strike on the royal gong subsequent to the king's famous speech about time relativity, which lasted longer for some than others.
He mentioned it to be a great day that was to be remembered in the avenues of time. That each person present, was presently living within a part of time dictated only by his or her heart. If excited, a heart pulse would accelerate making recorded time pass faster, as the seconds in the attached watch would tick accordingly. However, if depressed, it would feel ages until the depression faded away in addition to the length of time it would normally take.
At first people had to get used to the constant jet lag. A confusion that was quickly replaced by the many complications that emerged. Days and nights no longer served a purpose, as sundials were wrong, puzzling people to wonder if they were late or early. Scheduling appointments became a difficult task, it was necessary to adjust or wear another watch that was linked to another person's heartbeat so to be synchronised. Walking around without any time orientation was no longer possible.
If a person's heartbeat fast, he could complete an eight-hour work shift in what previously would be considered one hour. However, if too relaxed, work shifts could prolong to as much as what once was sixteen hours, which seemed fair at the time since slow workers achieved less and thus were encouraged to work faster or drink more coffee, increasing their heart rate. However would get sacked after a while for not being able to show up at all to work after collapsing from a caffeine overdose or a suffered heart attack, which if recovered from wasn't too bad since the person had not aged, as time had frozen.
Amidst the erupting complications, an unclear harmony spread throughout the land as winter and summer clocks were no longer of use, since the time mechanism was hardwired to the heart, it wasn't possible to fiddle around with it. Setting a clock slightly ahead used to psychologically help some to avoid being late, however this was no longer possible.
Time differences jet lagged everyone, which led to the manufacturing of drugs that could control time through heartbeat manipulation. The individually precise lifestyle lasted until a few fatalities occurred, caused by complicated medication and dosage instructions. This brought street revolts, causing havoc due to traffic lights irregularities that tampered with drivers personal rhythms.
The havoc, which sparked through the kingdom, was in fact due to the non-predicted daily life people now encountered. It changed ones regard of things to take for granted. The sun and moon were no longer reliable references for time, nor could they be compared to anything that needed their logic, such as local festivities that were either forgotten or extended as fashions were constantly changing in non-recyclable patterns, even making the idea of anarchy chaotic.
It had become a forgotten kingdom. Time had no matter, it wasn't possible to forget something that didn't exist, unless time travel was possible which with the new time keeping system it was. People no longer believed in individualism and preferred being part of a whole in a communal way which followed a same timeline.
Miraculously at one time, an assembly gathered and approached the king asking how to mend this timeless kingdom's situation, they argued that they no longer wished to be the individuals that the king had made them into.
The king obliged and ordered his scholars that had preserved Time in its the original form, to release it back into commission. The scholars had secretly placed Time heavily under guard within the crown jewels yet were surprised when retrieving it to find that the batteries had run out.
"What can I do now?" Asked a dismayed king
"When is now?" Replied the scholars