Short Story: The Watch (Part 2)

Written By Mark Lee

To read the first half of this story, click HERE.

Over the next several weeks Matthew upped the adrenaline setting each morning to the next level. He couldn't wait to see what he could accomplish at the highest setting. There were certain things that had never made it to his To Do list because he knew when he was being impractical. Now, however, he had to think of extra things to do to fill his time. He was beginning to look forward to all the things he would be able to do now that his days were longer.

Best of all, he didn't need as much sleep at night. So, not only did he have more time during the day, but several hours into the night he had time to think and do nothing else, a thought that would have been foreign to him before the watch. One night he laughed out loud at himself. He was okay with himself for wasting this time. He had earned it. Before the watch, he never felt he accomplished enough to have true leisure time. He leaned back, putting his hands behind his head. Then, his watch alarm went off, signaling slumber time.

His favorite vendor was out the next morning. As he passed him, Matthew turned around to run backwards, shouting, "The watch is working wonderfully." The vendor simply shook his head. He said something under his breath, but Matthew was too far away to hear him.

Later that morning, Matthew's boss came up to his station. "Mr. Freeman," the boss said, "I was looking over the production reports for the last few weeks, and I saw that your numbers are way up. Way to go!"

"Thank you, sir," Matthew replied.

"What's your secret?"

Matthew almost told him about the watch but decided to keep his secret weapon to himself. "Oh, I don't know," he answered instead. "I've felt really good these past few weeks. Might be those new vitamins I'm taking."

The boss looked around the room and said to everyone in earshot, "I think I know who is going to be the next employee of the year."

After the boss left, Nancy, who sat two cubicles down from Matthew, muttered, "No surprise, dimwit!" Matthew had been employee of the year every year for at least the last ten years, maybe more. She didn't know for sure, for she had only been there for ten years.

Another lady said, "At least they don't grade on a curve." Several laughed at the clever remark.

"Welcome to Mount Rushmore," Matthew muttered with a grimace. Then, he laughed at his own pun.

A couple of days later after everyone else except Matthew returned from afternoon break (Breaks still seemed like a waste of time), Matthew's hands started trembling. He stopped typing and raised his shaking hands closer to his face. "My fingers couldn't keep up!" He laughed at himself, but soon his smile turned into a frown as his chest began to hurt. He could feel that his heart was beating rapidly without placing his hand on his chest. As the pain increased, he grabbed for his heart with his right hand. Then, the anguish radiated to his left arm.

Finally, he realized what was going on. He tried to scream, but his voice wasn't responding. Eventually, he was able to put the words out. "I'm having a heart attack!"

At first, no one responded, but after Matthew managed to scream when a throbbing surge of pain emitted from his left thigh, Nancy jumped up from her cubicle. She reached Matthew in time to cushion his fall from his seat to the floor. He was now convulsing. "Call 9-1-1," she screamed as loud as she could, trying to yell over Matthew's ever increasing shrieks of suffering. A few seconds later Matthew went limp in her arms although his seizure continued.


A few hours later two Emergency Room doctors were looking at the numerous x-ray and MRI films of Matthew's chest, head, and left leg.

"I've never seen this," the taller doctor said.

"I know what you mean. I've never seen an emergency patient have a stroke, a heart attack, an epileptic seizure, and a deep vein thrombosis at the same time."

The first doctor continued the diagnoses. "Not to mention what looks like inflamed kidneys, liver and pancreas."

"What did this guy do to himself?" The second doctor asked. The question was obviously rhetorical, for nothing in all the annals of medicine would explain how a 35 year old, previously healthy male could sustain such rapid damage in such an efficient period of time, not wasting a single tick of the watch.