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Armor Watch
This watch saved my life.

I’m just kidding. At least, I think I’m kidding. And I couldn’t pass on an opportunity to be a temporary drama queen.

I have no idea how this happened. I was inside a very large building with a lot of people; as I was leaving, I glanced down at my watch to check the time. It was completely intact. At some point between leaving the building, crossing the parking lot, and getting into my car, this happened. I was shocked, and confused, and no, I don’t drink or do drugs.

As soon as I managed to convince myself I was completely OK, and only the watch had suffered, the writer in me went off on a tangent and I pictured a heroine in some sci-fi detective murder thriller mystery. If I’m gonna go there, I’m going big.

“There’s nothing wrong with being practical.”

Darby could hear her mother’s voice echo through the tiny bedroom that held everything she had left in this world. Her practical clothes, her practical shoes, and the practical watch her mother had worn right up until the day she died. She had to admit, her mother had possessed an uncanny knack for working the concept of “being practical” into every conversation they ever had.

With a heavy sigh, Darby fastened the watch around her wrist and noted the time. She was going to be late, again. The weight of the shoulder bag she hurriedly snatched from the makeshift dresser reminded her to handle the bag with care. Her mother had urged her to buy the handgun that was easily concealed in her purse.

“A woman in your line of work can never be too careful. You need to be able to defend yourself, and there’s nothing wrong with being practical.”

She had heeded that advice a mere two weeks before her beloved mother’s sudden death. Darby felt a chill travel down her spine, and the sting of tears she refused to shed.

Pausing for one last peek at the rippled, full-length mirror propped against the wall, she reached up to adjust a wayward strand of hair desperately trying to escape her tightly wound bun. Flinching, she thought for a moment that something on the watch had shocked her. Turning her wrist toward the light streaming in from the window high above the cot she called a bed, she saw several cracks radiating from a small hole in the dome of her mother’s watch. Confusion furrowed her brow as she watched the sleek second hand continue its trek, sweeping through the tiny shards of glass trapped beneath the crystal…

This is where I will have to make a decision as to whether the dark figure pouncing from the shadows is a frightened extraterrestrial that escaped the feds and followed her home from work, or a demented sociopath that has her targeted as his next victim.

Or, who knows, this tale could take on the life of an entirely different scenario inspired by the watch that saved me. Only time will tell.