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John Gone


the hands was a network of crisscrossed wires, each hair-
thin and pulled taut against the frame. The nest they
formed was so tangled and thick that nothing but more wires
could be seen beneath the top layer. He wondered what
possible purpose they could serve for so simple a machine.
John placed the watch on his wrist. As the metal
touched skin, he felt an instantaneous jolt, as if two
magnets had been suddenly joined together. The skin of his
left arm prickled, and the small hairs that lived there
raised straight.
His arm jerked back sharply from the shock, and to his
surprise, even though he’d yet to latch its band, the watch
didn’t fall. John quickly spun his wrist upside-down. The
two halves of its band dangled down as expected, but the
metal base remained stubbornly in place against his skin.
Confused, he shot his fingers around its face and
pulled. For over a minute he tugged and yanked, strained
and jerked, but as hard as he tried, the watch sat firm
against his wrist as if glued. Out of breath and
exasperated, John let it go. He’d made no progress; the
watch was stuck to him.
Suddenly, John noticed movement behind the face’s
glass. The tiny metal threads nestled beneath the watch
hands had come to life, intermittently vibrating at
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