Davis Purdy watched the numbers on the clock tick down toward zero. He didn’t know what would happen when the time ran out, but he was guessing that it wasn’t going to be pleasant.
The clock had appeared in the center of town the night before with no clue as to where it came from or who had built it. Its solid stone sides concealed the inner workings rather effectively. Square, flat black, and massive, the only feature was the face, with the ominous, decreasing digits.
He studied it as it fell to 620460. Judging from the rate of decay, that would roll over in a little under a week. Purdy pulled a drill from his tool belt and, with half the town looking on from what was assumed to be a safe distance, pressed the bit into the rock.
It didn’t bite, and the gathered crowd was overwhelmed by a loud chime from the mysterious clock.
The numbers began to change faster.