The alarm woke Arthur and the pain in his lower back caused him to groan as he rolled over to silence the chimes.
The house was carefully sealed, so that during the night no light could escape, but this meant as long as they were inside that clocks were important to keep track of the time. You couldn’t look in any direction at any time without seeing one.
A constant, sometimes rhythmic ticking filled their ears as Arthur and James went about their morning business of making breakfast.
James knew what to do, it was all part of an unchanging ritual. He boiled water in the electric kettle and put a small spoonful of freeze dried coffee into Arthur’s favourite cup.
“Here you go Dad.” – James handed him the hot cup and Arthur sat it on the side and waited for it to cool.
“You know, I used to say that coffee and tea had to be made very differently. Tea you made with boiling water, so hot that it was bubbling as you poured it into the pot – the only way to make a good cup. Coffee, the water shouldn’t be boiling as it effects the taste……… seems stupid now doesn’t it?”
“I think it’s good for things to be done a certain way, you know, its good to know how something should be done and then do it, you always know what to expect. Like you and the watches on the roof.”
“I suppose so, eh!?” – Arthur tousled James’ hair and smiled. He loved the boy so much. The only thing that mattered to him now was making sure this boy had a chance. A future where something other than the dark of the inside or the cold of the outside defined his life, somewhere he could live, truly live.