9:05 by K.C. Burn
Socially introverted accountant Scott Taylor’s world is stuck in a state of suspended animation–his coworkers, the falling snow, the clocks–all frozen, at 9:05, to be precise. As Scott continues to move through the motions of what should be the advancement of the days and weeks, eating, sleeping, and eventually daring to converse with the people he’d spent his workdays avoiding, he discovers a budding courage to interact with those whom he’d purposefully avoided before.
Devlin Moreau is the gorgeous man Scott had never been brave enough to make eye contact with, let alone say hello to, but as Devlin grows less intimidating in his silence, and Scott grows braver in his solitude, life and the world begin to change, even while it remains the same.
One of the things I loved most about this little gem is the fact that I never truly knew whether the story was indeed intended to be a sci-fi/fantasy, or whether the stop-motion state of Scott’s life was merely a metaphor for the isolation and loneliness that his shyness created. Either way, K.C. Burn wrote a story of hope and possibility that left me wanting more.