The old man lies in his bed, waiting to die. The clock by his bedside ticks. The hour is… much later than he thought. It is always later; the years always pass faster. He blinked once, a child. He blinks again, near dying. His only account for in between is hazy and unsure. Memories, Her lie told en masse, fade as soon as they drift from creation into the past.
Where does it all go? He wonders silently as his body ossifies. The world around him fades to white. Yesterday, wasn't I still young? I had my whole life ahead of me. I… I… Where does it all go?
The room becomes still and dark as all life leaves it. From the shadows a swirling snicker. A dark presence dances her way out the door in a cloak of looming shadows. The Time Thief departs, her loot in hand, another life lost to her bottomless avarice. Another span of decades passes from our hands into her sea of time that flows beneath the Earth.
"Where did the time go?" We wonder, blind to her grin, deaf to her laughter. We look in the mirror at our lined faces and swear that just yesterday, just a moment ago, just before we blinked, that we were still young. The whole of our lives stretched before us.
We were. And now we will never be again. The Time Thief? She remains young forever.
Time flows differently for everyone. For some it is a stream idling through wilderness, others are lost in a torrent. For some it is slow. It endures, life is a slow marathon lasting for an unknowable amount of miles. A slow-burning torment with no relief. For others it's a sprint. They rush past every moment, appreciating none. Accelerating by leaps and bounds towards the grave.
To the Time Thief, Death's right hand, speed matters not. Whether we slink through life or launch by, we fall right into her clutches. Our lives as they are lived, our joys and sorrows, pass right into her hands. And every man and every woman, as time comes for us to no longer die, find ourselves wandering through crumbling halls of memory. We remember our youths as if they were yesterday, but the in between, the in between fades in patches. Like a dream, like it never happened at all.
So regardless of how it flowed, once gone to her clutches. Once we become one with her sea. We look back at the span of ourselves like it was nothing at all. And so, robbed of our being, we give way.
The Time Thief? She swims in our memories. Luxuriates in our selves. She watches the Earth, waiting for life to pass, waiting for the opportunity to steal again.