Chapter 3:

A bored salaryman's thesis.

I can stop time so I do not have to worry about deadlines.

When I wake up, reality strikes me back. It’s still night, and when I check my phone it’s exactly around the same time I went out for a smoke. So, I lie on my bed relaxing a bit, trying to take in the situation and enjoy it as it lasts.

Enjoy it as it lasts.



How long have I been asleep for? And how long does this time-stopping power last?

How can time go back to normal?!

What am I doing? Panic rarely gets people anywhere. I should calm down.

This time, I’m well rested and I don’t resort to base pleasures in order to clear my mind. I open my desk drawer to retrieve my favorite Swiss knife. The disassembled piece of shit greets me and I stare him down. I accept this challenge!

When I’m at home and need to calm down, I often try to reassemble a Swiss knife which I bought. Trying to reassemble the Swiss knife makes use of my competitive nature to force me to calm down.

Now, lets think.

Firstly, I need to accept that there will be things about this time stop that I will only find out later by chance. For example, I wouldn’t know whether time could spontaneously resume unless time spontaneously resumes. The same goes for any possible long term effects of stopping time. I will not be able to spot any long term effects before that long term passes.

However, I can also make a few guesses based on what I’ve seen so far. People and objects such as fires are not moving as fast as they normally seem to do. Next to that, my perception of time does not match the time on clocks. My phone, lighter, drawer and swiss knife also seemed to be possible exceptions to the time stop. After all, I could operate my phone and light a fire, open my drawer and assemble my swiss knife, which would be impossible, if time completely stopped. I also seem to be an exception, because I do not seem to be moving any slower than normal.

So everything else is moving way more slowly relative to me and those few exceptions. I also now know some possible exceptions to the time-stop, but I still need to confirm whether those are always an exception and whether there are other exceptions.

In order to test whether my phone (while being operated), lighter (being lighted), drawer and swiss knife are always exceptions to the time stop, I should watch them being used in different situations. Different locations, operators, and exact actions come to mind. Of course, I need to stay realistic and only consider tests which are feasible.

So with that in mind, I should test whether the location matters by operating them in different places at a walking distance from each other. After all, I don’t think that I can take the train while time is stopped. So that means testing it at the balcony (again), downstairs and at the convenience store around the corner. I can’t carry my drawer though. Therefore I will have to skip testing the effect of the location on the drawer.

The effect of the exact action could be tested by trying out different things whenever I’m at those different places. I’m thinking of setting a timer, playing FGO, calling someone and writing a memo on my phone. As for my lighter, I will light it with my left hand instead of my right hand and light it with the nozzle downwards. The effect on the swiss knife will be tested by using the scissors, screwdriver and knife on random objects in the location.

In order to test whether there are other exceptions, I should look for exceptions which make sense. A good place to start looking would be “things caused directly by me”, because all of the exceptions have that in common. I directly lit the lighter, I directly set the timer, I directly opened the drawer etc. The things which have been slowed down by the time stop also do not fall under that category. For example, I do not directly cause the timer to count time or my lighter to go out.

I consider this and decide to cause some changes directly in my room in order to test, if they are also exceptions. I will open the doors, cut some paper and write using my laptop.

As for trying to make time resume; I should try to make the most out of this time stop first. After all, I don’t know whether time could stop again in the future. So it would be a waste, if I don’t make use of this time stop. I could take a break from work without consequence. I could even finish work that I need to do in the future in order to save time later on.

Of course, I can only test out whether I can experience a time-stop again, after the time-stop. It’s not really possible to stop time, when time is already stopped after all.

So I spend the next hour or so conducting the tests that I planned. I go through the plan in my head and try to memorize whether the action I planned to do was possible during the test. The whole test felt exciting. Not only was I looking forward to the time stop, I was also feeling so proud for designing the experiments and going through my plan without a hitch.

As it turns out, all of the actions were possible except, if I tried to make others use the items. That would make sense if things that I directly caused were the only exceptions to the time stop. So the tests lend credence to that.

These experiments are the best evidence I have for how the time stop works. Next to that, the tests do not contradict and even suggest that my guess is true. So I should assume that:

One, everything is so much slower relative to myself during time-stop that they seem to stand still.

Two, things directly caused by me are the only exception to this.

Now that I have an idea of how the time stop works, I should make use of it.

I already had a good night’s sleep and I feel well rested after conducting those experiments. So I should be able to easily finish my work.

In just an hour, I have adjusted the agenda with a clear mind. I can literally play out in my head how the meeting will play out. I have even almost finished all the paperwork for this week within that hour.

Now, the moment of truth. Time for time to go forward. I reason that the time stop could be activated by something I did before the time stop and the trigger could undo . So I repeated my actions before the time-stop. I start by thinking of lewd thoughts.

I look outside and everything is still standing still.

Ok, maybe something else. Maybe touching my crotch? I try to relive that night. I do my best and felt ashamed that I’m trying to masturbate again today.

Still nothing.

I take a deep breath out of frustration. I am calm now. I try to do everything I did up until the last thing I did before time stopped. I even touched my nipples.

Everything is still standing still.

Oh well, maybe I just need to wait.

Three more “days” pass. During that “time”, I tried to stay productive. I re-reviewed the agenda for “tomorrow” and even added a number of revisions everyday. I re-read some emails that I have only skimmed before. I even arranged all of my paperwork. However, my new life was starting to feel stale.

Isn’t the atmosphere here kind of shit?

I look at the agenda for “tomorrow” again. It was a bad idea. The words that I wrote were a blur. I can’t concentrate on the words anymore. After all, I saw these exact words so many times that I know them by heart. There is no reason to look at the agenda anymore. So I look at something else, the night sky, which usually calms me down.

The night sky unfortunately feels suffocating. It doesn’t give me the feeling of solitude that I craved anymore. Instead, it serves as a constant reminder of everything I will never experience anymore. The agenda I spent so much time on will never be used, I’ll never see Hide again. Nothing I do now will matter to anyone. I feel trapped.





I had enough. If I am living in a world of stopped time, all alone, then I don’t have to be afraid of making too much noise. I screamed from the top of my lungs and pummel the wall.



“You’re too loud, shitstain!”

It feels weird to say this, but that gave me a sense of relief.

“I’m filing a noise complaint! Have fun with that, asshole!”


Rays of sunshine fall on my eyes for the first time in weeks and I now realize why I was so grumpy. I needed to see sunlight. It never occurred to me that I need sunlight, because I was never deprived of it for a long enough period of time. Now at least, I know that after living in an eternal night for weeks.

Well, at least I wasn’t completely unproductive, I guess. So, if I remember correctly, only seven to eight hours have passed in real time.

Going to work wasn’t really a challenge, I feel way better now that I have a good rest, but it does feel nostalgic to see people move again and hear all these noises.