• Published 23rd Dec 2012
  • 3,541 Views, 89 Comments

The Time Keeper of Ponyville - Askre

Time Turner is in love but is hesitant to really act on it. Other things in his life also distract him like the clock tower and a new employee at his shop.

  • ...

Chapter 01. His name is Time Turner.

Chapter 1

Ponyville clock tower chimed six times indicating the current hour of the morning. Not many ponies were up and about but there were few around, mostly ponies that had to open shops and needed to prepare them for opening hours.

Time Turner was one of the ponies, in his shop he sold clocks and repaired broken ones for the citizens of Ponyville. But right now he was not heading for it. The brown Earth stallion with the spiky darker brown mane and hour glass cutie mark also had other duties besides his clock shop. He was the official Time Keeper of Ponyville, a title given to him by the mayor when he was first hired.

The stallion stopped in front of the clock tower and out of his saddlebag produced the key to its door. As Turner unlocked the tall building a small smile crept over his lips. This was a regular routine but he always enjoyed it, clocks and their mechanics had always fascinated him since he was just a small foal. He had caused his mother plenty of grief taking apart the clocks of their home while trying to understand how they worked.

His entry into the tower was very familiar sight in Ponyville. Some ponies didn’t even look at the position of the sun or the giant clock at the top of the tower to see the time; they pretty much knew it just by seeing Time Turner entering or leaving it.

Time Turner hummed a tune as he took off his saddlebag and put it on a small desk he made use of inside the tower. The pony then grabbed for his tool belt that hung on one of the walls. It had everything he needed for the maintenance of the clock tower.

“Well old girl, you’re not breaking down on me yet are you?” he said while climbing up the stairs that lead up to the gears and mechanics that ran the clock.

The stallion slipped around the gears with practiced ease. The work wasn’t too difficult for the most part since it was just inspection to make sure the clock still ran. If anything needed to be oiled it was and anything that needed fine tuning was quickly done.

“Now what is this,” Turner peered critically at one gear wheel. It was beginning to show slight signs of wear on the teeth.

“I am going to have to order a replacement from Manehattan,” the stallion grabbed a notebook from this belt and while balancing that on one hoof managed to produce a pencil as well. He quickly jotted down in the book about the wheel before replacing both items back on his belt.

“Aside from that wheel everything looks like it is in working order my dear, time for some breakfast,” Turner walked over to the top of the stairs and climbed down.

On the bottom floor he hung up the belt again and turned to the desk. From his saddlebag he produced a brown paper bag, grabbing it in his mouth the stallion turned to the stairs and returned to the top of the tower.

The clock itself did take up most of the space on the west wall, but on both north and south walls was a window. Time Turner made his way to the south window where he had a small table and stool set. This was the clearest space away from all the gears and mechanics of the clock. In fact it was meant to be a safety space of sorts for anyone working in the clock tower.

The stallion hadn’t originally eaten his breakfast at the top of the tower in this space. He had usually done it on the ground floor. The view from the south window wasn’t too remarkable. Since the tower wasn’t far away from Town Hall the south window only showed the very outskirts of southern Ponyville and the country beyond it.

At least for most ponies the view wouldn’t be anything to tell home about, but Turner had ended up eating his breakfast there for a reason. He would never speak of it to anyone, for that he was too afraid and shy and quite a bit nervous.

Time Turner got seated and produced a daffodil sandwich from the bag. As he began eating the pony would occasionally glance out the window. The sun was slowly beginning to rise due to the power of Celestia and more ponies were out and about. None of it really interested the stallion.

Maybe she’s taking a different route today, Time Turner thought while taking the last bite of the sandwich. He tried not to sigh in disappointment and stood up.

Might as well head off, need to open the shop. Have few items to finish before noon, he thought and picked up the bag. The pony gave a one last glance out of the window and ducked as if he feared being seen.

Outside Time Turner had just spotted what he had hoped to see. Flying past the south side of the tower was a female Pegasus. Her yellow mane and tail flapped in the air and the gray coat seemed to shimmer in the early sunlight. She carried saddlebags on her back and instead of the regular cargo of items, in each bag was a unicorn filly, both waving their legs in excitement.

“Higher mommy, higher,” the violet coated filly shouted loud enough to be heard in the tower.

“Yes, higher auntie Derpy,” the light opalish gray filly as well shouted.

“You silly fillies, with the two of you in the bags this is the highest I can go,” Turner heard Derpy faintly respond with a giggle before she disappeared out of sight from the window.

I think she becomes more even more beautiful every day, the stallion sighed and shook his head.

“Oh Miss Hooves, Derpy Hooves. Light gray angel in the sky, why did you have to captivate my mind and heart like this,” Time Turner lamented quietly, then almost immediately groaned. “Oh that was sappy, what am I saying?”

Feeling very foolish for his bad attempt at poetic speech and thanking Celestia that he was alone the stallion made his way to the stairs and climbed down to the ground floor. Time Turner grabbed his saddlebag and put it on his back before heading out. He locked the clock tower and headed for Town Hall, he needed to inform the Mayor that he would be ordering new parts for the tower since it was the town that paid for those not him.

Town Hall was not bustling with activity when Turner entered. Some of the ponies working there greeted the stallion as he passed them on his way to the Mayor’s office and he greeted back.

“Come in,” the mayor responded when he knocked on the office door.

“Hello Madam Mayor,” Turner addressed her as he made his way into the office.

“Ah good morning Mister Turner, the clock tower is still running?” Mayor Mare looked up from her desk smiling. Judging by the full in-basket on her desk, she was only recently arrived.

“The old girl is still running smoothly,” Time Turner chuckled while he got seated in front of the desk.

“Well that’s good, but surely you didn’t come over just to report on that?” the mayor asked.

“Right, though the clock is running well at the present time I did spot a wear in one of the gear wheels. It will need to be replaced and I need to order the parts from Manehattan,” Turner explained to the older pony.

“Oh I see yes,” Mayor Mare frowned as she now realized why the stallion had come to her office.

Turner had to wonder about the frown, even though it had been a while since he had to order spare parts for the tower, it had never been a problem before. The stallion decided not to question it just yet and wait patiently for the mayor’s response.

“And I guess the bill will have to be paid by Ponyville as usual,” the mayor sounded almost uncertain.

“Is there a problem Ma’am?” Time Turner decided to ask after all since the mare seemed unwilling to answer right away.

Major Mare took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She really did not like causing one of Ponyville’s more diligent civil servants any trouble. But this time she was forced to relay some bad news to him. She reassumed her smile though it was a bit more solemn.

“Well the thing is, we just don’t have the budget right now this quarter, we’ve already had to cut down on some expenses,” she told the stallion.

Inwardly Time Turner cringed. This meant he could probably not order the parts for several months and when he could it would still take time for the parts to arrive. Right now the wear on the gear wasn’t bad, but it would eventually since the clock didn’t stop running. He could probably keep it going long enough though, but if there was one thing Turner was not known for it was taking chances.

“Tell me, could you order the parts paying through your store and we then pay you back at a later date?” Mayor Mare wondered.

“Uh well,” Turner blinked, he hadn’t really thought of that. His store didn’t make awful lot of money and he had to order parts for other clocks he was repairing for private customers.

I guess I could manage that; I would rather fix that wheel sooner than later, he thought.

“If it is not possible, we will have to wait until next budget meeting and try and work it into next quarter,” the mayor added.

“No, no it’s alright, quite alright,” Turner quickly responded when the pony realized he had been hesitating with an answer for few seconds.

“Are you sure, I do not want to cause you any problems,” Mayor Mare said and meant it. She rather liked Time Turner and his work ethics; he was never late and never complained.

“No, it will be tight but as long as I get paid back I’ll manage,” the stallion assured her and stood back up. “I better get going then. I need to open up the store and order those parts.”

“I’m really sorry about this Mr. Turner; it’s too bad that wheel didn’t need replacing earlier, we could have worked it into the budget then.” The mayor’s smile turned more apologetic.

Time Turner just nodded with a smile of his own, though deep in his mind he was desperately trying to work out his own budget and how to fit a clock tower wheel into it. He left the office and as he closed the door, his smile dropped a bit and became nervous.

As the stallion walked for the main entrance of town hall, his mind was so deep in thought he barely acknowledged his surroundings. The Earth Pony didn’t notice at all that another one, a dark gray stocky stallion with dark sea green mane and in a police uniform was entering. Not at least until both collided with each other.

“Ompf,” Time Turner grunted as he fell on top of the other pony.

“Ow,” the stocky pony complained.

Turner quickly scrambled off and rose back to his legs. The police stallion took a second longer as the wind had been knocked out of him by the collision. When he rose up he dusted off his uniform and rescued his hat from off the ground.

“I’m terribly sorry, Mulberry. My mind just all over the place, I didn’t see you,” Time Turner apologized. He felt dumb for not paying more attention as he went.

“Oy, tell me about it,” the stocky pony sighed, the frustration portrayed quite visibly on his face. The brown pony winched thinking at first that Mulberry was cross with him.

“I mean, now that I’m working alone it’s like I have to be in several different places at the same time. I need to remember reports I didn’t even know I had to remember, I now have twice as much of the town to cover and I swear the president of the Hay Board has it in for me,” the officer grumbled and resisted the urge to stomp one hoof to the floor.

“Oh, they aren’t hiring a replacement for Tango?” Turner inquired and calmed down a little when seeing that Mulberry was not angry at him.

“No, they decided suddenly that one police officer for a small town like Ponyville was more than enough after all,” the officer began snorting but it somehow managed to morph into a slightly depressed sigh. “I miss Tango.”

“Weren’t you hired originally because Tango insisted on a second officer?” Time Turner frowned slightly.

“Exactly, Tango always knew how to talk, stand the ground. He always knew what to do. He’ll probably never work another police job when he gets out,” Mulberry nodded.

“Well looks like I’m not the only one to experience government cutback. I need a new wheel for the clock tower but this time I have to buy it through my own store, they are then going to pay me later for it,” Turner told the officer though he didn’t sound half as annoyed as the stocky stallion.

“Sorry to hear that,” Mulberry shook his head in dismay. “Oh hey, since I have you here.”

The officer quickly began searching the pockets of his uniform. He soon pulled out a pocket watch and showed it to Time Turner. The small circular clock wasn’t very remarkable in appearance and looked old and worn, the brown pony was pretty sure they didn’t even sell this brand anymore.

“You think you can take a look at this? I keep winding it up but it always stops much too soon, sometimes just seconds after winding it,” Mulberry explained.

“Sure, I’ll take a look at it,” Turner accepted the watch and stashed it away in his saddlebag. “Drop by my shop later this week, I should have it done by then.”

The officer thanked him before saying goodbye and heading inside town hall. Turner left the building and made his way for his shop. On the way he thought about Mulberry’s words and how he was now the only police Ponyville had. The brown pony couldn’t help but think about the events that led up to it, he had been partially involved himself though not voluntarily.

Several weeks ago Filthy Rich’s daughter Diamond Tiara had been foalnapped and her friend Silver Spoon left injured in a dumpster. Time Turner didn’t have all the details about the case as he had been away on a weekend exhibition to add to his plant collection. He had been on his way home through Whitetail Woods when he ran into Ponyville’s local troublemakers the Cutie Mark Crusaders. They somehow managed to convince him to show them where an abandoned cottage in the woods was, thinking the foalnappers were hiding there.

They had been all to right, Turner and the Crusaders barely escaped one of the foalnappers simply because one of the fillies older brother Big Macintosh had been in the area and fought the foalnapper. It then turned out that one of Ponyville’s own officers; Tango had in fact been involved as well having been directly helping the mastermind behind the foalnapping. His job had been to sabotage any search efforts, unfortunately for him this case caught the attention of entire Equestria and Princess Celestia sent Royal guards to help with the investigation and search effort. The mayor had been so thrilled she pretty much put the leader of the guards in charge of the search. Everyone was caught and now Tango was in jail. Some ponies expected him to be out on parole in very short time, though whether he would ever return to Ponyville was doubtful.

Turner dropped out of his thoughts when he arrived at the store. It wasn’t very big, one story building with a dark brown wooden roof and vanilla yellow walls. Behind the large front display window hung many clocks of different shapes and sizes. All of them showed the exact correct time, no clock was too late or too early in his shop.

The stallion unlocked the door and turned the closed sign around to display open to any potential customer. Inside, the walls were lined with clocks of differing types, he even had few tall standing grandfather clocks. All ticked in harmonious synch, Turner found the sound rather soothing.

He walked behind the counter and took off his saddlebag. The pony rescued Mulberry’s pocket watch from it and put it on a small workbench that was placed up against the wall behind the counter. He usually worked on fixing clocks while waiting for customers to show up.

Before starting on any repair jobs, Time Turner first did a quick inventory check on the display case on the counter. That’s where he showcased the various watches intended both for wrists and pockets. He made sure that the cash register was in ready shape before taking a quick round around the shop to ensure all clocks were working. Some were imported, but there were few that he himself had custom built.

“Everything seems to be in order,” Turner mused and returned to the workbench. First thing he did was getting an order form for parts to the clock tower. He filled it out and made a note to mail it during lunch.

The thought of the mail reminded him of a certain gray Pegasus mare that had caught his fancy. It had happened rather gradually and he wasn’t even sure how. His shop and house were in her mail route thus he pretty much met her regularly enough. It was never more than she brought the mail, he said hi and thanked her, she said hi and you’re welcome before leaving.

The stallion knew roughly when he realized he was attracted to her. It had been several months ago when someone else came with the mail. She had gone on a vacation and another mailpony who was filling in for her came with his mail. Turner found himself feeling quite disappointed and actually counted the days until it was Derpy again who delivered it.

Am I in love or am I just being pathetic? he thought sighing softly.

Since there were no customers at the moment, he decided to start looking at Mulberry’s pocket watch. He gathered the tools needed and began taking it a part. It was a long work and in the meantime the occasional pony wandered in, some were fetching clocks he had already repaired for them or delivering some for him to fix. Others were browsing and no one really purchased anything.

It was nearing lunchtime when Turner was almost ready to declare the pocket watch lost cause. But he still refused to completely give up on it; the pony figured he could maybe get some spare parts from one place in Canterlot he knew specialized in old watches, which meant he would have to pull out another order form.

The stallion was writing it down when the bell above the door chimed, indicating that someone had entered the shop. He looked up and raised an eyebrow when seeing the young magenta colored Unicorn mare enter the shop. She had violet mane and tail with purple highlights, her cutie mark were three cut diamonds. With her was the opalish gray unicorn filly he had seen Derpy carry in her bag this morning.

It took him a moment to recall their names. The mare, though she was still young enough to be considered a filly by some ponies, was Amethyst Star though he had heard she was also called Sparkler. The younger girl was Tootsie Flute.

“Ah hello, what can I do for you two young ladies?” he asked and stepped away from the workbench.

“You need to fix this now!” Tootsie Flute snapped and pointed at the saddlebag Sparkler was carrying.

“Tootsie,” Sparkler grunted in annoyance, she used her magic to open the bag and levitated out a blue and yellow alarm clock.

Turner really had to resist his urge to groan when seeing the clock and especially the front of it. It was an official Wonderbolt alarm clock with an image of Spitfire adorning the face. But as shiny and colorful as it looked, it didn’t change the fact it was a factory made merchandise made to profit on the Wonderbolt name. Time Turner really hated these clocks; he considered them such shoddy pieces of work that he refused to sell them in his own shop, even if he could be raking in the bits through young and old Wonderbolt fans.

“Can you fix this? It keeps going off for no good reasons, even if it’s not set,” Sparkler asked and put the alarm clock on the counter.

Fix… this? Turner was almost tempted to tell them to just throw it away and get a new one. He did not relish the thought of having to touch that thing now offending his display counter.

“You must!” Tootsie Flute demanded and rose up to place her front hooves on the counter, frowning hard at him. “Auntie Derpy bought it for me when she went to Cloudsdale. It has to be fixed.”

Oh right The stallion mentally slapped his face, it had slipped his mind that both ponies lived with Derpy. Amethyst and Tootsie Flute had been placed there years ago in foster care if he recalled correctly.

“Alright, I will take a look at it. Might take a day or two though,” he relented and managed to produce a smile even if he was revolted at the thought of fixing that clock.

“Yeah that sounds great,” Sparkler shrugged. Tootsie jumped and smiled in joy. “How much does it cost?”

“Oh not much really,” Time Turner wondered if they would notice if he just replaced it with a new one. “Five bits at most.”

The young mare nodded and prepared to leave, she nudged the younger filly whose mood had quite brightened now that her special clock was being repaired. Turner watched them leave the shop before looking down at the alarm clock with mild disgust.

“These things are no better than scrap metal,” he muttered and gingerly grabbed the clock in his mouth and transferred it to his workbench. When he put it down the stallion noticed that on the back were the words ‘Tootsie’s clock’ written.

Now I have no choice but to fix it, there is no way I can copy that mouth writing on a new one, Turner shook his head.

“Besides it would just not be right to replace it with just a new one,” he admitted to himself as he glanced at the various clocks on the wall. “But fixing it can wait until after lunch.”

End Chapter 1.

Author's Note:

As you may have noticed this is not the Doctor Whooves version of our favorite hourglass wearing background pony. Mostly for the reasons that there are just so many great stories out there with that version, I figured I would just stick with the clock maker version of the character. Besides my Doctor Who knowledge is still limited (I'm working on it) and I just don't feel I could do that character justice.

I'm also painfully aware that the general concept of this story might not be exactly new. But I decided to write this story anyway, as I'm enjoying it and I just started to like how I wrote Time Turner in "In the Broad daylight" so much I wanted to do something more with the character.