All I wanted was a simple cup of coffee before I started work. Fate, however, had different plans for me that day.
A short fiction story inspired by my own personal experience of being stuck in Sydney during the Lindt Cafe siege.

A little about Alex first:

Alex was born and raised in England. When he was sixteen, his family moved to Australia where he learned how to surf, joined a rock band and rode his motorcycle to shows. Alex currently lives with his wife, three beautiful kids, two dogs, three cats, several parrots, and a fish tank.

RA Winter’s Review: 4.5-Stars

Batman Clock by Alex Maher,
This was a short read full of emotion and turmoil. Written in an Aussie dialect, it brings you right into the scene. I love Alex’s writing, this is the third short story I’ve read by him, and he always leaves me reeling (In a good way). He does emotions well and the horror of the moment, with the disconnect of ‘what is happening to me’ comes through.
Alex plops you into a scene, the moment before a mad gunman opened fire ruining his morning coffee run, and killing those around him. Based on a true story, this one is frightening in its truth.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience that moment when you think your life is about to end, then read Alex’s The Batman’s Clock. It’ll race chills down your spine.
I give it a 4.5 but if I was rating it on Amazon, I’d give it a 5 star. It is worth your time, about 20 minutes at most. The only reason I’m not giving it a 5 star is because it left me with questions, but that’s life. The Asian woman who died beside him, the mother and son who also died, I wish they had names because they also have a story and theirs ended in one moment so tragically, and so horrible.
Death came so fast and so unexpectedly. A true story worth your time.
I’m glad you survived Alex, and I mourn for those who didn’t even if I don’t know their names.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 4.99-Stars

What an awesome story! Batman’s Clock by Alex Maher brought out all of my emotions, fear and sympathy and the realization that this can happen to me at any time. I like the cover, and I feel it fits the story very well. If I were scrolling along, the cover would stop me to find out more.
For so few words, the story is extremely compelling. I haven’t read anything that makes a catch in my throat the way Batman’s Clock does. I think what really makes you stop and think with this story is it’s based on real life, a true story. The people in this story lived and breathed until one random morning in a coffee shop.
There are a few sentences with missing words and a typo, which is hardly worth mentioning. For this reason, I give it 4.99-stars. If I was sharing my review on Amazon it would 5-stars as well.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes to read, and get a copy for your friends and family – they will like it too.

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

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  • What a fabulous short story!!! Can I give 10 stars?
    The author dragged me into his horror and I felt like I was standing on the sidelines watching the attack evolve and listening to the Tick Tock of that clock on the coffee stand.
    I could hear the Aussie accent in my ear, and I felt as if I was listening to a first-hand account rather than reading words on a page.
    I should also mention, that as a self-confessed caffeine addict, the author’s descriptions of the need to worship at the altar of the caffeine gods were hilarious more for the fact they are often so true.
    Well done!!! I will look for more by this author.

  • Elkin Hardcoves

    Batman’s clock
    By Alex Maher
    If you here the title of this work and think, isn’t Batman a property of DC comics, and wonder if the writer is violating copy write law, let me assure you, he’s not. If you are wondering, if some vigilante that styles himself after Batman is going to die in this work, then I’ll just say sort of. It depends on the term “Batman”.
    As for the title?
    There is quite literally a Batman clock in the work, and by this I mean an actual clock with a little figure of DC comics Batman and Robin on it, in one incarnation at least. In a way though the clock is very unimportant to the piece on the whole, but in another way it is quite accurately the centerpiece of the work: it depends on perspective.
    One thing is certain however, Alex has the ability to craft strong, highly believable characters, to describe events with rich detailed prose that allow for easy mental visualization, and knows how to apply those hints of irony, which spices to a dish, allows for a much more full bodied read.
    I’d personally give Batman’s clock 4.6 out of 5.

    • nookbear

      Thanks Elkin. There’s been a couple of days in history that cemented themselves into my brain. You know, the events that happen where you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. For me, Freddy Murcury’s death, – I was in the dark room processing some photos. the Twin Towers, at the pub performing … and the Lindt Cafe siege. That day will stay with me forever. Although this story is a highly fictionalised version of what went down that day, being stuck in the city just a couple of doors down from where Monis went on his rampage was a terrifying reality check.

  • nookbear

    Thanks everyone for such encouraging words. That day was a major contributing factor in our decision to move our family waaaay up north to the tropics and away from the cities. I write this thank you from our little patch of rain forest surrounded by bird noises, frogs and greenery
    Cheers. Al

  • Review of Batman’s Clock.
    The distinctive voice of this sharp piece grabs you within the first few lines. The narrator is not only in your ear, but in front of you, recounting a day that changed everything. When the pace dramatically stills to what would be a slow motion reel of gruesome violence, there is no turning away, no missing any of the horror.
    What follows is like a psychological unraveling ending with a darkness that begs for conclusion. Except there is no neatly tied ending, just the blackness of incomprehensible violence.

  • I’ll give this 4.5 stars, it loses a point because I found the formatting a bit confusing at the start the first time I read it.
    This short story had me drawn in so completely that about a minute into it I was standing on the street in Sidney Australia by a coffee kiosk. I could almost smell the coffee brewing myself as the story unfolded, the visualization was so well done. I could practically feel Al’s emotions as I watched the others in line for their morning brews as if I were right there beside him.
    Leaves me wondering if this isn’t completely fiction and is a recounting of something that really happened.
    Wonderfully expressive writing, I hope to see more of A. L. Maher’s penmanship.
    Note to american readers: Yes the word gaol is correct it’s not a typo. It is pronounced like ‘jail’.

    • Awesome review, Terence! Thanks for sharing. And, thanks for the pronunciation of gaol. I read a lot of historical romance and always wonder how it was pronounced.

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