• Life would go out in a 'fraction of a second' (that was the phrase), but all night he had been realizing that time depends on clocks and the passage of light. There were no clocks and the light wouldn't change. Nobody really knew how long a second of pain could be. It might last a whole purgatory--or for ever.

    Graham Greene (1971). “The Power and the Glory”, Penguin (Non-Classics)