Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From the Clockwork Garden

We overturned a rock in the woods of Kejimkujik and found this underneath.

At first, we couldn't believe it was real, as inexplicable as it was. Part insect, part machine, the gears in the joints of its brass exoskeleton remained motionless even as we recoiled, my sister exclaiming in surprise. But we leaned in closer for a better look.

Sister almost touched this clockwork cyborg when it sprang to life.

Leaping at her with menacing pinchers, its emerald wings clicking, cogs spinning, the mechanical insect revealed a terrifying stinger from beneath its tail.

Father swatted it out of the air before it could sting her. Then he smashed it with it a rock. Just to be sure, he said.

We've rebuilt it as best we could, but we still can not get it to run again. We don't feel much need to. Its origins and purpose are still unknown to us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After the grand adventure was done, home grew strange. As she lay in bed she could smell gingerbread leeching from the walls. It scented the new linens. It was in the down of the pillows, in her nightclothes and hair. That spicy smell was part of her skin. In her dreams the sugar syrup was black and ever so sweet.

She went back alone. He refused to come. The walk was too difficult, the path wound up hills and down, and it was far. They'd have to get lost again to find it.

He told her he was frightened but she knew the truth. It was too much of an effort. He'd grown comfortable in his expanded body.

Once, they had been partners, always together, always scheming. Now his hands were always sticky and his adventures never went beyond the house. She'd heard him sneak into the kitchen in the dead of night, his soft feet padding down the hallway. In the morning when Cook complained that someone had been at the puddings again, Hanzel would stare off through the window and lick his lips.

It took hours to find it again. It was deep in the woods, deeper then she'd imagined and the winter storms had damaged part of the roof. Spiders nested in the icing around the candy door, spinning webs that held a thousand flies. The sugar pane windows were cracked but could be repaired.

Inside the cottage the room was a shambles of decay. Mice scurried away from the sound of her footsteps but she heard them gnawing in the walls. The cage door still gaped open but the bones inside were gone.

The ovens lined the wall, three gaping mouths. She opened the door to the largest and looked inside. The ashes were soft and fine and made the lines on her hands look deep and ancient. She dusted them on her skirt, created clouds of grey dust that settled on the floor. Bits of bone remained. They'd had to chop her up to fit all of her inside.

In the corner her old broom waited. It wouldn't take much work to set the cottage right. She rolled up her sleeves and started to work dreaming of sugar pane windows as dark as blood.

Photo & Story
by ClockworkZero
steampunk jeweller

Monday, November 8, 2010

In the Beginning

My husband said for years that he heard a strange noise under the stairs.

Nonetheless it was a shock to see him with a crowbbar and flashlight, tearing up the carpet and floor at nearly midnight. "How can I sleep with that infernal racket, that clicking inside the stairs!"

It fell apart when we touched it. So delicate were its inner workings. It fell apart at the touch of our breath.

We dug deeper.

The house's architect, Tobias Grimsby, was a genius in maths and clockwork. We learned through his great-grand nephew that his grandest vision was to create kinetic-powered mechanical life. He built his prototype, the insect that we found, constructed from watch parts and industrial hardware, in a fit of fevered madness over days, spontaneously and without blueprint.The inspiration turned to be his undoing; the insect escaped, and Grimsby was unable to design another. WIthout physical proof of his creation, his closest friends dismissed Grimsby as an eccentric dreamer. Broke and feared among the town as a lunatic, Grimsby sold this house and vanished, believed to have drowned himself in the lake.

We've reconstructed the insect as close as we could to the way we found it. Most of it now is dust under dust; the physics and intricacies of its mechanics are forever a mystery.

Steampunk Jeweller, Cyberpunk & Industrial Creations