A heart of Cogs and Clockwork

Coral VanHughs is the daughter of one of the most notorious criminals, helping her Father in his evil ways to steal from the highest of society. After being shot she is given a clockwork heart to keep her alive, but she is already dying and needs all the help she can get to travel across the world to the famous clock maker who is her only chance at survival.



7. Punishment for Criminals and Kings

As the small silhouette of her home raced towards her, growing larger and larger with every moment, Coral felt a fear creep from her toes, through her body and soul until it had graced every inch of her being, like a chill on a winters morning before the sun had rose. Approaching at speed, meant for beings such as clockwork and not a human of flesh and blood, she began to bring the machine to a halt, watching with dreaded anticipation as her Father stepped from the darkness of the threshold to the front door, into the light of the day that had begun to warm the cogs of her heart.
"Where in the Kings name have you been?" Her Father demanded, dragging her from the saddle, wrenching at her hair which pulled painfully at her scalp, tears welled in her eyes and demanded to be released, however Coral blinked hard, forcing them back against the gravity which threatened to give away her weakness. 
"I could not sleep, and decided a visit to Crimston may tire me out before I slept" She lied, hoping to fool her Father, however she was mistaken, he was not one to be tricked; especially by something as simple as a lie, told by his daughter who was undoubtedly terrible at it. Pulling the door shut to remove any means of escape, he threw her to the ground.
"Now Coral, dear, what I have I told you about doing as you are told and not lying?" He asked, his voice soft with a sudden calm which had come over him, embracing the room in a somewhat warm atmosphere.
"That if I do not do as you say, I am most likely to find myself in a situation I am unable to get out of, for only Kings are able to do and say as they please, and as for lying, it makes me nothing more than a criminal, waiting for the gallows." Although she could feel a sense of ease in the air, the entirety of her body shook with fear, her legs ached beneath her from falling to the ground and the whir in her chest had become so fast that it was nothing more than a quiet hum. 
"You are to remain in your room for several days until I have decided what to do with you" He decided after a quiet deliberation within the confinements of his own mind, Coral nodded, found her footing and bowed low,
"I am sorry to have disobeyed you Father, I assure it shall not happen again"
"No it shall not" He said, the words filled with threat, filling her with more dread than before. 

Coral lost track of how many days she spent sitting alone in her room, her Father had locked all of the windows and doors in the house, so even if she had escaped from her room she would still be caught in the confinements of the house with her guard ever watching. One morning her Father entered her room, lying on her bed Coral dragged herself up, glaring the old man down; she was, in every sense of the word exhausted. Exhausted of being held prisoner in her own home, by a man whom was supposed to look after her, keep her safe, not force her into solitude. 
"Now Coral I have decided after much deliberation that I would seek to ask what happened during your visit to Crimston, as there have been sightings of patrols in the surrounding areas" As he spoke, Corals heart sank in her chest, had this occurred because of her? Had Flint Hevrey called the Patrols on her? Could she blame him? She had nearly cost him and his family everything, including their lives, he was just doing what he could to protect himself.  

Coral remained silent, staring blankly at her Father, her mind becoming a confused mess as if a bomb had just exploded, scattering any thoughts within the close vicinity, ensuring not to giver herself away.  Her Father however, maintained his upright position, arms folded across his chest rising and falling with every breath he took.
"Now Coral, just simply explain to me what happened and I shall let you leave this room." His words were soft and calm, however Coral was not fooled, she understood her  Fathers rage could strike suddenly as if you were a ship in a storm. His gaze narrowed, arms falling by his side, Coral broke
"I'm sorry Father" She begged "Everything was going fine, but Flint Hevrey saw me, he recognised my voice" 
"Why would you allow him to hear you voice?"
"He was talking to some men in the street, they were discussing how his reputation shall be ruined" Hoping this piece of information may dampen her Fathers anger as a rumour to disperse in order to gain leverage over the Hevreys. Despite this, her Fathers face turned a deep red colour, a vein near his forehead popping out, with fears for her safety Coral stood up, prepared to fight if necessary. 
"You stupid child, why would you dare disobey every order you have ever received and then communicate with the enemy" Exploding in a fit of rage, her Father spat every abuse at her under the suns, the majority of it unrecognisable as any particular language, Coral stood there and took it, fully aware that this could have been much worse.

Suddenly as if they had been transported into an entirely new dimension her Father fell silent, his skin retreating into its usual colouring.
"Coral I will be letting you go now." She stared at him in disbelief, what was happening?
"Thankyou" She whispered, scared to disrupt the silence which had overtaken the room
"No, I no longer require your services, I wish you to gather your belongings and leave" 

The world fell away leaving the world black apart from a small tunnel of light, in which her Father stood centre. He was throwing her to the streets, which might as well have been a death sentence. Coral had witnessed first hand how those without homes lived in Crimston. Also the question remained of how long her new heart would see her through and with that thought it began to whir painfully in her chest, feeling each cog move individually and Coral felt sick to her core. 

Her Father shifted from her vision, exiting the room, leaving the door ajar as if tormenting her.

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