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.



6. The Lights of Crimston Town

Thanks to her new heart, Coral VanHughs had a new lease on life, and this was not something she was willing to give up easily; her heart beat faster and stronger within her. She went out for walks, for runs, climbed higher than she had ever done so before and there was little her Father seemed to able to do to stop her, whatever he said it was apparent she were to do the opposite; it was as if the heart had begun to alter her very thoughts. 

  Several months after she had acquired her new piece of clockwork, Coral had well and truly become one with it, and at this particular sunny morning, as the sun peaked above the high rise of Crimston Town, she felt as if there were nothing in the world that could stop her. Her Father had yet to rise as he had spent his evening and late into the night when the sky was a black silk blanket with a sprinkling of stars dashed across it, although he had not been appreciating the beauty that was the night, instead he was planning; another grand scheme of lies and robbery, however despite his best efforts, he was struggling with ideas, after their last graze with the authorities and in Corals case; death. He was worrying more than usual and going into details which he had not delved into before, this worried her considerably, she was not used to this side of him, this overprotective and slightly overbearing side. Her body begged for freedom and her soul wished to run alongside it, venturing to the rooftop she gazed across to Crimston Town, did she dare? Never before had she considered it in this way; as if she were actually about to make the leap and go.

Within a matter of moments, her mind was set, as she scrambled towards the door; more than concious that if her Father were to wake before her arrival home, she were to be in more than just a predicament, this was dangerous territory and she was teetering on the edge of it. She rushed to the small building situated several metres from the house; wrenching open the sliding door revealed a motorcycle. It wasnt exactly small or quiet, but at this promising moment in time, Coral wanted to be as apparent as possible. The motorcycle itself was a dark rustic brown with golden handles and wheels, the seat was a black leather and was comfortable enough for long journeys, it also held a side-car; generally used by Coral, but for this singular expedition Coral detached the side-car and dumped it to the side.
 Swinging her leg over the side she felt a rush of adrenaline as the reality of what she was doing began to sink in, pressing her palm to fingerprint recognition pad (Her Fathers invention to prevent the vehicle being stolen) the bike roared to life and she felt herself mould to it.

She was racing down the winding roads and backtracks to get around the bay; the lights and high rise buildings of Crimston crept towards her, like a beautiful dream that could slam itself close in front of her very eyes. Yet it didn't. Before Coral had a chance to breathe in the breathtaking views and truly appreciate what she was witnessing, she was pulling into a small alley in one of the backstreet's hidden behind a small nest of buildings. During her visit to the Hevrey's she had not witnessed this part of the city; it was nowhere near as grand as the other side, this quarter was run-down, riddled with disease and overall a dark and dismal realm she would not have otherwise ventured to had she not lost her way. Placing the tracking device on the vehicle, which was linked to her watch, so as to remember where she had left it she wandered further into the endless maze of streets and buildings which made up the dream that had Crimston. 

Past the homeless Coral went, ignoring their pained cries for money or anything they could sell or eat, if Corals heart had been a genuine beating organ she would have been heartbroken, wondering how their King could allow this to continue under his rule. Perhaps he was unable to help so many whose souls were lost in the unforgiving abyss of the world. On the other hand, however, perhaps her Father was right, maybe he had only caused pain and suffering to the poor and that the world was not as wonderful and as full of adventure as Coral had first anticipated. Yet she pressed on, as the city around her began to wake, thoughts of her Father began to seep into her mind, when was he to awake? What would he do when he found her gone? 

After several hours of roaming the city, Coral came to the conclusion that she should begin her journey home, she was already to be in trouble with her Father and so should not make it any worse. He had already attempted to contact her and she had been both brave and stupid enough to ignore him. She was following directions back to the motorcycle, when she saw him. Flint Hevrey scuttling down an alley towards a small cluster of men; Coral ducked behind a large pile of boxes and peered out from behind them. Although unable to hear what was being discussed she could visibly see a small package being handed to Flint, while he was giving them a considerable sum of money. The flock of men made their exit, pausing halfway down the dark alley
"Tell anyone about this and your reputation is ruined. Got it?" One of them called back and Flint's head bowed in agreement. Coral remained still, holding her breath until only her and Flint remained in the soot-covered back passage.
"Was that a wise move,bargaining with street rats?" Coral queried as she maneuvered past the boxes into the light shed by an oil lamp hanging from the congregated metal that was supposedly a wall.Flint was standing, rigid, as if he had just been shot. 
"Your voice. You should have died. I pulled the trigger and watched the bullet go through your chest" He said, although his voice shook, he appeared calm. Corals heart began to whirr and chirp faster as she realised her mistake, if she were caught now, she would be execute for her crimes.

Before realising what she was doing, her legs were moving and Coral was running to her vehicle; her breath catching in her lungs and the cogs in her chest creaking with the speed they were running at, she was acutely aware of a boy with black hair and grey eyes in pursuit and was beginning to close in on her.

Finding her ride home, in a vaguely familiar location Coral threw herself onto it and slammed it into motion; racing down the streets of Crimston and back into the dirt-tracks of the countryside; as the light faded she was aware of the farmers and workers watching her rush by. Yet she was unaware of any acceleration in time. Instead feeling as if time had stood still, as if the very crime of going to the city had cost her a lifetime. 

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