Clockwork

For twelve-year-old Timothy Eli, nothing is normal. After his clockwork home of Fallhallow - a desolate steampunk dystopia - falls under the reign of the Government, people start to go missing; and the watch-dogs of the powers that be, the Sentinels, beings with the lightning touch, are to blame. But when an investigating Timothy is caught in a crossfire of people and politics, his body is destroyed and desolated, only a drastic operation can save him; thus he becomes an automaton: a patchwork boy made of metal, and surged with the very substance that brought about his 'demise'. Now using his new found being (and the hidden powers it seems to promise) Timothy Eli must hunt the missing, free the damned and save the world. However in a town of cogs and gears, the clock is ticking and time his running out. Can Timothy make it?

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1. Chapter One


The sun rose nonchalantly in the early hours of dawn: when the sleeping man’s unconscious mind became one and the same with his conscious; when creatures and beasts of the fall shunted away from the light - and those otherwise, from their void of siesta. An age when the grey clouds hung in the ever expansive sky like a floating layer of ash upon a pond; and when, in one billow of chimney smoke, arose the Tick Tock clockwork town of Fallhallow. 

'Grandpa, Grandpa!' A five-year-old Timothy Eli cried to his father's father as he himself giggled with glee. Each word, stained with the speech impediment that Timothy had always hated - one of age in lesser years, escaped the clutches of his teeth as "Gwandpa", rather than what should have been "Grandpa", thus making the him seem much younger than Timothy actually was - which as far as the young one could recall, was not in fact five but "nearly-six".  

"Granpa." The man in question was none other than Grandpa Lazarus: a decaying old man with whom at that moment a thousand unseen eyes fell upon; two of which held the glistening twinkle of Timothy Eli, a youngling visitor bursting with a million and one stories of life as a four-year-old, in comparison to what is was like being five now. 

Timothy squeezed his eyes shut, for a split-second erasing their glint like the sun in an eclipse before he lolled his head back, laughing in ignorant bliss some more. The adrenalin of childish excitement rushed over in Timothy Eli in one single wave as he ran, clumsily albeit, across an orchestra of creaking floorboards, both arms outstretched towards the ancient structure of a human being.  

It was early, sometime in the midst of the rising Timothy's mother, Winfred, pondered to herself silently as she lit the small wooden fireplace "in one billow of chimney smoke." Looking out, beyond the cheaply cut rocking chair while embers burned at her feet, and though the window with no glass, the flickering hiss of a fire starting filling her ears, Winfred looked upon, as if for the first time, Fallhallow as it should be.  

The sleeping township was one of many but in the world such as this, Fallhallow was the one known as a "clockwork town", a system of people and their material needs all dependent in and of themselves on cogs and gears. Winfred glared through an air filled with what could only be described as sparkles of dust in a thin streak of sunlight until her eyes fell on a pocket-watch. A simple silver time-keeper alone on a filth-cropped desk, a star in a metaphorical night. Amidst the distance houses, a bell chimed six times and upon it's ring came to Winfred a shallow thought of familiarity, cogs and gears: the system of life. Cogs and gears like those used in the bell tower, those that harshly ground against one another behind the ticking hands of time draining away, it's anaemic face above a long and swinging pendulum. A shrill imitation of a Grandfather Clock.

Timothy's mother clutched a newspaper in her right hand, crumpled on the side of which her rage had taken vice. "Fallhallow's Own" paper read boldly in thick typewritten front "Tragedy Strikes: Sentinels Steal Once More. Church Father Missing!" Placing the newspaper down onto a small three-legged table and instinctively covering the date - May 6th, 1980 - with a small coaster made from cork, Winfred felt flushed with age.

 

[Not Updated Below]

 

 

"The Sentinels" she had groaned to herself louder than had been anticipated, the tone of her complaint coming off as a hallow whine dusted with anger. "What did you say, Whinny?" Timothy's Grandfather had asked, no sooner than five seconds after she had spoke her thoughts aloud, but Winfred shook the question off like an unreachable itch. "Nothin' important" she muttered back,(That's right, Winfred. Get your act together; this is about Timmy not yourself, your opinions or your secret view on politics)her voice a high pitch tone, although not riddled with femininity with her accent only truly described as slang and cockney.

                                                           

                                                                              "Come, come child!" Grandpa Lazarus called enthusiastically to Timothy, patting his lap with both withered hands. An encouragement to come closer, like how one might call over an excited dog or small infant baby who was learning how to walk. Timothy wasn't a baby though, he was not five but nearly six after all.  Timothy was a big boy now, scared of nothing or no one (!) and especially not Grandpa; because he was the most kindest, most oldest man in the entire whole wide world, ever.  Grandpa Lazarus was undoubtedly an ageing man with loose and creased skin, with little hair on his head but massively bushy cotton white eyebrows. Like sheep Timothy thought to himself, his face struggling to undergo each expression with the constantly passing

(E-Pip-Honey? E-Pif-Hanny?)

thought. It was an unfamiliar word that Mummy had used to call the smart thinks he has. But yes, he must ask Grandpa at some point why he had sheep on his face.

 

Grandpa Lazarus smiled a crooked and broken grin at Timothy; a smile Timothy thought, no matter how toothless and old, could warm anyone's heart. A pair of hands, shriveled like prunes and weakened by Arthur someone or other after Granpa had gotten old,

(Arthur? Arthur Ritus?)

came up in front of Timothy. Their palms outstretched and holding something at his chest.

"Mint imperial?" His Grandfather asked in a way that shined with kindness and curiosity, his raspy voice hinting the soft sounds like velvet into the question.  Timothy, his head cocked his head like that of a lost puppy with a twinkle of a tear in it's left eye, stared deeply into the white squashed confectionary before squeezing a hesitant "Okay" from beyond the lump in his throat.

(I can't take Grandpa's food, he's super old and needs it).  

 

Timothy Eli slipped the small sweet into his mouth greedily, regretting it

(What is this?!)

instantly a thousand pictures and a million flavours he didn't recognise flushed through his mind like a scrap book swirling uncontrollably down a drain. Timothy couldn't help but let his cataclysmic thoughts escape through his teeth all the while a constant fear of his head exploding in a fiery burst of taste was lingering over him.

 

"Wow! This is the single greatest thing to ever happen to food. It's like if the divine one himself had sent down a peculiar and fresh breathe of air in the form of an edible. Oh. My. Go – "

 

"Timothy Allison Eli!" Before Timothy could finish his 'cuss at God himself' - as one lady in The Church of Our Lord And Savior had once called it - the woman in question, Winfred, his mother, stepped from a shadow in the wall behind him. Her apron was a Jackson Pollock of stains and dirt, her dress a creased smear of yellow and her nose, a long beak designed for the purpose of resting small circular spectacles on, which if fulfilled as beady eyes glared past half moon lenses and small specks of spittle flung from the tip of her pointed tongue. Timothy could sense the disappointment shroud her. His head sank instantly and a mumbled murmur of an apology scattered from his lips. He hated being called by his full name. It was a girls name, a stupid girly name because his mother had always wanted a girl. And that, when his full name was said, was how he knew he was in trouble. Timothy rocked back on fourth on he heels in shame, his chin buried deep into his neck and his head down, gazing onto the sight of one right shoelace swinging back and fourth sinuously with his swaying body.

 

"Cheer up my boy" Grandpa Lazarus whispered to break a silence that stuck around like a bad smell, before offering up another treat. Timothy Eli was, needless to say, worrisome about snatching up the offer. He was inevitably poor and food, actual food, was a rare sight for him but then again so was Granpa. Granpa is poor too was all that came to Timothy's mind. Suddenly a snapback to reality hit him (a soft whump on the back of his head precisely) as his mother's hand came crashing down on him, proceeded by a snap of "Don't just stand their Timmy, take your grandfathers offer so we can home!"  Timothy looked at his mother with a pout and a half-hearted scowl, knowing he had been inside his own head, but it hadn't been that long, had it?

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