Odd Clockwork of A Brilliant Mind

What will result from the combination of a centuries old supernatural mad-scientist and the logical, down-to-Earth young woman?

Clank! Clank! Clank!

The rushing and scurrying sound of metal clashing against the marble floor of the opulent mansion echoed through the dimly lighted halls. The small automaton boy, of no more than four feet high, sprinted down the hallway crowded with bizarre portraits of her Ladyship sporting various gowns with tight corsets that made her bust the size of her plump face and her waist the mere size of the wick of a candle. The jaw of the rusty boy clattered as he reached the door at the far end of the hall and turned the knob in desperation, allowing him inside the engulfing darkness of the room.

“Faen, her Ladyship is he…re…” the voice of the automaton failed and faded as he plummeted on the floor. The door swung shut behind him and instantly a faint light roared to life in its small and insignificant way. The light in question came from the center of the room, suspended above the darkness around it, and flickering against the pristine crystal that encased it.

There was a heavy sigh of satisfaction and a young woman stepped from the dark corner and within the grace of the light. Her eyes were wide with admiration and excitement. She almost dismissed her automaton friend lying motionless on the floor if it weren’t that a cog rolled her way.  She gasped and went to her friend’s aid; she turned the wind up key in his back several, and then a speck of light flickered in his eyes.

“Faen!” the automaton burst in anxiety.

“Turen, before you break bad news to my sensible ears,” she cut her friend off, “I made a great discovery!” Faen walked around the flickering gas lamp, swaying her hips in wide angles. “I trapped æther in the lamp and it ignites whenever a room is dark. I created an alternative to steam-powered plants!”

“That is amazing, but her Ladyship is here and she requests of your presence,” he said, reaching for the door and flinging it open. The light from the gas lamp disappeared when the room was flooded with grim light from the hazy atmosphere outside the window.

Faen grimaced at the news; she adjusted her black vest and the skirt of her grey gown before she followed Turen out. Both of them walked hurriedly to the spiraling stairs leading to the common room. 

“Faen, where are you?!”

“Coming,” Faen answered irritably. She caught sight of her Ladyship’s black corseted gown and prominent bustle; her thick blonde layers of her hair were bobbing with impatience.  Faen sat on the banister and slid down to meet her mistress, she then bowed low before the plump corset-and-bustle vampire hunter. “You were calling Her Ladyship? How was your trip over the seas of the Atlantic, I hope you brought good tales…”

“Cut the crap,” she snapped, “I knew you sniveling girl would enjoy life during my absence. To demonstrate that I still have a heart, I haven’t sold your artifact yet.” She dropped a coral-shaped medallion to the floor, Faen, alarmed, dropped to her knees and caught the artifact before it hit the ground. Her mistress sneered and cackled.

Faen rose to her feet, “you were thinking of selling it abroad?!” she snarled spitefully at the cold-hearted woman before her.   

“Don’t worry, your precious timepiece had no worth,” she reached between the crevice of her bust and took out from the crack a hand-held fan with colorful pink plumes attached at the curved edges. She paced her heavily decorated house as she fanned herself.

“We had a deal,” Faen continued, “you promised to investigate about my artifact while I kept your husband from cheating on you!”

“Kid, I don’t know when you developed such a sassy mouth to speak to your benefactor in that way,” she barked. “Don’t you see I’m tired from hunting? My boiling milk with black petal rose’s bath should’ve been ready hours before I arrived. Where were you, in your attic trying to be the next mad scientist with nifty prosthetic or the next air ship pirate with brass goggles strapped on your head and a long leather coat?”

Faen remained silent; nothing she said would make her Ladyship reason. “I will get your bath ready so that you can finally be rid of the filthy grime in you.” She rushed upstairs, leaving the plump lady flustered in anger.

“I hate her,” Faen furiously dropped the black petals into the sweet, boiling milk. She had been working on the bath for the last five minutes, “she was going to sell it. Sell it. I can’t believe that woman, every night I sneaked after her husband, to bring him back home if he attempted a misadventure with a pretty woman, for nothing!”

“I told you not to trust her,” Turen sang. “Besides, why is the pocket watch so important to you?”

Faen caressed the surface of her golden coral and the lid popped opened, revealing four clock hands and silver numbers engraved on the surface. The piece was finely crafted and visually appealing, she had opened it once and admired the elaborate and complex series of gears that powered such a tiny object. “This was left to me when I was a child, I am certain it contains key elements to my bizarre past.”

Turen thought for a while, “Well, I heard a train would arrive at the station today, many of the passengers are scientists from Transylvania who come for the Clockwork Convention. Perhaps you can get hold of one of them…”

“Excellent idea!” Faen sprang to her feet and threw what was left of the roses into the bathtub. She rushed to her attic and got her detachable wings; she strapped the light metalwork on her back and opened the window. “Cover for me whilst I’m gone,” she said, pocketing her timepiece in her pocket vest. She left the window and soared through the smog-filled sky before Turen could argue against her petition.

After fifteen minutes of flight, she landed in the crowded train station. The environment was somber and gray and the crowd was composed of various kinds of people, iron men, and automata from scientific communities. The faint whistle of the steam-powered train was heard in the distant. Faen stood motionless, eagerly waiting for the “mad scientist” who would help her solve the mystery of her past trapped in her golden timepiece.

The End

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