Mr. Johnathan Goffe waits to make his picture. He sits cross-legged in the sandy front range soil high on a hill overlooking a greener valley. Above and to his left the ragged mountains enjoy the rain. Johnathan’s brass finger tips tek-tek-tek the counting spell he’s enamored the camera with. He bought the spell from a local shopkeeper. Normally he’d have brought plenty of his own along, but they’d gone stale from the dry weather during his journey. One of his spells would have already made the picture. This one would be a surprise.
Tek-tek-tek-tek. The shutter would snap any moment, but it didn’t and hadn’t, not yet. The picture he’d expected drifted away an hour ago and the rain was getting heavier. Johnathan struggled to imagine how it might become better. That’s how waiting always feels, he thought. Like you’ve over stayed your welcome at a friend’s cottage and now they just wish you’d pack up your gears and leave.
Word count: 172
…and then use it in a non-metamorphic rock sort of way.
Tomorrow we are prepping the garage for the ninth annual pumpkin carving party. If I can eek out the time, I am going to get the tablet hooked up to the computer and start learning to draw.
But that’s tomorrow.
Regarding Bringer, the societal thing eludes me. Birth doesn’t seem doable for a tinker. Neither does physical growth and maturity. There won’t be any restaurants or bars since there won’t be anyone drinking or eating. I’ve flat out decided that fabricating the desire for food is a cop out. But tinkers need to have society. They need a drive to be with each other together and each other apart. That line doesn’t have to make sense to you.
However, I do want them to have familiar activities. Not that I worry about my ability to write tinkers so xenolithically that I need to artificially make the more familiar–I’ll be fine on that score I am sure. What I want to do is find several familiar things that are not dietary that can mimic the non-nutritional values of gathering to eat. Then tweak or taint them just a bit.
Johnathan replaces the cover on the lens and looks at the scene once more. The golden glow of lights overwhelms him–it’s why he took the time to make the picture. The spell he’d been making all evening, the one he started the moment he stepped out of the keep, the one he’d been building on the long walk over the bridge, the one he’d nearly finished walking the shore to this spot, he sacrificed on this last moment.
The village at the base f the keep was alive with floats and revelers in the lamplight. Fireworks splattered the lower walls of the keep with brightly colored spots the way sunlight through the trees spritzes the grass below.
[build up to this location]
Without the spell Johnathan Goffe would be exposed and hungry. He hushed the camera and removed it from the tripod. The tripod he left. Let them find that. Let them know he’d stopped here. They would know soon enough where to find him. Now he had a record of the moment he started being a hero.
Word count: 175
The newly fallen leaves stacked poorly in her hand. These red and yellow and gold leaves retained their suppleness. This natural, nearly flesh-like offering, contrasted her brittle metalic fingers. The leaves’ tones wavered through the various shades of autumn. Their organic patterns occasionally punctuated with a spot of green or a tear or an insect-made hole. Haphazard symmetry drew my eyes to the web of veins branching from larger to smaller paths and out to the rim. The brown wind-worn edges showed the future for each.
Her knuckles were stamped and folded tin. I hadn’t seen a tinker of this generation outside of picture books. I would have expected a rime of [chemical name here] darkening the simplistic joints, but she seemed greased and newly made. I knew she wasn’t. Her arthritic posture and shuddering movements betrayed her age. The gleam of her naive but precise frame was the result of care not recent making.
When I did not immediately take the leaves, she spoke.
“Take them or I will unmake you.”
Word count: 166
Of course it’s a heroic pose. Dispassionate and aloof. Practical and inspiring. But wrong.
Nothing about Mr. Goffe is dispassionate, aloof, practical, or inspiring. For that matter nothing is heroic. Missing is his gear, his photographs and his art. And the stupid-ass hat.
He’s a typical Tinker: brass and exactly two meters in height. He has very few patches and only subtle modifications. The occasional ornamentation is tastefully done in a leaf motif near his joints, not scrolling up the shaft of a limb like some Tinkers. These days it’s all about asymmetrical add-ons and looking wrenched, but Mr. Goffe is a bit of a throw-back. The most obvious mods reside below his knee joint on both legs. He can swap out his original lower legs for something more suitable to the terrain. He is a walker.
Where the good Mr. Goffe has over embellished is with the etchings. Etchings are nothing new with the cranks and the windups to be sure. Even a few of the rougher new model Tinkers are etched. But not the antiques. In that regard Mr. Goffe is quite unique.
He’s got quarter, half, and full etchings symmetrically wrapping his face but not entirely bilateral and not applied along the sagittal plane, just off a bit. Nearly in line with his left eye and somewhat vertical. The pattern brings to mind a leafy vine trying to be a composite geometric primitive or arcane handwriting. But it’s none of the three.
Johnathan Goffe said, “Good.”
He worried he hadn’t turned off his Bluetooth soon enough. Tinkers on the trail ahead was a bit of a surprise. They looked intimate–probably had theirs off as well. Blah blah blah
As if the small black road through the big white snow wasn’t an obvious enough path, the generation old trees walled the trail in. The high grey fog obscured his retreat. Stay on the path. Move forward. Face the inevitable. The vanishing point.
Johnathan expected to be alone. He had expected to be contemplating his next action. He had expected this back approach would help him in that regard. Now his attention was drawn to the couple ahead. Drawn down from his own lofty problems in a way that was both compelling and unappealing.
eesh–less concrete anyone?
This is the road to his sister’s home. Her palace. She’s the queen–or something. He’s the disaffected brother. Brother-in-law. Ex-brother-in-law.
Most folks will circle around to the formal road even if they originally reach the palace from the west where this road would shorten the walk. There isn’t a law or a gate or a haunting or any other reason that tinkers should take this route, they just don’t. But Johnathan does/will.
Can’t tell if this seen is the first of the final. Given the presence of the mist I am thinking the later, but I’ve never worked out if mist was entirly metaphorical or only partially so. I like it both ways. In either case I he needs to be contemplative but unfocused. Once he gets to the palace he and the reader need to feel like there are two paths for him to take and that either one is as valid and likely as the other.
This is the approach to epiphany.