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.