Clockpunk by Urban Dictionary’s Definition is (a subgenre of steampunk) characterized by modern technologies accomplished using clockwork mechanisms and generally excluding steam power, electricity, and the internal combustion engine. I love Steampunk but have never heard of Clockpunk until I started this challenge. I did research into what was a popular drink and what alcohol could be used to sterilize instruments and even names of that time period. I had to much fun with this and tried to keep it as short as possible but even I got carried away and engrossed in the tale.
Scientia wasn’t your normal 15-year-old girl. She didn’t have a common name like Elizabeth or Margaret and sure didn’t have any friends with those names either. She didn’t wear beautiful dresses and couldn’t wear corsets due to her health issues. Scientia thought that her one natural element about her that was beautiful was her long wavy red hair.
Her father was not only the town’s physician but also an artisan clockmaker. The whole town used to say, ‘His hands create magic and miracles,’ then it all stopped when she was born. It was a difficult and dangerous birth. Her mother died shortly after she was born but not before she saw that her daughter was born with a heart defect. The couple spent what would be the last few moments together. Scientia named her daughter, gave her a kiss and drifted away with her baby girl in her arms. Distraught, her father decided that he wasn’t going to lose both of them in one night. He studied his daughter’s abnormality and decided that he could repair the heart defect with a simple mechanism of gears. The perpetual motion of the gears provided enough movement at the correct timing intervals to steadily pump her heart.
As she got older and went to school the kids would make fun of her because her chest always made a tick-tock sound. She didn’t have friends so she learned her father’s craft of clockmaker. Her father lost patients due to the ‘monster’ he created and was now only called upon when someone needed a clock or watch repaired. So Scientia and her father created a world of toys with their own personalities using the science of gears and mechanisms. Her favorite mechanical creation was a dog she named Colossus. He was not easy to create and her father and she ran into so many problems until one day everything clicked. She and her new companion are now inseparable.
The family of machines and misfits lived quietly on the outskirts of town for years until her father passed leaving Scientia with the notes about her mechanisms and how to repair them when needed. She lived a quiet life continuing her father’s art of clockmaker and received just about the same amount of work as he did. One day Scientia was repairing a clock with Colossus at her feet when the door flew open and a man was flung on to her work table by what she gathered to be a knight.
‘Help him! He has sufficient funds to pay!’ The man urgently explained.
‘Uh…I…I’m only the clockmaker. The town physician has passed but there is a midwife that can help.’ Scientia stuttered her explanation with a surprised expression.
‘No! It has to be you! His lung mechanism was knocked around in battle and I’m afraid it may need complete repair. I know your father died, I knew him well and so did the king.’
Scientia looked at the man on the table and was shocked to see it was the prince. The war in her country has been battling since before she was born. Nervous she tried explaining her way out of it telling him that the only thing she could repair was her own mechanisms. ‘Try! Damn it, at least try. If he dies the war is lost and everything that you know will be gone as well!’ The man pleaded with her. She found the mechanism was easy to get too because the wound that his chest wall sustained was large enough to see the gears. She listened and heard a miss in the timing. It was skipping every third second which told her that either a gear’s tooth was broken or a gear had been knocked loose.
Scientia sterilized the area with Scottish whiskey and began the surgery. The prince never budged and she feared the lack of oxygen may have a permanent effect. She was able to find the broken gear and replaced it within a few seconds. She sewed the prince up and waited. The sound of the gears told her everything was working properly all the prince had to do was sit up. Scientia warmed some cider for her and her guests when Colossus started to bark. His bark was a melody from a music comb that her father attempted to make money off of. The prince sat up rubbing his temple.
‘Where is the clockmaker, I would like to pay him for my repair? The prince asked looking past Scientia.
‘Sir, the clockmaker passed a few summers back. We didn’t feel the need to inform you. His daughter was able to make the repair.’ Scientia looked down at started to tinker with Colossus trying to look busy.
‘What’s your name?’ the prince asked.
‘Scientia,’ she replied pushing aside her long red locks. ‘I know how your mechanics work, they are not that different from mine. I happened to have a lot of spare parts in case my heart is ever bumped out of timing or breaks. Gears don’t last forever even the heart can break.’
The prince and Scientia exchanged a knowing glance. Understanding that it’s not easy growing up with mechanical parts in their bodies. ‘Don’t worry about the payment. Return the favor some other way, some other time.’ She said and watched the prince and his knight mount their horses and leave. Later that month, an invitation to come to the palace to discuss her knowledge and skills and how the soldiers could use her help. When she arrived she was given a prestigious job title, her own room, and workroom in the palace, unlimited funds, a salary, a biological friend for Colossus, and a free education in medicine. The soldiers affectionately referred to her as their, ‘mother of gears.’
She had more biological friends now than her mechanical creations and loved the warmth. Dinners with conversations, not screwdrivers and friendships that were still built with her hands but also with trust. She thought her fairy tale ending of marrying the prince was in her future. Instead, she fell in love with a soldier and they had a daughter. She didn’t need any gear intervention but learned her mother’s craft. The prince was now the king, never married and his one regret was not marrying Scientia. He loved her red hair and her Instead, he was the godfather of her daughter Petronelle and doted on the both of them. Scientia and the king loved each other and shared a common bond that was created with her father’s magical hands.