Friday Fictioneers: In her dreams, the glass shoe spilled all down the stairs, before shattering against the ground.

Somehow, I had never heard of the lovely Friday Fictioneers until now!

But now that I have, I am absolutely on board.

The idea is simple, and I love it — every week a picture prompt will be posted, and every Friday, writers from around the world will write hundred-word stories based off of it, and post them to their own blogs.

This week, the prompt is this:

And my own hundred-word response is as follows!

In her dreams, the glass shoe spilled all down the stairs, before shattering against the ground.

In her dreams, the air was heavy with the sickly-sweetness of pumpkin rot, and all shine had faded sans the reflections from the shards.

In her dreams, nothing was left that could be hers.

The shoe would fit her perfectly if repaired, but broken the shoe was no longer limited to form. The shoe could plaster its pieces to any foot, could raise another’s blood to fill in its own cracks.

She woke, and wondered if she might be better broken, too.


Six Sentence Sunday: The streets were quiet to an almost frightening degree.

And we’re now officially back to The Clockwork Coloratura, with NaNo being over! :)

This week, Peregrine begins his search for Anna amongst the streets…and already, things are not quite as they seem.

The streets were quiet to an almost frightening degree.

Nothing was ever quiet here, as a rule: There were always footsteps, or scuttlings; the scrapings and squeaking of rats and the howling of the cats that chased them down the streets; the wet breathing and coughing of the people who slept out on the streets themselves. There were the hawkers crying out what was left of their wares and the crowing of children who uncovered scraps; there were wails.

The sounds were largely constant, and seemed unnecessarily amplified in the claustrophobic labyrinth of streets, painfully loud and impossible to tune out entirely even when one was born into them. You could not hear yourself think, and generally he considered this to be for the best.

But as his hunt for her began in earnest, suddenly the hush fell.


Six Sentence Sunday: Strictly speaking, she could no longer see.

I said I wanted to finish this whole clockpunk Pied Piper thing this month, and the story is certainly moving itself along!

Peregrine has woken up to find Anna gone — but where, exactly, is Anna going, and what was it made her leave?

(And perhaps most importantly, what will happen when and if she gets there?)

Strictly speaking, she could no longer see.

In the congealed patch of fog now serving as her brain, she wondered whether it was night or if the fever had struck her blind. She was not even sure which option she would prefer; blindness could easily be a death sentence out on the streets, but being a girl alone on them at night could be an even swifter one.

More importantly, she was fairly convinced that she was dying either way, and was determined to do so under the sun. She would find it, whether she had to walk until dawn or walk until she reached an open patch where she could feel it on her skin, and that would have to do.

Whatever came after would come, and she decided she would meet it head-on.


Six Sentence Sunday: He wrote ’til his hand turned pink with dawn.

This week’s Six Sunday is a direct follow-up to last week’s portion of my little clockpunk Pied Piper project, with Peregrine watching Anna sleep and transcribing the ravings of her fever-dreams out on the walls.

Now dawn is breaking, and it isn’t the only thing.

He wrote ’til his hand turned pink with dawn.

And then, as the dawn began to paint her own lips and dispell some of their prior deathly pallor, she fell abruptly silent. There was no segue into it, no trailing off of syllables; it seemed she simply could not speak such things through a lighted, living mouth.

She slept, and was still.

Peregrine breathed.

The first breath was a painful stab, as if he himself had spent the night not daring to breathe at all, and now must reinflate his own lungs, must fire up again and refuel the synapses in his own brain.


Six Sentence Sunday: He wrote her words out on the walls.

Another Sunday, another Six Sentences of the clockpunk Pied Piper!

This week, we’re taking a step back from the Piper himself. Instead, we’ll focus on the boy (Peregrine), as he sits up with the girl (Anna), and waits out what he hopes are the worst of her fever-dreams.

He spends the night listening to her rave, and attempting to understand.

He wrote her words out on the walls.

Paper supplies had dwindled long ago, books burnts up largely for kindling and desperately-needed fuel; but ink, useless to those who could not write or read, and who had no time or inclination to draw, remained. And so he, perhaps alone, had hoarded it, allowing it to stain his clothes like blood as he hurriedly spirited it from the hollow recesses that once were shops.

It had comforted him, this implied knowledge that he could one day pass something on, if ever there was anything worth passing on at all, or anyone to pass it to.

But now that the opportunity had finally come, he found himself wishing that it was anything, anything, but this.

He was frightened — not of her, precisely, but of the vessel that she had seemingly become, of the fact that she become such a vessel at all.


Six Sentence Sunday: He was beautiful in the way of knives.

In this week’s Six Sunday, we get our second glimpse of the clockpunk Pied Piper himself!

(Because yes, miraculously, I am somehow still consistently working on the same project! Without flouncing away to do twenty-odd other projects like I always end up doing instead! What is this sorcery?)

He was beautiful in the way of knives.

Purposeful but cold, sharp-edged but smooth, haloed in a dangerous shine.

And something of the unnatural seemed to rumble inside his skin, like raw ores being heated and hammered far beyond what most others could stand.

But she found him beautiful all the same.

She wanted to watch, to follow him down; to see just how much of this pressure she too could stand. She wanted to see what new shape she would take when she herself rose, to see if she too would be as sharp as he, or even sharper still.


Six Sentence Sunday: The Piper was a travesty of colour.

Good lord, am I actually still consistantly working on the same project?

I’ll admit it: For all that my Mercury (ie, the astrological indicator of communication/writing style) is running rampant in Scorpio, my overall approach to writing projects is still very very much taken over by my airy Libra sun.

That is, I want to write ALL OF THE THINGS ALL OF THE TIME, am therefore almost completely incapable of choosing between them and confining myself to any one or two projects, and instead jump about maniacally. (It doesn’t help that my aforementioned Mercury is essentially on astrological steroids and ridiculously overactive, and seems to spawn even more ideas every time I turn around. My brain is a hopeless, if happily creative, mess.)

But lo and behold, this whole clockpunk Pied Piper thing is somehow managing to stick around! I can’t say that I was anticipating this, but I also can’t say that I’m not pleased. :)

And this week? We finally do get our very first glimpse of the elusive Piper himself!

The Piper was a travesty of colour.

His clothing seemed to encompass every colour found in nature; from all the shades of sky (blues and blacks and reds and rose), to the greens and browns of trees, to the rainbows of wildflowers found beneath, to the golds and silvers and coppers and grey buried deeper still inside the earth itself.

There was no rhyme or reason to their array, all cobbled together haphazardly and jaggedly like the stones in the city’s poorest streets. She was not even entirely sure that she could rightly call the things that he wore ‘clothes’; they were merely strange comglomerations of fabric arrayed over his form, held together with equally haphazard stitching. Threadbare satins stretched over velvets with no clear distinction between them, the velvet’s fuzz shoving its way up through the satin’s shine and threatening to rub even more of it away.

In other places, the space gapping between fabrics could fit her entire finger, if she dared come close enough to touch.