First of all, let me tell you some good news, I’ve reached 10,000 words! This means that I’m officially 1/5 of the way though the challenge (Yes, Mom, that’s a fraction you see. I can do them). Not too shabby if you ask me.
Well, you know the title of this year’s story is The Clockwork Heartbeat, and you know that it’s a sequel to the story I wrote last year, so the plot is along the same lines, but I’ll give you the official plot for this year:
Saul Deus, a professional clockwork engineer, is attempting to complete his father’s work on the True Automaton, an automaton that can think for itself and has a continuous flow of power, a feat thought to be impossible. But war is brewing, and both the English and the Germans want any information Saul has on his father’s work, not knowing that he has a prototype in a secret room in his store that only needs one thing to make it work: a clockwork heart.
Saul must find Dr. Jim Kleverland, the first man to combine medicine and clockwork. He may be the only man who can create a mechanical heart that will power the Automaton.
Together, Saul, Xandria, Tanya, Kleverland, and Saul’s new apprentice, Jill Trueheart, need to keep the existence of the True Automaton a secret, or it could plunge the world into a great war that would have devastating consequences.
There it is. And as an added treat, I am going to share with you a small excerpt. Hopefully, it’ll give my readers a taste of the story. Now, please keep in mind that this is what I like to call a “vomit draft”. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a lot of words in a small amount of time, this was written fast, and has had little to no editing. I have polished it up a little bit so it will (hopefully) be presentable to you. I can always work on polishing it up later on. So, please enjoy your first look into this novel.
The door opened and in walked a girl who looked about fourteen. She was wearing black pants, a green shirt, and a shabby looking belt. Her mousy brown hair didn’t quite reach her shoulders, and it was braided back, and was wearing a worn out newsie cap. Her clothes were ruffled and a little dirty, as if she had just been in a fight and tumbled on the ground for a little while. Her face was clean except for a small bit of dirt on her left cheek. She was holding a slip of paper in her hand.
She didn’t seem to notice Saul and the others because she was looking around the store in awe, her mouth was open as she took everything in. She had clearly never set foot inside Deus Clockwork before. It was the same look most people had on their faces when they entered for the first time.
Her gaze shifted to Saul; she smiled, her ice blue eyes twinkled and her button nose crinkled a little bit in restrained excitement. Saul recognized her then. He stood up and set the remnants of his sandwich aside. “Well, I’ll be damned.” He walked down the clockwork stairwell and greeted the girl. “Welcome to Deus Clockwork, Miss Trueheart.” He offered his hand and she took it.
“You remember me?” she said in a somewhat deep voice for a girl, with a light Long Island accent.
Saul chuckled. He had met Jill Trueheart when he was on the deathtrap that was the Skydart. She was a serving girl on board, and she had impressed him. She was also a great help when he was trying to stop the aeronautical from exploding. “Of course. One doesn’t meet someone with the clockwork heartbeat all that often, I remember you perfectly, though you were in a uniform and skirt on the aeronautical.”
Jill rolled her eyes. “Don’t remind me about that. I hated every moment I was in that thing. I hate skirts, and dresses, I’ll wear them if I have to for a job or something, but I’d rather go stark naked. In fact, I did once about three years ago.”
Saul didn’t know what to make of that. “Uh…”
Jill continued. “I was just walkin’ down the street, mindin’ my own business, and this clothing shop lady said that a girl like me should be wearing skirts, not trousers. So I stripped down right there in the street and walked on with my bundle of clothes under my arm. The look on her face was priceless.”
Saul noticed that she talked more like someone who grew up on the streets of New York rather than in a schooled environment; she spoke more like the newsies. He felt like that it was the time to change the subject. He gestured up to the counter where the women were sitting. “I think you’ll remember my good friend Xandria Jopp.”
Jill smiled again and said, “Of course. How ya doin’, Miss Jopp?”
Xan nodded her head to her politely. “I’m well, Miss Trueheart.”
“And that’s LeAnne, she helps me run the store,” Saul said.
Jill nodded to LeAnne who returned it.
“So, you finally made it to New York, then?”
“Yeah, I had to serve a few more months on the Skydart to get the money to come back. I visited my family before coming here. They live in Bay Shore.”
“I see,” Saul said. “And how is that deathtrap fairing.”
Saul rolled his eyes and walked to the clockwork stairwell. “So, are you here to sight see, or are you here to take me up on my offer?”
Jill walked with him. “I wanted to see the place first. I knew this store was amazing, but I didn’t think it was this amazing. I ain’t see anything’ like it.” She stopped and looked around again, before saying, “Yes. I want to be your apprentice. I want to learn clockwork.”
-Excerpt from The Clockwork Heartbeat; Chapter 2, by Andrew Ronzino
There you have it. Again, please keep in mind that these excerpts I share are extremely rough and I’m fully aware of that.
Current word count for The Clockwork Heartbeat: 12,001/50,000!
Until the morning sun rises,
Andrew Ronzino, King of the World