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Clockwork Girl: Chapter VI (part 1)

Posted by Charles Gray on June 2, 2018

Terri woke up well before morning.  Mike was already up and had turned the lantern up, its bright light picking out every crack in the age-worn walls around them.

“Breakfast?” Mike asked, handing Terri a ration bar.

Terri wrinkled her nose. “One thing we’re getting is a kitchen,” she muttered. “I am not spending the rest of my life eating these.”

That’d be great,” Mike said. “But… where would we get the food from?”

“Farms I—” Terri fell silent. Do you have any idea how to farm? She’d never even thought of that question before. After all, Terri had only seen farms on the TV with her mother… “We’d have to make a farm, with animals,” Terri finally said.

“Or we could hunt,” Mike pointed out. “We don’t eat a lot, so we wouldn’t have to hunt a lot…”

Terri felt disgusted. Hunting? Killing some poor animal… But you would have to do it on a farm…  Terri swallowed uncomfortably. The pets of home had been animals also; would something they killed for food be that smart? Feel pain?  She put the last of the ration bar back in the pack, no longer hungry.

“It should be getting light soon,” Terri said. “Let’s get started.” She was suddenly eager to get moving.

Mike nodded, munching on his ration bar. “Okay.”

Packing their things took only a few moments, and soon the pair were outside of the ruined building, watching as the first rays of the sun started to touch the very tips of the trees. Terri took a deep breath of the pure air, happy to be out of the dank interior of the building. It had felt too much like a tomb.

“What if we can’t wake them up?”  Terri said.  “We can’t carry them back…” Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in children's book, Post Apocalypse Writings, Science Fiction, The Clockwork Girl, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Clockwork Girl: Chapter V

Posted by Charles Gray on May 29, 2018

Terri had never handled a gun before, nor had she worn armor.  Mike had found some old suits armor and had modified them for his own frame. Terri was close enough to wear it, even though she had to cinch in the waist.

“It won’t protect you from getting shot,” Mike cautioned. “But it may stop fragments—we’re tougher than humans, but not that much tougher.”

Our internal body is made up of inorganic metals and ceramics, covered by the flesh mask. More and more thoughts like that had been filling Terri’s mind, as if now that the secret was out, a switch had been thrown. She knew why she didn’t eat that much now, since her advanced fuel cells provided her with all the energy she needed, using the food as fuel, while the rest of it went to the internal stem-cell reservoirs that were used to regenerate her outer surface. According to her memories, her inorganic parts were capable of “limited self-repair to counter regular wear.”

Terri decided she wasn’t about to see if “regular wear” included getting shot. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Post Apocalypse Writings, The Clockwork Girl, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult | Leave a Comment »

The Clockwork Girl: Chapter IV

Posted by Charles Gray on May 21, 2018

“What?”  Terri asked, trying to process what Mike had said. “What are you talking about?”

Mike paused and ran one hand through his hair.  It was an odd gesture. Terri had never seen Mike do that before.  “Look, how long did you sleep?”

“I…I dunno,” Terri said. “A long time.”

“Long enough for the house to fall apart. Long enough for all of this,Mike gestured at the world around them. “To happen. And you… slept?”  He looked at Terri, eyes bright in the dim light of the room. “Do you even believe that? A human would have starved.”

“Then why didn’t I starve?”

“Because you had shut down for the night, and when nobody showed up to wake you up, you went into a long-term hibernation mode… And when your reserves ran too low for that, you went into an emergency wake up cycle.  That’s so that you don’t just die even if your owner—”

“Mom!” Terri snapped.

Owner.” Mike was staring at her, his face grim.  “Owner, Terri.” He rummaged through a battered filing cabinet for a few moments and then came up with a pamphlet. “Here.”

Terri looked at the pamphlet for a moment, then blinked in shock.

What was she doing on the front of the pamphlet, and why was she wearing a  poofy pink dress that she was certain she’d never worn in her life? Not only that, but her hair was different— brown, not black and curly instead of her long, straight hair…

But it was her… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Post Apocalypse Writings, Science Fiction, The Clockwork Girl, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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