TITLE: The Gear'd Heart
GENRE: Steampunk Fantasy
Keira sits in the dancing grass, the tip of her tongue caught tight between her teeth as she watches the sun through her eyelids. It's a confusion of sparkles, trembling lines of gold and red in a sea of orange.
Opening her eyes, she bends over the cluster of gears in her lap, carefully fitting each to the next. There's a piece of quartz on the one side, gears interlocking over the top, then a tiny spring; the whole affair fits into a carved piece of brass.
The spring, ornery as springs always are, slithers out of her fingers and disappears into the grass. “Pox.”
“That's a strong word, Kee.”
She twitches, scrambles to her feet as Da settles against the stone wall that separates this stretch of green from the next. “Da.”
“What've you got there?”
Keira tucks her hand, the broken Sun-catcher clenched between her fingers, behind her back. “Nothing.”
“A funny bit of nothing to warrant a pox.”
She hands him the charm, wipes her hands on her dress – waiting for hard words over wasting her time on gears. But the words don't come.
Da examines the charm in silence, then tips his head back and looks at her, serious. “You built this?”
“Tá. It catches the sun all gold and green and violet.” She chews her lip. “It did catch the sun.”
“Did you drop it?”
She shakes her head. “Ma...”