It’s a new year, 2013 (the year of the lull) is over and it’s time for 2014 (the year of…um… I’ll get back to you on that one). I haven’t written a FMF in almost a year, Pete has been holding down the fort for all of us, which is why I looked to him for the title of my first FMF back in action. I give you:
The Clockwork King
We open on an old toyshop. An elderly old man is working diligently to fix up an old animated king doll. The gears look like the inner workings of a Grandfather Clock. Finally the old man finishes, dusts off the king, puts him in a shelf, turns out the light and closes up shop for the evening. The king then opens his eyes, looks around the shop, tests out his limbs to make sure everything is working and then jumps off the shelf.
The king finds himself in the shop of the old man, a place he’s very familiar with already. He’s also talking out loud to himself like a clockwork John McClain the whole time. He see’s the store cat, Reginald, sleeping near his exit to the shop, a pet door at the bottom of the main door. He tip toes near Reginald but startles him at the last minute, which results in a comedy of errors as the King runs away and is able to slide out through the door. Reginald smiles as he watches the king leave.
Outside the snow is coming down hard in a small village, but the King doesn’t seem to let it bother him at all. In fact he’s having a great time. He’s running across all of the rooftops, singing, dancing and generally having a good time. He sees a clock tower in the distance and keeps his eyes on it. Fashioning a glider out of some tin cans and wrapper, the king lifts off and begins his journey to the tower. Of course the makeshift hangglider doesn’t do it’s just all that well and he falls to the ground where one of his screws starts to come loose. He trudges on though.
He waits in the shadows for some people to pass him by so that he can embark on his quest again when suddenly an 8 year old child sees him in the street. The child runs to get him, picks him up and puts him in his coat pocket without letting his parents know what’s going on. In carriage ride back to their home the king looks out longingly at the clock tower that he felt so close to being in his grasp. When they arrive home the child puts the King on his toy shelf, where the king sees all of the other like model dolls and where he first sees the Queen. None of the other dolls can move or act like the king: he’s alone in the world but he’s not going to let that stop him or slow him down. He waits for everyone to go to sleep, grabs the Queen and heads out of the house though an open window.
The king jumps onto a horse where he is brought to a near by train station. He fastens himself and the queen to the front of the train, with the clock tower shining in the distance, and prepares for a trip at wrecking speed on the way home. The train ride is brutal, the straps start to give the king is holding on for dear life while the queen doll stares lifeless. When he finally gets back to the train he hugs the doll as though he hadn’t see her in ages. They jump off the train once they get close but there are too many people around. The king drops lifeless to the ground but is seen by another child. The child comes up to him and the queen and stares at them for a while before choosing the queen and running off.
The king, dismayed with what happened, starts to chase the child. He doesn’t even care if humans see him he is running through their legs when he is eventually kicked and punted far away, incredibly close to the clock tower. He makes his way upwards, a broken king. Half the king he was before. He makes it to the top of the tower and stares at the clock and the gears. He watches them move intently but feels nothing. The clock rings loud and startles the king who falls down the tower breaking more gears inside. One of his legs is no longer moving and he can see the sun start to rise.
The king hurries along, jumping on a car, a dog, a cat, another horse, and the back of a messanger bag to make it to the shop in time. Outside of the shop the king falls to the ground, frozen and nearly shattered. Reginald is inside and sees the king, runs out through the pet door, picks up the king, brings him inside and lays him on the floor of the shop. The old man arrives just in time to see nothing happen. He just sees the king, on the floor in shambles again. So he picks up the king, puts him on his work bench and starts to fix him again.