“Brimhat never looked you squarely in the eyes- it was all crooked moons and ellipses…no one trusted him and some even believed Brimhat didn’t even trust himself”
(Penny Snapple-) “Penny is one cent, she is good currency, but she doesn’t see the whole worth of her husbands ideas at times”
“She’s also giving her 3 cents worth of views”
“Penny Worth was her maiden name, kids called her Penny 3-cents”
“She keeps things level for the reader, so that the outlandish stuff shines”
(Mr.Snapple & Mrs Snapple)
” I bought these” and as he said this Mr Snapple took from his pocket a small packet of seeds, ‘ off a Mr Finn Flashfire’ he rattled the packet as he spoke.
“What kind of name is that?” said Mrs Snapple. ” It’s ridiculous.”
“He’s a Noonlander, they tend to ‘self name’ themselves” replied Mr Snapple
” and you thought Mr Flashypants was SO good a name that you bought this fish food?,” said Mrs Snapple
Mr Snapple pursed his lips. ” He was called Flashfire..”I’ve heard worse”. He said. “The fish food was on offer too” he added, then cleared his throat noisily “and who knows. Had I been born a Noonlander perhaps I might have a more attractive name than Mr Snapple.”
Mrs Snapple thought it ridiculous, but also knew, that Mr Snapple once bent down on one knee in a pigpen when he proposed to her…
She agreed with herslf, nodding unconsciously, that it was equally ridiculous..but concluded that there had to be some allowance for the ridiculous to be made in this world.
“Why not dress yourself in a fancy name then?”
He played with names like Mr Fancystraps, Mr Fancybuckles, or possibly, Mr Fancysuspenders, but laughed out loud when he got to Mr Fancyknickers.
(The Count enters the clockworks)
He shuffled slightly to the side and peered carefully around the edge of the window. Finding nothing frightening waiting out the window for him he slowly allowed himself to move more normally. Turning he reached for the door handle. His hand was curled around the warm metal when a sudden sound directly behind him had him spinning around in surprise.
The sound was distinctive. It had the warmth of metal and memory in it. A deep, melodious clang, that was answered by a softer upper clang of sound from another source across the room. Then there came another and another, from every direction now. Suddenly the room was alive with sound. Clocks, many of them, were suddenly opening themselves up or pushing their sound forth in varying tones and rhythms, each contributing in a slow awakening crescendo of carefully orchestrated sound. It was not like the clang and bang of other clock shops, this was like music. A carefully overlaying of sound that was merging with all other sounds. Instead of clashing or competing with the other clocks, these clocks, were harmonizing one with the other. It was startlingly beautiful.
The clock that had lead the procession ended first and each distinctive clock could be heard as they took their moment in the spotlight, before moving aside for the next clock, until, after a full minute had passed the very last clock sounded and died away, leaving the count breathless with a feeling of awe. It left the room with a silence that was more than silence. It was like being surrounded by a feeling of joy. It was the most comforting thing he had ever experienced. It was almost as if the room was…happy.
The Count found his hand dropping away from the door handle. He moved toward the counter as if in a trance until he was standing directly in front of the clock that had started it all. It was a big grandfather clock which presided grandly over the very center of the wall behind the counter. It was made of a kind of wood one knows instinctively is no longer able to be purchased because of the rarity of the tree it was crafted from.
The metal clockworks of this clock were crafted from silver instead of the traditional brass or bronze. Across the front of it was a delicate filigree of intertwined branches, leaves, blossoms and birds. It was so intricate and delicately crafted that it appeared as if a single touch would snap the silver completely off. The clock face displayed Chinese characters instead of the normal numerals, how odd. He thought to himself. It was almost as if the clock were reading words and phrases instead of time. The oddness continued as he became aware of the fact that the clock hands were facing in the wrong direction, in fact the second hand was moving..backward.
The Count tore his gaze away from the clock and gazed carefully about the room with more interest.
The lights in the shop were bright, but not aggressively so, there seemed to be just enough light to make every detail shine, but not enough to hurt your eyes in the gazing. Everything gleamed with a soft metallic glow. Along each wall were shelves, and upon those shelves sat shiny silver, gold, brass and bronze automatons and clockwork pieces. The pieces were displayed like art or expensive jewels. Which, the count determined, they probably were, if the glimmer of gold, silver and semi-precious gems he spotted were authentic. There was the presence of sound slightly muted now but clearly there underneath the silence, like when you are sleeping in a room and hear someone whispering quietly so as not to wake you. The muted feeling almost gave the impression that the room was holding its breath, waiting for something to happen, even if it was not quite sure what that something was going to be.
(The Pirate ship)
‘Ah, the pirate ship..a good choice, if I may say so”
The pirate ship was made up of very expensive looking cloths for the sails and flags. The wood was warm and beautiful in patina.
“The key to wind this piece is tucked sway on the shelf there, with the tassled ribbon. There is only a small indention in the ship to show where the key is inserted. The key is, of course, a skeleton key, sir” said Mr Snapple as if he were speaking about a fond grandchild.
As he wound it, the sounds of the pirates shouting could be heard, as well as, waves and a great battle with cannons going off and swords clashing. It was riotous and chaotic, and the count, who wasn’t expecting one of the cannons to suddenly fire off in his direction, took a hasty step back.
Boom! The cannons jerked back and forth on their springs leaving realistic spouts of smoke from them with the accompanying sound of firing.
” I think Mr Biddley may have overdone the gunpowder.” said Mr Snapple, as the count got out his handkerchief and wiped his blackened brow. ” Really, sir, I do feel bad for not mentioning that it’s best not to stand directly over the ship.” and he expected the count to fire off a reprimand if his own, yet he continued smiling.
” Turn the key again” he said ” That was marvelous!”