The Clockwork Sitters III

Two clockwork snakes that the witch had recently created saw Joelle and asked why she was collecting herbs. Joelle proudly told them the whole story and boasted of the feast that was being prepared in her honor. The snakes listened intently; their eyes gleamed as she described her handsome bushy-tailed friend and the woodshed that contained her nest. The two snakes encouraged Joelle to take her time selecting the herbs, as only the best would do for a feast.

Joelle agreed. She was rather burdened with bunches of herbs when she arrived at the woodshed sometime later. The door to the woodshed was open, and the sight of the events within filled Joelle with terror. Frozen with fear, she watched as the two clockwork snakes and the mongoose gentleman struck at and recoiled from one another, trampling her eggs in the process. It was not till the mongoose fell dead that she was able to move once again, and Joelle fled back to the cottage.

The story Joelle told to the other birds of the clockwork snakes murdering her handsome friend spread discord like wildfire. If the clockwork snakes were killers, thought the flesh and blood birds, the clockwork birds may be as well. The living birds began attacking the mechanical birds, attempting to tear them apart. Hearing the commotion, the witch opened the door to her cottage.

Suddenly, the flesh and blood birds could not move. They remained suspended in the air while the clockwork birds retreated to the interior of the cottage. The witch left her cottage briefly and returned with the two wounded mechanical snakes. After healing them, she took a broom and swept off her front porch. Once the job was done, she stepped inside her cottage, closed the door, and vanished. Only then could the flesh and blood birds move.

The living birds searched the surrounding woods but never saw the cottage, the witch, or the mechanical creatures ever again. They returned to sitting on their own eggs, many of which failed to hatch. They blamed the witch for this, saying she had cast a spell on them as she swept the porch that day. Of course, this was preferable than admitting that they had always been bad sitters.

The Clockwork Sitters III

Rise of the Durnskald Abersade Abersade