Clockwork Kid

Clockwork Kid by Michael Chapey

I have this crank in my back with which someone needs to wind me up about every 24 hours. It’s very steampunk. I’m all organic gears inside. It’s how I operate. Click click onomatopoeia. How I’ve operated since I was born. You’ve probably read about me in the papers. The Incredible Clockwork Kid. I’m a medical marvel. Science can’t explain me. I used to have this nurse who would stay with me and make sure I got wound up regularly, but I made a pass at her last night and she quit. Now I’m standing on a bridge in Prague and I can hear it all grinding to a halt. I haven’t broken down in public since that night I got drunk and passed out on the boardwalk. Some busker found me in the morning. Very nice. Had seen my picture in a magazine. Asked for an autograph after he wound me up. People all around me now, but I don’t know the language. I don’t have the words to explain what I need from them. I’m shouting English! English! Crank! but I must look and sound like a madman, because people are turning their faces away. I can feel the momentum from my last wind dying. Movement quickly becomes more difficult until it’s impossible. I’m there, immobile on the bridge, big wind-up key sticking out of my back, desperate look on my face, wishing I could speak Czech.