Broken Watches -- scene from the Moon's Lullaby

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Broken Watches -- scene from the Moon's Lullaby

Post by Jacky K. on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:19 am

This is a scene that takes place in the middle of the story, so I'm not sure how much of it makes sense just read on its own. But anyhow, here it is!

“Anything bad that ever ‘appens is because o’ ‘im!” I yanked my hat lower by the brim to hide the tears burning down my cheeks. “ ‘e’s bad luck! Th’ little bastard’s a black cat!”

“Wait a moment, wait . . .” Finn shielded Develyn’s head with his hand to quiet her, and then his tired eyes flicked back to me. The looked too old to be on a kid’s face. “I ‘ate th’ bad times just as much as anyone, but you can’t blame just anyone for—“

“Just anyone? No . . . ! I’m not talking about just anyone, no, I’m talking about that cursed kid . . .” The word felt hot on my tongue, like it would burn a hole straight through my mouth if I held it any longer. “. . . Outlander . . . who can’t fend for ‘is own!”

He just looked at me, with this sorry expression. Well, not just sorry. More like he didn’t agree with me, and was sorry for it. “You’re talking about Cricket like ‘e’s a stranger. ‘E’s a friend, just like you’re a friend t’ me, and y’know . . . you only lose friends once.” His fingers stretched to the space on my shoulder where my hair used to drape. “Now, ‘air grows back. It’s only ‘air, Ticket . . .”

I wasn’t usually one to cry. Talking used to come so easy, but at the moment, it was a war between speaking my mind and keeping those tears from spilling over. No way in Hell was I taking my hands off my pocket watch to wipe them away, even though there was a bit of freshly broken glass on its cover that made it hurt to hold. “. . . Sh-shut up.” What the hell? I was already a mess. I looked like a boy with a bad haircut, so why not just give into looking like a boy with a nose red from crying? “It’s only ‘air. Aye. Just like it’s only your bird, like it’s only your guitar, like it’s only Crick’s knife, like it’s only my ‘at, like it’s only my watch, like it’s only a name, like it was only Ruby’s matches. See ‘ere, Finn, it’s important. What ‘appens when we start losing ‘em, hm? I don’t want anyone else t’ . . . t’ leave . . . I don’t want anyone else t’ die!” Goddamnit, my voice wouldn’t stop cracking.

He drew his hand back to Develyn, almost invisible against his chest with her black feathers in the dim. I wished he’d stop carrying around that damn bird for once, and perhaps hold me instead. I didn’t dare say so. So, I clutched my watch tighter. I could feel it tick in place like a heartbeat. “No one’s going t’ die.” He meant no one else was. “You’re bleeding. What’s this?” Then there was the sudden cool touch of someone tugging at my fingers. The watch revealed, its glass smeared red, a trickle of blood down my palm. “They broke it?”

“Not that you would care.” I pulled away.

“Nonono, I do . . . ah . . . as a matter of fact, I can fix it.” He was still holding out his hand. “I-if you let me. “ A tense silenced trailed like a shadow. I never trusted anyone with my watch. But then . . . this was Finn. “. . . May I?”

I looked down at the shimmer of rusting metal next to my chest, decorated with numbers that I couldn’t read and tiny parts that were stuck in place. “. . . just . . . don’t break it more, a’right?” I slipped the chain over my head.

His palm caught my prize with a soft clink. “No worries. Aye, it’s safe with me. Looks like it’s just stuck, s’all . . . give it a day, and I’ll find a new cover for it.” His face lit up in a quirky little grin. My mouth twitched into a hint of a smile in return, but it was faded and gone in a second. “You going t’ be a’right?”

“Aye. Don’t worry about it.” I wasn’t sure where to go from there, y’know? I still missed my hair. I missed Crooks with his funny words and his friendly arm around me, and I missed Ruby with his odd stories and odd trinkets, and I wanted Cricket back . . . the wide-eyed one that wasn’t sick and silent and practically dead. What had happened? Everyone was just . . . gone. Over. Dead.. And there Finn was, making it hard to be angry about it. Anger is a lot easier to deal with than hurt.

I had a feeling that Finn was seeing right through me. “ ‘ey . . .” The luster of feathers caught my eye as he shifted Develyn onto his bony shoulder. “I promise, nothing bad’s going t’ ‘appen. We’ve just got t’ stick t’gether . . . a’right? No one’s leaving. You can count on that. I promise you that.”

“Oh bother, stop it.”

I watched him shrink back like a dog that just got kicked. Whoops. “O-oh. Ah . . . stop. Stop what?”

“You’re just . . . Ah ‘ell.” What was I supposed to say? That he was too nice? . . . Well, it’s better than nothing. “You’re too nice!” And then, I felt like I ought to make it up to him somehow that I snapped. By the time my thoughts caught up to my actions, I’d already planted a kiss on his cheek. “I mean, thanks, but . . . thanks.” My face was burning like Hell, and everything was quiet like the room itself was in shock. I didn’t look at him after that.

What really floored me was the fact that he kissed me back.

I had to keep composure, here. “. . . Why did you do that?” It was honestly hard to suppress the girlishly giddy sugary lovely gross feeling in my gut. Igh. Oh Hell, I was smiling.

“I, ah . . . ah.” He spoke the last part so fast that I could hardly understand him. “. . . Ah. I ‘ave an ‘eart—a watch! T’ go fix.”

Jacky K.

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