Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My Mechanical Heart - Chapter Five

This Wednesday we meet with the half-way point of "My Mechanical Heart" and since I've been highlighting a litle something about the story creation process each week, this week I've decided to focus on music.

I'm a firm believer that music a strong drawing point for any story and without it, writing is a dry practice. I wouldn't be able to pull the proper words out of my soul or meet on level ground with my character's hearts if it wasn't for music. I always find some sort of recurring theme in each story and especially with "My Mechanical Heart" I was drawn to a very specific style of music. Because of Helena's heart functioning through gears, I found my inspiration in songs that either had a constant beat like the clicking of her heart or through a very sympathetic style of music box music. I was drawn to two of my constants in music both composers Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman. Through Zimmer's Sherlock Holmes clock inspired tracks and Elfman's music box collection. Focusing on the consistency of each beat I was easily centered into the place that I needed to be.

Of course, this vary through each story but as "My Mechanical Heart" has been a unique experince from the very beginning, I was able to feel music in a new way through this story.

Chapter Five

- William Auditore -

The day after Helena had been called out at school, William decided he was going to make sure everything was in place for his friend to go back with her head held high.
There was a trace of guilt in William's mind from making Helena stay for Dinner at his house. She had been a fantastic guest though, eating and behaving with more decorum than both his parents.
Maybe they hadn't given her a warm reception; but she shouldn't take it personally. They were like that with him too.
What William wanted more than anything is to make Helena understand that she was more human that most people he'd ever met. He had to find a way, even if it meant devoting all his extra time to Helena. In fact, he found himself wanting to spend more and more time with her either way.
It was a labour of love.
So he arrived at her house early, before she could leave. Standing at the door, he only hoped that Helena would give him a warmer reception than when he first returned her school books. And he wasn't disappointed as the surprise on Helena's somber face when she saw him made William beam.
"Will..." She said his name in stunned rapture.
"I didn't want you to have to walk alone." He replied, ushering her along down the sidewalk. He had to suppress a small laugh as he saw her carrying her books without a bag again.
What a strange yet endearing habit.
"And I brought you this." He said, producing a shoulder tote out of his backpack. It was quite fashionable or at least Will thought Helena would like it. His expectations were duly met too as Helena reached out, grasping the black fabric of the back with her long, pale fingers. William let go of it and left it in Helena's possession.
"Put your books inside it, they'll be easier to carry." He explained, helping Helena put her school-work into the bag.
Once it was full, the heart across the bag was visible. It looked like it had been paint-splattered on.
"It's lovely." Helena said, a thin smile spreading her scarred lips.
Will felt a sort of happiness swell in his stomach that he hadn't felt for a long time. Not since before his Father had taken that high-profile corporate job and forgotten he existed.
In the presence of Helena Will found a sort of pleasant warmth. They needed each other and in Will's life where he had learnt to depend on himself and avoided the pressure of socialisation this was purely sweet.
Their walk to school wasn't littered with idle gossip but it was heavy with presence. Sidelong glances shared between the two teens spoke more than the lyrics of a thousand songs and it seemed that they reached Maple High too quickly.
Being pulled into the throng or approaching teenagers, Will and Helena kept close to one another. William surprised himself by being so bold as to take her hand so that they wouldn't be separated.
Helena felt mechanically lukewarm, not quite human and not really inhuman. Kind of like a cell-phone when it was running too warm. In his mind, Will noted the irony that on account of the crisp morning air he was colder than she was.


Once they were inside, William warmed up quickly and Helena seemed to stay the exact same temperature. He was tempted to ask if Clarence had used oil for her blood but digressed since it seemed like an insensitive question.
"We've got some time before classes, why don't we just stick around our lockers?" Will suggested.
Helena agreed with less hesitation than he would have expected and seemed to be enthralled with examining her bag. Everything seemed so wonderful to Helena, how couldn't some of that spirit rub off on Will and make him smile?
"Thank you for coming for me Will." Helena finally said, although he certainly didn't need that confirmation to know he had done the right thing.
Since they had entered the school grounds together, no one had bothered Helena and that was important to Will. As their hands slipped away from each other and they leaned on their respective lockers, William smiled at Helena and laughed a bit.
"Did I do something funny?" She asked inquisitively.
"No. No." Will smiled and stifled his laughter. "I just haven't felt like this for so long. It's just that I used feel like this with my Mom and Dad but when I hit High School they both got really busy with work. I gave up on a lot of stuff I used to be interested in becauseseem to care anymore and they didn't seem to need me." Sighing contently, William gazed at Helena's intensely curious eyes.
"But I need you..." She said thoughtfully.
"Yeah, exactly. just feels really great." He replied, looking to the ceiling and then back to Helena. "And I...kind of need you too." Will said delicately, as if he was nervous that he might be stepping on thin ice that could crack. When she smiled he felt like air.
"That makes me feel...marvellous." Was Helena's response.
But there was a look in her eyes that told Will she didn't share the exact same emotions as him. She still felt weighed down by something and Will's sneaking suspicion was that while he had memories of what being needed was like, Helena didn't. His voice faltered but he asked the question anyway.
"What's it like, you know, not having any memories?" Saying it out loud felt a lot worse than thinking it and William automatically regretted his words.
But as Helena so often caught him off guard, she did once again with her accepting demeanour and words."'s okay I suppose. I read a lot of books and take the memories that I want. There was a Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, you know. I like to read about her. She's a lot like me, not very sure of herself...but she becomes so confident and content." Examining her fingers and nails, Helena spoke softly. "I kind of hope that someday..." Her voice trailed off sadly.
Will wanted to ask her more, he wanted to tell her that she had every reason to feel good about herself but something unfortunate clashed with their seemingly perfect day.
A girl, who Will just happened to have no interest in, wedged herself in between him and Helena. Her back was to Helena and Will gave her a perturbed look. Unfortunately she was completely unfazed, placing a hand on Will's shoulder.
"Angela..." William said her name in one of those 'you can leave now' tones.
Apparently, she didn't get the message though since she smiled back at him.
"So, why do you keep waiting to ask me to the semi-formal?" She said playfully, giggling in an annoying nasal tone.
Rolling his eyes, William sighed in vexation and took a step back from Angela. "I'm not waiting." He said bitterly, walking away from her and back beside Helena who had practically shrunk in against her locker. "I'm not asking you." He said stiffly.
Turning on her heel and glaring accusingly at Helena before she smiled to Will, Angela's expressions made her look like the famous theatrical masks.
"You're kidding, right?" She asked in a pleasantly threatening tone.
"No." William replied stiffly.
Helena was silent, her eyes nervously skittering around the room and carefully avoiding the girl next to her that everyone would have perceived as beautiful.
"Don't you dare tell me your inviting that...clicking weirdo?" She asked, jerking a thumb at Helena. "Nothing's going to make her into a date like me." Angela added with lips tightly pursed.
William's hands were trembling, his head throbbing and his heart aching as he glared at Angela. "I'm going to prove to you--to everyone that Helena is beautiful!" He said in a tremulous tone. "You'll see! All you shallow, insensitive people. I don't care if you think I'm not cool anymore, I'm done with all of this. I want to be a part of building up other people, not tearing them down or intimidating them."
His voice was strained but Helena discreetly grasped Will's hand and gave him the strength to say what he had to. "I'm going to be myself whether you like it or not...and you can tell all your friends the same thing too."
Now for better or worse, William knew he had altered his time at Maple High. He wasn't sure how to feel, but numb was a good place to start and it seemed to reflect off of the expression of Angela across him.
He had just dethroned himself from the position of Prom King, Popular Guy, Every body's Friend and Golden Boy.
Now he was nothing more than 'that guy' and for some strange reason, Will felt proud of himself and so freed that he did something that stunned even himself.
He grinned.

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