Wednesday, 21 November 2012

My Mechanical Heart - Chapter Four

And just as the week before...we are brought yet another Wednesday. I truly enjoy my weekly blog posts of "My Mechanical Heart". This story is really an interesting project for me; there have been so many dynamics involved with each character. Though there are only a few in the whole story, as I find best in serial stories, each one has impacted me from the conception of the idea.

A major part of my story creation rests on the individual characters relaying to me in some form the greater personality qualities they display. With William it wasn't hard to grasp onto his essence, the combination of frustration and sympathy that are his hallmarks. It was however very difficult to coax Helena's personality out of her. She was almost silent; her presence nothing more than a mental wisp as I tried to reach for it. The whole process with Helena took a quite a bit of patience and in the end was completely worth it. Of course her long period of quiet proved to be a large trait that I brought over with her and Helena's shyness is something that really characterises her.

As I write the story it's my purest hope to translate what I've been given in the most eloquent way possible and that the readers will be able to understand these characters on the level that I was able to understand them.

All that said and with mild philosophy out of the way I present everyone with Chapter Four of "My Mechanical Heart" which is also available in the Vaughan Weekly.

Chapter Four

-Helena Cope-

There was a shock on Will's face that cut Helena deep. but even worse that that was his utter disbelief. Her lip trembled as he slowly pried the book she was holding out of her hands and held their fingers together.
He thought it was all figurative, the way those girls had so viciously claimed that she wasn't human.
It only hurt so badly because Helena knew it was true.
With the earnest way which he was willing to protect her, Helena was tempted to bask in it. She wanted to let William convince her that she was human, but worse than lying to herself Helena would be deceiving the one person who had shown her kindness aside from her own father.
No, even that was a lie. Clarence Cope wasn't her father. He wasn't simply her inventor.
A good man, but even he could only pretend she was human for so long.
"Helena, don't say you're not human. Don't let their lies do this to you...you're more human than any of them. You deserve the very same dignity." William spoke the words so gently that if Helena could, she would have cried.
How was she supposed to tell him the truth?
Helena wouldn't blame Will if he hated her after finding out, if he thought the same thing as everyone else. "William, it's true." She pressed her words harder, straining her delicate voice.
"Stop it! Don't say that." Will's eyes were pleading as he knelt down in the Library Hall and put a quieting finger on his lips.
"...I told you..." She said quietly. "I don't lie." And using her free hand, Helena pulled back the collar of her shirt just enough that William would be able to see the amazing mechanism that served as her heart.
Helena could feel her eyelids drooping over her dark eyes as William leaned back; frightened away. She swallowed hard, pressing against the wall and picking up the book she had been holding. "I-I'm sorry..." Helena said almost mechanically, as if she were so used to the words.
"Your...heart, t-that's your heart?" William's tongue stumbled.
Helena could only find the courage to nod behind her book. Hush fell over them and in the intense silence Helena could hear her own heart, her own mechanical heart, ticking.
It's gears were turning faster than usual and it's rhythmic clicking went quicker than normal.
William looked scared and confused, watching his own hands as if they held onto some sort of invisible answer for him. Yet fright exchanged it self for a wonder that lit William's features. He looked up at Helena like something had dawned on him.
"How do you...exist?" He asked with innocent curiosity.
Helena found it impossible to get offended and offered a soft smile to William. "I'm not sure I know..." Helena said hesitantly, putting her book back down. Suddenly she wasn't so nervous of what William would think of her, his fascination and acceptance spurred her well hidden personality.
"Do you mind that?" Helena spoke candidly.
William seemed unsure and Helena's emotions flicked like a light switch. Fear swelled inside of her and instinctively her hand reached for the security of her book again. But Will caught her hand and held it for a moment.
"It doesn't bother me." He said, so certain and strongly that when Helena looked up at him she could sense what made people gravitate towards him.
She had thought it was his complimentary looks, his eyes, his smile but shockingly enough there was something that couldn't be seen which made Helena feel drawn to him. Likely Will knew nothing about this but the effortlessness about him that had made her shy away now brought her in. His kindness was so natural that it felt like he was the sun and Helena was more than willing to soak up Will's genuine care.
Helena was at such a loss for words that she was positive her distant looking eyes must have coaxed out William's next statement.
"Come on..." He said gently. "We'll go to my house for dinner, you can call your Dad on the way."
Nodding, Helena let William help her up and after they put away her piles of novels they left the Library.
Using William's phone had to be the single most confusing thing Helena had done in her short life and while he tried to teach her about the touch screen her man-made fingers couldn't make it work. In the end, Helena gave up and let William dial the number for her. At least she could talk to her father on the phone and he was delighted to hear that she was safe and visiting with Will.
When they arrived at William's house and he let them in, Helena glanced around nervously. The girl was just starting to calm down from the rattling she had absorbed from discussing her unnatural existence. People had always judged her in the past and so meeting new people was on the bottom of Helena's priority list, but still if Will wanted her to meet his parents than she felt obliged.
"Do I have to meet them?" She asked, as they passed the threshold.
"Don't worry so much, they'll think you're great." William said reassuringly before calling out to his parents. "MA! DAD!!" No answer. "MA!!" He yelled again stepping into the house and tugging Helena along with him.
Helena's sensitive ears could hardly stand the noise but after a moment more of Will's shouting, he got his mother's attention as a woman with a cell phone on her ear and a wooden spoon in her other looked out from the kitchen.
"William! Stop it!" She growled at him, shaking the spoon at the two them. She didn't even seem to notice Helena and that made her feel much more at ease. Giving William a warning glance his mother disappeared back into the kitchen speaking to the person on her phone.
Relieved, Helena looked at William with amusement.
"She's funny." Was the only thing the girl could think to say.
"...Yeah..." Will agreed but Helena wasn't sure if he was trying to lie or not, because if he was, he was doing a lousy job.
William looked saddened by his mother's reaction but brought Helena into kitchen anyway and gave her a chair to sit on at their table.
"What about your Father?" Helena asked, watching how Will stared at his mother sullenly.
"I dunno, maybe he's working late." He said blandly.
Helena wasn't sure what she could say to this so instead she looked around the kitchen, taking all of it in and learning just as she liked to do with everything. It was a pretty kitchen, much cleaner than her and Clarence's. The smell of rich tomatoes and garlic coming from the stove made her head swim, it was incredibly appetising. Most interesting of all though was the fact that there were clocks for her to stare at. There were a couple of digital ones, on the stove and microwave but those didn't interest Helena as much as the one on the wall.
It looked like an antique clock from Switzerland and Helena could hear it's gears clicking. She was absolutely fascinated by it to the point that William had to shake her arm to get her attention when his Father walked in.
Will's father was staring at her and one thing was clear, he was nothing like Clarence Cope. This man was tall, well-built and looked seriously concentrated.
Horribly enough it was Helena he was concentrating on.
She shrank into her seat as the man's eyes burned a hole through her.
Squirming in her chair, Helena swallowed hard.
"Who's this, Bill?" His Father asked sternly.
It didn't take anyone extraordinary to see that William wasn't pleased with his father's comment, tone or even nickname but Helena was resigned to say nothing and in fact looked very much like a statue at that very moment. Sadly, Will's mother also turned around and looked at Helena in shock.
"When did she come in?" She asked in an incredulous tone.
Hands gripping to the seat of her chair, Helena spoke in a sound much akin to a squeaking mouse.
"I can leave..." She said in a small tone.
And while neither of Will's parents looked pleased, his mother simply went back to cooking.
"You can stay, William's friends are always welcome." Her hospitable words seemed forced behind a smile.
But Will was smiling at Helena and after how he had protected her, she didn't have the nerve to up and leave. Instead the girl stared at the clocks while Will's Father stared and her from his seat beside William and for his part, seemed blissfully unaware of the tension.
"That girl's not normal..." Will's Father finally broke the silence with a whisper to his son which wasn't nearly as subtle as Helena would have liked.
"Of course she is." William seethed back, defending Helena even further.
"Have you seen the way she looks at clocks?" His Father asked in disgust.
And as William's mother sat down to the table with an entertained look on her face, Helena had a feeling this would be her first lesson in learning to cope with awkwardness

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