Clockwork Chickadee, ready for readers
I think I wrote almost all of this story on the subway. 2500 words of clockwork.
And here’s the teaser.
The clockwork chickadee was not as pretty as the nightingale. But she did not mind. She pecked the floor when she was wound, looking for invisible bugs. And when she was not wound, she cocked her head and glared at the sparrow, whom she loathed with every tooth on every gear in her pressed-tin body.
The sparrow could fly.
He took no pains to conceal his contempt for those who could not. When his mechanism spun him around and around overhead, he twittered — not even a proper song — to call attention to his flight. Chickadee kept her head down when she could so as not to give him the satisfaction of her notice. It was clear to her that any bird could fly if only they were attached to a string like him. The flight, of which he was so proud, was not even an integral part of his clockwork. A wind-up engine hanging from the chandelier spun him in circles while he merely flapped his wings. Chickadee could do as much. And so she thought until she hatched an idea to show that Sparrow was not so very special.