To any normal eye, every forest around the world would seem vacant of people at midnight, but if you go out on a night with a gibbous moon, you will find an entire gypsy camp, if you look in the right places. But there is a particular camp that contains a twenty-year old storyteller, an African-American woman with a grin that contains jeweled teeth framed by her plump mahogany lips.
"Lend me your entire being, kind soul." She always says when you stumble upon her. Her voice is but a raspy whisper, as if she's thousands of years old instead of twenty. "I may not be a well-known story teller, but all I ask is that you give me a chance. I promise to try my best to fill your soul with all the emotions of my story, and if you are unsatisfied, then all I can do is some quick apologizing. So in advance, my greatest apologies are extended to you." A loud, laugh echoes throughout the air, eclipsing the sound of sizzling eat.
"Dear child, please close your eyes. You mustn't see this old woman?s tricks." You obediently close your eyes, not wanting to disobey this intimidating woman. But you feel something blowing against your skin, and it smells of whatever you hold dearest to your heart. "You may open your eyes now, child." As you open them, you notice a wind roaring around you, and particularly the woman.
"What's going on?" You ask, and the woman simply laughs again.
"The spirits of the winds of loyal friends of mine; they help me tell my stories, and collect them for this girl." She smiles peacefully, and reaches out as if to stroke one of the winds. "I personally think they only like me for my tattered dress." This time she does not laugh, but you crack a small smile.
"What story are you telling tonight? It is getting late, and my parents do not know I'm here." You find the words spilling out, and almost take them back until the woman opens her mouth.
"You are correct. I am sorry; I sometimes forget that not every person is a gypsy." She apologetically smiles. "Kind soul, there are other worlds besides our own. Some are luxurious, while others are wastelands that are trying to return to their former splendor. Sadly, this story takes place on a destroyed one, and it is still happening even as you and I speak."
"This world is called Clockwork. The entire core is a complex network of gears that can never be worn down, no matter how harsh the conditions become. This is part of the reason why Clockwork survived the apocalypse that occurred there. Even though you may not think it, this world is still very much alive. The inhabitants tread upon the bodies of loved ones, hated ones, and every other kind of person you could imagine. Many of the survivors are strong-willed people, but it would be strange if there were not some sobbing messes that cradle the decaying bodies of their loved ones."
"There is one thing that makes Clockwork truly remarkable though. There is only one train on the planet, and the train only accepts lost souls and people that have no place to go. Though this may not seem that exciting, this is a circus train. The circus has no name, and though it may seem very peculiar, the spirits of the wind say that it is quite a remarkable show to watch. Even though many of the crowds leave crying, they are still simply amazed by how artistic the performers are. Happiness is hard to come by on Clockwork, so they take what they can get."
"But I have not mentioned the main focus of our tale yet. It is a thirteen year old girl that does an outstanding singing performance, with a bit of dance thrown in here and there. The audience is awed by her bright white hair streaked with all the bright colors of the rainbow that contrast the depressing and dull colors that surround her black-colored right eye with its fake lashes. A heart-shaped scar surrounds her left eye that has a pirate's eye patch over it. She has pale tan skin that looks as if its porcelain, she always wears dresses that barely touch her kneecaps, and is barefoot. She calls herself 'The Siren', but the spirits of the wind call her a mystical being to be reckoned with."
"This girl's name? Sophie Katherine Raines."