Well, I never did get around to finishing the Santa/Drosselmeyer (I guess I was too cowardly to go through with the Santa-and-Drosselmeyer-are-totally-in-love thing plus lack of plot) story, so here's Drosselmeier (I'll go with this spelling this time around) again, taking Santa's place in my Narnia parody.
Otherwise known as Day 27 of NaNoWriMo. This whole Narnia parody was supposed to just be a short episode, but it got expanded into 3 "episodes", which is annoying but whatever. I actually finally caught up the official daily goal yesterday (woo hoo!) after being behind all month. So, now I'm at 45K, meaning 5000 more to go for the minimal NaNo target.
I suppose NaNo hasn't been as horrible as it has been some years. (I don't mean the (lack of) quality of the writing, just the amount of hair-pulling required to get me to type in the words.) For once, I didn't come down with a cold or flu in November! And my family stayed home for Thanksgiving. I just had to get past the "I'm tired and I don't feel like writing today" days.
So here's the last few hundred words I wrote before taking this break: (This would be Yrth-Ughulyach's telepathic supernatural Drosselmeier.)
The beavers sat huddled together in the back seat. Zoe shared the seat, but leaned the other way. Drosselmeier had the front seat to himself. He sat facing backwards, directly across from Zoe.
"Luce, Luce, Luce. By my reckoning, that's 'light'. Your affiliation is with the Morning Star," mused Drosselmeier.
Zoe didn't know what to say to that (was he linking her to the devil?), so she kept her mouth shut.
Drosselmeier seemed to sense her unease. "It's only idle speculation. Some chatter to shorten the road. Well. Shall I tell you a story, instead?"
Zoe nodded warily.
"A long time ago, in a city far away, when I was much younger," began Drosselmeier. He took off his top hat and turned it in his hands, looking down into it as if at any minute a rabbit might jump out. When nothing happened, he continued, "I gave a present to my little nieces and nephews. You may guess that I have had many nieces and nephews over the years."
Zoe nodded again. "I guess so."
"What do you think the present was?"
"I don't know. Um. They called you a clockmaker. A clock?" She thought of the horses and the Nutcracker coachman. "Clockwork animals? A music box?"
"A clockwork castle, inhabited (as it were) by little clockwork people and little clockwork animals. Every one perfect in its details, precise in its movements, true to life in every way except one," said Drosselmeier. Pride and deep disappointment mingled in his face. "Can you guess?"
Zoe shook her head.
"They were perfect and unchanging. The same movements over and over again without variation. My nieces and nephews..." Drosselmeier sighed.
"They got bored?" Zoe remembered a robot dog toy she had been given one Christmas. Diverting at first, then abandoned when its limited repertoire of reactions grew dull.
"Exactly." Drosselmeier reached into his hat and withdrew a bird. It perched on his wrist, claws digging into his sleeve, but he made no complaint, only giving the creature a faint smile.
Astonished, Zoe saw that it was a crow. She wondered if it was the same crow that had led her to the beavers' house.
The crow fluffed out its wings once, twice, before settling. It didn't speak.
Drosselmeier opened the sliding window of the coach and half-threw, half-released the crow into the air. It took off with an explosive flapping of its wings. Drosselmeier and Zoe both peered out the window to watch its flight. It was soon out of sight.
"Something living is always more interesting," said Drosselmeier. "Whether that life is born or created, the essence of life is change. Constrained variation in the blind face of chance."
Zoe sat back in her seat. Her gaze slid back to Drosselmeier, who seemed as much a magician as a clock maker. "I guess that's true."
"The crow is omnivorous. Unlike my clockworks, which imitate life without taking part in it, the crow flies at the expense of countless other living creatures. From death it was born and to death it will return," said Drosselmeier. "You need to understand this."
"Yes, ok, we did some biology in science class," said Zoe, wondering what his point was.
"The point is, you need to understand it in your heart." Drosselmeier poked a long bony finger into Zoe's chest.
She was too startled to react.
"Your world was created for life and for death, threaded through by time. But things get in," said Drosselmeier.
"Things get in?"
"Things. Get. In." Drosselmeier repeated the words with more emphasis, as if that would make them clearer. He frowned at Zoe's incomprehension. "Things that diminish life. Things from hell."
"/Hell/?" Zoe had never even believed in hell, but considering what she had experienced in the past few days, it no longer seemed as far-fetched. "Fire and brimstone, demons and shades, that kind of hell?"
"The fire and brimstone part is more metaphorical than literal," admitted Drosselmeier.