Kyle Cassidy (named, of course, kylecassidy on LJ) -- clever photographer, cat lover, and friend to many, many, many fellow artists, such as Neil Gaiman -- had a flash fiction contest on his LiveJournal: write a short-short story about his cat Roswell that featured elements that echoed those in a just-published novel, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. The winner (as judged by Morgenstern) would get a copy of said novel.
And back on the night of Sunday the 8th, this poured out of me:
It was all powered by cat hair.
Each morning, the clock tender swept up Roswell’s sheddings, separating out by white and black, and dropping one pile in that slot and one pile in that slot. Machinery whined dustily. Pendulums started moving without having been pushed. They curled, even insinuated, like cat tails. Roswell watched, seemingly approvingly.
The clockmaker did approve -- “Good job, Gregorious,” he told the tender, “see you tomorrow” -- and, having dismissed him, looked at Roswell. “There. Next I will design one that you shall be able to climb on and sleep in safely. That should please you, too. What happens next should please you, as well.”
A newsboy could be heard passing a window. “Today’s edition! American Civil War declared over through truce! Dual governments agree that war was bad idea! Also in news! English Channel Arch completed! Offers best ocean views in Europe!”
The clockmaker looked out the window at the tents of the nearby bazaar, its shopowners preparing for its day, and whispered “Fare thee well, those who shall sell today. May this be your best-attended day ever. You will at least have the chance for this.” He waited. The clock struck.
A minute later, the clock struck 8:61.
“It's working!” said the clockmaker.
And 9:00 never came, and the perfect spot of sunlight never again moved from Roswell's favorite spot.
Morgenstern liked it! Now Kyle Cassidy has my physical address...and a bunch of fun cat stories that he links to here. And isn't that a win for lots of people?