The Constellationist pt. 3

Henry reveals to Arielle what he has been working on, filling her mind with the daydreams to help her through working on her birthday.

“This is something that my son found before the storm came” Henry’s voice is steady and a little too controlled, I could tell the memory was hard for him, though time enough had passed for him to accept it. Father said that Henry’s two sons, Jonas and Elias were like night and day, each taking after their fathers distinctive character traits. Jonas had his father’s practical cunning and down to earth realism, while Elias shared his fathers imagination and boundless energy. I assumed then that it was Elias, who had taken up with a team of like-minded people his own age and pursued a career in exploring the ruins of lost cities that had been reclaimed by the forest, that had brought this strange construct to his father.

I stepped up to the strange, brightly lit table where the hand lay in ceremony.  There was a strange energy around the hand, like how the air hums in the hours before a large storm breaks. The hand was sheared off at the wrist seemed almost like twisted metal, but a closer inspection showed there was an bizarre pattern of softness and rigidity that was unlike any material I had known. Carefully I reached out and caressed the material of the wrist, it was soft like flesh until the last inch before the shear where it rapidly transitioned to a glass-like harshness.
Enthralled I began inspecting the individual fingers, bending them and testing their flexibility. They twisted with as much flexibility as my own hands, though the sensation of the workings beneath the “flesh” seemed fascinatingly alien. I had almost completed my cursory inspection when suddenly the hand twitched unexpectedly, startling me into leaping backwards with a half-shriek, knocking the hand from its pedestal where it lay on the table, motionless once again.

Turning to Henry I fixed him with an embarrassed glare in response to his quiet laughter. Stepping away from the table, so I could address him while keeping the hand in my line of sight I lent against the wall, arms crossed.
“What the fuck, Henry?”
Returning with an exaggeratedly innocence, Henry teases,”It still twitches on occasion, I would have warned you if you hadn’t been so eager to start poking and prodding,”
“Fine,” I pouted while attempting to redirect the conversation, “Go ahead and give me your rundown then, I’m done prodding for now”

His deep booming laughter echoes around the room before he returned his attention to the hand,
“This hand belonged to a larger creature that my son, Elias, and his companions encountered in a Home, quite unlike The Spire.  Far to the south they found it at a crossroads in The Road, Elias told me it appeared unclaimed from their approach so they decided to explore to see what they could find and were attacked by the construct after entering. This hand is the only treasure they were able to retrieve before they escaped. I’ve been tinkering with it ever since but haven’t been able to make hide nor tail of it.”

“At least not until last night,” he concludes proudly beckoning me over he turns towards the table and unhooks one of the tubes that connects to the roof. The head of the tool is shaped like a pin and as Henry pulls on a section of the tool the head of the pin begins to crackle and arc with lightning. Placing the sparking needle within the hole of the wrist and touching it to the hanging material within causes the fingers to twitch and spasm with greater certainty than the minor movement that startled me earlier. With several failed attempts Henry successfully managed to cause the hand to touch its fingers to its palm in sequence before returning the tool to it’s hook and turning to face me expectantly.

“Henry, that was incredible, how did you do that?” I asked, not even sure if I was asking about the lightning tool or the gauntlet any more.

“The lightning rod is a tool of The Spire, I don’t know how exactly that works, though I assume it is run by the same magic that quickens the Homes. As to the hand, inside the design seems reminiscent of on of The People’s hands beneath the skin. Elias called it a construct, and I suspect he was not far off, my theory is that the creature was a golem powered by elemental lightning. Fascinating and incredibly complicated magic, I can’t even begin to fathom the expertise of the one who built this.”

I was speechless, this was exactly like one of Francis’ stories. A man made of Lightning, Flesh and Glass, defending one of The Homes from outsiders. I couldn’t wait to tell him and hear what story he would come up with to explain it all. Recently Francis liked to say that The Homes were grown by “True Elves”, an ancient species he made up who preceded The People on The Continent, I didn’t like them quite as much as the Star Children who came from the stars to created The People in his stories last year, but they were still pretty cool.

A loud ringing from the store front woke me from my daydreaming, reminding me that we had been open for some time now and I had work to do. Dashing back through Henry’s workshop and living space, leaving him to his bizarre forge table, I fastened my apron and smiled widely greeting the mornings first customers, but my mind remained on stories of elves, lightning men and star children for the rest of the day.

Author: Zairron

I'm writing to build a habit, practice, and be creative.

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