Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Force That Drives the Piston

Zwi dangled a larger stick, several inches long. Unlike the tufts of grass, it didn’t burst alight just from proximity to the seething red hole. Zwi twitched it back and forth. It worked for cats, right?

White-hot claws darted out and snatched the twig from his hands. It seared to ash. The claw receded back into the metal container, which glowed just that little bit brighter.

“Zwi!” snapped his father from the front of the cart. “Stop teasing the engine!”

“Sorry, Pa.” Zwi scrambled away, casting a glance back at the clattering mechanism… and the pulsing canister at its core.


munsi said...

i get a kick out of this, for sure. the reveal is well hidden 'til the end, and the mood is well maintained. i dig it.

Scattercat said...

Some of my stories are striking images, some are pun-based, and some just come from a line of dialogue. In this case, I was noodling the idea of 'harnessing' fire (literalizing metaphors is a favorite trick) and my brain-gumbo randomly spit up the phrase: "Stop teasing the engine!"

I don't know why, but it makes me smile every time.