Clanks at Midnight

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

The place smelled like shit and piss.

“I thought these things didn’t have bodily excretions,” I called out to my partner.

“They’re not supposed to,” she replied. “For some reason this one does. Someone’s been hard at work making a clank that can process food the way humans do.”

The clank was a junker, alright, especially since someone had unloaded several rounds of buckshot into the thing. Oil and grease spattered the wall around where it was slumped, and a puddle of very human sewage was leaking onto the floor around the thing.

“Makes you wonder what happened here,” I said thoughtfully. No answer. I looked around. “Mel?”

I found her in the next room looking at a scrap of paper she’d found on the desk. I looked over her shoulder and read: Nobody loves a clank at midnight.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Hell if I know, Joe. Nothing about this makes sense. We still haven’t found Mr. Peabody.” She sighed. “Maybe when we find him, we’ll have our answers.”

Maybe, I thought, but I wouldn’t count on it.

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Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Avatar LaraLustre

    Oh, you pick words up like old friends … more please.

  2. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Thanks! Glad you liked it! There may well be a sequel to this in the future. (And I’m not opposed to anyone else offering up a sequel of their own flavor, either.) :)

  3. Toonrmicon Robotech_Master

    Found this via your blog post.

    This seems almost like it could be set in the world of “Girl Genius.” The term “clank”, and the fact that making a machine that could digest food sounds an awful lot like the sort of random weirdness that a Spark might do just to see if he can.

  4. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Girl Genius was one of the inspirations for this story. The other two were the brief guest arc at Penny Arcade a while a back and Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story. Those three combined in my mind to create a steampunk-noirish story. :)

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