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A Retelling of ‘Clockwork’

A Retelling of ‘Clockwork’


It all began on a winter’s chilly evening; fat pale flakes of snow drifted slowly down, landing onto my head and shoulders. The luminous, sliver moon shone in the star-filled sky. Trudging through the thick blanket of snow, I plastered a depressed expression across my face as I stepped into the pub. As I stamped my boots on the rough mat, I thought of all the people that would be disappointed in me. They would all laugh at me. Karl, the failure. Karl, the hopeless. Karl, the first apprentice to fail in hundreds of years of clock making. Fritz, the best storyteller I knew, marched over to me. We weren’t always the best of friends (mainly because Fritz was an optimist and I was a pessimist). I sat in a corner, clenching my fists because of the pressure. What was I going to do? “Gretl, some beer please!” shouted Fritz. Gretl rushed into the kitchen, returning shortly with a glass bottle of beer. She was extremely young and shouldn’t have been working. “Now listen up!” Continued Fritz. Multiple heads turned to face him as he spoke. “Why don’t I tell you a story I’ve been working on while we are all here!” Everyone sat down as Fritz began to read his story called clockwork.


After listening to about a quarter of Fritz unfinished story, the heavy oak door opened as a skinny figure came in, dragging a little sledge. Fritz looked at him in awe. It was the same person Fritz had been talking about in his story. I looked over at Fritz who was staring at Dr Kalmenius with horror. Fritz’s face was nearly as pale as paper in his hand. His eyes were nearly starting from his head, his hair was on end, and a ghastly sweat had broken out on his forehead. A little cry broke from Fritz throat. With a sudden movement he crumpled all his sheets of paper together and thrust them into the stove, where they blazed up high. “I beg you,” he cried, “have nothing to do with this man!” And like someone who had seen the devil, Fritz ran out as fast as he could. Taking his I just sat in the corner, not moving (mostly because I wasn’t paying any attention to Fritz’s story). “I am Dr Kalmenius! He shouted large, heavy grocery bags below his eyes. Turning towards Dr Kalmenius, I finally broke the awkward silence. “Why are you here? Are you here to laugh? Go ahead. There won’t be a figure tomorrow.” Dr Kalmenius looked at me in surprise. “Laugh? I would never think of it. I’ve come here to help you!” Dr Kalmenius slowly unveiled the silver stainless figure. My mouth gaped open. It was the best figure I’d ever seen. “How does it move? What does it do? He does work by clockwork, I suppose? Is there some sort of spirit or devil of some kind? With a smooth whirr and a ticking of delicate machinery, Sir Ironsoul (the figure) darted towards me. I froze, as I felt a fresh cut on my cheek. “Make it stop!” I shouted, speeding away from Sir Ironsoul. Dr Kalmenius whistled a tune, causing the steel figure to pause before stopping. “What was it that activated him? Clockwork, Spirit, Devil? ” I clamped my hands over my mouth as I realised I just said it. Once again Sir Ironsoul (the figure) moved towards me. Its razor sharp sword nearly slit my throat open. Fortunately, Dr Kalmenius whistled the tune he had once whistled before. Sir Ironsoul stopped in his tracks. “So will you accept my offer?” I hesitated “Yes! No! Yes!” he then picked up his cloak, and walked out the heavy oak door. “Wait!” I shouted, running after him. Unfortunately, the snow was so thick I couldn’t see anything – he had vanished.

On the devil’s hour (3:00 AM),I woke up and placed my figure into the clock with a smile. “Well, the future is looking bright for me” I said, stretching. I plastered a smile on my face, feeling proud. Karl, the greatest clock maker of all time.



                                                       Ade S


Clockwork by Rayann

Fifty years ago, it was a freezing cold day in Germany (in the south). The only place in town that had power and was so warm and cosy was the Bee Hum Bar and it was the greatest atmosphere. Just before night fall, a group of wealthy men entered the bar looking for the Landlord, whilst I was sitting grumpily in the corner of the room with five pipes, three cigars and six beers. I was a complete mess knowing that I was going to fail the clockwork figure and I will be the first ever to ever mess up (I will disappointment to my family) and so I sang my sad lonely lullaby to myself.

Even though it was a horrible day for me, I tried my hardest to cope with all the pressure and stress on my shoulders. I will have to show everyone in the town my failure of a clock. Everyone though I was a poor old fellow that thinks badly of his self and the worst thing about it was it was true. I was so negative to everyone and I took my anger out on them. “He looks like he swallowed a thundercloud.” I felt so anxious and there was a pit right in the middle of my stomach. I clenched my fist so hard that I made crescent moons on my palms.

Fritz, the smartest person I knew, was a great novelist and the most gifted person I have ever laid eyes on. I tried my hardest not to admit it but his stories even terrifies me. A couple of hours later, Fritz turned off all of the lights, closed the curtains and got ought the brightest torch and began the story. Everyone was arguing about if the story was more interesting because you didn’t know what was going to happen or because there was suspense of waiting for it. Fritz loved writing: it was his favourite thing to do.


After a sip of whiskey, Fritz began his terrifying tale and everyone expected it to be a fiction or was it? He began reading about a prince Otto whose life depended on a clock. Dr Kalmenius was an expert on sang lives and all creepy things. The king heard tales about him and was so desperate to save his sons life so he rode to him and left his life in the doctor’s hands. Kalmenius had to stich him up to make sure he wouldn’t lose much and not to get infected. Disgustingly, Dr Kalmenius slit open his skin, stuck his hand in and you will not believe what he found – A CLOCK. The chance for Prince Otto to breathe one last time got stripped away from him. Selfishly, Dr Kalmenius made it look as if the prince died in a tragic crash and he couldn’t save him.

Suddenly, the door creaked open and there the Doctor stood creepily. Eyes like burning coal, greasy grey long hair. Strangely, he wore a long black cloak; his voice was harsh and grating. Everyone’s jaws dropped open. It was deadly silent. Everyone was in shock- even Gretl the barmaid. I thought that I was dreaming or imagining someone. “You’re seeing this too, right?”

“Yep,” said the Landlord. In shock, I dashed under the table to catch a breath. “Why is it so silent in here?” said Dr Kalmenius

“Fritz was reading us a horror story,” replied Gretl in terror.

“I’m here for you Karl,” said Dr Kalmenius. I didn’t dare to ask questions except one: “Is this the DEVIL’S work?”   Surprisingly, he knew I wanted a clock; he had it waiting for me in the back of a horse. The rag under the clock started moving and the end of the clock moved towards me just at the tip of my eye then he sang a lullaby I wonder what it was called I never remembered the name or how it sounded.

Without warning me, he just left me with the clock. At midnight, Gretl couldn’t sleep so she snuck down her room to into the bar. She couldn’t sleep after Fritz’s story. Relaxing, she sat at the fire pit to warm up. Gretl strangely liked to talk to herself. “Fritz’s story was like the devil”.  The clock started to twitch and the edge of the cloak started to move towards Gretl. She didn’t know what was happening. Luckily, I was on my way to clear my head and go for midnight drinks. There I saw Gretl and the clock moving slowly and slowly towards her. From the top of my head I tried my hardest to remember the lullaby and so I hummed and the clocked stopped and slowly went backwards.


With the hardest decision ever, I decided to destroy the clock and tried something new so I studied to be a lawyer. I became the best in the state and that was my happy ending.