This month’s featured story is called “Runs Like Clockwork.”
This heart-wrenching tale is set in the fictional steampunk town of New Babbage, in a world without electricity.
An elderly clockmaker and seller, Mr. McKenzie, constructs a mechanical shop assistant to help in his store, using the remains of a child’s stuffed toy bear and some miscellaneous clock components. He gives his creation the name of “River Falcon” after randomly scanning the pages of a yellowed dusty atlas and he takes the clockwork bear to work in his store. One noticeable feature of this amazing invention is the addition of a mechanical reading eye, which allows River Falcon to read the labels of the clocks and timepieces for potential customers.
The invention proves its worth in the store, by attracting a great deal of attention from customers and passers-by alike. However, a thief also spies River Falcon and decides to steal him as an attraction for a travelling circus.
It is then that his reading ability allows him to achieve his true potential and to discover how the power of the written word can change his life for the better: how he can discover the true meaning of both friendship and love.