Once again, Christopher faces the little girl and her bear, sitting opposite him in the mists of the Cauldron.
Christopher: How are things?
Grace: We just did the first round of edits and we haven’t even reached the hard part.
Christopher: Still you’ve made progress.
Christopher: What’s changed?
Grace: Parts of our story or the stories within the story. I think I’m more me now, if that makes sense.
Grace: Ours is the longest story our scribbler has ever worked on. Parts of what she’s going through in edits is familar, yet it’s with Shenanigans Press, a new publisher.
Christopher: Are you excited about what’s happening?
Grace: Oh, yes. A little scared, too. I mean, how is the world going to react to us and our story? I mean, Theodora is the best, but how are they going to react to me?
Grace: Aww, thank you! (She cuddles her bear.)
Christopher: What did she say?
Grace: She says I’m her child. There’s nothing to worry about.
Christopher: I’m sure there isn’t.
Grace: Yes, but, well, I’ve been part of the scribbler’s imagination for so long. My story got forgotten. For years. (She giggles.) It’s funny, how I’m a child, yet I’m older than you are, if you count how long I’ve been in the scribbler’s head.
Grace: Theodora, too. Only she used to be a teddy bear. It wasn’t until years later she became a Theodora.
Christopher: When was that?
Grace: Well, the scribbler started thinking about this steampunk submission call, which reminded her of Theodora and myself. Only she started to think about Theodora becoming a Theodora Bear. The title; Wind Me Up, One More Time first popped into her head because she was thinking steampunk.
Grace: Theodora was originally going to be clockwork. Or turn into clockwork. The clockwork shows up in a different way in this story as do gears.
Christopher: You mean the gears of industry?
Grace: You know about them?
Christopher: It may have something to do with my role as Happily Ever After. Or I could be just drawing this knowledge from our scribbler’s mind.
Grace: Yes, well, I spend a lot of time being frightened of those gears. Industry, too.
Grace: Gears of industry can grind you up or catch you in their rhythm until you’re nothing more than a part of industry.
Christopher: I see.
Grace: Do you?
Christopher: I have something like that in my universe, my birthplace, you might say. There are shadows which can tear people’s memories away, leaving them no longer themselves.
Grace: Sounds scary.
Christopher: It is.
Grace: Good luck in escaping them.
Christopher: That would be a lot easier if I wasn’t one of them.
Christopher: Never mind.