This was originally an extended metaphor piece for school, but I liked it so much that I thought it would be a shame if I didn't share it with you. So here's a short Saavedro vignette I wrote. Enjoy.

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The disheveled man paced about the room, holding a metal-bound book. His footsteps, even as clockwork, bounced off the walls, echoing the rapid beating of his heart and filling his mind with an incessant ticking. It mingled with his troubled thoughts, dancing smoke-like to the sound's hollow melody.

To put it simply, the man was mad. For twenty years he'd been trapped, exiled far away from his home - and indeed, it seemed to him that he had no home left to go to. It had been destroyed in a bloody civil war, and his family had been caught in the crossfire; he knew not if they still survived or had perished. This simple thought, coupled with so much rage and sorrow, had disrupted the finely tuned gears of his mind; had unwound the tight coil of sanity and flung him into the foggy depths of despair.

And so, for twenty years he had wandered, unsure of how to repair his broken mind and restore its gears to full working order.

That is, until he found a way out of that horrible place, the dark and cold world that he had been forced to call his home. It came to him as a linking book, a portable portal into another world; how he first had gotten here. He felt the gears begin to lock back together, felt them turn; heard for the first time in years the ticking of his mind's bent metal hands…

And he remembered. He remembered everything that he had forgotten when his meticulous mental clockwork had broken down. He began to understand why he was there, who had banished him to this desperate place. A dark plan began to form in his feverish mind. He had the way out - he had the power now. He could seek vengeance for the wrongs done to both him and his people.

And so, he had done it. He had stolen a thing so near and dear to his foe that he would surely have to come. The trap had been baited – all he had to do was wait for the mouse to arrive and take it. The trap would snap shut, and the poor mouse would scrabble at its metal walls in vain and be forced to do as he had done for so very long.

The man smiled wickedly at the thought of his sinister plan. The smile became a grin, the grin became hollow laughter, and soon he was in stitches from the ingeniousness of it all. But soon, the heavy, distorted ticking of broken mental gears took over, and he once again paced in his tower, his footsteps even as clockwork.