Tea for Two

Chapter 1: Unappreciated Genius

Clunk, clunk, clunk.

The sound of the gears turning was melodious to his ears. From his humble abode inside the very clockwork of the story he was able to see his tragedy unfold. He smiled in a way that was most unpleasant. How he loved a good tragedy, filled with unrequited love, self-sacrifice, and death. How absolutely tragic, but at the same time wonderful. He chuckled softly to himself, for it seemed only he could truly appreciate a delicious tragedy.

"Ahh, Perfection," he said to himself as he leaned back in his rocking chair, watching the gear-shaped screen in front of him. Another piece of his grand scheme unfolding. His beautiful masterpiece. And he got to sit back and enjoy it all.

Clunk, clunk, clunk.

The sound of the gears echoed in this lonely dimension. Oh, how he missed that meddling Edel. His dear puppet who had taken an interest in human hearts. If only she were here to enjoy the scene unfolding before him. Maybe she would see the beauty in his great tragedy. If only, if only…

He sighed. After all, lately, people had become more interested in comedy, and had given no notice to the other side of the spectrum. Comedy? Bah! Where's the enjoyment in that? Did they not see how morbidly funny tragedies could truly be? A Princess fighting to save her Prince, sacrificing her very life, only to find that he never truly loved her. How drole.

Clunk, clunk, clunk.

Droselmeyer frowned slightly. He was a brilliant but misunderstood genius. People did not appreciate his works. He sighed. Were he not already dead, he would no doubt be a starving artist of a writer. In his life, his books had never been bestsellers. At best he had an underground cult following, but that was a close to famous as he got.

Alas, woe is me. The epitome of the unappreciated genius.

Clunk, clunk, clunk.

Suddenly, a thought struck him: If I am alone, who will appreciate my wonderfully tragic story?

True, writing from beyond the grave was a feat in itself that he was sure that no one besides himself had managed (as was the power to alter reality with the written word), but it did not change the fact the he could not have a lovely chat with a publishing company to get his books into circulation. No, that was definitely not possible. Besides, even if he could get his books into the hands of the public, there was no guarantee that they wouldn't be destroyed upon sight by the Bookmen.

Yes, the Bookmen, the bane of his existence. Those black-cloaked fools saw his powers as evil and sought to destroy his life's work. They were the one's who cut off his hands with an axe in an attempt to end his career. Stupid fools who could not see the beauty within a tragedy. Not only did they drive him to his untimely death, those accursed Bookmen had done everything in their power to ensure that all of his previous books had been destroyed. This no doubt had a negative impact on their popularity, given that the books were either non-existent, or the endings had been torn out—destroying great literature, how could they? Surely they would pay… but that was a plot for another day.

Indeed. For now, his focus was on finding one to share genius with. One who could truly understand him. But who?

Yes, the gears were turning, both in his dimension and in his mind.