I sometimes get this odd clicking, a little bit different than the normal, rythmic ticking I'm so used to. At first I thought it just needed to be cleaned, but even after a thorough soak in some industrial solvent, the noise persisted. And other times I get a pain in my chest, like it's trying to go a different direction than the rest of me. It wasn't always like this...

I used to have a normal heart. Just like everyone else, I had one made of flesh and blood. Well, made of flesh, full of blood. It pumped and pumped, and it kept me going up until I was just starting college. But then the problems started. The doctors couldn't explain it, but it was skipping beats. It did so with a frightening regularity, starting off with about one beat every couple of days, but by the time I was three weeks into my first semester it had begun to skip more often. I was missing a beat every 43 minutes.

It quickly became obvious that a solution was needed. As the rate of skipped beats increased, I was getting less and less blood. I had to stop playing sports, and pretty soon I had trouble walking to and from class. But money was tight, there was no way I could afford a transplant. I tried exercises, and some medication, but nothing seemed to work.

Fortunately for me, the people in my wing of the dorms came together with a solution. Between the Mechanical Engineers, the Biology majors, and the Computer Scientists, a clockwork heart was created. When the weather was deemed cold enough, we waited until nightfall, then prepared the lounge. All of the windows were opened and several box fans were placed in front of them. Within a half hour, it was cold enough for the installation. The "surgeon" bundled up so he wouldn't freeze, and I was put under with some chemical that my roommate had concocted. I don't remember much about the actual procedure, but when I woke up, I had a pounding headache, my chest was hurting, and there was a small, brass ring in it, about an inch and half across, with a post in the middle. I asked what it was, and they handed me a small key. They told me that I'd have to remember to wind it every day, or it would run down. I decided to wind it right before I went to sleep and right after I got up, just to be safe.

So now I have this clockwork heart. It's more reliable than my old one. It's nice to be able to run again, I really missed playing frisbee with my friends. But sometimes I feel like my clockwork heart just isn't wound right. Like I said, it clicks sometimes, and sometimes it hurts, but I don't know what to do about it. Maybe I'm just old, maybe the springs are getting stretched out, who knows. Who knows?

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