Button, Button. Who's got the Button?
Story by Clockwork Charlie

One fateful day at the Mulberry bush, Tinoo and I were enjoying dinner. Of course, the mulberries caused gas to build up in our stomachs.


"So Charlie, could you show me that retrieval claw again?" asked Tinoo. "But please, aim it at something other than me."

"I'll try, but I haven't quite got control over my mechanical functions yet."

I accessed the program and that little text appeared. 'Deploy Retrieval Claw'

It launched out and grabbed hold of a large, klay rock. It pulled the rock forward and it started to reel itself into my backpack. The claw swerved around me and knocked Tinoo in the head. "Ops. Sorry Tinoo."

Tinoo was dazed. "Wha?! What happened?"

I started to make up an excuse. "Um, you tripped. That's right! You tripped."

I went back to my computer brain. I found just what I was looking for. "A whole folder full of mechanical functions! No descriptions, though. Oh, well. Command #1."

A refridgerator came out of my backpack and offered plenty o' foods. "Chip Butties! Potatees! Mulberries! Fep-Gerkin! Yuck! Not Fep-Gerkin!"

I tried another command. A Klay disk dispenser came out of my backpack with a large video library including a variety of klay klassics. I tried another command. A large fist came out of my backpack and slammed down hard on Tinoo's head. "Oh, that's gotta hurt."

Tinoo lie face down on the ground as I tried another command. A mechanical hand holding a boomstick came out along with another mechanical hand holding a match. The mechanical hand with the match lit the stick of dynamite and handed it to me! I panicked and through it too close to us. Actually, it was more like I dropped it than threw it. I ran as fast as I could and dragged Tinoo along with me.


The explosion was so violent it threw us back all the way to the explosives shack. Tinoo woke up. "Will you please stop doing all those mechanical functions for now?!! You're smashing us all up. How do you know that the next command might not destroy the whole NeverhoOd?"

I argued with Tinoo. "Destroy the whole Neverhood? Not even the REAL Clockwork Beast could do that." But I saw how beaten-up Tinoo looked and decided to stop.

"Me sorry, Tinoo. I'm just insanely curious about what my functions are."

Tinoo put his anger away and started his curious side. "How do you keep all that stuff in your backpack anyway? Even a chest compartment couldn't hold all that stuff."

"Beats me. You could take a looksie, though."

Tinoo stuck his head in to my open backpack.

"What do you see?" I asked.

"Nothing. Nothing at all. Where do all these mechanical thingies come from, then? Wait, I see something. Oooooh! A spud!"

"Hands off!"

"Hey there's something else in here! Yoink!"

He pulled out a little remote with one big red button. He was tempted to press it.

"No, no. Noooo no. I'm not even going to do that." With that he stuffed it into his li'l pterodactyl hat. "Now, lets go do something that isn't dangerously brutal."

"Hey! Look over there! A music box! Those usually aren't dangerously brutal."

"What do you mean 'usually' not dangerously brutal? Name me one music box that caused the end of a being. I get first try!" Tinoo was on his way to grab the box.

"I'll stay here and have summore mulberries."

"Suit yourself," yelled Tinoo as he ran to the box.

Tinoo played the box and enjoyed the music. Within seconds all was in chaos. First there was a 'Boom!' then a 'roar!' and then an 'Ahhhhhh!!!!'

Tinoo ran by screaming, "Why does everything have to be dangerously brutal?!!"

Behind him was a forest-green crab twice Tinoo's size with razor sharp pinchers and a three-sectioned mouth! It was going to devour him! I accessed one of my dangerously brutal mechanical functions. Mechanical claws and clippers and arms with buzz saws came out of my backpack but all of them stopped at once. My computer brain was frozen! I was stuck there to stand in place frozen while the crab ate me alive. It stared down at me with black eyes from the top of its eye-stalks. It licked its lips. Tinoo knew he had to do something.

"I guess now's the time to try the button." He pulled it out of his hat and pressed it. All of the sudden, electric swirly stuff swirled around me and the monster. I looked away so I wouldn't see myself enter the crab's open mouth. But then all was silent. I moved. I could move again! I looked at the monster, but wasn't there... In place of it was my frozen body! We had switched bodies! Luckily, the monster couldn't try to eat me or Tinoo, being frozen. I looked at Tinoo, who had a worried expression on his face.

"Oh no! Nothing happened! The beast is going to eat Clockwork Charlie! Worthless button!" With that he threw the button as far as he could. Somehow, it made it to the wall-car. Tinoo ran toward the explosives shack. He thought I was the monster! He was going to boom me up! I yelled to him that it was me, but only a monstrous roar came out. This was quite a gerkin I was in.

When Tinoo came out with a boom stick, he saw me running away at full speed.

"That's odd. I guess this crab knows his boom sticks." He started to pull my body to the explosives shack, causing my brain to unfreeze. My body instantly started acting like a killer crab. It snapped at Tinoo, but it didn't know that it had hands now instead of claws. Tinoo realized that this was not me so he ran to the near by mulberry bush. When my body followed, Tinoo bombarded it with tons of mulberries.

I reached the wall-car and could see the button. It was balancing on the far edge of the wall-car. If I even stuck one of my four legs into the car, it would cause the remote to fall off of the NeverhoOd. I had to stretch my claw as far as I could. I reached out my claw and tried my hardest not to snap the remote in half. I was ready to bring it back up when I slipped! I closed my eyes and expected to see myself falling away from the Neverhood when I opened them. Luckily, Tinoo was pulling on my tail as hard he I could. But how did he know it was really me? I took the opportunity to press the button just as Tinoo let go. Electric swirly stuff once again swirled around us as I was brought back to my real body. The monster fell into blackness as I watched. For the first time we realized that we were the only ones here.

"Ya know, those mechanical commands of yours aren't half as bad as music boxes that summon giant crab beasts. Come on, let's show the others all that stuff you can do."

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