She is fourteen years old when she first holds God in her hands. It stains her fingertips with rust.

The device is small, its stammering workings intricate beneath the dust, and the girl in the scrapyard clutches it to her chest like a part of her, cogs moving in time with her breath. She’d hidden beneath a roof of corrugated metal at the first hint of rain, and the faint light that shines between its clockworks fills the darkness around her, particles of dust set alight in the waiting air. She takes a shuddering breath to collect herself, traces a finger across its surface – and God speaks.


The voice of God is alone, just like her.


She counts the hours to her fifteenth birthday in an empty library, far from home. The sun rises against her back, scattered papers lit with stain-glass whirls, soft sounds of rain threatening to lull her into a long-avoided sleep. She pushes wiry hair back from cracked glasses, her eyes beneath tired but fierce.

She turns pages with one hand, a piece of God clutched tightly in the other.

What she's looking for does not want to be found. She's spent a long time feeling the same way. Somewhere between her searches for religious movements and advanced mechanics, she tears out a page with an address.


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