Clockwork or All Wound Up by Philip Pullman
Tick, tick, tick, tock. Once you've wound some things up nothing can stop them . . .
It is a cold winter's night when Karl enters the White Horse Tavern looking like he's swallowed a thundercloud. His final task as a clockmaker apprentice is to make a new figure for the great clock of Glockenheim. He has not made the figure - or got any idea of what it could be, and the unveiling is tomorrow.
Fritz is also in the tavern; there to read aloud his new spooky story. Like Karl, he hasn't finished. Well, he knows how the story starts and he knows it's called Clockwork - so, with the snow swirling down outside, he sets his story going and just has to hope that the ending will come to him as he tells it.
Suddenly, Fritz's story and real life merge in a completely sinister way - and just like clockwork it can't be stopped . . .