I’ve had two honourable mentions on Flash Friday this month, so although I’m not in the habit of posting my Flash Friday submissions to my blog I’ll make an exception for these two. Here is the first one, submitted on Friday 22 March 2013.
Sweat pouring off his forehead, Tim used his wrench to turn the loose nut on the boiler. Such a little thing, just one damned nut; it’d taken him all day to find which one needed turning.
When he’d been told that the output from the machine wasn’t of sufficient quality, he had a suspicion that there wasn’t enough work being generated by the boiler. That meant that there wasn’t enough steam coming from the furnaces, and that meant that there was a leak somewhere.
It was all very well for Giles – knew ‘ole Bess’ better than anybody – he could just walk into the chamber and feel the hum in the air, tune himself in. He would stroll around, in no hurry at all. He’d lay his hand on Bess’ flanks and pause, look downwards and frown a little; then he’d look up and smile and say “mm hmm”. He just knew, he’d been in this place that long.
Tim on the other hand was fresh out of his apprenticeship – a journeyman – knew all the theory and had years under his belt, but he wasn’t tuned into Ole Bess like Giles was; still a ways to go before her pulse became his own.
So he’d had to look carefully at every panel, every ridge looking for steam venting out of gaps where there shouldn’t be any. Finally he’d found it, deep in her bowels. Tim had sighed and tutted, took up his heavy wrench and turned the nut.
That oughta do it. The steam was essential for the boiler to work; there needed to be steam to boil the meat properly.
Tim stood up and walked away to go and relax, have a beer. He’d long ago learned to shut out the screams of the maidens that he could hear echoing around the pipes as the heat and pressure were turned up.
Ever since Shibboleth – that old dragon – lost his teeth, he liked his meat tender.