Orphelia was Cratchett’s first love, his only real love; Winifred knew this, which is why she’d left him months ago. “There’s only room for one woman in your life, and it isn’t me. I hope you’re both happy together!” she’d said, as she stormed out with her portmanteau, slamming the front door behind her.
It was of no consequence, the only thing that mattered was Orphelia; he needed to care for her, be there for her every day, tending to her every need and idiosyncrasy now more than ever, now that she was approaching the threshold of her true potential.
Being very careful, deliberate, he placed a tiny cog between its siblings within the elaborate brass framework of her forearm with his tweezers, then dropped a needle-thin rivet into the hole at its centre, fixing it in place.
“Soon my love” he thought as he stepped back and rubbed condensation from his magnification goggles with a rag from his overalls, “soon I’ll add the final component, and then I’ll make you sing!”