“Terrific, marvellous work.”
“You think so?”
“Oh yes, quite.”
“How very kind of you to say.”
“Not at all, I only state facts.”
He touched the frame with a gloved hand, it was rough and pulled at the cotton fingertips.
“The rust adds to its charm. It feels lived in, well used.”
His companion wiped his hands on the rubber apron, head downcast, “I try to keep it oiled, sir.”
“Oh no, I am being quite sincere.” The leather was cracked but thick, like his father’s belt, complete with huge smooth worn buckles. He approved, already imagining the creaking it would make when she was awake.
“Can we wake her?”
He looked from one to the other, noting the diminished vigour at which her organs pulsated, “I suppose not.”
“Will you be wanting her in the lounge, sir?”
His shoe was starting to stick to the floor. Her gentle wings had been dripping on his feet without him noticing, “Oh bother.” With a flourish like a popped pigeon he pulled a handkerchief from his top pocket to remove the worst of it, “Perhaps not old chap. Put her out on the lawn by the gazebo. Let the old boys see your sterling work after tea.”
“Very good sir.” Releasing the clamps elicited more oozing and a shudder of dazed organs, but he adjusted the dials, knowingly flicked at vials and carefully folded away the gossamer wings she he had been given, draping them back over her hide to hide the twitching. She would be the talk of society for weeks to come.