h1

Glint – Part 1 – Piece 8

March 24, 2011

8.

A high brick wall surrounded his workshop and a warm glow of light came from over its walls. Tomas opened one of two solid metal gates and he and the robot entered. The large man looked around before closing and locking the door.

What they had entered was a wide courtyard sheltered by a long branched tree which hung its eaves over everything. Piles and piles of wood and coal laid under a metal awning lining the right wall and to the left stacks of assorted scrap metals laid under a similar awning. Beyond this a warm light painted everything in shades of orange.

Tomas walked by the tree and the robot followed with careful steps. The light came from brick furnaces and this area was definitely some sort of metal smithy. A robust brick chimney dominated this room as the tree did in the courtyard. From the four windows of the furnace dark fire pulsated.

Two men, one young and one old, lounged on a bench opposite the furnace. They had stood up quickly as they saw the robot. The taller younger man nearly let his bottle of beer slip from his grasp. The older man had the look of tanned leather about his wiry frame and he seemed as nonplussed as Tomas did about the golden man creature.

As old as Tomas this man was ripped with veins and muscles. His small eyes were framed by some dark tangled eyebrows and his mustache was a long grey tasseled affair. The young dark haired man beside him looked fit and had a pair of broad shoulders. His guileless blue eyes were as wide open as the children in the streets and it had a somewhat sweet and charming affect on the robot.

“Tomas,” the older man said. “Seems you were more than right about the gilten.”

 

“Yep, guess I was.” Tomas pointed a finger at the old, darkly tanned man. “This is Bernie and this is our smithy.”

“This plank of wood beside me is Guus.” Bernie said and waited for a retort. Guus didn’t seem to notice, so Bernie continued. “Yeah, this is our smithy, though we don’t do much more than fixing and patching nowadays.” He took a slow, calculated sip of his beer and his eyes roamed around the robots body as silence ensued. The robot, sensing it should say something, filled the moment with an awkward, “Pleased to meet you,” and then made a curtsy. It seemed automatic and the robot did not realise what it had done, but Bernie and Tomas flashed eyes at each other.

“Wow,” Guus said, nudging Bernie, “twenty years under water and she still sounds sweet as a bell, don’t she?”

“Guus!” Bernie said back at him, nudging him hard in the ribs so that his beer frothed and spilled onto the ground.

As comments go this one sank deep into the robot and sent a sick feeling up its metal body. “Did you say twenty years under water?” It asked, turning its head towards Tomas.

“Yes. Yes, he did.” He shrugged, sat down on the bench and pulled a beer out of the box beside it. “Well, I promised you I’d do some explaining.”

 

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