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[Gilberte] The Blundercog Personal Auto-Press

Rhianon's picture

“I do think we got turned around a bit, Annie,” Gilly muttered, stopping in her tracks to glance at the storefronts around her. “Should have paid more attention to the street signs, I guess.” Annelise, still holding on tightly to her mother’s hand, likewise stopped to gawk, dropping the doll she had been clutching into the street. Gilly bent down to pick up the doll, handing it back to Annelise. “You had better hold on tight to Dolly, Annie. Don’t want her getting lost on our little adventure, do we?”

“Why - Miss Gilly Lachlan, is that you? What a sight for sore eyes! And your little cutie-pie too, I see?”

Gilly raised her head, looking behind her. A gnome with green hair and a slightly inky face was leaning out of one of the storefronts, waving at her. “Poppin Blundercog?” She scooped Annelise up and walked over to the gnome, nodding to the shop behind him. “I heard you moved your shop out of Old Town - this the new spot?”

He nodded and gestured to the doorway. “Please - please come in!”

Gilly ducked in through the doorway, Annelise in her arms and Poppin at her heels. The shop was dusty and filled with partially unpacked boxes. In the corner, she could see the pieces of the gnome’s printing press leaning against the wall, still waiting to be set up. “Looks like you have your work cut out for you.”

“Yep, and just got a commission from the Ledger to print their special anniversary edition. Gotta get that thing set up by week’s end or else I’ll never get it done in time.” Poppin wove through the crowded shop, motioning for Gilly to follow him. He stopped at a long wooden counter and turned around, grinning at her. “Great thing to see my favorite writer though. Loved the last book. Quite a page turner.”

“Well, it’s thanks to you recommending Mr. Plume to me,” Gilly replied, smiling. She set Annelise down on the counter, still keeping an arm around the wriggly girl.

Poppin shrugged. “Glad it worked out, although I do miss seeing your pretty face around the shop. Pity Plume doesn’t avail himself of my press more often. Nothing quite like the Blundercog Mechanical Press, is there?” He hopped over the counter and slid a huge box down towards Gilly. “Now, this is something I’ve been hoping to show you. New invention of mine.”

“Ta da!” The gnome lifted the lid of the box, revealing a gleaming mechanical device half-covered in little buttons and with a large crank on its side.

Gilly eyed it, noticing each button had a letter imprinted on its surface. “What is it?”

“The Blundercog Personal Auto-Press!” Poppin reached down and pulled a leaf of paper from underneath the counter. He slid the paper into a grove at the top of the device. “Now, let me show you how to use it - “

Annelise, however, didn’t need any instructions. She leaned over and banged on the buttons, producing a great clanging and a flurry of printed letters on the sheet of paper. The little girl scooted back and covered her ears, announcing, “Loud toy!”

“See, kid’s a natural! Gonna be a great writer just like her mom, I bet!” Poppin reached out to pinch Annelise’s cheek, grinning.

Gilly, however, was still staring at the strange device. She pulled the sheet of paper from the Auto-Press, eyeing the inky letters. “That’s...amazing. It looks just like something printed in a book.”

“Gonna revolutionize printing!” The gnome proclaimed, patting his invention. “You like it?”

“I…” Gilly blinked. “Is it for sale?”

“Well...not yet,” Poppin said slowly, eyeing Gilly. He pursed his lips. “However, I could make a small exception for you…” He added quickly, “Given our previous business associations, of course.”

“How much?”

“Don’t worry about it. The advertising I’d get from you writing one of those fabulous novels on it would more than cover it.” Poppin replaced the lid on the box. “Now, how about I send for one of the delivery boys and we take this back to your place together? I want to make sure it gets set up properly.”

“Oh, don’t bother yourself, Poppin. You have that whole press to get together, don’t you?” Gilly handed him a scrap of paper. “Here’s the address; you can have it delivered there. I’ll let you know if I have any questions on how to set it up.” She then picked Annelise back up and set her down on the floor, taking the girl’s hand. “Now wave goodbye to Mr. Blundercog, Annie!”

Annelise grinned and gave the gnome a big wave as her mother led her out the door. Once the door shut behind them, Poppin sighed, looking at the address in his hand.

“Guess I gotta build myself another prototype now.”


Henii's picture

((Like always the interaction

((Like always the interaction between your characters is amazing. Felt very real! 

Also, Meddler-kids play dates for maximum adorable :o))

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