Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ye olde bric-a-brac

“But guvnah, last time I…me hand you see!”

Little Pipwilliams Fitzwinkle held up the bandaged stump where his fingers used to be.

“You’ll do it and you’ll be happy for the tuppence you earn at the end of the day”!

Pipwilliams worked in a sooty factory that produces bric-a-brac and assorted widgets for those wealthy genteel members of society that have recently added bric-a-brac rooms in their homes that needed filling. Pipwilliams and the other street urchins were employed because their nimble little fingers were just small enough to clean the broken pieces of widget that often got stuck in the gears and chompers. However, as young Fitzwinkle has learned, sometimes it is dangerous work. Dangerous work indeed, unless of course you think it a mere trifle to lose your fingers one or two at a time until you can no longer spin the slodgepotter or play a game of catch-the-pigs ear with your friends.

“I’ll be back and you had better retrieve that widget piece or you will be paid nothing,” said the foreman, giggling with glee because he had already started planning on buying toffee taters with Pipwilliams’ tuppence.

After Pipwilliams finished wiping away the tears with his stump that had the most fingers left, he got ready to put his fingers into the works. Among the hissing, and clanging and acrid smell of the widget making gears he thought he caught a whiff of, could it be horse sweat and…candy? No thought he. Not here. Then a shadow came over little Pipwilliams. He looked up and saw a man. His face was hard to make out but he thought he caught the twinkling reflection of a bronze monocle.

“Ahoy there young master Fitzwinkle! You canna be putting that stump in there!” 

“But Sir, I must. My sister needs the money so we can buy her a new tooth. You see she needs at least one so she can eat her porridge!”

“Aye. Well if ye must, ye must! Allow me to shake your wee hand. For luck!”

Ashamed, Pipwilliams put his best stump forward. It still had a thumb and ring finger. He was startled when the gentleman grasped it vigorously and shook it all while laughing. “Fear not Master Fitzwinkle, for today is a new day! Let ME give YOU a hand!”

Pipwilliams removed his hand from the man’s grasp and saw a beautiful ruby colored hand that smelled like Christmas morn! Twas a candy hand with 3 candy fingers where before it was but bloody stumps! Immediately he thrust his candy hand into the widget wacker and before you can say “happy day!” there was ribbon candy spewing forth from every machine in the factory! Bric-a-brac shaped ribbon candy! Widget shaped ribbon candy! Ribbon candy in all shapes and sizes! “Huzzah!” cried the children! “Huzzah!”

Pipwilliams immediately stuck his candy fingers in his hand and sucked on them merrily! He turned to thank the stranger but he was not to be found! On the ground there were traces of lint stuck to the factory floor. Thank ye Penny! Thank ye, indeed!

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