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Friday, February 10, 2023

F³ Inventor

            I tried some small-scale tests using the fireplace bellows, shooting a few feathers into a small bag. I was satisfied enough that I decided to scale it up, so I quit my job as a pillow stuffer, and headed out. I had to visit a number of different craftspeople buying supplies and describing what I wanted, even sketching out some very crude designs on paper with my charcoal pencil—Hey, I bet I could make a real pencil after everything I went through creating fingerprint powders.

            The whole endeavor took a few days, and required Ranger to pull a cart to transport it to Marrick’s.

            “Here, now, you can bring that contraption here. I have work to do!” he protested.

            I wasn’t about to get into a protracted discussion  while he was surly, so threw him a silver coin for him to just listen to me for five minutes. He agreed to that, readily enough, after barking more orders to the workers to get back to work.

            I proceeded set the machine up on one of the outside eating tables. Despite its size, it wasn’t overly complex, consisting of three distinct areas. The bellows took up the most space, hanging off the edge of the table. Constructing bellows that could move enough air had been a challenge, and required few cows’ worth with very tight stitching to hold them together. They also had required folding into the requisite accordion shape, but they had worked perfectly in the test, too. I just had to not screw this up.

            Into the center area, I dumped a few shovelfuls of feathers. Marrick grumbled at the spillage, but I didn’t pay attention to him. Then I shut the lid down tight and latched it tight using the rope loops. I grabbed an empty pillow case, pressing it into Marrick’s hands, then instructed him to hold it tight over the hole in the end of the machine. He grumbled some more, but did so.

            I lifted up on the end of the bellows, expanding it as far as I could make it go, above my head, then heaved down on it. I heard a giant whoosh and a loud crash.

            I peaked around the machine to see Marrick had gone flying back to land on his ass, feathers drifting everywhere.

            “Oops,” I said.

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