Quick-and-Dirty, a story of Clockwork Apoc for Thimbleful Thursday

“I can do a quick-and-dirty fix.” Carlotta pushed the magnifying eyepiece back on her head, pinning her red-and-white curls back with the strap. It gave her, Johsnen thought, a strangely rakish and mechanical look, the telescoping eyepiece sticking out of her head like a periscope. “To actually repair it would take three weeks to a month and parts we don’t have here. So that adds another two weeks to a month, depending on when a caravan or ‘ship can get through to Ashburg. That kind of fix, though, that would hold up to just about anything except maybe a wild boar attack.”

“And the quick-and-dirty?” Johsnen ran an apologetic hand over the ‘car. He really hadn’t meant to get it into so much trouble. But there’d been Them, and then there’d been that hole in the road he hadn’t seen until he was in it, and all things considered, he was lucky he’d gotten himself and the steamcar back to Bridgeport. But she’d never look the same again, and she’d been a lot of miles in the poor thing.

“The quick-and-dirty I can do with what I have here. It’ll run, it’ll be safe against normal impacts – it’ll take a humanoid hit, but stay away from big tusked or horned things – and it won’t break down. But it’s going to be a little more fragile, and it’ll probably take a few more repairs along the way.”

“Can you…”

“Yeah. But if you come back around in winter, it’s going to be more like three months. For one thing, everyone does the same thing. For the other…”

Johsnen sighed. “Yeah. For the other, nobody wants to travel the Blank Plains in wintertime.”

This was meant to be about Carlotta (with a nod to @inventrix), but it really turned out to be more about Johsnen (Jawz-nen). Ah, well.

283 words, to two weeks’ past Thimbleful Thursday, here: https://thimblefulthursday.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/thimbleful-thursday-prompt-2/

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