Spare Parts

This is a story of Manuel the miscreant werewolf and his human mate, the intrepid inventor Ellory. They have made previous appearances in

In just two days, when Sci Spanks 2015 starts, Ellory and Manuel will be coming to you in their  newest adventure. Get yourself all set for Sci Spanks here: Play Sci Spanks 2015

Meanwhile, enjoy another morsel of time with Ellory and Manuel.

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November 1863

As he stepped out of the carriage, Ellory glimpsed Manuel leaping from the roof of Elegance by the Yard to the roof of Pieces of Invention. One day, someone would catch him up there, and Manuel would have to explain why a gentleman of his position preferred traversing rooftops to traveling by carriage.

Ellory’s wolf mate needed another weekend away to run unfettered in his wolf form. He’d needed them more and more frequently of late. Maybe moving to London was a bad idea.

Pachelbel’s Canon blared Ellory’s entry when he opened the door to Pieces of Invention. The ceiling-mounted music horn vibrated under its own volume.

Mr. Plum!” Ellory shouted, slapping his hands over his ears. “What happened to the bells?

WHAT?” Came a voice from behind shelves overflowing with bins of metal tubing, gears in a massive array of sizes and weights, and some of the rarer tools an inventor might need.

Ellory sighed and meandered through the shelves toward the voice. By the time he reached the bins of metal in large flat sheets, Pachelbel’s Canon had come to its blissful conclusion.

“Mr. Plum?”

“Oh!” A portly man wearing a pair of magnifying goggles on his face and another set on his bald head popped up behind the sales counter. “Mr. Granger!” The older fellow twisted his hands in his apron. Nerves? No reason for those.

“I’ve come for the items that have been on order. I received notice they had arrived?” Sweat beaded on Mr. Plum’s forehead. Definitely nerves. “It seems something’s the matter. Was the notice in error?”

Mr. Plum hesitated and twisted his apron up so tightly Ellory feared it would tear. “Well, it’s like this, Mr. Granger. The Earl, he –”

Again?” The man had bought his last two orders out from under Ellory. “This is the third time, Mr. Plum. I am completely stalled on rebuilding the time machine without these parts. I thought we ordered extras to prevent this.”

“Well, y-yes, we did.” The small round man released his apron and mopped his head with a handkerchief. “The man he sent … he … he bought all three, sir.”

“How did he even know you had that many?”

The back door to the shop crashed open, making Ellory jump backward and forcing a strangled screech from the shopkeeper. A raggedy young man tumbled in and landed face-down and trembling on the floor. Manuel sauntered in behind him. “I expect he was informed by this young man. He was kind enough to tell me that his job is to listen at the window when you come in to place orders. I would like to maim him, but I suspected you would want to talk to him first.”

Ellory squatted down to the unwashed man at his feet. Or boy rather. “You work for the Earl, do you?”

“Please, sir,” the boy whined. “Don’t let him hurt me. He said he bites.”

Ellory looked up at Manuel, who shrugged. “It worked. We had a nice conversation.”

Shaking his head, Ellory turned his attention back to the boy. “He won’t lay a finger on you. You have my word. What do you know about the Earl and my orders?”

“Only that you aren’t supposed to get them, sir. And maybe he’s working on his own machine. Maybe he wants to be the only person with one of them machines.”

Manuel growled under his breath, but not low enough to keep the others from hearing. The boy pressed himself further into the floor with a whimper, and the shopkeeper disappeared beneath his sales counter.

Ellory sighed. “Enough. Put the boy back outside where you found him. We don’t want the Earl knowing he talked to us.”

“But –” Manuel started.

“No. No maiming. I gave my word.” Ellory rapped on the counter, and Mr. Plum peeked up over the edge. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Plum. We’ll be taking our leave now.”

Back in the carriage, Manuel grumbled. “I hate these things.”

Ellory sighed. “It’s a private place to talk. If the Earl is really spying on my work, I won’t be able to accomplish much, if anything, in a timely manner.”

Manuel just grunted.

“Very helpful, love. I believe London’s getting to you again. It’s only been a month since your last run.”

Manuel grunted again.

“You could run more often if you would just use the land and pastures outside the edges of London. Why must you wait until you can travel to Wales?”

“No matter how far I run, it smells like sweaty people, refuse, and factory smoke.”

“What does Wales smell like?”

“Ocean. Fresh grass. And sheep.”

“Sheep?”

“Sheep smell quite pleasant.”

“I never would have guessed.”

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