I looked over to the barmaid, "yes?"
"Did she help at all, the owner of Curiosities and Oddities? She's a very smart lady I hear..but people don't take to kindly to her." The starry eyed girl leaned in closer, "They say she's a harlot and does experiments on the men she has her affairs with. I saw her once on the street you know. She's very sever from far away. What is she like up close?"
Ah. The girl was curious, "Shes quite pretty actually."
"well I would imagine so! it seems she's had half the men in London."
I doubted it, the woman was crass and didn't seem the type to just let any man into her chambers. There was a respectable air to her, "She does seem rather smart, very quick in her wit."
She nodded, "tell me more about how pretty she is. is she regal like a lady? The lady of the red lights perhaps?"
It looked like Gizmo had a fan. "Her cheekbones are high and very english indeed, her eyes wide like a does and the most interesting gold and moss green."
She let out a small breath, "how lovely! how you must have been smitten by her Mr. Blythe."
I laughed, "oh but you're much lovelier."
She flushed, toying with your hair, "you are such a charmer Mr. Blythe."
Was I? "why did you think Gizmo would know where Ginnie was?"
The girl sighed heavily, "Because Gizmo seems to know everything that happens in these streets and all the dodgy type pay her a visit. there was this rumor one that she sold opium in that shop of hers. I'm sorry I could not have been more help to you."
I waved her off, "its not a problem."
Besides the lass was right.
That woman knew something.
Her eyes shone in recognition at the name Ginnie and she grew stiff at the knowledge of the surname.
I would have to pay Curiosities and Oddities another visit sometime, the pistol wielding shop owner was certainly one to keep my eye on.
I looked back to the barmaid, "How long has Gizmo lived in London?"
She shrugged, "don't know. you would have to ask my uncle."
My eyes drifted to the barman, "Samson?"
Samson looked to me and sighed, "Its best you ignore my niece Killian, and Leave miss Gizmo to herself."
I made my way to the bar, "so you do know something?"
His hand settled on the leather glove he always wore, "I know too much for an old dogs sake. I'm trying to be a friend here, Gizmo is not the type of woman you want to get into a tiff with."
"I won't get into a tiff with her."
"Oh yes you will. There isn't was way around getting into a tiff with her, she likes her space, only associating with her customers when they are buying and once work is done. she doesn't like to see your mug again. besides your you, you get into a tiff with everyone just by walking into a room with that careless attitude of yours."
I leaned forward, ignoring the jab, "how long has she had that shop?"
"it opened maybe four years ago?"
"Is that when Gizmo came to town?"
"No...no I used to see Gizmo on the streets when she was very small. an orphan that girl is."
I processed this, "why do they call her Gizmo?"
Samson stilled, leather glove flexing, "Gizmo is as my niece says, a smart girl she can fix your broken watch or even your musket, she can make you glasses or a glass eye, she's a woman of many talents and wit."
That didn't answer my question, "that doesn't explain a thing."
He sighed, "She told people to call her whatever they liked and then they started calling her Gizmo."
"because. Thats what she is, a woman no one can quite pinpoint the origin or operation, she's like a machine and a mystery when she works. She's a Gizmo."
Works? "when she works on watches, clocks and guns? surly there must be more than that."
He nodded, "More yes, but few know of it and I pray you never learn it. That knowledge comes at a price."
I gripped his bare arm, "You know?"
"Will you tell me?"
Sighing he looked me over, "Killian, i respect the woman, I won't cause trouble for her."
"a pretty thing like that causes plenty of trouble for herself I won't add onto it."
He beckoned me to the room where he stores he liquor, "now I'm only doing this because I trust you Killian. Don't go saying a thing about it."
I nodded, "I won't."
Samson pulled the leather glove from his left hand.
I stared in utter shock, at the metal fingers and wrist, "bloody hell."
He guffawed. "its an older model, I saved Gizmo from a wayward carriage shortly after she opened her shop..it lost me my hand." the metal fingers flexed, "When I woke from the pain, there was this thirteen year old girl, connecting copper wire to my bloody flesh and welding bits of metal together in a dark room." He held his hand to his chest fondly, "this here is a crude one but it was her first working prototype, she told me so when she had finished. Still repairs bits free of charge when somethings got a kink. Gizmo is a good girl Killian despite what others say. the price you pay to see the girl behind the name is the loss of a limb and a chunk of your wallet more often than not, she charges usually you see."
I stared at the hand, "and it works? just like a normal hand?"
"That it does." He wiggled the fingers, "she really is a Gizmo that girl."
"yes. so let her be amazing, don't tell a soul and leave that girl alone. I'm doing you a favor Killian by telling you not to bother her."
He pulled the glove back on, making his way back out to the bar.
That hand was made by a thirteen year old girl?
What a fascinating woman. Most girls would worry about their hand in marriage and she was creating literal hands.
"Since you know so much about Gizmo do you know if she was ever associated with a Ginnie Gladstone?"
He shook his head sadly, "no I never heard the name in my life, even if she did I doubt Gizmo would say something. A mystery that girl. Why are so so bent on finding this woman?"
I rubbed at my jaw, "she's got something quite a few people are looking for. If Gizmo knows anything its best she tell, otherwise both she and Ginnie could be in quite a pinch."
"What does she got?"
"Don't know. I was hired to find her and keep her safe, not to know why."
He frowned, "well..I like to think Gizmo has her own arse covered. She's smart in more than just gadgets."
I pursed my lips.
Still one tiny english woman could only do so much for herself. "Samson. I think I need a drink and the company of a good woman."
He laughed, "just stay away from my niece you dog."
YOU ARE READING
Tick Tock (on hiatus)Science Fiction
Gizmo, owner of her own shop Curiosities and Oddities, was everything and anything one wold expect of a woman of her time. Independant. Smart. A soon to be spinster. Bitter. Inventor. Mad scientist. Harlot. or so the rumors go. ~~ "Miss Gizmo!" I pe...