It was high noon, and Arnold Cirattus had finally landed his battered skyship at the repair shop. Well, maybe ‘landed’ was a strong term. ‘Crashed’ might be better. The sleek craft was badly damaged, the result of not watching for sky-whales. And he had bought the skyship just last week!
It was really quite upsetting.

Arnold stood by the repair dock, wiping his fashionable glasses on his coat and tapping his boot impatiently. The mechanic was late. If there was one thing Arnold could not abide, it was tardiness. He adjusted his top hat where it sat on top of his brown curls, and huffed irritably.

He was about to return to the head office and complain when she appeared.

A goddess in oil-soaked coveralls.

She came through the bay gate, adjusting the cloth over her hair and waving a wrench distractedly.

“Sorry I’m late, Bay 19 turned out to be a cracked fuel pump and not an injector problem, I am going to kill Jones…”
She trailed off as she noticed Arnold’s blatant stare.

“…This is your ship, right?” She asked, somewhat wary of his attention.

“Glah,” Arnold provided helpfully.

“Riiight.” Said the mechanic. “Well, yeh’ve managed to bash your ship up pretty good, but I think we can have her fixed soon …”
Belatedly, Arnold noticed a nametag on her filthy coveralls. It read “Evi Lamorrin”.

The goddess had a name. A name that sounded as beautiful as the heavenly chorus itself…

Wasting no time, Evi began to remove the engine casing. “…Ya don’t have to stick around, ya know, this is gonna take a while.” She told Arnold, wiping at her brow with a grimy hand.

“Right. Say, about what time do you think you’ll be done today?” asked Arnold cheerfully.

“…’Bout 5:00, why?” Evi responded distractedly, elbow-deep in the engine.

“We’ll go to a restaurant. My treat,” declared Arnold.

She threw the wrench at him.

The next day, Arnold was back at the repair yard. Allegedly, it was to check on the progress of his ship, but the object of his gaze laid that to rest.

She was beautiful while she worked, his goddess. Several strands of her dark hair had escaped their covering and were dangling in her face. She brushed them aside and cursed quietly as she worked.

At long last, Evi looked up at him. “If yer gonna stare, ya might as well make yerself useful. Hand me that spanner.” Obediently, Arnold picked up a tool and handed it over.

“That’s a screwdriver, genius.”

Oh.
This really wasn’t going nearly as well as he had hoped.

The next day, Arnold returned yet again.
It just so happened that this was Valentines Day, and he rather conveniently found himself without a partner. Dressed to the nines, Arnold stepped into the repair yard. He would invite the goddess out to lunch, and they would have a good time.

He sauntered into the yard, looking for her, only to find Evi bent over the open lev-engine of his airship.

She was glaring at the device as if it had insulted her mother.

Plans forgotten, Arnold hurried over.
“Love, what’s wrong?” he asked, a worried edge to his tone.

She shot him a look, but didn’t throw the wrench this time.

“Ah, the third piston’s out of whack and I need another pair of hands to hold it steady while I work on it,” Evi explained. “And all the other mechanics are off with their sweethearts today.” She continued to glare at the engine as if this was all its fault.

“Ah,” suggested Arnold, removing his jacket. “Perhaps I can be of assistance? I do have a pair of hands, after all.”

He held them up for her inspection and wiggled his fingers, giving her a winning smile.

Evi responded with a flat stare.
“…Right. I suppose that’ll have to do. C’mon over here, rich boy, and help me fix your ship.”

Arnold gleefully dashed over and did as he was bid, putting his carefully manicured hands in the greasy engine without hesitation. She showed him where to hold, and worked around him. Eventually, he graduated to handing her tools when she wanted them, or swapping out her oil rags.

Arnold spent the entire afternoon working blissfully at her side. He hardly noticed how late it was until Evi stood, stretching her back and yawning.

“Right, I think that does it for today.” She looked over at him, a speculative look in her eyes. “…Ya weren’t half bad today, ya know.” she said as she headed for the gate. She paused on the way out, sending a last look back at Arnold.

“Tell ya what, since ya worked your share today, we’ll go out for dinner tonight. My treat.”

Arnold couldn’t remember ever feeling quite this happy before.

He chased after Evi with a huge, silly grin on his face. This was the best Valentine’s Day ever.

About the Author

GoldfishGal is an aspiring writer who was introduced to steampunk by her flamboyant sky-gypsy cousin and never looked back. She hopes to meet othe writers and improve her skills, and making a costume also sounds super-nice.