“Pa!” yelled young Jasper Coggleford, racing into the workshop and almost tripping on his apron in his haste. “You have to come and see our new project. It’s huge!”
Jeremiah, the senior partner of Coggleford & Son, Purveyors of Fine Furniture to the Gentry, smiled. “Not another dresser, is it? If so, we need to build up your muscles if you’re to help me move it.”
“No, Pa, much bigger than that. Just come and see.”
Jasper led his father to the largest room in Steampunk-Shrunk Towers.
I should explain here that all but one of the inhabitants of this residence are at one twelfth the size of you or I. This is due to a space-time anomaly caused by a time machine malfunction which I don’t have the energy to go into right now.
Only Mrs S, the owner of said residence, is what we would consider normal sized. It was she who had acquired the object that had so excited Jasper’s imagination.
“Gracious heavens!” cried Jeremiah, as he surveyed the edifice that stood before them.
It was a vintage clock case, now empty except for some curious markings on the back wall and a small spring protruding from one side. The internal space was more than a foot tall, although quite narrow.
“Told you it was big, Pa,” Jasper declared, quite unnecessarily. “Mrs S says we can make what we like with it, once we’ve cleaned it up and restored it. She says her son and his partner found it for a fiver in an antique shop. They thought it would interest us.”
Jeremiah scratched his head. “We’re furniture restorers, lad, not house builders. Don’t you think it’s rather a lot for us to take on?”
“‘Course not, Pa,” grinned the boy. “If we put in a new ceiling and a ladder, we can have a room with an attic above it. I’m sure Mister Charles and Mister Henry will lend a hand.”
“Well, I suppose they would,” Coggleford Senior agreed slowly.
He continued with his careful inspection of the clock case.
“The structure is sound, and the woodwork will come up lovely with a bit of attention. Just look at those pillars – real beauties.”
“I knew you’d love it Pa,” laughed the boy. “Shall we get started?”
“I think we’d better, son. This is going to be a long job.”
And so the clock case restoration begins.