“No’ quite,” Ringo Flinthammer muttered, sitting on a dock protruding out into Loch Modan, and working on the refrigeration unit with his arclight spanner. It was the hottest day of the year, and the sun was merciless, even through his favorite old fishing hat. “There’s this thingy Ah cannae quite get goin’ right.”
“‘Thingy?’ Really? Is that what gnomish engineers call it? A ‘thingy?’” Beli tapped a finger to one damp temple, as she floated on the surface of the lake. “‘Goblin’ plus ‘engineering’ equals KNOW HOW, baby! Anyone who tells ye otherwise simply doesn’t know how to add.”
“That’s nice,” Ringo growled, wiping away the sweat dangling from his brow. “Ye wanna take a crack at this, then, if ye’re so bloody smart?”
“Nope, watching the kid,” Beli said, her eyes closed, a leash tied to her wrist connected to Bael squatting in the shallows, throwing hard, stale bread at wary ducks. “How are ye going to sleep tonight, if ye cannae get that working to cool the house? Ye sweat like a Goldshire whore in church most nights as it is.”
“That’s real nice, that is … KHAZ’GOROTH ON A CRACKER!” Ringo yelped as he cut his finger with the spanner. He stuck the wounded digit in his mouth and sucked a moment. “Ah reckon Ah’ll sleep outside. Take me chances with the skeeters.”
“Skee-er,” Bael repeated sagely.
“Aye,” Ringo nodded, pronouncing it more slowly and clearly for the benefit of his son. “‘Mo-squee-ter.’”
“Skee-er,” Bael said again.
“Aye, much better.”
“I’m waitin’ fer yer captain to arrest me fer lettin’ ye pollute a child’s brain with yer incomprehensible gibberish. I reckon most cannae fathom one word in three that comes out of yer daft mouth.”
“Not in the mood for yer sass, Beli,” Ringo said, trying another tool. “’s too bloody hot fer …”
Ringo went silent.
“What?” Beli opened her eyes. “Why have ye stopped tryin’? Do ye need me to take a look?”
Ringo peered inside the machine, a crestfallen look on his face.
“Reckon it won’t do no good,” he said, putting the non-functional cooling device down on the dock and stood up. “Ah’m off fer a pint of lukewarm beer, then.”
“Wait,” Beli said, splashing her way out of the water after him. “What is it? Why can’t ye get it goin’ again?”
“No coolant, is there?” Ringo called over his shoulder, as Beli watched his sweat-stained retreating back. “The ice stone has melted.”
((Inspired by Too Many Annas’ Friday Five-Hundred: Midsummer Sun challenge.))
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