Steel Bound Solution

Marlowe’s steps were heavy, and not just because of the increasing assortment of metallic objects clinging to him. He approached the entrance of the reputed workshop that the harmonica had directed him to. As he approached the main gate, he was pulled sideways, his shoulder magnetically adhering to a sign that informed him the best Melbourne steel fabricators weren’t far away.

After a comedic dance with the signpost, he finally entered the workshop, where he was greeted by a woman in a soot-streaked apron, her hair up in a bun held together with what appeared to be a wrench.

“You must be Marlowe,” she said, not even looking up from her sketching. “Your, erm, reputation precedes you.” Her eyes glanced at a fork and spoon twirling around his waist like impromptu hula hoops.

“Well, yes. And you are?”

“Call me Faye Fabricate,” she replied, finally setting down her pencil. “Provider of the most premium steel tubing solutions Melbourne has ever seen. Let’s get you sorted.”

Guiding him past smelters, hammers and rolls of steel, she stopped at a peculiar-looking contraption that resembled an overgrown washing machine.

“That,” Faye said, pointing with a flair, “is the Demagnetiser 3000!”

“Looks like a washing machine,” Marlowe remarked.

“It was, in its past life. But with a few tweaks, it now turns magnetic men back to regular men.”

Without further ado, Marlowe was ushered inside. With a dramatic push of buttons, a whirl of colours, and a tune that sounded suspiciously like elevator music, the machine rumbled to life. Marlowe’s world spun, accompanied by a symphony of clinking, clanking, and the faint hum of Faye singing along to the elevator tune.

Minutes, or maybe hours later, the machine stopped. Marlowe stepped out, lighter and magnet-free. The spoons, forks, and even the harmonica lay in a defeated heap around the Demagnetiser.

Faye handed him a bill, which, Marlowe noted with dismay, wasn’t affected by any magnetic curse and would have to be paid in full.

“Thanks, Ms. Fabricate,” he sighed, emptying his pockets. “Any advice on where I might avoid any more magical mayhem?”

Faye chuckled, “Head to Brisbane. Just watch out for tattoos.”

With a dubious look, Marlowe decided he didn’t even want to know. Heading out, Marlowe’s mind was set. Brisbane it was! He needed a fresh start, far away from any steel, stone or spoon. What could possibly go wrong?