Oskar's Automata IThe shop with its walls displaying clocks, music boxes (with and without dancers), and other gearwork contraptions among its shelves, was quiet. An older man leaned against the frame of an open doorway into another room behind the shop. Customers could if they tried, glimpse into the interior if the door was open when they were present. Usually all that would be visible is a back wall, lined with shelves, except for a window at the top of the room. The wall opposite the tool and equipment laden shelves contained a workbench, behind which currently sat a dark-haired teen. Shelves and trays of small pieces requiring a magnifying lens to see stacked on either side of the middle of the workbench. The teen bent intently over the instrument in his hand. He checked its parts, ensuring everything was in its place and working. Satisfied, he handed it to the wiry man who had been watching him.
The man was older and more experienced, having just slightly more years on him to be the teen’s f
Oskar's Automata II§
Oskar introduced Celeste with the usual bit of fanfare at the theater. He was once again surprised when, after a he extended the invitation for audience members to inspect the model, the model raised an arm and indicated the audience members. They were allowed to feel the soft torso and limbs. They agreed Celeste had a more lifelike feel.
The three “sisters” danced, singly and together. As part of the show, people were called out of the audience to dance with the different models. Anna and Celeste seemed to be especially responsive to the movements of their dance partners.
After the show at the theater, Oskar returned to his house with Anna and Celeste. “You two have some more work tonight.” He set them behind a curtain he had set across the back of the large front room. On the other side was a busy, boisterous tavern atmosphere. “Perfect.”
Oskar stepped around the back and emerged on the side of the curtain. Some patrons saw him and shouted a