Steel Magnetism

Marlowe Mismatch, having bid Cheltenham and its golden opportunities goodbye, found himself in Melbourne with a newfound challenge. The Footstone, in ridding him of his golden curse, granted him an equally troublesome gift—or, rather, another hitch. It appeared he’d become a living magnet.

As he ambled along the Melbourne streets, the sheer extent of his magnetic misfortune became evident. Cutlery vaulted from café tables, attaching themselves to his pants. Zippers from jackets of passing strangers zipped towards him, creating awkward encounters. Even the city’s bicycles, much to the dismay of their riders, veered off-course to stick to Marlowe’s frame.

Lamenting his peculiar situation, he paused by a street performer playing an upbeat tune on a harmonica. Before the song could reach its climax, the harmonica zipped out of the performer’s mouth and affixed itself onto Marlowe’s cheek.

“Oi! That’s my harmonica!” the street performer exclaimed, rushing towards Marlowe.

“I’m truly sorry,” Marlowe grimaced, trying to pull the harmonica off his face, only to have it spring back each time.

The harmonica, seemingly with a mind of its own, started to produce melodic notes. “Oi, mate, if you want to solve your magnetic mess, why not seek out steel fabricators based near Melbourne? They’ve got knowledge, and more importantly, non-magnetic steel.”

Baffled by the talking harmonica, Marlowe was nonetheless grateful. “Thanks! But, wait—how are you talking?”

The harmonica emitted a bluesy note. “Long story. It involves a wizard, a misplaced spell, and a particularly bad rendition of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’ Not important now. Go on, lad! Seek your solution!”

With the harmonica’s directive ringing in his ears, Marlowe set his sights on the city’s outskirts. Along the way, he passed construction sites with signboards advertising steel lintels for sale in Melbourne, attracting even more metallic attention.

As the sun began to set, Marlowe’s determination grew. He’d faced golden footprints and now magnetic mayhem; whatever lay ahead at the steel fabricator’s was just another twist in his incredibly mismatched journey.