• The warm ironwood was smooth to the touch. The shaping tools in my hand were cause for that, not the stead of my muscles. The gouge carved the wood, whittling away at the nicks and chips of age on the old piece of lumber. Each edge, each carve, had to be equal. Any change in size or weight would be noticed instantly. As small shavings refused to cease dropping to the worktable, the wood gained more and more shape, it’s hard lines and gentle curves symmetrical and perfect as time passed. Soon, the work was finished. For now. I set my work on a soft piece of butter leather.

    I procured the metal cylinder, a soft piece of mild steel, its faces’ luster lost to time and rust. A new tool, a soft wire brush, skimmed the surface of the block, again, again, again, again, and again, the gentle stroke taking layer by layer of time from the steel. Soon, the faces of the cylinder were mirrored, my face sooty and tired, greasy and patient, staring back at me. I grinned, and set the block on the table.

    The utter silence of the shop was broken by the gentle tapping of a dye, the protesting squeak of metal upon metal, and the mild shhhk of oiled steel upon steel. Soon, the metal cylinder carried six holes, each equal width, each in the exact same spot around the rim of the metal. One’s finger could fit to the first knuckle in each hole. The holes had a perforated rim; a small divet slightly wider than the rest, at the beginning of the interior.

    The metal cylinder was set next to the dark handle, as if grouped with a brother. Another block of metal was procured; this a thick rectangular prism of tool steel, hard and tough, that begged to be shaped. Its edges shined, it’s surfaces clean and beautiful, but it’s core was scratched and broken from a poor forge. A thin saw was set to it; blade no thicker than a hair, my fingers slow and deliberate, for fear of breaking the thin tooling saw.

    The hum and rumble of the thin saw cutting slowly and patiently through the near-diamond hard metal was drawn out over a great length of time. Soon, though, the metal was cut. An elongated shape, irregular yet common, set on the table. Again the tapping of a dye, and the squeal of metal upon metal, and then the sound of something most do not hear. The inside of the newly made hole had thin ridges in the tube that seemed important. Yet subtle, as if they were meant to be there, but for an unknown reason.

    The strange block was set with its brothers, to be ignored. For now. A new piece of metal was retrieved, much smaller, along with another one. And another. The pieces were gently tooled into familiar shapes, yet unfamiliar shapes to anyone else. Each one had a specific purpose; a narrow needle, a thin hammer, a spring, and a thin rounded bar. The pieces were inspected and perfected, a thin metal file running over the edges, to match the form etched in my hands memory.

    The wood, block, and cylinder were retrieved, and the small pieces inserted in their rightful places. Screws tightened, bolts cycled, and the final form was achieved.

    I opened my drawer, and took 3 bullets, each with a fine handmade brass cartridge. The bullets were set in the rotating cylinder of the crafted revolver, and cycled. The hammer was pulled, drawing the needle and tensing the spring, and the thin trigger was pulled.
    The thunder of the powder erupting the lead from the revolver was music of the finest timbre, which I had to hear more. I ignored the smoking hole in the concrete shop wall, and set the barrel to my ear. The music thundered again, and I slumped forward, grinning as I left the world.