Mmm. SteamPunk . . .what can I say? I have given it a go. For those who don't know what SteamPunk is, it is an alternative reality where technologies are in existence. I guess it;'s a mix of fantasy, sci-fi and history, usually Victorian. Well here's my effort for the Dirty Goggles Blog Hop run by those pesky SteamPunkers bullishink., Ruth Long, brewedbohemian which I don't think I have had the pleasure and Ash Viper himself, Steven.
I wish I could say it has been fun but at least the challenge is now over and I can sleep better tonight. Not sure I have captured the whole SteamPunk genre correctly but it's all I have so, in the woods of Woody . . . . play nice. xxx
Title: An Adventurous Soul
Word count: 698
Author: Lizzie Koch
An Adventurous Soul
“Now, Barnabas, tell me about yourself,” Clara asked placing his application down on the walnut desk. She leant back in her leather chair, a look of faint interest fleeting across her face.
“ I've been interested in air ships all my life. My father flew the very first one for Queen Victoria’s coronation and I would like to follow in his footsteps. I also have been creating my own designs for longer but quicker flights.” He fumbled in his leather satchel, pulling out papers that appeared slightly crumpled. Clara’s flicker of interest belied her nonchalant manner as she remained motionless causing Barnabas to hastily put the papers back in his satchel.
“I guess working for the Corporation is far better than being one of the endless drones working in the mines. But we do need them. This is the age of steam after all and what is steam without coal?” A small smile threatened to crease her strawberries and cream complexion before disappearing to her stern school mistress approach. For someone so young, Clara appeared much wiser than her years; her mannerisms and dress were conservative even for an older woman. On Clara, they appeared to age her. But Barnabas could feel the attraction to her regardless.
“Is that your Imp?” Barnabas asked as a little creature sat on the desk, eyeing Barnabas suspiciously.
“Yes. And when you sign, you’ll be assigned your own Imp. They’re very useful creatures and I don’t see how anyone survives without them.” She petted his head affectionately and for the first time showed real emotion, before turning back to Barnabas. “So you see yourself as a pilot?”
“Yes, flying across great oceans, finding new technologies. I have heard that there is a material out there that will change the industry. I aim to find it, harness it and become wealthy.”
“I like your ambition, keeps a girl young; an ambitious, hungry heart. You will go far.”
“So I have the job?” A broad grin spread across his face showing unusually white teeth.
“My, my Barnabas; such wonderful teeth.” For the first time, Clara’s emotions were aimed at him and he felt lifted.
“I have invented the most wonderful contraption which cleans your teeth. It is a prototype at present and I have an audience next week with Queen Victoria.”
“Yet you still want to fly a run of the mill airship?”
“Oh yes. Flying is in my blood. Inventing keeps me sane.”
“You are quite the appealing character Barnabas. Let me take you on a guided tour.” She linked her arm in his which fitted perfectly as they strode around the house. Clara chatted comfortably, pointing out architecture and features as Barnabas took it all in. They walked up the ornate staircase to a set of large oak doors. A range of clicks and hissing could be heard as the many locks opened before the wooden doors sprung wide, revealing a room full of portraits of what looked like Clara. She never seemed to age.
Bookcases covered one wall from floor to ceiling but there were no books. Instead, there were little wooden boxes, some more decorative than others.
“Take a seat Barnabas.” There was one simple wooden chair and Barnabas sat as Clara set up a camera. “Once we have your photo, you are an employee of the Corporation and you will be given your own Imp.” She pondered over the boxes, selecting one as her Imp was ready to take the photo.
“ I've never had my photo taken. Despite all the technological advances, the myths of photography are strong.”
“Oh Barnabas. You don’t believe all that nonsense of cameras capturing your soul.” She gave a light-hearted chuckle and Barnabas relaxed.
The Imp pressed the button and a flash filled the room, leaving a faint smell of burning. Barnabas watched helplessly as the flash swirled around his body, dragging his essence from him, drifted back towards Clara where it settled in the box. Clara closed the lid.
“Thank you for your soul Barnabas, my secret to eternal youth. Unfortunate to lose such a brilliant mind but I’m sure you’ll be right at home in the mines with the rest of the drones.”