A Steampunk Story – A slightly longer version.

I set out to write a 42 word story for Deb Wittam’s challenge, See link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/42-words-32-a-steampunk-short-story/

But then I decided I wanted to write a slightly longer version as the character intrigued me. So here goes, I hope you like it:

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The crazy-haired inventor stared at his reflection in the looking-glass. His steam-powered hair rejuvenator made popping sounds as he lifted it to his head and tamed his wild white hair, His eyes protected from the diabolical heat by his green glass goggles.

By the standards of the day, he was naked, which meant that he was fully clothed in his underwear, which covered him from the neck to his knees in horizontally blue and grey striped wool.

Also, by the standards of the day he was seen as a delinquent, neither a wealthy aristocrat nor a hard-working citizen. He may well have been a dope fiend the way decent folk gave him a wide birth.

People failed to consider the inventor as a valid member of society but that didn’t stop them from using his steam-powered gyrocopter to travel to the Riviera for their summer hols, or his piston-powered potato masher. Even the good old Queen herself had been known to use his steam-powered titilatory discombobulator, for what purpose one can only guess but her innocent demeanour was clearly deceiving.

Just then, the heat from his hair rejuvenator set his eyebrows alight.

After the necessary application of Dr Quakular’s Eyebrow soother, he sat down and took his new invention apart again, his skills at tinkering were uncanny.  He was determined to prevail and always had to finish any invention he had started, which probably accounted for why he’d only invented three things so far and one of those had an appalling safety record. Thank goodness health and safety legislation was something only seen in science fiction novels.

 

I have included the following word prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Finish

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/your-daily-word-prompt-prevail-ydwordprompt-august-16-2020/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/rdp-sunday-deceiving/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/08/15/delinquent/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/uncanny/

 

 

42 Words #32 – A steampunk short story

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Deb Whittam has posted a challenge, to write a 42-word story in the style of Steampunk.

Click on the link to see her post:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/42-words-32/

 

Here is my attempt:

The crazy-haired inventor stared at his reflection in the looking-glass. His steam-powered hair rejuvenator made popping sounds as he lifted it to his head and tamed his wild white hair, His eyes protected from the diabolical heat by his green glass goggles.

 

 

50 Word Thursday #83 – Dream Couple

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And the Words: “Her lips were red and perfectly shaped, her cheeks blushed prettily when she spoke.” – Neil Gaiman, Stardust.

 

It was a special locale, decorated like a film set for some Tudor or medieval based drama.

In typical fashion for a British summer, it was raining when the couple rushed into the room, carrying luggage and holding an umbrella.

They were out of breath and had clearly enjoyed the whole escapade.

She fell ono the four-poster bed, panting and he gazed at her in awe.

Her lips were red and perfectly shaped, her cheeks blushed prettily when she spoke

“Lock the door, darling,” she said, breathily.

It was like a dream and he couldn’t believe she was his wife.

[100 words]

This story was written for the 50 word Thursday challenge:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/50-word-thursday-83/

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/08/05/dream-2/comment-page-1/#comment-34571

FOWC with Fandango — Escapade

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/08/05/rdp-wednesday-umbrella/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/08/05/your-daily-word-prompt-locale-ydwordprompt-August-5-2020/

 

 

 

 

50 Word Thursday # 81 – The Results

Well, another week has just flown by! The 50 Word Thursday challenge has come to an end. Click on the link to see the post:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/50-word-thursday-81/

The Rules:

  • Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!
  • The Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50-word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words)
  • Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments below.
  • HAVE FUN!

Here was the picture:

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And the Words: “Only the topmost ridges were in the sun now. The shadow in the valley was blue and Soft” – Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

 

So here are all the entries to this weeks challenge,

Please click on the link and have a read of these excellent short stories:

 

50 Word Thursday 7-16-20

 

50 Words Thursday- 81

 

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/07/20/50-word-thursday-81/

 

 

Deb Whittam, of the blog Twenty Four, who created this challenge originally, has agreed to co-host this challenge with me. I am honoured to hand the baton over to Debbie, who will post the next 50 Word Thursday Challenge!

Deb, over to you 🙂

50 Word Thursday #80 – Fugitive from Horror

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And the words:

“You don’t need to know what you’re escaping from to become a fugitive.” ― Bella Pollen, Midnight Cactus

 

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge hosted by Deb Whittam:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/50-word-thursday-80/

 

The room was dark and there was a musty smell that was vaguely familiar and unpleasant reminding her of a butchers shop.

Waking up and feeling her arms tied behind her back had been a bit of a shock and then the sight of the bodies hanging from the ceiling had really ruined her day.

The grinding noise of a chainsaw filled the room from somewhere below.

She screamed and then pulled herself together feeling ridiculous.

She remembered that she was good with knots and adept at getting her hands free. After a short while, the rope tying her hands fell to the floor and she untied the rope around her ankles.

Then she peered through a crack in the floorboards and saw below a moveable conveyer belt on which were piled bodies like those hanging around her, with their arms and legs tied, all moving towards vertical blades.

She couldn’t see anyone around and had no idea who was running this horror show, however, You don’t need to know what you’re escaping from to become a fugitive.

This was not the time to vacillate. Above her she saw the round open window, her means of escape; she took it.

[200 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/07/15/moveable-movable/

 

FOWC with Fandango — Vacillate

 

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/07/15/your-daily-word-prompt-rediculous-ydwordprompt-July-15-2020/

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/07/15/rdp-wednesday-horror/

 

50 Word Thursday #78 – Without due Caution.

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And the words:

“She launched herself at their leader.” – Lorraine Heath’s When A Duke Loves A Woman

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, hosted this week by Deb Whittam:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/50-word-thursday-78/

 

 

The lake was beautiful and tranquil, an oasis of peace in the middle of a busy zoo.

You could hear in the distance the occasional roar of a lion or the chatter of monkeys, but that didn’t detract from the stillness of that place.

Then a gang of youths appeared, shouting at each other, boasting and taunting.

On the edge of the lake swam some baby swans. One of the kids picked one up and then threw it at one of his friends who caught it.

The Mother swan came out of nowhere and she launched herself at their leader, squawking loudly with a frantic beating of her wings.

Now it’s an empirical fact that Mother swans have been known to kill to protect their young.

It’s a shame that those kids hadn’t known that or maybe they would have shown more caution and then they’d still be alive today.

[150 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/zoo-3/

FOWC with Fandango — Empirical

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/your-daily-word-prompt-caution-ydwordprompt-June-30-2020/

50 Word Thursday #76 – A Secret from the Past

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And the words:

“Sometimes, it’s not your secret to tell.” ― Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge. Click on the link below to take part, you have until Wednesday to post your own story.

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/50-word-thursday-76/

 

I grew up on the coast but it wasn’t a popular stretch of beach, the weather was far too changeable. The waves were too rough for swimming. Sometimes a group of surfers would come and use the beach, but mostly it was just dog walkers who trod that lonely stretch of sand.

It was commonly said that the beach was haunted. Everyone in that part of the world knew the tale of a woman found strangled on the beach but how her ghost still walked the shore on quiet nights calling out the name of her lover. It had been nearly a hundred years ago, but still, that legend haunted me. I felt some strange connection to the story, possibly because the name the people heard her call out was the same name given to me at birth, Lawrence.

It was my Uncle who gave me the opportunity to explore the past. He was a mad scientist who had discovered the secret of time travel, although you could only go backward through time never forward.

Sending me back to find out what had happened to that woman murdered on the beach had seemed the only way to stop thinking about it.

However, I found out more than I could cope with.

I could never share what I had discovered, sometimes it’s not your secret to tell, but it had been my fault. It was me who was responsible for that woman’s death and why her ghost called out my name.

[250 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/backward-2/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/your-daily-word-prompt-responsible-ydwordprompt-June-12-2020/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/rdp-friday-uncle/

 

50 Word Thursday – Strange Allegiances

 

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And the Words: “Nobody can be held responsible for the pranks of destiny.”
― Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge. If you want to take part, you have until Wednesday evening (GMT) click on the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/06/04/50-word-thursday-75/

 

There were a few of us in the wedding party and we decided to make the most of our time together before we all went our separate ways.

It seemed apt to take them to the quiet spot where Alice and I had met, on a walking tour. This was where it had started.

The gorge, normally dry had been transformed by the recent rains into a watering hole.

Alice enjoyed swimming and I knew she could not resist the sight of that cool water on that gloriously hot day.

It was two days after our wedding and already I had begun to think it wasn’t worth it. Sure, she was an heiress and was simply rolling in money, but she was one of those clingy types.

My cousin, his wife, my friends John and Laura and Alice’s Uncle George made up the rest of the gathering. We all looked on as Alice waded into the inviting waters.

There is no honour amongst thieves, so the old adage goes, and I have the distinction of being one of the best. Up to that point, I’d only indulged in the odd bit of bribery and blackmail, but if this paid off, I’d get my hands on a goldmine. My Allegiance was to myself alone.

I remember we were tucking into some cooked chicken when Alice started screaming, needless to say, we were too late.

Nobody can be held responsible for the pranks of destiny, at least that’s what the Judge said.

[250 Words]

 

I have also incorporated the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/rdp-tuesday-distinction/#like-9054

FOWC with Fandango — Apt

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/your-daily-word-prompt-allegiance-ydwordprompt-June-9-2020/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/honor/

 

 

 

The Day it Happened – Written for Esther Chilton’s competition

Esther Chilton has issued an invitation for people to submit a short story beginning with the line “I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.” 

Click on the link below if you want to take part.

https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/i-want-your-stories/comment-page-1/#comment-23407

 

The Day it Happened

 

I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.

It had started so innocently, the sun shone through the chink in the bedroom curtains almost like a nagging partner informing me that I should have been out of bed hours ago.

I untangled myself from the duvet that as usual, I’d wrapped myself up in for comfort.

Time to start another day. Another day like all the others, and yet how wrong I was.

This was not like any other. This was unique.

I went downstairs and turned on the kettle to make my morning beverage, slave to my caffeine fix, to give me some motivation that I could not conjure up without.

With a touch of shame, I drew back the curtains in the front room almost expecting a neighbourhood committee standing there tutting at the late hour, but there was no one.

Not a soul.

Not one of the many dog walkers who usually used the road as a cut-through on the way to the park. Not one of the usual joggers, skaters, cyclists or other keep-fit fanatics taking their daily exercise, making me feel like I should be joining them. No one enjoying this sunny day. 

A wave of intuition came over me. I felt the compulsion to switch on the television and in doing so I joined the rest of the world who were already glued to the screen watching the events unfold.

I had been oblivious, wrapped up in my own self, a symptom of my mental state but the world had been busy while I wasn’t looking.

There was an expression on the news announcers face that told far more than her words could. The talks had broken down. Those peace summits that people cling to like the man hanging off a cliff reaching out for a blade of grass. He knows the grass will not save him, yet he reaches out for it anyway, desperate. No one had expected them to work and yet now those expectations had been fulfilled, it was like a hammer blow.

It was the smell of the burnt toast that broke me from my entranced staring at the screen.

I was on the way to the kitchen when it had happened. The blinding flash and the force of air that knocked me flat on my back.

As I came to, I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.

As my consciousness began to fade, I knew.

This was the day it happened. The button had been pressed.

 

By Kristian Fogarty

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/sunny/

 

50 Word Thursday #73 – The Lady’s Revenge

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And the Words: ‘So which one am I supposed to be?’ I said. ‘The shooter, the maniac or the idiot who hid the body?’ – The Killing Floor by Lee Child. 

 

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge. If you want to take part you still have until Wednesday evening, click on the link below to take part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/50-word-thursday-73/

 

It was a typical day in the medieval re-enactment village. We were standing in line waiting to be dressed up and assume one of various characters. The man in front of me was given a chain mail shirt, a sword and a shield emblazoned with a lion rampant.

When It was my turn, I stood before a buxom lady dressed as a tavern wench, I couldn’t help but make a comment about her heaving bosom that brought a bloom of colour to her cheeks. I made reference to a nice pear, which is my favourite kind of innuendo. Apart from her blush, she didn’t react to my joke but treated it like plain blather. I suppose she’d heard it many times before.

‘So which one am I supposed to be?’ I said. ‘The shooter, the maniac or the idiot who hid the body?’ Asking about what character I was to be assigned.

The lady looked me up and down and tapped her lip with an impatient finger.

“Well, the role of the village idiot is still available, I think you’re more than qualified,” she said and handed me a cap with bells on and an inflated bladder on a stick.

[200 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/bosom/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/your-daily-word-prompt-blather-ydwordprompt-may-26-2020/

FOWC with Fandango — Innuendo

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/rdp-tuesday-bloom/