Thursday, December 5, 2013

Instauration Of An Age - Pt 3 (Steampunk) An Apparition Appears

 Author note - I've decided to attempt to turn this series into a novella.  Therefore, I've taken down parts 1 and 2 for revision (and so as not to give the store away).  Sorry! But hey, if you enjoyed it, I might be looking for a few readers in January for feedback on the rough draft.

     "Tomorrow night then," Percy called cheerfully while I made my way to the door.  As I was girding myself against the raw night I heard an odd set of sounds. Scratch...scratch...scratch...thump. 
      Must be the cat I thought reassuringly to myself.
     Scratch...scratch...scratch...and then the most dismal, the most eerie, the most despairing call from the depths of what hell I knew not.
     "...for the love of God..." scratch...scratch...scratch...
     My bowels threatening to turn to water, I snatched an umbrella from the stand, took a deep breath and flung open the door to confront whatever apparition was on the other side.
     A thin figure in flapping tails unbent and stood up, weaving slightly and making a great effort to focus bloodshot eyes on mine. The almost perfect replica of Sir Percy Harrington held out what appeared to be part of a woman's brooch.
     "Bloody key won't fit," he said blearily.
     I sighed, envisioning the scene which was about to take place. My own bed was obviously not going to be an option after all. "Hullo Thorny. You know, Percy really is going to kill you this time."
     "Death seems rather inviting right now," he agreed, wobbling through the entry and into the room beyond.

     "APPALLING. Absolutely appalling. You REEK of gin and trollops. You appear as though you've had a roll in the street offal like a common cur. I would imagine you've gambled away EVERY SHILLING YOU LEFT WITH."  Percy seemed dangerously close to apoplexy, while his younger brother swayed and smiled benignly, punctuating the proceedings with an occasional hiccup.
     "Just...just...oh, get out of my sight. I can't bear it, I simply CANNOT bear it. Tomorrow I intend to go around to the barrister's and you shall be DISINHERITED. It gives me great pain to do so, but you leave me NO CHOICE. GET OUT."
      And Thornton William Harrington did so, drawing himself up with an injured air and exiting the room with only the slightest hint of a sideways list.
      Percy flung himself into a chair which promptly collapsed under the violence of his action. (I suddenly sympathized with the cat. No wonder it behaved as it did; life in the Harrington household seemed rather a risky business.)  I braced myself for another stream of oaths, but it appeared that Percy had vented his large supply of bile.  He merely sighed, an unconscious mirroring of his younger brother's long-suffering exhalation, and remained where he was, stretched out on the Persian rug.
     "David, as you know I am generally the most elegant and agreeable of hosts. However, I feel positively drained at the moment. Could you possibly find your own way to one of the guestrooms upstairs? Rummage about for whatever you might need. I'm sure we can find you some fresh attire in the morning. There's a good fellow."  And he wearily threw an arm over his eyes.
     I felt "rather drained" myself and so I stepped outside, dismissed the coachman, and quietly made my way back inside and up the stairs. There was really no need for the new electric lights; one only had to follow the wall-rattling snores already emanating from the first bedroom. I chose the room down the hall furthest from the racket. It was freezing, but I didn't have the energy to either lay a fire or summon someone to do it. In fact, I hadn't seen a single servant during the evening. And so I climbed into bed, still wearing my coat and muffler, and fell into a dream filled with men shouting, devilish felines, and fire.




  1. I dig the feel of the time period - you've nailed that so well, Lisa.

  2. I have been really enjoying this trip into the steampunk world of yours. You've got the makings of more than a novella (which one reader already suggested). Knowing the research you do, here is the beginning of a great series. I agree with Alex: you've nailed this so very, very well.

  3. I just knew this was going to be a "Fun" series. I love the new character Thornton, he is probably going to be my favourite, I do hope he gets plenty of page time, he will drive the others to distraction. :-)

  4. He's going to regret crashing at Percy's, isn't he? I'm with Steve -- this is a lot of fun!

  5. I think Thornton is going to be a lot of fun. You certainly captured the time period extremely well.

  6. Very cool! I have not read a lot of steampunk, but I think I'm going to find more now. So glad you shared!

  7. Oh wow, cool Li! I'm glad you found an idea that sunk so deep into your imagination. Good luck restructuring and perfecting the Steampunk puppy!