Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

#WritingWednesday: In The Cities Of Cloaks And Daggers

Happy Wednesday! I’m using Wednesdays to share some short bursts of the stories I’m working on… because that way, I figure, I’ll be motivated to keep working on them

Right now (besides the Smith and Skarry adventures, which get quite enough attention in my other posts) I’m working on an LGBTQIA+ Mythpunk standalone novel called In The Cities Of Cloaks And Daggers whose central themes are identity, voice and power.

It’s based in a world where Time grows like grass and is harvested, where people of the four cities – Gnarl, Ash, Slain and Caligari – wear their whole lives on their backs in the form of patchwork story Cloaks. Those who don’t have a Cloak, have no clue as to who they are. Those who have Cloaks guard them jealously for fear of the desperate Daggers who would steal them for themselves.

The novel is divided into four books – The Book Of Bujo (which btw is a complicated word whose closest meaning would be heist/ joke/ prank/ trick), The Book Of Scales, The Book of Feathers and The Book Of End – but in the opening the reader finds themselves in a burned down library where the pages of all these books have been scattered, charred and disarrayed across the floor so the narrative has to be pieced together in fragments and the time line dawns slowly rather than being obvious from the start.

It’s ambitious, I’m scared about failing at the vision I’m aiming for, but I love pushing the boundaries of what I can do and I’ve done similar things with short stories so I really hope I can make it work, let’s see… This is the fifth extract, you can find the fourth part here: #WritingWednesday: In The Cities Of Cloaks And Daggers

 

Victorian Steampunk Plague Doctor Assassin

 

The Duchess listened to the wind screaming protest against the canvas of the Land Kite sail. There was no other obstacle to its passage across the Seaglass Isle for another six or so kilometers ; then it would shatter into gusts against the buttresses of Gnarl and howl, fragmented and broken as the citizens, through the twisted streets, biting flesh in ire at the city’s presence here in its domain.

She frowned beneath her black leather beaked mask ; Nav had indicated that this would be their last foray into Gnarl and while the others had all made at least some progress here, The Duchess would be heading to Caligari with no further clue as to who, or what, she was, or might once have been. It was a vexing situation and beneath her black lace gloves her mechanical hands bawled unconsciously into fists, betraying her frustration.

 She could sway them to stay a little longer ; even The Magon, with all their great strength, was no match for her bladecraft… but that wasn’t the way this worked. The Navigator could see things hidden in The Shattered Sky ; patterns and signs encrypted in the miasma of scales and feathers which rolled above the land in prismatic clouds – a denundated landscape of shifting grains. 

The Navigator knew exactly where they should go next and what they should do when they got there and they’d all learnt the hard way that following her guidance was always the sensible option ; The Grass Temple had been a mistake but it wasn’t ever going to be repeated, if The Navigator said it was time to move on, then that was what they would do.

 

There you go, I hope you enjoyed reading the next little extract 🙂 What are you writing at the moment? Feel free to share links to your own works in progress or Writing Wednesday posts in the comments 🙂

Blessings on all your writing endeavours!

4 responses

  1. Oh, thank you for the snippet, in which you’ve somehow made four paragraphs feel epic. 😻 The sense of enormity is palpable, as vivid as it’s vastness.🥰 I suspect it would be a wondrous thing to read the memoirs of your wind, it’s personification is magnificent.❤️ I loved it.🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    November 13, 2019 at 4:01 am

    • smithandskarry1

      Aw thankyou so so much for your lovely words as always, I’m thrilled you felt that vastness because it was what I was trying to convey in a tight space of words the stretched out space of both the plain they are travelling across and the story stretching forward and back from that point. The wind… I’m SO glad you think that because yes, the wind has a special role in this place and most definitely a personality and story all of their own. Sorry for the late reply too – I’ve had an appointment and some family staying so have some catching up to do! lol! x

      Liked by 1 person

      November 15, 2019 at 10:06 am

      • Aw…you’re welcome 🥰 I’m so chuffed I read/saw the things you hoped you’d conveyed. ❤️ You captured the vastness wonderfully, it feels so expansive in scope and time scale too. Yay…I’m delighted I read the wind right.😻 It felt ver significant to me. I adored its role in the snippet and am so looking forward to seeing how their story pans out 💞 No worries! I hope you’ve enjoyed your family time & have a fabulous weekend🌹xx

        Liked by 1 person

        November 15, 2019 at 4:57 pm

  2. Pingback: #WritingWednesday: In The Cities Of Cloaks And Daggers | Blake And Wight . com

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