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 next extract, you can find the previous part here:

 

Victorian Steampunk Plague Doctor Assassin

And now we leave Trikashi again and head back to the caravan Mother and her digging offspring…

The Book Of End

 

Hebri, her brother Finis and the baby Marlin had been breaking sweat  since the sun had risen, pink and pale, in the watery pool of sky above the shoulders of the land, which wriggled in the morning’s cooling breath and shrugged off their coverlet of mist to show themselves, green and living and sulking in the soggy dew. 

The baby was not the baby anymore, of course, he was nearly five and would much rather have preferred it if they would call him Captain Mud, as he so often instructed them. But ‘The baby’ is a phrase full of glue, and it had stuck to Marlin as sticky things will, and he shouldered its grim burden like he shouldered his spade and all the other junk that life or his siblings handed him. 

The autumn hills were gold around them with shaggy manes of forest, white with the stubble of strange ravaged crops and velvet with thick pelts of dark green stems which had yet to be harvested, and perhaps now never would be

Into the dew slick grass their shovels tore, down into the fragrant richness of the black topsoil that gave up its sweet perfume of decay, promising the luscious pleasures of mudpies and faerie feasts. 

But the children were after bigger game today. Tempting though it was, they were putting the mudpies aside, with all their other childish occupations, because today they had a plan. To dig. 

To dig and dig until they reached the sky on the other side of the world. 

Hebri had written a poem about it:

We seek, we seek 

where the stars lie deep

Down we dare to delve

Where no spade has been

Where no mortal has seen

Down we dare to delve

We seek the stars in their kingdom of night

We seek the wisdom of their light

With heart in hand and faith in might

Down we dare to delve 

Finis had drawn a map, artistically decorated with obscure, but necessarily complicated, equational calculations, graphically depicting depths and substances and expenditure of energies and reclaims and fuel intakes and times and temperatures and tools, and his spidery writing danced over the back of the brown paper envelope on which he had drawn it, as dense and intricate as the veins on a dragonfly’s wing. 

And Marlin had done as they told him and packed three apples, a block of cheese, a bottle of rootbeer and the last of the homemade thing their mother called bread into a large red pillowcase he called a bag. 

 

There you go, I hope you enjoyed reading the next little extract and thankyou so so much for taking the time to read along and for all your kind ‘likes’ and words of support and encouragement- they keep me going!  🙂 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!

 

 

9 responses

  1. Into the dew slick grass their shovels tore, down into the fragrant richness of the black topsoil that gave up its sweet perfume of decay, promising the luscious pleasures of mudpies and faerie feasts.
    ❤️😍❤️
    How I love the lush tapestries you weave with words to breathe life to your Worlds. The last time I read such rich, potent, renderings of things earthly or elemental they’d been written by Ted Hughes. I can’t rustle up a finer compliment than that. While DH Lawrence expended a lot of words, they were too…flouncy – florid – too self aware. More method than emotion…whereas Hughes wrenches words from the very marrow of his bones, in blood. You seem to rip yours from your heart.🥰

    The baby was not the baby anymore, of course, he was nearly five and would much rather have preferred it if they would call him Captain Mud, as he so often instructed them. But ‘The baby’ is a phrase full of glue, and it had stuck to Marlin as sticky things will, and he shouldered its grim burden like he shouldered his spade and all the other junk that life or his siblings handed him.
    ❤️❤️❤️
    Oh this is adorable…and such a perfect portrayal of being a little person amongst bigger ones.😁 So, so, true that I’m still grinning in recognition as I write. Thank you, as always, for sharing your wonderful snippets with us. 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    January 15, 2020 at 9:41 am

    • smithandskarry1

      Your kind words always leave me speechless! (a feat in itself! XD) I’m so over the moon that you love this world and its characters so much and can only blush and feel utterly fraudulent and undeserving in the face of such praise! Hugest thanks for being such a generous and huge hearted treasure xxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      January 17, 2020 at 11:55 am

      • Awww…you’re welcome…and well worthy of every word I waft your way.🥰 You’re very welcome and need never feel fraudulent, my scrumptious. You deserve heaps more…and thank you for being so splendiferously you. xxxxxxxxxxxx ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        January 17, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      • smithandskarry1

        Aw, back at your lovely self gorgeous one! xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        January 21, 2020 at 8:38 am

      • ❤️🥰❤️ xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        January 21, 2020 at 9:04 am

  2. Amazing stuff. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 15, 2020 at 11:22 am

    • smithandskarry1

      Aw thankyou so much! I’m really glad you’re enjoying it and thankyou for taking the time to say so! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 17, 2020 at 11:33 am

  3. It gets better every week! Thanks Penny!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 15, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Thanks so much Icky I’m really glad you’re enjoying it! 😀

      Like

      January 17, 2020 at 11:33 am

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