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 we’re back to little Trikashi again – I hope all the jumping around isn’t too confusing… actually I hope it is a teensy bit confusing because that’s the vibe I’m going for at this point lol…  but also hopefully by the end it will all perfect make sense… either because of my swish skillz or (more likely) because I’ve driven you all as bonkers as I am… a-hem…

If you are confused and want to read the previous Trikashi part that links directly to this one again you can find it here: https://blakeandwight.com/2019/12/18/writingwednesday-in-the-cities-of-cloaks-and-daggers-9/

The Book Of Feathers

 

“Just one?” it was only five steps later but of course in the time Trikashi had been sitting on the floor, pondering which of the seemingly infinite number of questions they should ask, you could have taken hundreds of steps. 

“It does not matter how many times you ask that same question, Trikashi,” the voice sounded weary and not a little strained, “the answer is always going to be one. One, one, one. That is the way this works.”

A thoughtful silence passed during which there was a creak and a clank and a groan and a shifting as if the someone old and large was settling down beside the child in the dark. The drip had been dripping steadily and ominously in the background- deep and echoing and wet – and Trikashi found it distracting. They wondered if time could be measured in drips as well as steps… or perhaps even instead? They opened their mouth to ask and then something occurred to them… “Oh! Oh, I see! It doesn’t really though, does it?”

“What?”

“It doesn’t really work the way you say it does. I mean, you said initially I can only ask one question – and that initially made me think it was only within your power to answer one question, but then I made a mistake which you didn’t notice, and that meant you made a mistake – quite a few in fact, which leads me to believe…”

“Hmph? I don’t make mistakes, Trikashi. Impetuous, nosy little folk like you make the mistakes. I am the mistake child, not the one who makes them. Tsk!”

“But I’ve asked lots of questions and you’ve answered all of them!” Trikashi protested. “Not countin’ the ones I asked when I first came in which you didn’t answer of course…”

Silence.

 “I’ve almost lost count of the number of times I’ve asked you if I’m only allowed one question and you keep answering me.”

Silence.

“Unless… oh.” Trikashi sounded suddenly crest fallen. “That’s it isn’t it? I asked my one question and you answered it and that’s it. Nothing. Even when you get the answer, life doesn’t change? Is that it? Is this all some big bujo trick? Are they just gonna come and fetch me back to the wheel now?”

There was a pause, but not a silent one. A pause filled with a slow, grating, gloating sound which might have been a laugh and might have been something sharp being made sharper. 

“No, Trikashi. No one is coming to fetch you back to the wheel. But you are right, well done, I did make a mistake.” 

 

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!

4 responses

  1. We all agree: Penny is number one, one, one!

    Happy Trails!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 22, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Aw thanks Icky! Sorry for the late reply – I am in no way an organised puppy right now! (or, indeed, ever!) XD

      Liked by 1 person

      January 29, 2020 at 1:34 pm

  2. We do indeedy, Ichabod.😊

    They wondered if time could be measured in drips as well as steps…
    “I’ve almost lost count of the number of times I’ve asked you if I’m only allowed one question and you keep answering me.”
    There was a pause, but not a silent one. A pause filled with a slow, grating, gloating sound which might have been a laugh and might have been something sharp being made sharper.

    How I love these lines. 🥰 I adore the way this scene unfolds and the unfurling of Trikashi’s thoughts. ❤️

    hopefully by the end it will all perfect make sense… either because of my swish skillz or (more likely) because I’ve driven you all as bonkers as I am… a-hem…
    😂😁😂
    I cannot think of a better way to go bonkers, or finer company in which to do so.🥰 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    January 22, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Aw thankyou my treasure, I’m so glad you enjoyed it … and that you’re happy for me to drive you bonkers! XD XD XD I’m so sorry for the late reply – wherever the ball is I am definitely not on it! (as usual! XD ) xxxxx

      Like

      January 29, 2020 at 1:37 pm

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