Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

CampNaNo: Silk and Steel

Ahoi! I hope this finds you still safe and well and enjoying life as best you can!

This is a Mythpunk, dystopian, LGBTQIA+, monster-friendship novella based around a combination of Hungarian, Rromani, Hindu and Polish Mythology so I will try and get organised and post some more about the background myths on Mondays.

Premise:

“The world ended, the angels and the devils took who they wanted, but some of us were left behind… so we opened an antiques shop…”

Soundtrack / Playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVwm8ToS8lYqeirlFPVVrMDeB_0mIBAnB

 

PART 4:

“I had no idea you’d be joining us, Doctor.” Spyro said, regaining his composure, and, again, Xander noted the dual tone of his cadence – was he threatening the alchemist, or attempting to seduce him? ‘Good luck with either’ he thought to himself, but was careful to keep his face a perfect mask of neutrality. It was a look he’d spent hours perfecting in front of the mirror, not from vanity but because he had no doubts at all that his life, if it could be called such, could one day depend on it.

Nobody else in the room moved or spoke. Even Ros stood beside her chair as the massive dusk djin and the antiques dealer faced off in another of their constant power plays.

“Are you my keeper now, Spyro?” the Ghani asked, a deep purple light swelling like ink beneath his translucent skin as he wiped his hands carefully all over the white tea towel, streaking it with red.

“I think it evident that no one could ever hope to hold such a claim.” Spyro replied, and took his seat at the head of the table, helping himself to another plate from the stack.

The doctor seated himself opposite Vraxi and the little Yag smiled pleasantly at him, “care for a fig?” he asked, proffering the plate.

Was that a smile? Was that a twinkle deep in those dark eyes? A subtle rise of colour in the larger djin’s complexion as he took the plate, and filled his own. Vraxi decided it was and gave himself a mental pat on the back. Healing with humour, he told himself, works every time.

“Is my godson still here?” the doctor asked, turning to Ros.

“Your godson has been here for the past six weeks.” Spyro said, his tone still not conveying what he thought about the fact, “no doubt you passed him, passed out, on your way in.”

The doctor did smile this time, and even Vraxi had to suppress a shudder. “I note he has taken a shine to your chesterfield.” he said smoothly. “But I did not come in through the front.”

“Of course. Well, why would you?” Spyro replied, flashing the doctor one of his more sinister smiles.

“Will his father still not have him back?” Ros asked, doing nothing to conceal the slight plea in her voice. “I know I said he could stay, love, but we are trying to run an antiques shop here, not a knocking shop, and he and his… girlfriend… are leaving stains.”

The djin roared with laughter at that, the rickety terraced building rumbling with his mirth and his colour rising within him in clouds of indigo light. “It won’t be long now,” he said soothingly, dabbing his mouth carefully with a napkin. “I am speaking with The Vesperai Host tomorrow night and I’ve no doubt they will make Ahrkann see reason, if he cannot already see it himself. The boy is a genius…”

‘He’s a menace.’ Xander thought, but held his tongue and applied himself studiously to the mushrooms. He had no love for the Vesperai at the best of times, souls were hard enough to hold onto around here without having creatures that fed off them hanging about. But Arden McKade would be a menace in any form – a self centred upper class little prick who cared more about impressing his girlfriend than who he was going to blow up or incinerate next with his latest ‘invention’.

“Ahrkann must concede that demon hunting is not nearly as dangerous as it used to be,” the doctor was saying, “not with the new skyships we have now. Arden could do far worse with his life than join the fleet as an alchemical-engineer, and it’s certain he won’t settle on anything else.”

“Except the chesterfield?” Vraxi offered, and this time even Xander had to chuckle.

A knock at the back door brought them all to their senses and for a few tense seconds nobody moved or spoke, except Vraxi who slid silently upstairs and peered out of the landing window down into the darkness of the back yard.

Below him he could see what appeared to be a young man, with untidy white hair and a muffler pulled high up over his chin, struggling with a precarious mountain of books. Vraxi watched the half-demon for a while, wondering if he was going to put on a show and send the tomes flying all over the courtyard, but when it seemed evident that all he was likely to do was catch a cold if left out there any longer, the Yag gave a little sigh and skipped lightly back to the kitchen.

“It’s Edmund.” He said, taking his seat at the table and reaching for a plate of meats.

3 responses

  1. I was chuckling all the way through. 😂 It’s such a masterful tapestry of observations, quips, quirky asides and intrigue. I love the role of the antique shop, the shop itself…and its occupants, squatters and their delicious shenanigans. You’ve peppered it with such wonderful wit & imagery, while capturing a uniquely vivid sense of place, setting & time. All of which is encapsulated brilliantly in these few lines:

    “Of course. Well, why would you?” Spyro replied, flashing the doctor one of his more sinister smiles.😈

    “Will his father still not have him back?” Ros asked, doing nothing to conceal the slight plea in her voice. “I know I said he could stay, love, but we are trying to run an antiques shop here, not a knocking shop, and he and his… girlfriend… are leaving stains.”😂

    The djin roared with laughter at that, the rickety terraced building rumbling with his mirth and his colour rising within him in clouds of indigo light💜

    Tis as utterly delightful as your scrumptious self💜

    Liked by 1 person

    April 11, 2020 at 4:00 am

    • Penny Blake

      Oh thankyou so so much my lovely for your fabulous words of encouragement! I’m over the moon you’re enjoying it! It’s a bit different from my more recent stuff so I’m a bit nervous about it! Aaaand of course as it was an rpg so some of the characters aren’t my creation I’m nervous about doing them justice too! XD I’m especially glad you feel the time and place come across ok – that’s my major worry I think as I tend to waffle on with masses of description but I wanted to keep description minimal here in favour of action to get that ‘chaotic pressure cooker’ feel… lol, I don’t even know what I’m rambling on about anymore! XD But I’m over the moon delighted that you’r enjoying it! xxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      April 14, 2020 at 8:31 am

      • hehe…it made sense to me…if that’s any consolation😋 Aw…you need not be nervous, you’ve pulled off your new path with aplomb. You captured the sense of time & place wonderfully well, twas one of the things that struck me mostest: how very ‘there’ I felt…and how invested I felt from the first, so vivid did it seem. Oh, I am indeedy! 💖 I shall look forward to further pressure cooking with happy anticipation🥰 xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        April 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm

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