Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Silk and Steel

OK, yay! We made it to Friday 😀 XD Things are rather like a pressure cooker here but we’re still alive and got a weekend full of small people birthday things – think anime and pizza – to look forward to :). Hope you guys are still safe and well and surviving the madness 😀 S here is the next bit – the duke has sent two letters to his nearest and dearest to ask for their support; we’ve met Captain Gabriel, and here’s the next recipient – someone we’ve met before… 😉 XD

 

The side of Colonel Hogarth’s mouth twitched upwards in a self satisfied smirk as he flipped over the envelope and cut through the Duke’s seal with quick flick of his letter knife.

 
Ha! He said to himself, before even reading it.

 
And then Ha! Again after quickly casting an eye over its general contents.

 
It was just as he had suspected – the young duke was feeling the tightening tug of the strands of web that had been weaving around him for quite some time now. Poor chap. He had seemed like such a good choice for duke at the time, but he had failed miserably to make good on all his philanthropic rhetoric – showing far too much deference to the ‘Sokrai and the church, and not enough to basic moral decency.

 
The union riots had almost brought the skydocks to a standstill and part of The Cinders were affected too, with factory workers beginning to see that if the dockers could demand better pay and working conditions then perhaps so could they.

 
The wrath of the ‘Stokrai was growing in the wake of the jewel robberies, which the watch seemed utterly incapable of putting a stop to, and the mutterings below the surface of The Groves were like the furious buzzings of an enraged hornet’s nest about to spew forth its venomous hosts.

 
Yes, he reflected as he pushed the letter aside and sipped his mushroom tea, Spyro and Ros had handled the thing well; as he knew they would or he never would have agreed to be involved; no matter how hard Agathri had pushed and cajoled, and clucked and fussed and thrown all her toys out of the pram – as was her wont.

 
He chuckled to himself and twisted his grey moustache thoughtfully. If Spyro Mendicci thought he could lay claim to the city of Ryzym so easily when Agathri already had everyone’s toes tapping to her own tune, the results of this little circus were going to prove most amusing!

 
His amber eyes sparkled with mischief then and his Rokani heritage was even more apparent than usual on his foxy features. Perhaps he would just add a pinch of his own spice to this simmering cauldron of calamity. Afterall, he had not yet decided if or how he was going to make Silk and Steel pay for the theft of his precious demonsong.

 
Not that he was short of demonsong, but it was HIS demonsong; the principle of the thing had to be respected. If Agathri and Ros’s little side-plans (His wicked grin widened hugely at the delicious thought that Mendicci was not a privy to those machinations!) saw fruition, then he would soon be Duke himself, and there would have to be a darn sight more respect from these young street hoodlums then!

 
He sipped his tea and chuckled to himself as he thought of how he would play the thing out. Something bold and spectacularly devastating he decided with a wicked grin; why should the girls have all the fun with their dastardly scheming eh? Oh, he’d probably let them redeem themselves somehow afterwards, but let them sweat and stew for a bit first! Ha!

 
“You’re laughing to yourself,” Agathri observed from the doorway before drifting to his side in soft clouds of flowing flame-like chiffon. “What dreadful things are you planning, darling and for whom?”

 
She draped herself around his broad shoulders and he took her hand, caressed it fondly and then pressed it to his mouth in an affectionate smack of lips and bristling moustache.

 
“Ha! Going to put the wind up some of your lot.” He chortled, drawing her round and onto his knee as if she were still the capricious chorus girl and he the dashing hunter captain of The Demon’s Demise.

 
“Now don’t you dare rock the boat, you diabolical beast!” she scolded, nestling her head against his strong chest and letting her inner flames swell in gentle warning that she could get angry if she really wanted to.

 
“Nonsense old girl! Nothing like a rocked boat to keep the crew on their toes! Exactly what they need at a time like this – something unexpected…”

 
“I have already attended to the unexpected element of the plan – and you are it, remember? Mendicci thinks he setting the duke up for a fall, Beaufort will take his place and Silk and Steel will co-partner him in their new ‘trading company’. In reality, by the time the poor duke falls, Beaufort will be safely locked in the asylum, Mendicci will be… dealt with… and you, my darling, will find the whole of Ryzym clamouring for you to take control. You’ll be duke and…”

 
“Yes. And you, my little vixen, will be queen, let’s not forget that.” He said, tickling her ribs so that she squealed and squirmed and slapped his chest to make him stop.

 
“It’s duchess, you silly man!” she laughed, suddenly plucking the letter from his desk and sitting up to read it.

 
“Oh it’s queen alright,” he insisted, “queen of hearts I call you. Always had us chaps wrapped round your little finger and always will I dare say.”

 
She turned from the letter and cupped his face in her delicate hand, “you don’t begrudge me my little bits of tiffin? Do you? You know I never give two hoots about yours…”

 
“No, no. You do as you please – seems only fair as I can do nothing but whatever takes my fancy.” He winked and she smiled indulgently at him and returned her attention to the letter.

 
“So, poor Bastion wishes to see you. Hardly surprising really, you are his godfather and the one who persuaded him to run for duke in the first place.” She giggled and clapped a hand to her mouth, her eyes dancing with mischievous sparks of flame. “Oh, my love! Aren’t we so very, very dreadfully naughty!?!”

 

 

 

5 responses

  1. “Ha!”😹 Oh, they’re a devilish delight indeedy…and would spoil another couple, as my gran used to say😁 They’re adorable together and utterly irresistible in all their mischief ‘n’ mayhem making glee. Their chemistry just sizzles off the screen…and yet, there are unexpected moments of tenderness too, making their love feel so very authentic.

    I love their fiendish plotting and incorrigible relishing of it. Their chortles, chuckles, tickles and giggles are a joy in themselves and every time the Colonel unleashed a Ha! I cracked up.😹 Everytime he thought something that ended in an exclamation mark I couldn’t help but slip one in. Ha!

    Ooh, this is luscious:❤️

    “You’re laughing to yourself,” Agathri observed from the doorway before drifting to his side in soft clouds of flowing flame-like chiffon. “What dreadful things are you planning, darling and for whom?” She draped herself around his broad shoulders and he took her hand, caressed it fondly and then pressed it to his mouth in an affectionate smack of lips and bristling moustache.

    “Ha! Going to put the wind up some of your lot.” He chortled, drawing her round and onto his knee as if she were still the capricious chorus girl and he the dashing hunter captain of The Demon’s Demise.

    “Now don’t you dare rock the boat, you diabolical beast!” she scolded, nestling her head against his strong chest and letting her inner flames swell in gentle warning that she could get angry if she really wanted to.

    How I loved Agarthi’s entrance; ‘drifting to his side in soft clouds of flowing flame like chiffon…’🥰 and the last line I’ve quoted. It’s such a delectable contrast; both absolutely lethal but delighting in the wickedness of their schemes like scamps in a schoolyard.😄

    ❤️Sheer magic.❤️ Thank you for sharing it my scrumptious… ’twas such a treat to be back in their world. I hope that your weekend of small peeps celebrations goes off splendiferously and that a fabulous time of pizza scoffing and party time pizzazz is had by all.❤️ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    June 12, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    • Penny Blake

      Aw thankyou my precious one! I’m so so glad you love them – I’ll let you in a secret then, they’re heavily inspired by my nanna and grandad – a wicked pair of sculduggerous flappers if ever there were XD – so it means the world that you loved them and saw all I’d hoped I’d managed to convey of their zest and cheekiness and genuine love and ‘all that jazz’ – hugest heart hugs! – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      Liked by 1 person

      June 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm

      • Ooh that makes them all the more delightful😸 Yay for nanna & grandad and their rapscallion revelries😻🤗Oh I did, I adored them…and I’m chuffed t’bits if I saw so much as a smidge of their mischief ‘n’ magic ❤️🥰❤️ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        June 25, 2020 at 4:02 am

  2. Spyro is our hero, right?
    I’m not sure who I’m supposed to be rooting for at this point. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    June 13, 2020 at 11:57 am

    • Penny Blake

      Lol, sounds like I’ve done a fab job of confusing you! Woops! XD Sorry… XD …. Umm, how to explain my weirdo plot-mongering… Spyro is what I would call the ‘pivitol character’ … certainly I wouldn’t call him a hero…. although lots of people have in the past I think, if they’d met him at the right time…. as for the rest of it, well, it’s a bit like a hero-buffet… as in, pick your favourite and cross your fingers they come out on top? There’s no ‘good guy’ or ‘bad guy’ … so root for who you like best I guess? Hope that hasn’t made it even more confusing! XD

      Liked by 1 person

      June 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm

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