Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Silk and Steel

Ahoi! I am so so sorry it’s taken so long to rescue the file but it’s here now and I think I’ve grasped where we left off (if not then shout at me and I’ll try again! XD)

So to recap because it’s been so long – Vraxi has stolen some demonsong and plans to sneak some into Xander’s ale so that he can try and talk to / befriend the demon which is bound inside Xander’s soul. He hopes the three of them can form an alliance that will free his friend from the burden and stigma of being demon-bound. He has also promised Edmund he will attend his dissertation speech on ‘demons of love and light’ at the library and that afterwards they’ll have dinner together and try to figure a way to separate Xander from his demon completely so that the two souls can be free.

Here’s the playlist link again to set the mood if you’d like to 🙂

“Another round?” Vraxi asked politely, too extatic to care that he was now in danger of losing his third month’s rent. Might have to bet my soul in a minute, he thought, and suppressed a gleeful giggle at the notion that he was sitting here playing black jack with a demon.

A demon who was also his friend / his friend who was also a demon… he couldn’t decide which way the truth rang better? It had been a busy day in the end, what with the excitements the morning had brought, and then work, and then a… misunderstanding which had lead to an altercation followed by a spot of light exercise through the city drainage system… Xander had been particularly out of sorts again by the end of it all and it had been a surprisingly easy matter to slip the demonsong into his evening pint and then wait for it to work its magic.

“You fascinate me,” Xander The Demon said, sounding for all the world like Xander The Demon-Bound, now that they had established the growling and snarling noises to be ineffectual and therefore obsolete.

“The feeling is mutual, I promise you,” Vraxi said, grinning from ear to ear as he dealt out the cards.

“Do all your kind take such delight in losing?”

That brought the yag up sharp and to his senses and his eyes narrowed and then widened suddenly in alarm as he realised the actual extent of his debt.

He chuckled at his own idiocy, but gathered the cards back to the deck and slipped them safely back into his belt pouch. “Not when we are playing in earnest,” he said flippantly, “but of course, bets are never honoured in informal games like this one… between friends, so the winning and losing hardly matters.” He waved a hand dismissively at the tokens on the table, “we play for fun, you understand? The pleasure of company and conversation.”

Xander-The -Demon narrowed his own eyes at the yag, “You are trying to trick me out of my gain.”

“But of course!” Vraxi said smoothly, “It is what we do, and you must learn how to deal with it without getting your shirt in a twist. In fact you have a lot to learn if you are ever to walk out of that door and into the world without getting us all into mischief.”

He linked his fingers and leaned in across the table in a conspiratorial fashion. “There are different kinds of people,” he said earnestly. “Some, like the formidable Doctor, who you may meet some day, they take everything very seriously and they let everyone know about it at once. They wear their hearts on their sleeves…er, not literally!” he added quickly when he saw the demon’s eyebrows skyrocket to his brow, “it’s merely an expression – to say they let their feelings be known at all times and to everyone.

Then there are others, like our mutual friend Xander here, and Spyro Mendicci, you might meet him as well, who never let anyone know what is going on beneath ‘the mask’” he swept his hand dramatically across his face.”

“And which are you?” Xander The Demon asked, suspiciously.

“I,” said the yag grinning broadly, “I am the high wire artiste, balancing between them and trying to make sure that nobody dies.” He knocked back his drink and stood up from the table with a flourish, “least of all me…” he jabbed a finger at the demon “…or my friends.”

“What are you doing now?”

Vraxi turned with his hand on the doorknob, “taking you out, did I not say as much?”

The demon frowned, “a moment ago you said I had a lot to learn.”

“And have you not learnt it?” Vraxi asked impatiently “I would rather not repeat the lesson – the night wanes and we have an engagement!”

HAPPY EQUINOX WEEKEND MY LOVELIES! I hope you have an utterly blessed time 🙂

3 responses

  1. Oh how lovely tis to have you back and be gifted the return of Silk & Steel too.🥰 I’m sorry I’m so tardy commenting, I’ve been surviving on two hours sleep snatched here ‘n’ there of late and find it a very lot tricky to poke my head above the paraphet to leave words anywhere.
    How I love the graphic and the beyond beautiful lines from the story.
    This chapter is irresistible. Tis all the things I love mostest about the scoundrels in one scrumptious serving. ❤️I loved it. And love you tooo, my precious one. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous story with us. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx🌹❤️🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    April 9, 2021 at 6:10 am

    • Penny Blake

      Oh my precious angel I’m so so sorry to hear you’ve been suffering and having to scrape by with not enough resources to keep you firing on all fabulous cyllinders! 😦 Hugest and most gentle tentacular hugs my precious soul. Please please please don’t ever feel you have to leave comments and things if you are not feeling 100% I sooooo know what it’s like to feel like butter stretched over too much bread as Bilbo so pointedly puts it! And it breaks my heart to think of you feeling that way my lovely one so I would much rather you were resting up or doing whatvere it is that you find restorative under such circs rather than worrying about reading and commenting on my random witterings XD That having been said tho I am over the moon elated whenever you do have the time and energy to drop by and soooooooooo happy that you’re still enjoying the story and that you love the miscreant cast as much as I do! I hope your Easter was able to be a restorative one my precious and I hope you are soon feeling better – I love you too my sugar cube; to the mooooooon and back! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      April 12, 2021 at 8:24 am

      • Aw…thank you so much for every precious word and for my gentle hug. How scrumptious of you. Oh that’s the perfect quote, bless his furry feets🥰 Your ‘random witterings’ are beamed to the world as wondiferous treasures to behold so I wouldn’t miss them for the world. 😻😻 Aw… I love it so. Tis an utter delight and I relish every delicious word you waft our way. Oh…its cast are sublime.❤️ Every time I read a new snippet, I have a new favourite scene. Every plot twist is as delectable as tis dastardly. Like biting into the best of tastiest choux buns. I find myself grinning in glee or wanting to snatch the scoundrels up and protect them from the consequences of their latest cunning plan. 😁 . Thank you for sharing them with us my scrumptious strudel. And for every precious sentiment from your priceless heart. I’m okay…just a smidge wiped out. I can function within these walls it seems…but stepping beyond them–even virtually–feels… too much nuff.😳 I love you too…every bit as truly madly deeply as you deserve. ❤️❤️❤️xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        April 13, 2021 at 7:19 am

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