I have been a member of the Scribblers’ Den for about a year now. We are a group of steampunk writers. We chat. We share stories. We have virtual tea parties.
The members are wonderfully supportive, offering suggestions and even buying my book! Our founder, Jack, has set up several pages, including Member Blog Listing and Empire Booksellers – where books published by members are listed.
Last week (on Talk Like a Pirate Day – 19th September), Scribblers celebrated its first birthday. Huzzah! We drank tea, shared virtual cake and participated in long-distance tea duels. There was even a celebratory flash fiction competition. One day to write and submit. 250 words (ish).
Here is my offering:
RIGHT ON TIME
by Karen J Carlisle
(c)2015 All rights reserved.
Steam hissed; scalding liquid spat from the joints. Saffie grabbed another damp rag and pressed it against the rattling pipe. Liquid seeped into her thick leather gloves. She winced as heat wrapped around her hand.
“Roland, we haven’t got all day.” She glared across the room at her brother, cowering behind a bench.
Roland swallowed and approached the contraption. He glanced over the array of buttons and levers on its panel, brushed his hand through his hair and grimaced. “Which one, Saffie?”
“The red one. Push the red one!”
Roland slammed the oversized red button, ducked to avoid another surge of pressurised vapour and backed away from the contraption.
The pressure eased under Saffie’s palm. “Hand me the wrench.”
Roland asked as he plopped the wrench into her outstretched hand. “Will it still work?”
A final wisp of steam escaped from the coupling as Saffie tightened the nut. She nodded.
“It should suffice.”
A bell tinkled on the wall behind them.
“And just in time, it seems,” she replied.
Saffie peeled off her gloves, tossed them onto the bench and examined the contraption.
Liquid whispered along the pipe into a large copper plated cistern sitting atop a large oak box. Gauge needles flickered as the pressure started to rise again. The contraption jiggled rhythmically. Saffie flicked the switch next to the red button. A steady stream of auburn liquid poured from a side spigot, filling a copper pot.
Saffie straightened her skirts and smiled. “Fetch the good china for our guests, Roland.”