I have been reading some steampunk novels as of late (Colleen Gleason’s Stoker & Holmes series and Lindsay Buroker’s Dragon Blood series) and so I was pleased when the mood struck me during writers exercises with my amazeballs writers group ISG (Ink Slingers Guild) and my own steampunk story came into fruition. I may never do anything with these exercises but then again, maybe I will give them more life later down the road. Either way, I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy!
(At every ISG meeting we undertake at least one writing exercise where three members each pick one word and we then have five minutes to compose a story that must include those words.)
#1 (The 3 words: Curly, Accomplished, Technology)
Solora stared at the curly metal wire hanging from the bottom of her steam bike. She had only recently learned to ride and hadn’t anticipated the silly thing would break down on her first ride out of the city. The sun beat down on her dark hair and her face shimmered, the sweat not quite beading up. Her goggles hung heavily around her neck as she stood. The road stretch before and behind her, the trees hanging overhead and only barely keeping the heat at bay.
Kicking the bronze metal of the rear engine, she cursed. Here she was an accomplished expert in food technologies, famous in her own right and she was stuck in the middle of nowhere with a stupid displaced curly wire.
She got on her knees again and looked beneath the bike.
“You look like you need some help,” a low drawl came from behind.
Solora’s head swung up, narrowly missing the heavy kickstand.
“Do you think so?,” she shot at the man who stood inappropriately just wearing just slacks and a tee. He lifted his muscled shoulders and his lips curled into a smile.
“Just thought I’d check, but if you don’t need me…”
Solora sighed. “Fine, yes, I seem to have broken down.”
#2 (The 3 words: Iris, Ink, Tube)
He was kneeling down now and she barely noticed the beautiful iris lining the road with that backside on display. He chuckled, bringing a frown to her smooth skin.
“What it is?” she asked?
“One of your steam tubes broke and the wire is supposed to be holding it up.”
“Do you know how to fix it? I can pay you.”
He stood, his blues eyes flashing in the bright sun.
“I can fix it but you won’t be going anywhere until we can order in another tube,”
“How long will that take? I’m in a terrible rush.”
“I should be able to have it by the end of the day…tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow! No. No that can’t be. Is there anyone available to drive me the remaining way to Augustine?”
The man leaned against a nearby oak tree, folding his arms across his chest and looking at her inquisitively. Solora went to speak again when a lock of her inky hair took that moment to fall directly into her mouth.
#3 (The 3 words: Eagles, Reflection, Campus)
Solora spat out the lock of hair that had blown into her mouth. The man’s irritating smile got slightly wider.
“I must get to the campus in Augustine. Do you have a car?”
His lips pierced as he seemed to muse over the questions. Solora thought she might burst at his casual demeanor when there was so much to be done. So many things to be prepared and she was still several hours from Augustine. She was about to speak again when she caught a fleeting reflection in the bronze of her steam bike. She glanced into the sky in time to see two Eagles flying overhead. Time slowed for a just a moment as she had the opportunity to admire their beauty before they disappeared behind a treetop. She turned back to the man who hadn’t moved but now had a long strip of grass hanging from his full lips.
“Please.” Solora said.
“Name’s Manny,” he said and held out a hand.
“Solora,” she said and took his hand. It wasn’t too hot and wasn’t too cold. And her small hand seemed to fit snuggly inside.
“I’d be pleased to give you a ride to Augustine, Miss Solora. But I insist you join me at the cottage for lunch. And of course, so I can change into something more appropriate.”
And because it seems appropriate, I give you a picture of my hubbie and I.