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Rest For The Wicked- Steampunk Flash Fiction

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
I am doing a 30 day flash fiction challenge in an attempt to improve my writing. This is the second day and the second story. This was my attempt at a steampunk setting. You should know that all of my steampunk knowledge comes for the brief google search I did this morning. Anyways I hope you like it.

Submitted: October 03, 2018

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Submitted: October 03, 2018

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Day 2 of 30

Prompt: You're an assassin with a sixth sense. You help ghosts seek out vengeance for the wrong that was done to them while they were alive.

 

"Could you please shut up?" Ariana yelled rolling over. She covered her head with a pillow. The quiet weeping coming from the apparition in the corner was driving her insane. Ariana rolled over and threw her pillow at it. The pillow hit the wall and dropped to the floor.

Exasperated, Ariana sat up, looking at the ghost for the first time since it appeared earlier this morning.

It was a woman close to Ariana's own age. Early twenties. She had, what Ariana assumed was blonde hair, the wispiness of her made it hard to tell. Between sobs Ariana could see a deep cut to her throat. So deep there would have been bone showing if ghosts had bones. She was still wearing the fancy lace dress and corset from the night she died.

"There, there," Ariana said in a monotone voice, "What happened?" Years of avenging the dead had left her less than sympathetic.

The girl looked up, a lost look in her eyes, "He killed me," her voice faded away as she recalled the memories, "Edward killed me."

Ariana nodded, "Oh, sweetie of course he did. You wouldn't be here if he hadn't. Who is Edward?"

The girl floated over to Ariana's bed and sat at the foot, "He was my date last night, at the ball."

Ariana sat up, "The Magistrate's ball?" The ghost nodded before breaking into another round of sobbing.

"Are you telling me that you went to the ball with Edward Lionheart? The Magistrate's son?" Asked Ariana.

The girl nodded, a small smile played at her lips, "I know. He could have chosen anyone and he chose me.” She wiped her eyes and sniffed, “My dad is a gear maker, he designed all the gears in the new steam plant," she sighed, "He was so proud that I was going to the ball, he bought me this dress. He said he wanted me to look like a real aristocrat."

Ariana was officially interested. Finally, a ghost with a story. She laced up her brown leather corset over a long sleeve white shirt. Her skirt was forest green; pulled up in ruffles in the front, and long in the back. She placed a foot on the trunk at the end of her bed. Then, she rolled her stockings up her leg; clipping them to the mini suspenders of her garter belt. Once they were on she finished the outfit with ankle high black boots with a four-inch heel and a black top hat. She checked herself out in the mirror, tossing her red hair over her shoulders. She picked up her compression pack. Shrugging into the shoulder straps, buckling them together across her chest. Last, she hung a large hammer with a compressed telescopic handle from her belt.

"Let's go see if we can't find this Edward," for the first time the girl really smiled. It hurt Ariana's heart.

The valve operator was waiting for her by the elevator, "Ground floor, Miss?"

"Yes, thank you Linus," she said. Linus quickly turned one wheel then another, exhaust steam shot out of a relief valve down the hall. The elevator door opened.

Ariana got in and left Linus to his valves.

"Do you know where Edward is now?" She asked the ghost.

The ghost thought for a minute, "He said he had business up town. Some big, new contract to sign."

"Well, it would be faster for you to look for him then me. I will start heading uptown. You try to find him," Ariana said.

The girl vanished. Ariana went to the underground parking lot beneath her apartment building. She rode a brass and copper motorcycle, like everything else, it was steam powered. She checked the oil level and water level, then lit the pilot light. She would have to wait for it to warm up.

She checked the gauges after half an hour. Her pressure gauge was halfway, so she climbed on.

"I found him," said the ghost girl as she reappeared in front of Ariana. Adjusting a dial and then another, Ariana distributed the pressure evenly, "Great, where's he at?"

"The engineering office on McNab St," said the ghost.

Ariana twisted the throttle plowing through the ghost. Weaving through traffic, Ariana made her way up town. Parking across the street from a tall, red brick building, labeled Pickett Industries. Corrosion resistant metal tubes protruded from the building. Looped around, then reentering and exiting, before releasing the exhaust into the air.

Since the ghost had woken her up early, 1 pm was early for Ariana, the sun had yet to go down. She sat back on her bike and waited. More and more people filtered out of the building as the day ended. Edward Lionheart didn't leave until it was dark. He wasn't alone, he walked beside a young woman with blonde hair. She was clutching a stack of papers, laughing at something Edward said. Ariana assumed she was paralegal or secretary. He held open the door of his car and closed it behind her. Ariana followed the car through town until it parked at an abandoned sky port. The skeleton of a broken-down double balloon zeppelin was the only thing left at port.

Ariana parked her bike and killed the engine.

A scream cut through the night, "Help me! Somebody, help me!"

Ariana could see the woman running away from the car towards the zeppelin. Grabbing the hammer head by the small handle she pulled it off her belt. She reached behind her and grabbed an airline, plugging it into the bottom of the hammers handle. Once the fitting locked into place she activated the hammer. The compressed air extended the handle and pressurized the head. She threw it over her shoulder and started towards the girl.

"Please, why are you doing this?" The girl had fallen to the ground. She wore a black and blue skirt with suspenders over a frilly white blouse. The blouse was ripped exposing part of her bra, and her fishnet stockings were torn revealing a cut on her knee from the fall.

Edward stood over her. A steel cleaver with a brass handle in his right hand, "Why? Because this is the only thing I can't buy. This feeling." He held out his hand. It was shaking, "The excitement, the adrenaline." He took a deep breath, "Thank you." He raised the cleaver above his head.

"No, thank you," said Ariana from behind him. Edward spun around. Ariana's hammer hit Edward in the face. The air pressure released on impact causing his head to explode.

Ariana was smiling, her chest heaved with heavy breathing, "He's right about the adrenaline." The girl got to her feet, running to Ariana and embracing her in a tight hug.

"Thank you so much. I owe you my life," she kissed Ariana on the cheek. Ariana looked at the ghost girl. She was smiling, the cut on her throat was gone.

“Thank you,” she said as she evaporated.

Ariana and the secretary walked back to her motorcycle. She revved the engine and peeled out. Leaving a black line of smoking rubber on the asphalt.


© Copyright 2018 JackCrawford. All rights reserved.

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