The Birth of a Steampunk Tale

Posts tagged “Friday 500

Friday 500

On Twitter, fellow writer Lauren Scribe Harris, asked that we share the first 500 words of our WIP as Friday500. I don’t usually do this kind of thing, but I thought, why not? So here you go.

Salvage Yard

Chapter 1

A battered and rust-spotted jalopy of a wagon rose high into the evening sky, crucified on a pair of weathered stilts. It seemed to defy gravity, threatening to fall from its roost at any moment. The name Verner’s Salvage Yard had been painted across its broad sides in a meticulous calligraphic script, and the whole monstrosity served as a road sign for the establishment of the same name—a name I should have recognized.

Over the previous six months, I had ridden my motorcycle past the make-shift landmark no less than ten times. That being the case, it was somewhat embarrassing to learn that an old friend of mine, a man named Havelock Verner, whom I had known for the better part of five-hundred years, had been living there, running the business, for quite some time.

My shame was worsened by the fact that the only reason I now knew was because he had called on me at my blacksmithing shop, told me of his whereabouts and then, without a word, stormed off.

Because one does not often run into an old friend of five-hundred years, I closed up shop early

As we walked up to the front door, I sniffed at the air. There was a thick, lingering smell of oxidation, interrupted by occasional gusts that carried the mingled scents of native grass and dog hair.

“Cage, How big is this place?” Constance asked.

“I’m not sure.” I pointed to a engine-covered ridge. “There are more machines beyond that hill. I’d say it’s a half-mile wide and a half-mile deep.”

“You could crash an airship in this place and no one would notice.”

Even though I was a bit unsettled by the fact we were venturing into another wolf’s territory, I found myself chuckling at her comment. “I’m sure Havelock would notice. If not right away, he’d surely realize it when someone asked to purchase a spare wheel that was buried under a couple hundred pounds of charred airframe.”

It seemed that Havelock’s tiny house doubled as the salvage yard’s business office.  There were no other structures nearby. We climbed the rickety steps, stopped at his door, and stood there.

Not knocking.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I haven’t seen Havelock in fifty years.”

“Let’s not wait another fifty.” She pushed me to the side and knocked three times on the door.

A long minute passed, and the door didn’t open to us.

“I don’t think he wants to be disturbed,” I said.

“Nonsense,” my friend responded. She pointed past the building to a wrought iron fence. He’s probably out back somewhere. You said it yourself, that scrap yard is probably half a mile wide. We should take a walk back there and see if we can find him.”