Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Æther Serenade

Okay this makes two posts in the same day, and this one's flash fiction as well, that's just how it goes apparently. This story is in response to another of Chuck Wendig's weekly challenges at terribleminds. The challenge called for mixing two genres from a list and this is supposed to be Steampunk Erotica (I'm not sure it qualifies as the latter as it's not hugely explicit, but still consider yourself warned). Oh and, yes the title is a nod to the Abney Park album Æther Shanties, which got played a lot while I was writing this.

Æther Serenade

Out of blood and chaos and burning the 'ship rose into the sky. For once the carnage Lydia was leaving behind was not of her own making, though doubtlessly she would be blamed for it. Looking back she saw columns of smoke winding up from the destruction, as eager as she to escape the smog-choked streets below. No other craft appeared from the murk and as those ashy beacons fell further and further astern she began to relax.
Her attention was drawn by the woman calmly examining one of the brass, arm-shaped automatums that helped her fly the airship. Shorter than herself, more slender, fey looking, fragile even, though Lydia already knew that that impression was an illusion. She saw again the angry mob, baying for blood and in it's midst this one beautiful, delicate seeming creature, utterly composed in the face of violent death.
As if sensing her attention the woman turned "I know you." she said "I've seen the wanted posters, 'Lydia Vincent, Terror of the Skies'. Hardly a flattering portrait, you're much more attractive in the flesh." the woman smiled impishly "My name's Violet."
"I'm not going to hurt you." Lydia didn't know why she was trying to reassure a woman so clearly unafraid, perhaps it was herself she was trying to reassure "Or do anything that might concern you."
"Like laying claim to my body for your own personal pleasure?" Violet suggested, she smiled wickedly at Lydia's shocked reaction "Oh honey, I'm a whore. The only thing that concerns me about that scenario is not getting paid." she inclined her head towards the distant smoke "Though, you just saved my life, so really you've earned it."
"What if I'm not interested?"
Violet shrugged and walked past Lydia to sit looking out over the clouds "Then I'll just have to find another way to repay you."
In silence she reached up and began to unpin the forest green top hat from her hair. She unwound each braid, shaking loose a deep red tumble of pre-raphaelite curls. Slowly she loosened her left glove, peeling it from her hand and dropping it into her upturned hat, Lydia watched, bewitched, as the right glove followed, just as deliberately. Violet stroked her hands down one leg, pale, slender fingers gliding over green velvet. She unlaced her ankle boots, flexing her toes as they were released from their stilletto-heeled prisons. And only then did she look up, smiling knowingly to see Lydia's gaze fixed upon her.
Violet stood, her eyes twinkling, she winked at Lydia, daring her to look away as she swept her hair over one shoulder and reached for the zipper at the nape of her neck. The dull roar of the engine and the squeaks of the mechanical arms seemed strangely hushed compared to the metallic hiss as the zip's teeth slowly unmeshed. Lydia found herself holding breath as Violet worked her blood-spattered dress over one shoulder at a time, then let it fall to the ground, stepping out of the circle it made on stockinged feet.
Violet tilted her head back, closing her eyes against the evening sun, she stretched out her arms as if to caress the wind that plastered her camisole to her body "Cold up here."
"So I notice."
"I thought you weren't interested."
Lydia sighed "No you didn't."
Violet laughed, sultry and confident "True." She walked slowly across the deck to Lydia, brushed her fingers lightly over the pirate girl's cheek and down her throat "I wasn't wrong though, was I?"
"What you're suggesting could get us both executed." Lydia protested
Violet merely smiled "You're a pirate, you already have a price on your head." she leaned closer and, her breath warm against Lydia's throat, she whispered "What's the point of being an outlaw if you can't have what you want?"

1 comment:

  1. Very nice...i went along similar lines with a steampunk/supervillainess. Still, our protagonists seem like they might get along. Damn whores...always trying to get pirates in trouble.