It seems that I will have one of those months where I write consecutive posts one week, but fail to get anything in the next. I’m very sporadic and crazy at the moment. As I did say, I am trying to revise for my exams, so I have been putting my entire collection of ideas on the back burner.
Anyway, I promised a snapshot of my crazy, steampunk ghosts dream. Whilst I have a proper chapter of the new novel idea, it tracks into the 3.5K words; therefore, I’ve just delivered a snapshot of what I wrote. Enjoy!
The click of Alexander’s heels together raised her face from her hands. He slid from the sitting chair to the wooden floor. His fingers worked at a hidden bolt, a hidden trapdoor of which only Charles’ best occupants knew. Alexander wandered down the steps onto the Evening Platform, a platform-balcony of wooden boards and struts spanning the length of the conservatory – and, rightly, on which it balanced – and Cathy, determined not to creep with her tail between her legs, followed.
“Where are you going, Alexander?”
He’d strode to the square opening in the middle of the platform, from which dropped a stiff, vertical ladder of raw iron rungs. Alexander descended. Smugly.
“You cannot stay another night in New York without your four bags. Yes, I counted.”
Cathy huffed. She didn’t care that she travelled heavy. “I’ll get them after The Passing.”
“No, you shan’t. No woman should walk at night…lest words be spoken.”
Alexander was halfway across Charles’ outer court before Cathy had pushed herself onto the well-traversed steel ladder. She clamped a boot on the rung above hers where it clanged as it landed. “I’ll be comfortable without my bags.”
“I do not mind. My pleasure.”
This time, Cathy bit her lip so the taste of blood fuelled her. Far from his stubborn dismissal of her all afternoon, she fumed at his audacity to risk his life against the post-dusk for the retrieval of her bags.
No. She unwound the heel of her boot from the iron rung and jumped to the ground. Flakes of mud rose to her gown hem.
“Alexander, you shan’t.”
He spun, and Cathy almost crumbled under his fierce glare. “I shall do what I please, thank you, Miss.”
She took one step back, as if the force of his words had smacked her across the face. Certainly, her weak-womaned form made her a lesser creature (in his eyes…in the world’s eyes), but Cathy still curled together her hands. She didn’t understand his need to fetch her items for her.
With one last look of disdain, Alexander spun. He fixed his thumbs into his pocket-edges and stormed through the wooden sidegate.
Fine. She didn’t need him. Not like that. Cathy shifted her hands onto her hips and sashayed back to the scaffolding structure under the conservatory. Well, almost. She’d just checked her gloves (had Charles even seen the mess the iron rungs shed onto ladies’ white fingers?) when her breath caught in her throat, crystallised, and spewed out of her mouth in a broken rush.
Coldness. More than coldness: water-bare, lifeless coldness from her toes to the strand of hair falling across her forehead. Cathleen Worth-Hamilton raised her eyes to the entrance of Charles’ complex.
Heads and hands materialised at the far gate. First, blue lips puckered through the atmosphere, then a nose more beak than skin, and eyes as pinpricks. Cathy wilted. They’d come. The first phantasma drifted in the shape of an elderly women, her white hair stained by the darkness. It had taken no more than a metre’s way before another pulled through the air, this an apparition of maybe eleven with her grey hair loose around her shoulders. A male phantasm followed them, a young man of Alexander’s age, perhaps.
Alexander. With The Passing hitting every New York abode, he’d be caught in the way. If he didn’t move fast enough to a platform with distance between it and the floor, the ghosts would Pass through his soul.
“Cathy!” Charles called. When had he climbed out onto the balcony? “You must move. Now!”
She shook her head. Unnatural fear smudged through her body, rooting her to her place.
Charles’ gloved fingertips weren’t even close to her shoulder. “Take my hand.”
“Alexander’s out there.”