Maybe genius (aka Steph Sinkhorn) is hosting a blogfest today! We all had to write a story combing genres that don't normally go together.
For a complete list of all participants, click here.
My steampunk, zombie romance with a touch of humor (I hope).
This is my first attempt at any of these genres, so uh...yeah. Enjoy!
Why I decided to wear my brand new crushed velvet boots with authentic gold heals to Bad Side, I couldn’t tell you. Actually, I couldn’t tell you a lot of things about my thought processes since running from my dear friend Mage’s for tea after a note from a particular business partner I’d acquired just a few short days ago arrived at her doorstep for me. And now, because of all my hazy and impromptu decisions, I was standing ankle deep in a slimy soot and horse manure cocktail along the rain-drenched streets of the worst neighborhood in all of Steamville.
I hiked up the skirt of my dress to avoid similar damage, but it was too late. The lace along the hem of my dress had already acquired a few dingle-berry friends.
I muttered a few choice curses under my breath and pulled my right foot out of the sludge, cringing at the sucking sound. Ruined. Utterly ruined.
I hated Bad Side. Unlike the rest of Steamville, the occupants in this neighborhood hadn’t quite grasped the need for paved streets or even properly running steam mobiles. Hulking wrecks of previously glorious examples of the latest in transportation technology were strapped to starved and wasted horses and dragged along the muddy ruts as I stood by, waiting for my business partner.
The note had indicated a need for urgency and yet the young little punk was nowhere to be seen.
I twisted my head this way and that, looking for the source of the sound. When I caught sight of Teddy, my twelve-year-old business partner, two lanes down the street with his head sticking out of the alley and his arms waving for me to join him, my stomach twisted into a knot.
This was bad. He had news. And if Teddy had news in Bad Side, then Eric, my dear old husband was going to be in trouble.
“I did it, Ma’am. I did it!” He took off his scruffy hat with a flourish and bent down into a ridiculously deep bow. “I told’ya I’d do it, and I did! It tweren’t easy, neither!”
I stopped by his side, scowling. How nice for him to be excited at finding evidence of my husband’s infidelity.
“All right, then, enough nonsense. What exactly did you see?”
Teddy shook in glee, and just a touch of horror. “Oh, Ma’am, let me tell you! Your husband, Mr. Deadly was here just this fine mornin’, creepin' along Fifth Street. You know the one, Ma’am. That’s the Red District!”
My heart dropped.
“Well, let me tell you, he walked outta there with not one, not two, but three of the finest ladies I ever did see!”
I cringed. Three? The little punk! I’d kill him!
“And that tweren’t all, Ma’am. Oh no!” This time Teddy shook in noticeable horror. “Everybody’s still talkin’ about the mess he’d left!”
I reached for my pouch and pulled out a gold piece—the promised price. It wouldn’t do to take my growing rage out on a little boy, even if he was the messenger. Oh, no. Eric was my focus and he would most certainly hear it from me as soon as I got home. And the sooner I did that, the better.
I handed over the piece to Teddy—who smiled and took it gladly—and stormed off for my home in Good Side, forgetting completely about the state of my clothes. I had much more pressing things to worry about.
Eric’s steam mobile sat innocently in front of our 19th Century mansion in the middle of the afternoon, just as I suspected it would. Leave it to him to take advantage of my day at Mage’s by taking the day off work to bring his little floosies to our home.
Even knowing what to expect, the sight that greeted me in the front foyer made the bile rise to my throat. I clutched my waist and doubled over. Eric wasn’t even trying to hide it anymore. His mess was splattered all over the floor and the walls.
“Eric?” I wheezed, trying not to breathe in too deeply. The smell was sickening.
Something crashed to the floor and Eric came creeping around the corner. “My dear? What are you doing home so early?”
The innocence on his face sickened me even more than the mess he left in the hallway. I straightened up and glared at him. “Oh don’t ‘my dear’ me! You promised me!” I screeched.
He sheepishly wrung his hands and shrugged. “I tried, Violet, I did. But I got hungry!”
I stormed up to Eric and slapped him across the face. The sting on my palm felt good, liberating. “I promised I would stay with you if you would only renounce your zombie ways! But I’ve had enough! I’m leaving you for Bob, the pool boy.”
“But, but, Bob is a vampire!”
“He’s a recovering vampire,” I said with my nose in the air. “And you don’t seem to be recovering from anything!”
Without even a second glance, I stormed out of the house, kicking the empty cranium of Eric’s last victim out of my way as I went.
I stopped at the curb and leaned against our steam mobile to catch my breath. I clutched at my chest and let the tears pour down my face. My heart was breaking in half like a speeding locomotive that took the turn too fast. So much of me wanted to get back in there and wrap my arms around him, but Eric had lied and I couldn’t sit around waiting for him to suck my brains.
I thought of Teddy then—the sweet little boy who had risked his life to tell me the truth. I would go to see him; he would make me feel better. After all, nothing could heal a broken heart like a tasty little snack.