Writer’s Workshop Submissions. Cycle 4, Week 1

Welcome to Cycle 4, Week 1 of the Writer’s Workshop!

Submission rules (note: these will differ slightly from week to week)

  • You can only submit one story per week.

  • [color=blue]The theme for this week is “My Little Steampunk adventures”.[/color] (thanks @Smith)

  • [color=blue]The story must also tie in with this cycle’s theme “My Little Steampunk adventures”.[/color]

  • [color=blue]You must include a reference to a modern day (real life) historical landmark.[/color]

  • We’re asking for submissions to be no more than 400 words.

  • Vote for as many stories as you want - simply ‘like’ the associated post by clicking the heart at the bottom of the submission.

  • If you submit a story continuation from a previous week, there will be a varying number of automatic “likes” associated with the submission.

  • Keep all discussion of this week over here, as anything in this thread that isn’t a story will be moved or deleted.

Story submissions will close on Wednesday October 9th.

If there are any questions, feel free to pop over to the discussion thread and ask away. Click here to view the upcoming theme schedule.

Good luck writers! :smiley:

“Magic or the Mechanism. Who do you side for Mr.Drake?”
At the sound of my name I snap out of a daze to find our university professor staring intently at me. “Uh…” having never been called on I’m completely unprepared for a question. “Sorry, what was the question?”
“Mr.Drake, you do know what class this is correct?”
“Social… Studies.” I say slightly hesitant.
“Correct, and what, do we do in this class?”
I sigh “Learn Sir.”
“Good, and what exactly did we just learn about?”
I slowly start to remember “We we’re learning about how our citadel of Udmance is the only neutral area between the Magic Men and the Mechers.”
“Very good!”
I start to feel a little bit proud when the Professor says 
“But that was yesterdays topic, today is about what the Magic Men and the Mechers are. Do you know what they are? No? then let me tell you a tale.”

For centuries past magic has been one of the rare and delicate arts practiced by only the highest of aristocrats. But many of the common men thought this unfair and tried to change that. Then on that faithful night, in the tower of London, a shadowed figure stole the 4 scrolls of the elements. After many months the scroll of earth appeared in the hands of a common blacksmith, the scroll of life with a hunter, and the scroll of liquids (after much searching) was found on a sailor. Only the scroll of soul was left unaccounted for, but in the time of less then a year over half the city of London had learned some form of simple magic. The council seeing this not as a problem, but as a change for the better. They decided that they would shape their way of life around magic, not just in this single city but within the entire empire.

Three years later on the eastern coast an Engineer by the name of Ali turned a simple pocket watch into a steam powered “toy”. Though the reaction to this small marvel could have been compared to that of flight without magic (which so happens was developed 6 weeks later in the small city of Ruse). Both Empires seeing that the other was advancing quickly banned the others marvels. And Udmance, the citadel of a tiny nation smack-dab in the middle of this feud was forbidden from either until the became a citizen of the corresponding empire. And so, here we are, back to our proud university.

“So I ask you again, who do you side for?”

1 Like

“Hey, spit-brain! Wake up! We’ve got a dictatorship to overthrow!”

This was the first thing I heard on the first day of my new life as a rebel. It was probably the kindest thing I heard all day.
Darryl, the ships Quartermaster, said this as he shook me out of my hammock in the basement of The Avenger, the rebellion’s fastest navy-ship. It was also, in my opinion, the smelliest and the most cramped place on Earth. Now it’s my home.

The Dictator, Salaazord, was killed 2 days ago. The Supreme Steam Commander, Olglaf Hornburger, blamed it on the rebellion. He said that they were “an extremist group of terrorists, bent on the destruction of modern society and culture.” He said that rebels were no better than dirt. Members were to be shot on sight. That’s what everybody thought. That’s what I thought. I thought that they really had killed Salaazord, who made it so that life was manageable. I hated the rebellion for destroying what little balance was left.

Now I know better.

It was Hornburger who ordered the attack on the Imperial Palace. The death of the Dictator left a power vacuum, and who better to lead us in a time of war than the leader of our Army? Olglaf was put into power, and he has already taken control over the majority of the Empire’s departments. He now seeks to take control of the nation, and subjugate its population for work on his crazy new war machines. And nobody knows it except the rebellion.

I was sucked into it when the Empire captured a group of young men for work in the factories. The Avenger saved me from a life of hard work and slavery.

And now I owe them.

I stepped onto the deck of The Avenger. Today was the day that I had to prove myself loyal to the rebellion. Darryl turned to me, a nasty grin on his face.

“Are you ready Mur?” he growled.

reminder: this weeks competition will be closing in about 24 hours, with voting continuing through thursday…

**My Little Steampunk Adventures
From The Chronicles of the Uhra **

What in blazes WAS that?!

Harvey Kesser put down his hoe as he noticed the completely baffling spectacle. Before him was the shoddiest-looking tent he had ever seen. The white canvas was stretched in all sorts of horrid fashions with mismatched color patches everywhere. The ropes were a tangled mess across the structure. Who in their right mind would build such a ramshackle thing?

And how did they put it in the SKY???

He had to turn away and blink. Yes, that was a floating tent in front of him, he wasn’t dreaming. And it looked like a huge bird’s nest dangled off the thing, only adding to the strangeness.

And then, a man popped out of the same mess. He called down to the farmer.

“Is this your land?”

“Uh…yes. This is my farm. I was just about to plow here.”

The man smiled. “Ah, perfect. Then you might want to back up about thirty lengths. I’m afraid I’m about to crash.”

Harv immediately sprinted out of the way as the careening catastrophe collided violently with the ground just moments later.

“What…who, in the name of the Brothers, ARE you…?” Harv stammered.

“Ah. My apologies. My name is Arthur Finnebaker," he said with a slight bow. "I am a traveler of sorts, with my “Aerial Globe” here, the Uhra.

Harv stared. “I see…well, what brings you to Carbas, then? Trading? Or did you come to see the famous Dam across Lake Vyrnwy, perhaps?”

A monstrous bird suddenly screeched overhead the two men.

“…Was that a Titan…?!” Harv finally said.

“Yes, and THAT was my reason for stopping. The rogue’s on a beeline for the urban center.”

“Well, we have to stop it!”

Arthur gave another smile. “Again, perfect. Hop into the basket here, and we’ll glide right behind it.”

Harv actually took to the Uhra fairly quickly. He worked on the Dam years ago—he wasn’t afraid of heights. They soon reached the town and the avian Titan.

“So…how do we help, now?”

Arthur yanked a tarp to reveal a long pair of bloated pipes…a double cannon. “It’s built somewhat like the Carbanian model, with a few tweaks. Can you fire?”

Within minutes, the strained ground soldiers suddenly found themselves with fresh reinforcements. But it wasn’t more ground troops, no. Apparently, they were now be aided by what seemed to be a cannon-armed flying pavilion.

Obviously, confusion resulted.

“I’m afraid…I didn’t catch…your name, sir, in all this activity,” Arthur admitted between shots.

“I’m Harv Kesser,” the man said, still aiming. “Carbanian military, third artillery commander.”

Another round blasted the Titan.

“…recently unretired,” he added with a grin.


Day 218

I look at my fathers watch – or is it looking at me?
The monstrosity hovering above me has me pinpointed to the ground.
Its very ironic that I should end this way, undone by my own creation.

Day 1

Today two things happened that will change my life forever.
The first was, that I along all other refugees received the dire news that Northlake City had fallen, someone retrieved my fathers pocket watch when he fell and sent it to me along with condolences.
The second was that my uncle approached me with a bold plan that could hopefully change the outcome of the war, or given that we basically lost already, would allow for retribution on the combined forces of Stonewall and Cloudstorm.
Oddly enough what filled him with rage was the destruction of the bell tower of our city, which was an exact replica of the London bell tower.

Day 45

Tick, tock, tick, tock – the ticking and clicking is everywhere, my uncle always had a thing for clocks.
We are at his makeshift workshop and are testing a first prototype.
His suggestion was "Imagine a machine controlled by time, if you know what happens when, it could act completely by itself!"
I always was good at building small steam controlled devices, so I agreed to help.
We turn the machine on, with a rope a stack of crates is toppled.
With whirring noises the clockworks spring to life, as a tiny oven builds up more steam, some of it is released.
Then the machine jumps and with one strike smashes the first falling crate before it hits the ground.

Day 116

We presented the finished TOM (Time Operated Machine) to the army.
Without any realistic other options left, we got the order and funds to create a strike force.
I took great care to point out that I devoted my fathers watch to the cause.
In a way the revenge would also be his!

Day 201

We are nearly done, but something in our work is amiss.
When testing we noticed the TOMs don’t always follow their time controls as designed.

Day 219

I survived!
What luck that my fathers watch always glitched at a certain time, this gave me precious seconds to escape.

But what have we done, the TOMs are turned loose against all humans now!
I have got to rectify this somehow.

1 Like

note: submissions are now closed, and voting will continue through thursday… :+1:

congratulations to @Atralane on placing first this week! we had a tie for second with @PDanford and @naturalnuke

all three of you are automatically entered into the finals… :+1:

i’ll be setting up week 2 here in a bit…