Sixth short story finished with 19 hours to spare! Whew. That got down to the wire, because it’s also crunch time on my internship project and I haven’t had a lot of writing energy. Even better, something like 1000 words of that story are actually handwritten, little snatches of writing I got done on the sly during meetings. (There’s a good reason to always carry a notepad!)
Of course, on the BOO side, I just found out the anthology I was trying to write for (which had previously been listed as open until filled) actually changed over to having a deadline of August 1. BOO. Oh well. I have a silly steampunk mystery story on hand now, ready to go. Ish. It’ll be ready to go once I’ve given it some time and edited.
Excerpt from The Flying Turk
Much to Simms’ relief, it was plain enough that the nobility assumed he and the Captain were of their class, even if their faces were plainly not known. There was a raised eyebrow here and there, to go with all the curtseying and bowing, a bit of whispering behind fans, but Simms was a keen eavesdropper among his other less savory skills, and he quickly discerned that the topic of discussion was which lord and lady they happened to be, not who had shoved that gorilla of a commoner into a natty suit and thrust him onto their delicate sensibilities. With that he relaxed, and smiled (with careful mental vacancy) and helped himself to a glass of wine from one of the waiters bobbing gently around the room. He even managed to pry his arm away from Captain Ramos long enough to acquire some bits of cheese and some lovely little sausages from a silver tray.
This, he thought, made the trip much more worth it. The rich really did occupy a different world from the one in which he’d grown up. There were bits of apple in the sausage, and who knew what else.
He stuffed another sausage into his mouth as Captain Ramos introduced him to yet another lady as ‘Lord Parnell-Muttar’ and mumbled something about being charmed. The lady in question, noting the smear of grease (if expensive grease) on his lips declined to offer her hand to be kissed. He almost wiped his lips on the back of his glove until the Captain produced a handkerchief from her padded-out bosom and shoved it into his hand.
“I haven’t eaten since breakfast,” he muttered at her as she steered them farther into the ballroom.
“In this at least, you’re acting the part quite well,” she muttered back. “Just try not to eat too many of those sausages. I have to share a room with you later.”
“You don’t eat too many sausages,” he muttered, well aware that was exceedingly weak as a retort, even by his own standards. He was about to protest a bit more loudly when Captain Ramos tugged him away from another waiter with a delightfully loaded tray, but one glance at her expression showed she was a woman on the hunt, not one mocking her poor, starving companion. Her expression was fixed into one of smiling politeness, but there was a sharpness to her gaze that Simms recognized well.
Two of the stories I’ve written are aimed for submission calls that don’t end until August 31, though. I double checked! So I have a week or two and then I can start editing my heart out.