I’m a completist at heart; more pointedly, I’m a perfectionist. My instinct is to balk at the idea of sharing WIPs (works in progress) in public. That means the natural avenue to pursue in a site dedicated to challenging myself is to publish serialized fiction, chapter by chapter, here on Magpie & Whale.
Innogen and the Hungry Half
A steampunk mystery set in the universe of William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline
The nightmare comes more vividly than ever tonight: the maze of equipment, the fear of being found, the smell of ozone and axle grease, the crushing, uncertain quiet. Posthumus and I never stray from each other’s sight. We’re all ages; it never matters when we are.
The dream always ends in the storeroom. We find the machine, smooth and faceless and towering. We feel it thrumming through our feet. The sphere at its top shimmers. We never have any warning. A pearlescent glow engulfs the machine, and it lashes out at us. My vision whites out. I feel the wind sucked from my chest. I’m thrown to the ground. Before I can see, before I can feel my legs, I reach for Posthumus. I grab his wrist and haul us both to our feet.
We run, and never make it home. I never let go of Posthumus. Behind us, caught, his voice persists, screaming and crying out.
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