Today’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge short story is a Steampunk tale about Names Brutas, the daughter of a famed clock-work sorceress who finds herself in a bit of a pickle. Good thing the good-looking guy she’s crushing on is around to save the day.
For Day 17, I chose the font Names Brutas by Chris Vile as my prompt for today’s flash fiction.
I hope you enjoy today’s short story, Names Brutas.
By Anjela Curtis
“Now, Names,” my mother chastised when she caught me staring after Handsome Davie. “Don’t become one of those foolish dollymops* vying to be the tail wagging behind that Davie Crow.” My cheeks filled with color, how long had I been staring at Handsome Davie for her to notice who had caught my eye and why. My mother’s focus was rarely far from her latest spring-loaded gadget. Lately, my focus seemed to always be on Davie.
As my mother’s bustle disappeared inside Mr. Tinker’s Gadget Shop, I pretended to stare at the new-fangled clock-work wizardry on display and watched Davie from the window’s reflection. Seemingly overnight, Handsome Davie transformed from a common newsboy barking the day’s headlines to a strapping young man with a devil-may-care smile and an apprenticeship. All the misses in town lined up in the hopes he’d aim a smile at them.
Sighing, I started to follow my mother inside the shop when there was a huge commotion in the street. As I turned to see what had happened, a passerby grabbed me and covered my mouth before I could scream. With all that was happening in the street, no one saw my abductor push me into the narrow alley next to the shop. I fought him. However, with all the layers of petticoats I wore and his tight grip around my arms, I was unable to stop him from taking me towards the waiting carriage.
Out of nowhere, Davie Crow threw himself the unsuspecting carriage driver and rendered him unconscious with a haymaker punch to the head. Next, he turned on my abductor who’d pushed me to the ground to lunge at Davie.
I sat in stunned silence watching the scene unfold before me. The two were evenly matched in fisticuffs, both exchanging blows in equal measure. Yet when my abductor pulled a knife and swiped at Davie, just grazing his forehead, I was jolted from my stupor.
Blood ran down Davie’s face and into his eyes. Managing not to panic, I looked around and grabbed a discarded length of pipe near where I’d landed. Picking it up, I swung it at the assailant’s legs just as he’d begun to advance on the partially blinded Davie. The man tripped over the pipe and landed on the ground at Davie’s feet; his knife flew out of his hands on impact. Taking advantage of the situation, Davie kicked the man in the face and knocked him out cold.
“Are you all right,” yelled and ran to him. I’d pulled my handkerchief from my bodice to staunch the knife wound near his hairline and wiped the dark hair and blood from his face. On impulse, I kissed his cheek, not knowing what had inspired him to even notice me, let alone save me. The smile he flashed just before he kissed me full on the mouth turned my brain to mush. But, not enough to prevent me from kissing him back, which is exactly the moment I knew my mother had rounded the corner to find me.
“Names Francine Brutas, what in the hell are you doing!”
2017 © Anjela Curtis
*Dollymop = loose woman