I don’t have the time to make quality blog posts.
It’s sad, but true. And I’d rather make no blog posts than make shitty blog posts. So while I’m up to my buns in school-work-family, I’m going to mostly keep this blog limited to the “8 Sentence Sunday” posts I used to do. Those were neat, right?!
Along with recognizing how little time I have for writing, I decided to stick to a single story until I finish it OR DIE TRYING. I went with The Lightning-Maker’s Daughter because it’s the one on my mind the most often. I have the proto-synopsis posted somewhere around here.
Anyway, with no further ado, my 8 sentences for this week!
The door to the laboratory swung shut, and Mattie eyed the ON lever. Prue could drag her to a ball that was just a dressed-up flesh sale, but she couldn’t keep Mattie from bringing her theory to life.
Mattie grasped the lever with her ungloved hand and pushed up. The lever clicked as it engaged, and Mattie prepared herself for the sounds of the coil coming on.
She waited for ten seconds—ten long seconds in silence and electrical inactivity— before she slammed the ON lever back down to its OFF position. Maybe there had been further sabotage that she hadn’t seen. Maybe being underground interrupted the energy flow she needed.
Maybe her thesis was flawed.
Mattie is about to miss the Sentinel’s first port in Rome, so Genya takes her up to the Promenade deck so she can see it. The problem? Mattie’s horribly afraid of being on the airship and has been remedying her crippling phobia by avoiding views out the windows.
She shut her eyes before the view of Rome appeared. A few steps later, Genya stopped and said, “What do you think?”
Mattie inhaled deeply. Just open your eyes for a second, say it’s wonderful, and then go back inside. She cracked her eyes open and was momentarily blinded by the early morning light. She squinted against the glare, and then a golden cupola came into focus. More of the city appeared as her eyes adjusted—peach-colored stucco buildings with bronze roofs; spires of glass and metal; majestic columned palaces; enormous statues of gods and monsters—and she found that she couldn’t inhale. The city of Rome stole her breath away.
Mattie and Genya have a conversation about Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus, and Genya attempts a joke. A little bit is lost in translation.
To her surprise, Genya reached out and grasped her hand in his. He jumped and clenched her fingers. “Matilda, you must be dead! You did not electrocute me!”
For a second and a half, she thought he was making fun of her. Ridiculing her. Like Frederick would have done. He would have made a comment about avoiding bathing or swimming, and then would have laughed in her face and said something like, “The ideas in your head. Oh dear.”
Mattie has just enjoyed a nearly-silent breakfast with the Cavendish family. The menfolk have vacated the room, leaving just Mattie and her nearly-mother-in-law. Mrs. Cavendish is a little bit drunk.
Mrs. Cavendish cocked her head. “Oh, liebchen, I’m not going anywhere. Not until I’ve had another drink.”
Mattie tapped the side of the empty wine glass. “There’s no more alcohol, Mrs. Cavendish.”
The older woman leaned forward and winked. “There is always more alcohol.” She leaned away and lifted a flask up, pulling it from nowhere, like a magician with a dove. She cackled as she unscrewed the cap and took a long draught.
Mattie has just arrived at her fiance’s home for the first time, and she’s having serious second thoughts.
Her eyes darted to the vacant driver’s seat. She could crawl over the divider and be gone before anyone realized what was happening. She’d never driven a car before, but how hard could it be?
Before she could move toward the steering wheel and freedom, the door on her side opened. Frederick stooped and smiled at her, handsome even without a tuxedo on. He wore a single-breasted jacket with a blue tie and a white shirt beneath. The jacket was unfastened at the topmost button, allowing his vest to peek out: a deeper blue to complement the lighter tie.
When she didn’t move, he said, “Are you coming out?”
Tell me what you think! And if you’re so inclined, you can head over to dieselpunks.org and check out the #8ss group there.
The bidding part of the betrothal auction. Mattie is bored.
The endless parade of tuxedoed and uniformed men ran together into one smear of unremarkable humanity. Mattie’s brain began to identify the men with the strangest features and assemble them into one Quasimodo-esque visage, with protruding ears, a smashed nose, eyes too close together, reddened jowls, and a surprisingly wonderful personality. She’d have married Quasimodo and lived in the tower with him, enjoying their solitude and books and view of Paris, if only he were eligible—and real.
A familiar face stood out: Frederick. He caught her eye and smiled wordlessly: they weren’t supposed to speak during the bidding. It wasn’t called a silent auction for nothing.
He lifted his hand toward the box. A folded notice dropped from his slender fingers through the slit in the top.