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October 5, 2018

Fiction: A Clockwork Journey

Words for Wednesday
This week's Words for Wednesday is hosted at Elephant's Child over here. This week's prompts are Precipitation, Lanky, Grotesque, Clockwork, Still, Transporting and/or Eskimo, Cyclone, Cassowary, Waitress, Cleaning, Auditorium

--- Read the other Eddy story over here ----

Fiction: A Clockwork Journey

The airship coast along smoothly but Eddy keeps reminding herself not to panic every time the ship lurches unexpectedly. Around the dining room, waitresses and waiters glide about the room effortlessly. Various travelers elegantly dressed in suits and gowns are chattering happily as they dine. Eddy tries to reason as long as no one's panicking, she would not either.

Outside the dimmed sky is filled with a few stars. Though Eddy dislikes being up so high, she have always loved watching the stars. Back at the orphanage, her bedroom window offered her an oval view of the stars. The matron had said Eddy should stop dreaming and life is not a fantasy. But Eddy didn't listen. She rather thought life is a fantasy only reality keeps ruining it.

A cough makes Eddy look up. The gentleman asks, "May I join you, Miss? There is no more room and I must dine." The gentleman wears a white suit with gold cufflinks and a gold watch at his vest. He has a clean shaved face, thin and pale with white-gray hair combed back to reveal a widow's peak. His quiet gray eyes are lined with years and yet they twinkle that Eddy almost feels cheerful. She nods. She have no voice and had been scribbling down her words in a small notebook that she had purchased along with various clothing items and necessities just before the flight.

Three days ago, Eddy have decided to visit her Aunt Lin and then afterward worry about what to do with her life. Lin isn't really Eddy's aunt but Eddy had known the woman since she was a child when Lin worked at the orphanage as a maid. The last few years, Lin had invited Eddy to live with her but Eddy had always declined. Now all Eddy wants is to forget all about the jerk and the stolen gold bars and live her life unencumbered with Aunt Lin.

Another lurch and Eddy tries not to think that at any moment a cyclone might come and send them straight to their death. Eddy lifts the teacup with her left hand while her right hand grips the table edge. Just as she is ready to take a sip, the ship lurches and tea spills and soaks the front of her blue gown. She places the cup down on the table and the ship shifts and throws Eddy to the floor. She cries out soundlessly in pain as her shoulders crush against the carpet floor. The ground stops shaking. People groans and moans near Eddy.

Outside, the dark clouds twist and change shapes. Thunder claps so close that Eddy covers her ears. The ship turns and her head meets the hard ceiling and then it turns again and she is back on the floor. A few arms and legs strike her but she doesn't care. She rubs at the sore spot among the piles of dark hair. Her head ache terribly and she wishes the ship would stop moving. As if answering her wish, the ship lulls in stillness. All is silent but for the thunder outside.

A crackling sound makes Eddy look out the windows. A bright light is coming toward them. She ducks down to the floor and covers her ears. A boom follows. When she looks up, the wall on the other side of the room has a large crack running across it. She stands up and runs toward the exit as did a few others. But the ship shifts sideways and Eddy grabs onto a table leg bolted to the floor. She hears the wind whipping. A chair bumps against her elbow and slides pass behind her. Screams echo other screams. Eddy lifts her head and turns around slowly still keeping her grip on the leg. The hole in the wall have grown to half the size of the room and people are falling out into the open sky. Something heavy brushes pass her shoulders and Eddy turns in time to see the old woman. She grabs for the woman's arm but her hand only grip the air. The woman with opened eyes and mouth disappears into the sky. Eddy almost laughs at the absurdly of the situation. The wild wind drifts near and Eddy knows if she doesn't do something, she will join the old woman. She lifts her right leg toward her and pulls out the dagger from her boot and stabs it into the floor and holds on and then she reaches for her other dagger in her left boots and stabs that one into the floor and holds on tightly to them. Others around her is hugging onto pillars, wall fixtures and the table legs. Fear is all over their faces but Eddy looks away and squeezes her eyes shut. The ship rights itself and then steadies. The wind dies down. Eddy dares open her eyes. 

The whooshing of the wind is the only sound that Eddy hears. She loosens her grips on the daggers but doesn't let go for a long moment. She pulls out the daggers and places them back into her boots. Crickets! If she is going to die, she is not going to scrunch up like a scare little baby. She stretches out her legs on the floor only to realize her left leg has a piece of broken glass in her thigh. She pulls the glass out quickly and throws it aside. The pain is tolerable and certainly not the worst she ever had. She picks up a napkin off the floor and wraps it tightly around the wound. Someone is watching her. She looks up to find a man with eyes opened sitting there staring at her but the man doesn't blink or move or breathe. Eddy recognizes him as the waiter whom had served her the chicken dinner. She turns away but the sight isn't any better. Bodies on the floor, on the table tops, and on the chairs, all bended, twisted and not one of them is moving.

A quiet whimper resonates through the silence. Eddy pushes herself up and leans on her right leg to listen. The whimper continues. She half drags herself toward the sound where the gentleman that have been her dining companion lay on his stomach with a piece of broken wall on top of him. She tries to push the wall off his back but it wouldn't budge. She kneels down beside him. Blood was leaking out of the corner of his mouth. She can't talk. She wants to tell him she can't help him. The gentleman dips a hand into his vest and holds out the gold watch. "Take this to my grandson," he says in a hoarse whisper. "His name is William Petra. He will know the watch is from me." Eddy's throat tighten. She never cries and yet looking at this man's almost make her cry.

"Please," he says as his arm lowers toward the floor. "Please," he repeats. Eddy takes the watch and nods. "Thank you," barely slips from his lips before his body went limp.

The watch feels heavy in Eddy's hand. She will do as the man says but she isn't sure how she would even get to this William Petra. She listens to the watch: tick, tock, tick tock. It calms her a bit. She tucks the watch into the bodice of her gown.

The ship suddenly begins to dip and Eddy silently screams. She stands up and wraps her arms around a pillar and holds on tight.

It is a long moment before the ship settles down with a hard drop that Eddy is almost certain her stomach is still up in the air without her. She hopes they have landed on something solid. She had read airships can land on dry or wet ground.

For a moment, she just clings to the pillar and waits for the ship to stop swaying. When it does, she sighs with relief but then the ship starts to tilt until she is almost laying down. She wraps her legs around the pillar along with her arms. The ship rocks back and forth for a bit before it settles into stillness. Eddy keeps her sighs. She waits. The ship makes no move.

She throws up her chicken dinner and wipes at her mouth with the back of her hand. At least she knows her stomach is still with her. She looks out the hole at the unfamiliar horizon and the water all around them. She turns around to the other side of the room where the windows are still intact. Out there, dark trees recede into the darkness but she hears nothing. Daylight has come but the grayness of the sky produces little light to see in. Rain spatters into the ship through the hole. A few droplets fall at Eddy's feet.

Eddy pauses to listen but the ship seems quite settled. She stands up and smooths out her gown and hair. There is a large brown stain where tea had spilled on her gown. Rabbits! She doesn't have time to worry about it. She must check for survivors. She have been panicking so much, she couldn't have heard them. Now she listens. Now she hears voices. Many voices. There are survivors in other parts of the ship.

She walks around the room and finds a few people that are still breathing although injured. A young man in a waiter's black uniform pops his eyes open just when Eddy reaches out to check his pulse. "What happened?" he asks as he pulls himself up. Eddy just shrugs. She have no idea.

Looking around, he says, "Let's get to the ship's control room, there might be people there. We need them to help the... survivors." He shakes his head as if clearing it. Eddy just stares at him blankly.

"Can you talk?" He raises an eyebrow.

Eddy shakes her head.

The man laughs although it sounds sad to Eddy. "Well, we need to get going anyway." He walks toward the exit. Eddy follows him.

But then she spots a familiar face near the exit. The man is laying face up with closed eyes. His blonde hair is vivid even in the dull light. His chest raises and falls. Hedgehogs! It's the jerk! Eddy have a sudden urge to hit his pretty face. But the young man with her have already disappeared through the door. She looks down at the jerk and couldn't help but kick him on the side of his face before stepping over him.

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  1. Wow. I read this with tension, with anxiety and with greed. I loved reading more of Eddy's story (and don't blame her for kicking the jerk). I do hope that next week's prompts suit this continuing tale.

    1. I hope to continue writing about Eddy, I really like Eddy...

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

  2. Replies
    1. thank you. & thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

  3. Well written Lissa. May i suggest the print out be a little more darker than its present grey appearance. it would help persons with limited vision to read it more easily. NICE STORY.

    1. I don't often print web/blog pages but I think you can change your printer preference to print only black and white only without grays. I have set the text to gray for easier screen reading but I'll think about changing it.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

  4. I'm so glad you're going to continue with Eddy! My favourite line in this story was: At least she knows her stomach is still with her. :-)

    1. yep, I'm glad too and I'm going to try and finish her story.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.


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