In Time: Viola Grace
I haven’t visited my Steampunk story “In Time” for awhile. This is the story containing the beloved Time Keeper. This picks up where Magnetic Personality left off with the Time Keeper sharing the story of how he came to be and introduces a new character that’s been banging around in my head. Enjoy!
“You saw your own death? Creepy!” Raevyn interrupted.
“Did you try to change it?” Nitwit asked. She’d collected the cups and held them out for a refill.
“No. Time cannot be manipulated, no matter how hard one tries,” the Time Keeper answered. He grunted as he bent to fill the cups from the river once more. “It was an interesting day, one I looked forward to even with death hanging over my head. I’d found my one true love and we were going to take a train into the big city together.”
“Viola Grace Ashby was her name, and she was Snow White come to life. Her laughter caused my heart to do somersaults, and every time she smiled I thought I had died and gone on to the afterlife. On this particular day she wore dark blue, a new dress I had never seen before. She was riveting. All heads, male and female alike, turned in her direction. She was oblivious to her beauty, which only proved to enchant me further. She was dressed to the nines for our trip, even down to her jewelry. She was downright deadly. I had no idea when I placed that kiss on her cheek in greeting just how deadly she would prove to be.
The train was surprisingly on time and because the day was so lovely, we forewent the seats and chose the platform of the caboose instead. There were others out there with us, and it was lively. Our conversation was random and cozy, but she seemed distracted.”
He passed the cups around again and took a silver pitcher and dipped it into the river. He carried it to a small table and set it down.
He continued, “Viola kept looking at the bracelet on her wrist. It had an owl head that flipped open and the band was intricately designed. To this day I still have no clue to exactly what was under the owl head. I just know it played a key role to the events of the day.
Three airships filled the sky; the skull and cross-bone flags flickering in the wind left no doubt as to who they were. From my position on the platform I could see the engineer’s head protruding from his window. I felt the lurch of the train as it increased speed. There was no way we would outrun the pirates.
As the popping and booming of gunshots filled the air, I turned to Viola, arms outstretched, in an attempt to protect her. She stepped back at the same time pushing me closer to the railing and the hail of bullets persecuting the platform. Pain seared through my shoulder, into my back, my legs. Heat grazed my neck and I felt blood flow.
I reached for Viola, only to be met with a sneer. She stepped closer, though still out of arms reach.
“I’d kiss you goodbye, but I don’t want to get blood on my dress.” Her laughter filled my ears. She moved close suddenly and placed her hands on my chest. I felt a soft push at first. It became more urgent as her hand drifted to my pocket. She pulled out the magnet I had hidden there earlier that day. The same place I always hid it.
“What good is that magnet to you now, my dear Cage? It shall serve me so much better. Goodbye, love.”
She planted a soft kiss on my cheek then pushed me over the railing. My life danced before my eyes. The first jolt from my body colliding with the ground below took my last breath and I knew no more.
The next thing I remember was standing here on this porch in Clockworks, gazing at the river, hearing the hiss of steam. I was no longer just Cage Ridley. I was the protector of time. I was now something more: the Time Keeper.”
For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Chelle challenged me with “Time dances around the fading flames of defeat ” and I challenged Kat with “Try something new.”
I always welcome feedback, and I will admit that this did not turn out as lovely as I hoped, but there is room for more. Feel free to share your thoughts in your comments. Thanks for stopping by!