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Winston & His Incredible Clockwork Elephant

This YA novella is suitable for all ages & every Steampunk fan!

Here’s how it opens:

I’m going to tell you a story, perhaps the most fantastic story ever told. You have such a trusting face. Please promise me, if you retell this tale to others, you’ll be as faithful with your account as I will be to mine, to the smallest detail. If not, the truth may never free me from this wretched hole.

So where shall we start? At the beginning of course. Before we do, let me say I never thought I could ever be convinced that flying carpets were real or that tigers could talk. But I most assuredly can say, they are and they can. Unfortunately for Banjit, the white Bengal who became quite a close friend of mine—we shared an interest in butterflies—he was just too heavy for the damned carpet and had to be left behind. Otherwise, we just wouldn’t have taken off at all. And that would have ruined everything. Because there would be no story to tell.

Leaving these aberrations of aerodynamics and biology for a moment—however helpful they were to the events of our ultimate endeavour—it was without any doubt the swami who could bend time who became indispensable to Winston and I as we undertook the most arduous trek across Pajastan ever attempted. All of which occurred quite by accident.

These seem to be incredible claims, I know. But they truly are a minor part of this most incredible story. You might think everything I say is so much drivel, but you don’t know what a remarkable young man Winston Fotheringham was, as I did. In fact without his ingenuity, there quite literally would be no tale to tell at all. So that is where we must start.

If I told you an accomplished mechanical engineer of world renown fame—someone who had built the most complicated of industrial machines—had created a clockwork elephant one hundred hands high, an apparatus of marvelous construct that could traverse all manner of terrain with a full complement of seven people on board—or five people, two monkeys and a tiger—and that this clockwork monstrosity was the main reason an entire village escaped flooding, I could probably entertain your interest long enough to elucidate the appropriate details.

But if I told you instead, and the facts bear me true, that it was a mere boy that had started this marvel of mechanics when he was just eight years old, and that he’d finished the clockwork elephant when he was fifteen, then you might think I was utterly mad and not worthy of your time and attention.

TO BE CONTINUED…

The Clockwork Explorer

Here’s how it opens:

In nine weeks, maybe ten weeks at best, the ion-steam generator would be as worthless as sea-scum— its tangle of zirconium tubes irreparably plugged with exhausted isotopes, its titanium steam vessel turning mechano-cancerous with corrosion. More importantly, at that final point of no return, the generator would barely create enough power to turn on the lights, let alone propel the Utopicus above the smog-layer. With every week that passed by from this point forward, sudden failure was a distinct possibility, a catastrophe that would send the airship and its lone helmsman to their deaths.

Skylon Drex adjusted the hodoscope and measured the ion particle stream emitted from the main generator tube. The auxiliary pressure valves were not responding.

Damn, he thought. Still intermittent.

The drop/surge in the ion-steam flow meant only one thing and it wasn’t good. His outbound journey would take a week longer than planned, and then God knows how much longer than usual to get back. He couldn’t rely on getting another loan from Portemis for this extensive of a repair. Skylon’s account had been frozen. The greedy trade overlord said Drex had to repay all the fiats he owed before he could borrow anything more, which for a scratch-hauler like Drex seemed an onerous condition. He’d had no choice, he argued with Portemis, during the debate over his previous loan request. How else could he effect repairs on the Utopicus after it had been hit by static-flash and crash landed? What more did Portemis want from him? A pint of blood with each payment?

TO BE CONTINUED…

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