#TeamDieselPunk - War Time Machines, Part One - @CarolinaC

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War Time Machines - Part One - Dearest_Writer

I can remember as clear as the back of my hand the events that took place that summer day. Damn it was a show really. My comrades and I were just soaking in the warm sun as we strolled through the many exhibits at the World's Fair in Paris. It was a fantastic day. It was Johnny Do-Goody, myself, and Warren War-Time Boy. Our spirits were high and the ladies were beautiful. We were sneaky, the three of us. Johnny being too good to do anything bad would walk to the ice cream man, pulling him away to chat him up while we swiped most of the bowl of ice cream. Chocolate being my favorite was the first to be gone before he even saw what hit him. We laughed and shoved each other as we made our way to the Palace, or the center stage where a beautiful voice sung to her heart's content. We'd move and jive with the rest of the carefree souls to the beats of the tunes, not seeing what was coming. We didn't know. We didn't see it.

They appeared from the heavens, at first like angels before raining down their wrath. That's how we were brought into all of this. Dragged to be the proper term for the shit storm that came. That's how I met old man Peter Holstein, one of the scientists that created those shit for brains machines that saved the world. Tell me, how were we to know that this was only the beginning. The Four Horsemen; just like in the Bible. Yoshida, Konstantinov, Brahms, and Ambrosi. These names send shivers down your spine. No one knows of their whereabouts nor how far their connections go but you'll know. You can tell. No one's that stupid. So, that's it. That's how my life both begun and ended. I'm left with nothing but my tail between my legs and a drinking problem that leaves me in a stupor. But that's all about to change. I'll make sure of that. We all will. 

***

by CarolinaC


My case walked through the door in a red dress, her hair loose and damp, gold waves framing her face like a halo. I'd been sitting at the desk while the rain streamed down the windowpane in sheets. I'd also been nursing a bottle, but when the dame walked in, I stuck it back in the bottom drawer. I had fallen off the wagon for the third time since my partner had gotten himself a terminal case of lead poisoning to the back of the head, but the girl didn't need to know that.

"Mr. Walsh?" She asked, the single syllable of my surname dripping off of her tongue like uncertain honey.

The door wheezed itself shut behind her, a faint whiff of motor oil ruining the scent of the alcohol atomizing on my tongue. This building was a warehouse during the war. The rent's low, and it shows - there isn't a doorknob or a keyhole in the place.

I tilted my head towards the dame with what I hoped was a reassuring smile. It was probably just the vacant mushiness of a guy who's downed more liquor than he can handle. "In the flesh," I said, "Clarence Walsh, Private Detective. Take a seat, Miss -"

She lowered herself onto the wooden seat directly across from me. The slightest hint of a flush springing to her cheeks, she said, "Sparrow. Helen Sparrow."

My eyebrows shot up my head, making my expression significantly less vacant. "Not the Helen Sparrow who's appearing at Scott's Orpheum every Saturday?" I neglected to add, the Helen Sparrow that every back-row hopper and limelight-lover of my acquaintance claims is Edwin Scott's latest bit-on-the-side?

The dame nodded, averting her eyes in a pretty show of self-consciousness."Yes. I sing, you see."

"So, is this about Scott?" I asked. I hid my next statement by rooting around in the top drawer of my desk, pulling out a pack of cigarettes. My usual brand, Ecrivain's Specials. I pushed one out of the carton as I said, "I hear you know him pretty well."

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