The Candlesteam Adventures (continued)

“I said… going somewhere?”

Scarlett’s attention was drawn to the quick flash of gun metal near this man’s hand. With father still lying lifeless in the room, she reacted instinctively. Her knee moved upwards swiftly; although her skirt was quite full, she had always made sure that they were practical so she could undertake almost anything without being weighed down by lots of material. It also helped that father (being a practical man) had sought to ensure that Scarlett’s education had included both martial arts and fencing; two skills that father had picked up on his travels. The knee connected with its intended target and the air was driven from the very surprised man. Once the connection was made, Scarlett rushed forward, unsettling the thug who felt back with no resistance.

Outside, Scarlett started to head directly to the barn. She slowed slightly as she realised that the horses were no longer stabled there – but then she saw father’s new metal carriage; the steam still hissing from the boiler as the metal continued to heat the water. She hoped that there would be sufficient heat in the engine to drive her a little way from the house; if only so she could properly start the engines. She jumped onto the driving bench, grasped the hand brake and released it. The carriage lurched forwards and Scarlett pressed both pedals, causing an even bigger lurch as the engine fought against foot brake and accelerator. With a breath, she removed her foot slowly from one pedal, which she discovered was fortunately the brake – and the carriage almost launched itself forward. She grabbed the massive steering wheel to guide it towards the gates at the end of the gravel path. As the machine picked up speed, she heard the shouting and yelling from inside the house and saw that thug (now limping) come out. She glanced to see him raise his gun to aim.

Then Scarlett saw a flash of light, and then her attacker fell to the ground. She realised that father must have got to his own adapted weapon, a mixture of gun and portable energy that would fire a beam of powerful disrupting light which would kill without the need for bullets.

Scarlett could not dwell on the current situation any further. She reached the gates of the house and barrelling through them had to turn the steering wheel hard to change its course onto the roadway. She hadn’t seen Commander Barry’s own horse drawn carriage as it had been shielded by the brick wall, but the Commander’s horses rose up onto their hind legs in surprise. Scarlett realised that if she ever got the chance, she would need to explain and apologise to the Commander – but escape was the order of the day. As the carriage turned sharply to the left, she felt the wood and metal wheels bend, flex and crack a little under the change of direction. But she was away – and he needed to get further from the house so she could work out what needed to be done next.

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The Candlesteam adventures

Scarlett sat on the hard, wooden stool, staring vacantly out of the window. Father would have been home by now, she thought to herself, except that last month he traded the horse carriage for Professor Bunt’s new steam powered contraption. Although it was a beautiful thing to look at when it was cold and unused, once Groves had fed the small boiler at the back it changed from being a docile engineering sculpture to a living, breathing monster. Indeed, it was a good job that father had traded the carriage as it had meant moving PeaceRiver (her favourite horse) to the neighbouring stable block as it had been scared with the various hiss, pings and sighs that came from this new copper and brass beast as it cooled.
The latch on the cottage door clicked up, and a dishevelled man entered the small kitchen.

“Father!” cried Scarlett. “What has happened? ”

The man stumbled across to the kitchen table and sat down. Scarlett looked at him – his face was badly scratched, the jacket sleeve was torn away and there was a huge tear down his trousers, the grey now heavily discoloured from… Scarlett surpressed the gasp as she realised that there was a huge deep wound in his leg.

Scarlett’s father looked forcefully at Scarlett. His breath, rasping, clawing at getting air into the lungs, was desperate and urgent.

“Get… out… of… the house. Flee… while you can. I’ll… distract… them…”

“Father! Who? What! Speak to me!!!”

Father slumped forward – the effort of getting to the house had obviously taken it’s toll on him and it was almost the final straw to get those words out. Scarlett was confused – and more than a little scared. This feeling was intensified when she heard the sounds of hob nail boots kicking hard at the door to open it. The latches splintered and cracked as they tried to resist the forces trying to break through.

Fortunately, Scarlett was a prepared woman and grabbing her bag, she fled through the back door that father had come in through. Just as she was closing the door she heard the final snapping and cracking of the bolts as they gave way. She heard the menacing tones of the men as they stormed into the cottage – but she was away. She turned right to head for the road – and bounced off the huge beast of a man standing in her way.

“Going somewhere?” he said.

To be continued…

A great start!

It’s been a very exciting week – thank you to everyone who has looked at the website and provided us with some positive comments about the site and bags that we have on them.

Our initial goal this week was to get the website up and to ask for friends to “Like” the Facebook page; by Tuesday we had already reached that and by the end of the week we had started to sell as well!  This is great news and we’re very chuffed about it!

Sue and Roz are now working away making the next small batch of exciting products – and for anyone who thinks that they like the bags, but the ones on Magpieschest are a little too alternative, well watch this space as things may change for the better in the next month or so.

Of course, as each bag is handmade, if you see something but think “I’d rather it was in green” or “it had a little more…” then please get in touch and ask!