A Story by inconsistentsea

theme - steampunk (which I have never done before!) 519 words

“...or more, or less,” Delilah said as she shrugged her shoulders in nonchalance as she tried to convey her latest concept.

Behind his goggles, Bill eyes slit in frustration. Delilah seemed to have only a superficial understanding of his outrageously skilled workmanship and he was starting to lose his patience. He placed his hands on the workshop table and sighed. The moon was casting almost as much light as the candles, creating a soft atmosphere quite unlike the vexation he had churning inside.

He was about ready to give up working on her latest scheme until the next day. If Delilah were not such an important, not to mention attractive, patron he would have stopped her late-night visits long ago. She was always coming up with the craziest newfangled ideas. He was certain her mind was composed of ever-turning brass gears itself for how obsessed she had become with his inventions.

It was always soon after he had decided to retire for the night that she would turn up on his doorstep, her fascinator tilted just so, her shirt unbuttoned just so. Delilah did not care how she or her frequent all-hours visits looked to prim and proper neighbours. She was a modern woman too busy to be concerned with morals, appearances, class and all that. Others could think what they wanted about her because she would certainly think what she wanted about them.

“Perhaps it is time to find someone else to develop my concepts,” Delilah snubbed, sensing Bill's fatigue and wanting to get at least one type of rise out of him this visit.

“You are more than welcome my dear lady, to call upon the other so-called innovators in London, in all of Britain, in the whole empire, for all I care.” He was on a tirade, a second wind suddenly rushing through him. “I dare you to find a man amongst those brutes who is not still adhering to Stahl's outdated phlogiston theory, who is advanced enough to develop your ideas and advanced enough, might I remind you, to willingly work with a woman!” He pointed his finger at her for emphasis, as if her partly buttoned shirt did not provide enough of a reminder that she was indeed a female trying to get ahead in a man's world.

Delilah stared, her mouth agape. She threw the small motor she had in her hand on to the work table and made piercing eye contact with the red-faced man standing on the other side.

“Oh, I certainly will find him. And you, Bill Ashford, will rue the day you were so dismissive of the best patron you will ever have.”

She grabbed her coat and parasol from a nearby chair and hastily put on her gloves as she made her way to the door. It slammed behind her and there was silence.

But Bill knew that silence would last only minutes. Delilah was perhaps the best patron he would ever have, but he knew he was the best lover she would ever have. And arguments always brought out the fire in her.

© 2015 inconsistentsea

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Very powerful. I love the interaction and tension between them, as well as how you paint a picture without heavy exposition. Your descriptions let the reader build an image of what is going on, without nailing every detail to the page.

You bring out their personalities very well through their dialogue. Very hard to fault.

Posted 4 Years Ago


4 Years Ago

Wow thank you very much. Dialogue is something I am working on, so that is good to hear. Thanks agai.. read more
David Jae

4 Years Ago

You're very welcome.

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1 Review
Added on July 21, 2015
Last Updated on July 21, 2015
Tags: steampunk, flash fiction