“Miss Winterdove and the Erupting Eulogist”

winterdove_transp500Genre: steampunk
Year written: 2010
Year first published: 2013

Where You Can Find It

Clockwork Chaos, print anthology, by Dark Quest Books, 2013.

Order it online.

History

In 2010, I caught the steampunk bug and out popped an idea. With concept art from my friend Matt Haley, comic artist and film director, the main character came alive. Her name is Josephine Winterdove, and she’s a pip.

Much lighter in tone than most of my writing, Josephine’s stories are a breath of fresh air. I’ve started a series of them in which she stars and plan, one day, to write more. She is the kind of woman who demands special attention, and I intend to give it to her.

This anthology has been two years in the making, and so it’s with much relief and joy that I am able to say that it’s FINALLY HERE!

The Story

The titles of Josephine’s stories are ripe with alliteration, and I had originally planned to write a story for each letter of the alphabet. This one is the letter E, so we’re not starting at the beginning, but “that” as Josephine would say “would be boring.”

I researched the elements of this story, and this kind of eruption really did happen back in the “good” ol’ days. It must have been quite horrible, though Josephine takes it in stride.

Excerpt

Miss Josephine Winterdove gazed down at Ernesto Aperador in his coffin. He looked peaceful, and that did nothing to assuage her wish that he burn in Hell. She dabbed her handkerchief at the corner of her eye, as did several of the women in the church. Señor Aperador had left behind many broken hearts, including Josephine’s.

Unlike the others, she hadn’t craved his romantic attentions. Rather, she coveted the cravat pin positioned in the middle of his chest. It broke her heart that the powerful carnelian cameo would be buried with him, despite her unrequited efforts to purchase it.

She couldn’t stand by the coffin for long, or she would draw attention, but she had to find out how the cameo was attached. Already, she had spotted a strange joint on the base of the pin. She assumed it was connected to a tripwire. Leave it to ol’ Ernesto to booby trap it, out of spite. He had to have known she would make an attempt.

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