Friday, September 12, 2014

Steampunk Drabble: A Short Voyage on the Nautilus

Steampunk Drabble

By David Hartley Mark

            “Man Overboard!” cried Starbuck, amid shifting the teak-trimmed wheel of the Nautilus north-nor’-west, and peering murkily through the isinglass watershields off the bow.
            “Where away?” asked Marlow, replacing a steaming cup of blackadder tea, and pushing back the Stereoptiscope that showed the safest path through the billowing darkness of the Spitzbergen icebergs.
            “Let a man see, can’t yer?” asked young Sam Clemens, pushing his hat back of his head, and rushing for’ard, pulling the bowline he had been trailing out the back’s’il hatch and into the submarine’s wake, whilst chaunting: “Mark One, Mark Twain, Mark Three….”
            “All is under control, Gentlemen,” said Captain Nemo, calmly, leaving his brass-and-mahogany library in the unterseebooten’s bow, and advancing, firm of step, toward the Main Piston-Thrusters, which reciprocated on: pocketa-thweep, pocketa-thweep, pocketa-thweep, “It is Lady Ophelia, out for a swim. Mr. Christian! See her safely into the Pressurization-Chambers; have her dried and enveloped in Chinese Silk, and shown to my boudoir. I have use for her….”

            In a quietly coppery corner, the Cheshire Cat flickt his tail, then winkt wisely at the Dormouse, who groaned and disappeared into the teapot, pulling the lid to, behind him.