The Other Place
(a semi-musical Steampunk hybrid story)
* The Other Place continues from where the Steampunk hybrid story, Books by Authors Who Never Existed, leaves off.
He feels the coolness of her fingers against his skin as she places a thin chained gold necklace with a single bronze skeleton key around his neck. In the centre of the skeleton key’s head is an onyx gemstone that glows. He looks towards the China cabinet as he hears Lady Oolong strum the lute while Lady Steamsail dings a crystal bell. The tiny gemstones in their skeleton key earrings are also radiating; one green, the other blue.
Lady Raven unties his wrists. “Come with me,” she says.
As he stands up to follow, he hears Lady Oolong sing:
I hear you’ve met my sisters
And you’re wondering
What are the key earrings for…
Do they have anything to…
Do with the slab of ice…
That never melts?
Have you ever heard of…
The Other Place?
Before him is the entrance to the kitchen. In the centre of the ceramic floor is a slab of ice that appears wet but doesn’t seem to melt. Within the slab he sees the thick tree root of a giant tree. The root is curved into a circle that reminds him of a nest. Within the nest are glowing blue rocks.
“My sisters will follow you soon,” Lady Elsewhere tells him. “Lady Iris, who you should now address as Countess Idris, is already there. She is staying in a suite within the Crimson Red Hotel.
While Lady Oolong continues to sing and Lady Steamsail dings the crystal bell, Lady Elsewhere gives him a silver goblet with a dark amber liquid inside. “It will help you travel.” As he sips the viscous contents with the strong alcohol and nutmeg taste, Lady Elsewhere undoes the buttons of his trench coat and the vest underneath. His head begins to spin as she fingers a scar in the shape of a pixie on his right pec. “It moves when I touch it,” he hears her say with interest. “Does our chief have a secret friend?” He vaguely sees her undo the lid of a jar. Her long fingers are icy as she coats his face, chest, back and arms with a jell that smells of frankincense. “The nest before you is where the antigravity stones come from. We call it the Between Place. There are numerous nests between your reality, The Other Place, and The Place That Never Existed. Step into the nest Chief Shabuni. We will see you soon….” He steps forward.
Dianne McBride is a multitalented artist. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dianne was kind enough to let me alter her picture for the cover of The Other Place.