The Other Place
(a semi-musical Steampunk hybrid story)
Blog Two: The Between Place
Chief Shabuni steps into a natural corridor where everything is tinted blue. Giant trees grow everywhere along a carpet of stones. Directly before him is the root in the shape of a nest. A little farther away is another block of ice. He hears Lady Oolong’s voice in his head, your clothes are beside you. Gather them but don’t wear them yet. As he gazes around for his shirt, vest, and trench coat he notices his chest, belly, and arms are invisible. His heart begins to race.
Don’t forget to grab a few of the shimmering stones in the shape of eggs, Lady Steamsail’s voice tells him.
He sees a leather bag with drawstrings on top of his clothes. As he bends down to gather a few eggs he opens his mouth to ask why. His eyes bulge painfully as he feels his breath rush out. Desperate for air he grabs two of the oblong rocks and tosses them into the bag. Without hesitation he picks up his clothes and heads towards the block of ice.
Through the ice he sees a bustling street. There’s something strange about the people but he can’t worry about that. His body is crying out for air.
As he takes a step forward the image in the block of ice disappears into swirls of mist. There’s a face behind the whisps of grey. He’s nearly at the block when he jolts to a stop. A woman with enchanting green eyes stares arrogantly back at him. His skin crawls in horror at the sight of her sharp fangs and the blood stains that run down from the corners of her mouth.
I see a stovepipe hat with goggles, she sings in a mocking tone.
Trousers and shoes
And absolutely nothing holding clothes
And a leather bag
A spectre, a wight, a ghost?
She inhales from her nose.
A tinge of magical power
But not anyone I’m looking for
You may pass
He realizes its good that he held his breath in terror the whole time she sang. The image of the street reappears and he dashes towards it before there is no oxygen left inside him.
Original photo by Leah Weir