I landed in a corn field. One glance at my body told me I would be dead in a few hours. Thick brown stalks impaled every five inches from the bottom of my right foot to the middle of my right eye. My left side lay in a furrow. I didn’t feel anything.
I waited to black out. The clouds hung above me in feathery whisps. Dry leaves rubbed together. It was quiet. After a few minutes, I rolled my free eye to see how much blood I’d lost. My jeans and shirt were clean.
I wondered about Harper. Somehow we’d been disconnected. I couldn’t see past the next row.
“Harper!” I yelled.
Maybe I blacked out after we came through. He must have thought I was dead and left me here. Or, he died sooner than me. A cold panic took hold. I was pinned here, with no hope of help. I wasn’t bleeding, so if I could get to a hospital, I might still make it. First, I’d have to get back to the other side. I wondered if there were hospitals on this side. I wondered if there was anything besides dead corn on this side. I should have asked more. I’d been absolutely sure I wanted to go with him, but I hadn’t given much thought to what I’d be jumping into.
I considered breaking off the stalks and pulling myself through. The thought made me nauseous.
Something twitched in my ear. I jerked away, and my head moved through the stalk. I wasn’t impaled after all. When I stood up, the stalks faded through my body without changing position. My finger moved through a husk as if it wasn’t there. I stretched my arms out and whirled around, slapping at the shovel-thick stems. They remained stagnant.
Something sticky like grasshopper feet started picking its way up my leg. I tried to roll my jeans to get it out, but the material would only fold to mid-calf. By now, it was on my thigh. When I slapped, it flattened, then bulged, an unnatural lump slinking upward. I unbuttoned my jeans and reached down the leg.
The thing clamped onto my skin and pinched so hard I was sure it would slice through. I bit my lip and closed my hand around it. When I opened my fist, a scorpion danced gracefully on my palm. Each of the six legs was made of metal brackets moving around a screw, raising and lowering the frame. The shell consisted of multiple plastic pieces joined by metallic scaffold-like structure. Inside, the machineries moved and whirred. Two alligator clip pincers on jointed arms clicked at me. The tail flicked a hypodermic needle up and down over its head. It headed toward my sleeve. Instinctively, I flicked my wrist. It landed a couple of feet away.
I lifted my foot. It retreated, raised on two back legs, and clicked the clips at me, then ran, and stuck the needle in just behind the ankle.
“You little buggardt!”
I shook my foot. The insect flipped over and back and around the pivot point of the hypodermic. It didn’t release. When I grabbed it, the needle separated from the tail. I dropped it and drove all the force of my foot flat onto the body. The insides caved, and it was still. As I pulled the hypodermic out, a drop of blood landed in a bubble on the dirt. It didn’t soak in.
I wanted to get away from there in case more of his friends showed up. I hadn’t gone far before I felt something pressing on the top of my head. Nothing was above me, but when my hands reached up, they hit a barrier. I stooped, then crawled. The area to my sides pressed in. I dragged myself with my arms and considered turning back when I saw a square opening, right in the middle of the corn. I pulled myself through and landed in a bedroom. The corn field floated on the wall in a window frame at the place I had emerged.
I tried the door first and couldn’t even grasp the knob. When I sat on the bed, I fell through. I picked a spot in a corner and leaned against the wall to think. Only a few minutes passed before the door opened, but no one came in. Through the doorway, I could see a hall. All the doors were closed, but a space opened at the end.
The space turned out to be a living room. A square on the wall opened to a street and playground. I crawled through, remembering to stay down until I was across the road. The space opened, and I could stand on the play area sand. The swings rose and fell with the movement of unseen children. The merry-go-round whirled, and the teeter totters creaked and bumped. The ground sloped slightly up to a pavilion. Rows of neat houses lined both sides of the street. Between some of the houses a wavering empty space extended to the street, but the street was whole.
A car without a driver rolled past. A garage door opened and another driverless car backed into the street and drove away. Those were nothing compared to the street cleaning machine that rounded the corner and started toward me. It was the strangest thing I’d ever seen. A pivoting tire attached to a silver pipe supported the back end. The pipe angled to a platform with an engine and some other mechanical parts. Another pipe angled off the front of the platform to either side of a large brush. The brush looked like it was actually a series of razors zig-zagging around the barrel. It turned off and headed toward the playground. When it moved through a parked car, I realized it wasn’t a reflection, and it was headed straight for me.
I looked around. In the real world, I could have climbed to the top of the slide or banged on the door of a house, but here, I didn’t have a barrier or ladder of protection. I decided to try going back into the house and hiding in the corn field. At least there, I’d stand a chance.
The reflection tunneled as the machine closed in. I ran, stooped, crawled, dragged. The hum of the razors just touched the bottom of my shoe and shaved off miniscule pieces. Then, I rocketed through space and landed on the floor of the living room. I rolled a couple of times and jumped to my feet to get out of the way, but it was gone. I leaned on my knees and panted.
Something shoved me from behind and sent me staggering sideways. My fist shot out at my attacker. It stopped mid-air, wrenching my shoulder. I came face to face with Harper.
“What were you thinking coming here?” he demanded.
“You’re alive,” I tried to hug him.
He pushed me away and started pacing back and forth. Head down, he pulled at his hair with his fists. “She closed the shade. I can’t believe she closed the shade.”
He turned on me again, “How could you be so stupid?”
“You look different.” Pinkish-purple hair replaced the black; violet eyes glared under pinkish-purple eyebrows. His blue-black lips looked like he’d glazed them with fingernail polish.
He grabbed my shoulders. “Don’t you understand. She closed the shade. If you hadn’t been in the tunnel, it would have thrown you into those razors.”
“Who?” The room was empty.
His fingers dug into my skin, “The woman who lives here. I told you, we can’t see the living on the other side. When she closed the shade, she closed the reflection. Since you were in the tunnel, you were sucked in. If you hadn’t been in the tunnel.” He let go of me and started pacing again. I could hear muttered words, “Stupid, Protect You, Hopeless.”
“Now we can be together,” I told him.
“No, we can’t.” He looked up at the ceiling.
“But, you told me you didn’t want to leave me. You kissed me.”
“I didn’t know kissing you meant a lifetime commitment.”
“Oh.” I blinked a little and stared. That never worked to stop the tears. I’d just done something life-changing for a guy that didn’t even care about me. I had to get out of there. I walked down the hall, fast.
“What’re you doing?”
“We can’t be together, so we better not be together,” I said. Two of the doors in the hall were opened. The bathroom mirror reflected through the bedroom opposite to the street. I started crawling.
“You won’t survive alone.”
“Not your concern.”
Evidentially, the woman in the house closed one of the doors and blocked the reflection because I somersaulted through the air and landed on the same street I was on before. The razor machine was gone.
My hurt turned to anger. All guys are such jerks. I tried to pick up a rock to throw, but my hand went through. That made me madder. I kicked the curb as hard as I could. Of course, my foot went through, and I landed on my backside. Laughter floated in my ears. It came from a woman in a rocker a couple of blocks away.
As I stepped onto her porch, beady eyes looked me up and down. Her facial skin fell in folds so that she resembled one of those wrinkle dogs. She had on a long blue 1850’s style dress. The hoop cage showed through a couple of tears in the material. White puffy sleeves poked out from a sort-of cape that draped over the arms. A string criss-crossed up the front, holding the two pieces of the cape in place.
“That boy save you?” she asked.
“I was watchin’ earlier. That boy went running and jumpin’ through the spaces to get to you afore that machine thing. Guess he made it.”
“No, I saved myself.” I’d rot before I let him take credit for that.
“You’re new here.”
“Gee, how’d you figure that out?”
“Those machines.” She pointed in the direction of the park with her cane. “They only come after the new ones. Chew ‘em up if they can. You plannin’ to stay?”
“You’ll be needing a disguise if you plan on staying.”
“Are you in disguise?”
“No. I’m native.” She rocked a little. “Though, disguises don’t fool them machines much.”
“Where am I, anyway?”
“How did I get to Illinois?” I muttered to myself.
“Mirror must’ve broke when you came through. When one breaks, it always throws everything everywhere.”
I thought for a minute. “Where would I get one, a disguise, I mean?”
“There’s a peddler right down there.” She pointed her cane at a two-wheeled cart with a horse in front parked outside the drugstore. Beside it, a greasy-looking man in a suit with a top-hat and handle-bar mustache examined his pocket watch. “He could probly set you up.”
“Thank you,” I stammered. I started away, thought of something and went back. “Is there anything I can get you?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact. He’s got this amber colored oil—pure stuff. See if he can spare a bottle.”
The man reminded me of a cat playing casual. He pretended not to notice me while watching every step. When I got close, he moved to the other side of the cart.
“Um, hello?” I said.
He came back. “Hello there, missy. What can I do for you?”
“I need a dis—some new clothes.”
“So you do,” he said. He opened a drawer under the rack, pulled out several pieces, and held them up for size reference. Finally he handed me a bunch of black lace. I shook it out. A dress. The lace formed a high collar at the top and dipped in at the waste before bunching out in layers. I could tell it would drag the ground.
“No way I’m wearing that.”
“Youngsters, so picky now days.” He clucked his tongue and started to rummage again. He handed me a pair of jeans with wide gray and black stripes. On top of that, he piled a regular belt and another one with several pouches. It had an extension with additional belts that buckled a holster around the thigh. A white, long-sleeved puffy shirt, black waist-corset, and boots that buckled up the sides completed his offering.
“That should do it,” he said proudly.
“Where do I try it on?” I asked doubtfully.
“There’s my fitting room.” He pointed at the drugstore.
Everything fit perfectly.
“I’ll take those.” He said when I came back out. He deposited my old clothes into one of his drawers. “You having any troubles?”
“Stomach upset, headache, trouble seeing, hearing?”
“My right eye’s a little blurry,” I told him.
“Got just the thing.” He pulled down one of the objects dangling from the top of the cart. “Here.”
It looked like a black eyepatch with a miniature telescope attached. Several gears and pins intertwined on both sides. A key and a heart dangled from a chain off the side. Several rhinestones and mirror looking bits crusted the area around the middle.
“Try it out.” He slipped the strap over my head and buckled it in back. I was amazed at how much better I could see. I closed my left eye. As if they knew my thoughts, the gears adjusted the scope to focus in on certain objects so I could see them down to the smallest crack or imperfection.
“What does the heart and key do?” I asked.
“Oh, those’re just decoration. I try to make it nice for the ladies.” He twirled one end of his mustache as if pleased with himself. “And, you’ll be needing this.” He took out a barrel and clamped its wide brass bracelets on my upper arm and forearm. A small peg with a suction cup pressed on my elbow and allowed unrestricted rotation.
“What’s this for?”
“Only use it when you need it. It’s pretty powerful.” He started folding the unwanted clothing and arranging them in the drawers. “Anything else for you today?”
I examined the old-fashioned type-writer looking keys sticking out a little from the barrel. “The lady down the street wants some of your pure amber liquid.”
“Why didn’t she come get it herself?” He asked suspiciously.
He pulled out a vial about the size of my palm. The label said, “Dr. Quint’s Ailment Oil.”
“Thank you,” I said and took a step back.
“Um, you do need to pay,” he said.
“I don’t have any money.”
“We trade here. I like that shiny trinket.” He pointed to my class ring.
I bit my lip. My parents would kill me if I lost my class ring.
He saw me hesitate. “I’ll throw in these.” He held up a pair of fingerless gloves.
“Oh, alright.” I handed him the ring. The chances of my parents ever seeing me again were slim at best, and I needed this stuff.
The old lady was still rocking when I went back.
“Here,” I held out the bottle.
“How much?” she asked.
“He took my class ring,” I told her.
“No, I mean, how much’re you going to charge me?” she asked.
“Uh, nothing?” I said. She looked really poor, and she probably needed the oil to keep her skin from totally sliding off her face.
She pushed my hand away. “Thank you.” As she spoke, the woman and the rocker faded until they were gone.
I waited a while to see if she would come back for the oil. I wanted to know more, and she seemed more likely to talk to me than the peddler. While I was standing there, something in the sky caught my eye. From a distance, it looked like a bird. As it got closer, it took on the shape of a stealth fighter. I’d never seen one except on television, so I decided to watch it fly over. My telescopic eye honed in on the shape, and I realized it wasn’t a bird or a plane. It was a stingray. Black parallelograms, resembling solar panels, comprised the top. White ones covered the bottom. An elegant series of chains, ropes and pulleys meshed the underside, coordinating the movement of the wings as they rippled in imagined water. A wicked sharp tail waved with the motion. As it grew closer, I could hear faint creaking and shuddering as the panels ground against each other. Something wasn’t quite right about it, though. I frowned and concentrated.
I heard someone step up beside me and thought the old woman had returned. It was Harper. He said one word, “Run!”
We took off down the street. I didn’t realize the thing was overhead until I saw Harper look up. That told me what was wrong. No shadow. Several portals opened in the bottom and chains dropped all around us. Harper and I positioned ourselves back to back as figures wearing black pants and black shirts with red vests rappelled down them. Brown gas masks covered their heads and chests; they looked down at us through the wide glassy eye-openings.
“Looks like they got dressed up to kill us,” I said.
They paused about four yards off the ground and pulled boomerangs off their belts.
“Watch it!” Harper pushed me to the ground and covered me with his body. I could just make out the boomerangs whizzing through the air. They threw out porcupine quills in every direction and returned to their operators.
Harper threw discs that looked like circular saw blades. They cut through several chains, throwing their riders to the ground, and opening a way through. Harper’s jacket looked like a pincushion. He tossed it to the side. We ran into a building and crawled through a mirror in the first bedroom. It opened into an alley next to another building. Harper climbed into an opening in the wall and motioned for me to follow. We scrunched into the tight space.
I hugged my knees. The tight space didn’t allow distance between us. Being close to him tempted me. I wanted to hold his hand and feel his lips on mine, begging me to forgive him.
“Where’d you get the gauntlet?” he asked.
“Huh?” His question brought back the burn of his rejection. I scrunched myself into a tighter ball.
He touched my arm.
My voice came out hard. “It is a blaster.”
I could hear a faint clank and whirr.
I didn’t want to talk to him, but I needed to know how to get around. “How does it work, mirror travel?”
“Each mirror opens an aperture. The reflection stays no matter what. If the mirror is broken or covered, the aperture is closed. When reflections intersect, the space widens. We can travel through intersecting spaces, but to get in or out, we need an aperture. Understand?”
The gangle and clank got louder.
“It’s like a maze. There are intersections and dead ends. When you find a dead end, you have to go a different way. Got it?”
“You taking an English class?”
I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see me. “Yes.”
“It’s like grammar. There’re rules, but there are exceptions.”
A splintering crashing sound shook the walls around us.
He cursed. “How’d they find us?”
I could hear thumping noises like bricks dropping.
“We got to go,” Harper said.
I crawled out first and ran down the alley. The stingray was overhead. Its tail had completely pierced the building and opened into barbs running along the spine with the flat ends facing the ray. The walls caved inward, and bricks fell as the spikes dragged through, undulating up and down, ripping out the guts of the building.
“This way.” Harper led me across the street.
He pulled a cover off a motorcycle, put on some goggles, and pumped it to life. I straddled the back and hung on. He revved the engine a few times. The tires squealed as we moved through the wall and into the street. Everything became a blur as we crossed reflection after reflection. Field, city, town.
We were driving on an Interstate when the ray shot something at us. I felt a burst of energy that sent the cycle skidding. Harper slid along the street. I spun out with the cycle. When it stopped, I was pinned. Harper ran through the traffic and tried to push it off me. I was concentrating so hard, I didn’t see the red vested figure approach. It lifted the cycle with one hand, grabbed the back of my shirt with the other. The thing started to drag me. Harper limped after us. I raised my arm to hit it and noticed the pipe. I aimed clumsily back over my shoulder and hit one of the keys. A blue beam erupted from the cylinder, and the figure shot away from me like he’d been snapped on a giant rubber band. I managed to stay on my feet and reach Harper half-a-second before the next black shape started in our direction. A whirling horizontal vortex of color swept past. Harper’s “Don’t” registered in my mind too late. I jumped into the vacuum.
We landed on our stomachs in a sort-of tunnel. Our arms stretched in front of us as if a giant rope dragged us. Our stomachs slipped along a highway, its passage marked by the yellow striped bits in the middle.
“Where are we?” I yelled.
“Rearview mirror,” Harper said. “We can’t stay here.”
I started to feel sick.
“We’ve got to pass or be passed.”
We were traveling at least 80 miles per. “Shouldn’t be a problem.”
I looked behind. Not a car in any of the lanes. My right eye saw every detail of our passage through the telescope; my left eye saw a blur. My stomach started to roll.
“If we get thrown,” he said. “I might not be able to find you.”
“Fine by me.”
“This isn’t some junior high game. You could wind up in China or Africa. And I could fall into Brazil.”
“If we get thrown, you have to curl up, or at this speed, your body’ll fly through separate mirrors. You won’t be whole when you land.”
I wanted to smack him for getting me into this.
I looked through the scope at the fields of corn interchanging with green bushy-looking plants. We were still in Illinois. Just then, the hood of an orange car showed up. Our car was passing a slow-moving vehicle.
“We’ve got to go now, before we miss the intersection.” He pulled on my shoulder. I’d tried to balance on a skateboard once; the deck kept rolling out from under me. That’s what standing felt like.
I pushed off and curled into a ball. My body landed on the trunk of the orange car. Harper landed beside me. And, a chicken flew in behind him.
I leaned on the back windshield and took deep breaths until my stomach settled. When I opened my eyes, the chicken started pecking at my boots.
I spoke first.
“I thought this side couldn’t affect the other side.”
“It can’t. This side’s just a reflection.”
“But the building. . .”
“Was ours,” Harper finished my sentence. “I don’t know how they found it. It’s in a place nobody really knows about and the aperture we used to get in and the one we used to get out are the only two.”
“Why aren’t there any shadows?”
He stated the obvious, “We don’t have a sun.”
“But, I thought that ray thing was made of solar cells.”
“Our energy radiates from the mirrors. Those cells collect that energy. People here don’t eat. We absorb energy from the mirrors.”
“So, where do you get the materials?”
He took out a pocket knife and started scraping under his nails. The chicken moved from my boots to his.
“Ever look for something and you can’t find it and then later it’s back right where you thought it was?”
“Tristan, remember he’s my overseer, won’t let us steal. Anyone who’s caught has to put the stuff back and isn’t allowed to travel over there anymore. He does allow us to take discards. Everything manipulable here is taken from a junk pile.”
“So, why aren’t my clothes dirty? Do you wash them there before bringing them here?”
“Tristan fixed the filter so objects come out clean on this side.”
“So,why doesn’t Tristan just fix the filter so Largarus can’t go through?”
“He did, but Largarus has a lot of people working for him on both sides. If we could catch him, it would put an end to this.”
I’d run out of questions, almost. “Where’re we going?”
“To hide you.”
Harper pulled the handkerchief from around his neck and undid the chains around his boots. Various pieces of machinery dangled on the links like charms. He used the knife to work them from their clasps and laid them on the cloth. He added the lip rings and ear plug. Next, he unclasped the metal bands around his arms and snapped them together. He used the knife to screw the various pieces from the handkerchief together and fit them to the bands. Finally, he worked off the heel of his boot. A energy cell popped out.
He stuck out his tongue, “thiring thin.” He extracted the rod and pushed it into a hole in the top of his assemblage.
“Stirring fin?” I guessed.
“What?” He screwed up his face.
He rolled his eyes. “Firing Pin.”
He held up his finished work. “Gun,” he announced as if I couldn’t see for myself.
I folded my arms and leaned back further. Wires strung across the highway occasionally interrupted an otherwise clear blue.
“Look, about what I said back there,” he started.
“It’s no problem,” I snipped.
He continued as if I hadn’t spoken, “Tristan told me not to kiss you. He said there’d be consequences. I just couldn’t help myself.”
“Fine for you,” he said.
I sat up. He looked miserable. The chicken started pecking at the gun.
“What do you mean?”
“When I kissed you, it formed a bond. I didn’t know kissing you meant a lifetime commitment. I will never be free of you.” He looked at me desperately, waiting to hear what I would say.
“You mean you weren’t dumping me?”
He touched my hair. Shivers traveled out from the spot. “How could I ever dump you?”
He leaned in to kiss me. We forgot about the scope. I poked him in the eye.
“Ow!” He stood up and started dancing around.
“Let me check it.”
He pulled back from my prying fingers. “No.”
I could tell he was trying not to show how much it hurt.
“Did I blind you?”
He shook his head. “Maybe take off the patch?”
“I’ll kiss it better.” I caressed the back of his hand with my lips. It wasn’t long before he forgot about the eye.
“You kiss different without the rod,” I told him.
“What?” I asked.
“I tell you I’m bonded to you for life, and you evaluate my kissing?”
“Well, kissing skills are important to evaluate when deciding on a lifetime partner.” I baby talked a little. I don’t like it, but for some reason, it drives guys crazy.
He kissed my neck. “How do mine measure up?”
“I’m not sure.” I turned to catch his lips with my own.
“So, what does that mean, bond?” I asked.
“It means that I will always care about you, always want to protect you, always want to be with you.”
“What if I don’t want that?”
“You’re free to go. I’m the one that’s stuck.”
“And you’d let me go, just like that?” I looked at his face to see if it held truth.
I brushed his hair back; his eyes pulled me in. I’d dumped guys before; it wasn’t pretty. They always looked a little lost and sad, like a dog that’s been dumped by its beloved family on the side of the road. I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend eternity with him, but I didn’t know if I could stand to see that lost puppy look in those beautiful eyes.
I needed some time to think, so I changed the subject. “ Why are Tristan and Largarus at war?”
“Largarus wants to kill Tristan and everybody on your side of the mirror.”
“He’ll be able to move as much as he wants over here from that side and build his own empire.”
“Do you know how he’s going to do it?”
“No. He’s created some secret spaces—ones where he controls the apertures. We think they’re at the bottom of the ocean. He’s building his war machines there.”
“How can he create spaces?”
“He doesn’t actually do it. People on your side position the mirrors.”
“So, the end of the world is going to come from the Great Barrier Reef or the coast of Hawaii?”
“What do you mean?”
“People scuba dive there. Who’s going to notice a couple of mirrors. The water in the reflection’s not really there, so he can build what he wants in the spaces they make and control the openings.”
“Never thought of that.”
“Still doesn’t explain why he wants me.”
“It’s something important with everything he’s sending after you.”
“If he gets me, I’m just going to do what he wants.” I couldn’t look at Harper when I said it.
“You’re going to cooperate?” His voice was hard as concrete.
“I can’t risk Sadie. Maybe I can get Maddie in the bargain.”
I risked a glance. His tongue starting playing with lip rings that weren’t there.
“If you cooperate, I’ll have to stop you,” he said.
“You won’t be able to, you’re ‘bonded’ to me, remember?” I pointed out.
“Death breaks the bond.”
“Good to know.” I didn’t really want to betray him. I just couldn’t figure out any other way. “What choice do I have?”
“We could trust each other, and Tristan.”
“How’s that going to help?”
“Tristan always helps out, just when we need him, not before. He’ll help us when the time comes.”
I didn’t trust this Tristan person, but I wanted things to be alright between Harper and me again, so I broke my first rule of relationships, I lied. “Alright, we’ll trust each other, and Tristan.”
The car stopped in a small town gas station, and we hopped off.
“Should we bring the chicken?” I asked doubtfully.
Harper laughed. “What would we do with a chicken?”
I shrugged. “What’s it doing here anyway?”
He started walking toward the clusters of houses and restaurants. “People steal ‘em for pets.”
“A pet chicken?”
He nodded. “Remember, we don’t have animals like you do. It doesn’t need to eat, on this side, so there’s no problem taking care of it.”
“What’s it doing on the trunk of the car?”
“People probably got scared they’d get caught, so they let it go.”
“Nice.” My tone said that I meant the exact opposite.
He led me through some buildings and down some streets. We stopped in a carport.
“It’s early morning, so people’ll be leaving for work,” he said. “The car mirror connects that one,” He motioned to a large round mirror hanging in a corner. “to the ones on the street. When the car leaves, the owner covers it so this aperture will be closed until the car returns.”
“Why?” I asked.
“One of ours hung it. This is a safe house.”
We melted together in one long kiss, and he was gone.
I sat for what seemed like forever. I got claustrophobic a couple of times thinking I was trapped there for good. I kept reminding myself that the person would get off work and return eventually.
When the aperture reopened, Harper wasn’t back as promised. The sky grew dark, then black. Clouds blotted out the moon and stars, and the street didn’t have a light. I belly-crawled under the car and looked out from time to time. The clouds lifted, and a sickly moon hung low in the sky.
I heard a noise, and as if out of nowhere, Harper was standing in the street, his eyes focused on the carport. I froze. There must be danger, or he would come in. I thought over my options. Hide here, run, try to signal him.
Something grabbed my foot and tugged. I lurched back. My hands clutched at tires, the underbelly, anything. Of course, they went right through. The final yank brought me face to face with a two large glass circles.
You can read Part III by clicking on the title above.
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If you would like to read Part I, click on the tab in the banner above.
Modeling credit goes to Alexandra Clairmont. Thank you, Alex, for your time and inspiration.
Sources I studied while writing this piece:
Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions by Brian J. Robb. First published in 2012 by Voyageur Press.
Dr. Who episodes
The Three Musketeers movie featuring Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, and Christoph Waltz
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Voyager