Monday, January 09, 2017

Whence Washing Away?

by SS Hampton Sr.

Hello!

I have been aware of Steampunk for some years now, found the premise interesting, and always thought I should try writing Steampunk someday. But what does an older guy like me know about Steampunk? Not much, actually. But it sounded interesting.

Anyway, while researching a story I once came across mention of a 1778 treaty at Fort Pitt in which American Indians, if assisting the Continental Army against the British during the Revolutionary War, were offered the possibility of their own state and representation in Congress. Once the war was over, of course. The idea of an American Indian state intrigued me, and I thought I should try writing an alternative history someday.

Of course, just like tomorrow, “someday” never comes.

Then I saw Nicole Gestalt’s Call for Submissions for Valves & Vixens, Volume 3 (House of Erotica). The sub-title Steampunk Erotica clinched the idea. So, “someday” finally became “now.”

And the idea hit me—why not write about West Delaware, the American Indian state (the 14th State, or the Treaty State) in a Steampunk world? Of course, that meant research in order to gain a better understanding of Steampunk, and to develop a believable timeline from the 1778 Treaty of Fort Pitt to New Year’s Eve, 31 December 1900. Especially important was what the Steampunk world of West Delaware was like on the eve of the 20th century.

Sooo…as midnight approaches, West Delaware is a populous state with the descendants of survivors from Eastern tribes, as well as tribal refugees who made their way out of the West, through watchful US Army picket lines. There are descendants of white colonists who elected to live under American Indian authority rather than be removed by the fledgling American government and lose their land; descendants of runaway slaves, and still arriving European immigrants. It is a state in a flux of change where the people are blending ancient cultural and social customs with new ways, all against a background of a rapidly evolving computer-based technology.

The people in this world include Carlton Snow, Chief of West Delaware; Solomon Prophet, Director of West Delaware’s powerful state police; Kyrie Sosoni, Executive Assistant to Chief Snow, and who serves both a master and mistress; the influential Senator Walker Diamond who, along with others in the Federal government, wishes to do away with West Delaware; Lord Gallatin Andover, a member of the British Parliament and envious enemy of West Delaware’s computer technology superiority; Lady Elysia Delacroix Stuart, successful Washington madam with ties to West Delaware and Lord Andover, and her sister Lady Cassandra Delacroix Gordon, a member of Elysia’s brothel.

I suppose a last question would be, “How will this all end?” Who knows? Answering that question might deserve another story, or perhaps a novel. We will have to see.

Here's a peek into my story Washing Away.

December 31, 1900, New Year’s Eve. A murder of a prominent British politician, an opportunistic computer technology entrepreneur in a seedy hotel in Washington, D.C. Is the murder nothing more than a sleazy robbery, maybe industrial espionage, or perhaps revenge?

Lady Elysia Delacroix Stuart, a brothel owner in Washington, and her sister Lady Cassandra Delacroix Gordon, a member of the brothel, are on their way to Chestertown, West Delaware—the American Indian state, created after the Revolutionary War—for a New Year’s Eve celebration. The American Indian state leads the world in early computer technology and Lady Elysia’s family played a role in developing the technology. She also had a secret and less than pleasing history with the politician, and finds herself suspect in his murder.

EXCERPT
The solitary gaslight swayed in the strong, wintry wind. Snowflakes spun through the cone of light that swung back and forth across the sidewalk to the side of a wood framed hotel that saw better days. Large snowflakes stuck to a window for long seconds before reluctantly losing their shape and becoming thin rivulets that trickled downward.

Within the dark room the feeble light filtered through curtains that also saw better days. The solitary room was warmer than the winter night outside, but not by much.

“Why this place?” a masculine voice asked. “Why a seedy, dirty little place like this?”

His answer was the squeak of the bed as a feminine form outlined by the curtained window light giggled and crawled forward. The woman turned at the head of the bed and lowered her hips.

“Taste me,” she whispered and tilted her head forward so that her long hair dangled back and forth across his hips. A deep, masculine groan answered her, and beefy hands rubbed and squeezed her hips, then her ass cheeks. She giggled again and lowered her hips further. The groan became muffled. “Do you like my scent,” she asked and reached between the man’s legs. The excited reply was muffled as she rolled her hips back and forth, and her head rose and dipped in a slow rhythm. The man groaned again.

After a few moments she stopped and rose on her knees. His voice rose in protest.

She turned and straddled his chest. The light barely lit the long face framed by long dark hair and decorated with a bushy mustache. His hands resumed their rubbing of her hips and ass cheeks.

“You like?”

“Always have,” he replied in a low voice and squeezed, hard. “You were the best. Especially your first time. That belly dancing in Egypt did wonders for you.”

The woman leaned forward and kissed his forehead. He slipped a hand between her thighs. She gasped and sighed.

“I know.”

“I should have married you back then,” he added.

“I know.”

“You should have married me when we met in London.”

“Really?” A hint of sarcasm was in her voice.

“Yes.”

“But then, we wouldn’t be here.”

She reached behind the pillows, between the headboard and the end of the sheet covered mattress.

“What are you doing?”

“Sshhhh,” the woman replied and placed a finger against his lips.

He chuckled and trailed thick fingers through her pubic hair while he curled her long hair around his other hand.

She pulled her hair free and sat on his stomach. The light from the window shone briefly on a polished, thin round stiletto blade. The woman clapped a strong hand across his mouth and the blade disappeared into the shadow of his left temple. His eyes opened wide, the whites easily visible in the near darkness. A less than lustful gasp and groan filtered through her fingers. His body jerked, his feet kicked, and then he went limp though his limbs shuddered spasmodically.

The woman sighed, placed a pillow against the side of his head and withdrew the stiletto, now darkly stained and dripping.

She remained seated on his stomach, slowly tilting her head from side to side as if studying the now motionless body. She turned the head so that his lifeless eyes gazed at her.

“I wasn’t sure I could do this,” the woman told him in an emotionless voice. “But, it was so easy.”

The window rattled from a strong gust of wind.

“Everything could have been so different,” she said later in a matter-of-fact voice while standing by the bed, shrouded in a winter cloak, and pulling on a pair of gloves. “I’m glad things worked out the way they have.” She paused at the door and listened. At that time of the morning no one was up. Odds were, even the night clerk was asleep. The woman cast a final look at the body followed by a whispered, “Someone really should have told you, hell hath no fury like a girl scorned…or…ill-used.”

The gas lamp lit hallway decorated with a faded, frayed carpet, was empty. She hurried to a door at the rear of the hotel and plunged into the frigid night. Only a horse carriage, and a hissing steam carriage were out and about. With a final look up and down the street, she left the hotel grounds and disappeared into the snowy darkness that was Pennsylvania Avenue.

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SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a third. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint). He is currently enrolled as an art student at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.

Hampton can be found at:
Dark Opus Press - Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing - Melange Books - MuseItUp Publishing - Goodreads Author Page - Amazon Author Page - Amazon UK

1 comment:

  1. Sloane,

    Thank you for this opportunity. I appreciate it. Be safe, and much success in your writing.

    Stan

    ReplyDelete