It’s time again for another round of Tuesday Tales. This week’s prompt of “sky” gave me all sorts of ideas, but since we’re trying to stick with one theme and be productive on this end, I’ve opted to continue the newest work in progress, “Crippled Playthings.”
I warn you now – it’s horror. This story is not pretty and will likely not have a very happy ending for everyone involved. However, this week’s prompt did give me the opportunity to work in a bit of the Louisiana Steampunk feel. I hope you enjoy it.
A word of warning to those that read last week’s post – I’ve changed this character’s name. I wasn’t happy with the other one.
Also – check back with the Tuesday Tales Blog for the rest of this week’s fabulous stories!
Assisted living is bullshit, Georgia thought as she stared out the window. Two weeks now, day in and day out, nothing but the same monotony. Wake up, received pitying looks from the staff, go to bed. At least in the hospital all she had to do was lie there and pretend not to exist. This new facility, according to her doctors, would help with the transition into her new life. Not that it was much of a life.
Georgia stared up at the sky. Billowy, white clouds floated across the clear, blue pane, reminding her of early, more wistful days. She remembered the carefree days of her childhood in the neighborhood, hitting the street at dawn and not coming home until the streetlights popped on. She thought about the playground on the corner and running through the tall grass near the woods where all the kids were forbidden to go.
Something she would never do again.
The sky seemed to darken with her mood. Thick, dark clouds roiled in from the west, boiling forward and pushing the happiness out of the atmosphere. She was willing to bet if she began to cry, it would begin to rain.
Oh, who the hell am I kidding? She snorted and rolled her eyes. Georgia knew she had no control over the weather. That would be too surreal, and a bit too much like a comic book or video game for her tastes. She did, however, have control over one thing…
Under her fingers the ratty slip of paper crinkled. She’d kept it bunched in her palm since leaving the hospital. The nurses and orderlies had no clue it existed, and would likely take it from her were they to see it.
Georgia dropped her hand into her lap as the light outside the window dimmed and the first rattle of thunder shook the roof of the old building. She unfolded it and looked at the nine hastily-written digits on it. The number was not a local one – the 205 area code told her that much. It was nothing close to New York’s 917.
She read the numbers to herself a dozen times, praying she could remember the sequence, then curled the paper into a tiny ball and shoved it down into her bra. Then she turned the wheelchair around – the cumbersome beast – and pushed herself toward the pay phone on the wall just as the first crack of lightning split the sky behind her.
It rang twice, and a familiar, gravelly voice filled the receiver.
“Have you reconsidered my offer, Miss Corchoran?”
“I don’t know who you are,” Georgia said, holding the phone away from her ear – she didn’t want the lightning to hit the line and zap her, “but if you can do what you say, then yes. I want to walk.”
The line buzzed in her ear for a long moment before a weak, rattling chuckle filled her head. “Excellent. Be at Union Station tomorrow morning at seven o’clock in the morning. The dirigible captain will have your papers.”