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Chapter 1 Scene 1

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I'm a p

Master Einslow Barbierre left his damnable steed, Deviance, strapped in the shadows where it could do the least damage to itself and others.

 

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 1 Scene 2

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The Cheshire wasn’t Einslow’s first port of call for a glass of thick whisky, ‘twas all gloss from a distance, yet grime to the touch. Tho’ it did have dark corners and even darker patrons. He sought the services of just one ...
 

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 1 Scene 3

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‘Your services,genfar. Your fee?’ Einslow demanded keeping his distance.
Fraser T Knifelight, not a villaine' to be trifled with. A heinous type - one of Hellsmoor’s seedy elite.
‘Twelve thou’, if you ask what I think you’re gonna ask ...’


Hellsmoor

Chapter 1 Scene 5

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In the dank dark of Copple Bridge; seedy penny pinchers and sly shadow-dwell'ers awaited the jump on the more unwitting citizens of Hellsmoor.
It was here, the next stanza of Einslow’s evening would play out.

‘Einslow ...’ she lit a cigar.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 2 Scene 2

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Einslow had her attention so he divulged.
‘There is a train that runs the 5th line out of NonNotion Station, to the West of Hellsmoor. It is the 693 Rampant Bullyeire ...’
Eliza nodded slowly, ‘I know of it. It transports the Wickeird’ Henchman of Low Patrolleum.’ She raised one brow. ‘I once had a cousin, Einslow, did I ever tell you that?’ She dragged on her cigar and exhaled a thin plume of smoke.
‘No. Why would you?’
‘Indeed, why would l?’ she agreed. ‘Well, she was killed on that train, and by those Wickeird’ Henchmen.’

Einslow left that well alone ...

‘Well, in that train is our paydirt. Are you on board?’

‘What are we talking about, Einslow?’
He leant in close, ‘Gold, Eliza. Gold.’
She grinned hungrily, ‘I’m in.’

Hellsmoor

Chapter 2 Scene 4

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Chapter 1 Scene 4

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Hellsmoor, away from the pomp and bustle of Distortion Road, was all grimy, chilled alleyways and sleazy smoke houses. Einslow sniffed in the cold, breathed the dark. He questioned his motive behind the purchase of such a dark service.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 2 Scene 1

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Eliza Motif’s parlour was a secret only a scant few knew of. Einslow had an open invitation.
‘So, sir, you’ve made it quite clear what you haven’t come here for ...’ she glared.
He smirked, ‘No, I come on more fiscal matters.’
‘Oh? Do tell.’

Hellsmoor

Chapter 2 Scene 3

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Hellsmoor’s piping bowels, ‘The Sullen Dreary Underpass’, was dank and tediously long. Tho’ a straight line to NonNotion Station.

‘You choose such lovely thorough-ways’ to take a wymfar, Einslow. Listen to those pipes. We can hear the run of every flushing toilet from down here,’ Eliza Motif mused. ‘Had I known, I wouldn’t have worn a stiletto heel and such a thrilling parka ... Bit of waste.’

‘Had we taken a LectricCar across town we would have been far too visible,’ Einslow said, ‘obvious really.’

He flipped his pocket watch.

‘It would be taking place by now,’ he muttered.

‘What would?’ Eliza asked.

‘I have a bodder' being tortured.’ He quickened his pace, ‘keep up will you.’

Eliza huffed and stepped-to, ‘A torturing you say. And who have you enlisted to do your unseemly, Einslow? Someone sharp I hope.’

He smirked,

‘Fraser T Knifelight. Sharp enough for you?’

‘Indeed, genfar, he’ll- ‘

Eliza stopped mid-sentence as Einslow threw a halting arm across her front. ‘Shush. We have company.’ A gang of thieves, the dreaded ‘Stovelight Salvagers’, bustled onto the underpass. Einslow reached for his fixed blade Emblemson Bowie knife.

‘Get your blade, Eliza... to kill or be killed.’

Hellsmoor'

‘Frighteningly savage things, do you agree, Einslow?’

‘Do you mean their savage stink or their savagely woeful skills, Eliza? Because they are on par!’ Einslow slashed his blade across the Stovelight Salvageman’s face.

Eliza, sleek and cat-like, even in a stiletto heal; she high-kicked a Salvageman’ on his fat dial - blood flew. ‘You anus from the wild aboves’!’ Yelled another as he attempted to escalate the battle. Wild shooting from a steam cannon hit everything but its target.

Einslow sunk an elbow into the dunces’ throat and he fell in a clattering heap, phlegmatic coughing ensued. ‘Call us anuses, will you!’
Einslow felt a driving fist as his head hit metal piping ... steam filled the underpass.

Hellsmoor 

Chapter 3 Scene 1

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The Sullen Dreary Underpass ended at a stodgy old maroon door painted in white cursive.

‘Herewith’n lies a destination forthwith!’

‘What a load of old trop!’ said Eliza, ‘It’s as if they go out of their way to bamboozle.’ She lit a cigar.

Einslow pushed on the door, ‘well it is a train station. Ha! Eliza my friend, I think you might regret lighting that chimney stick’ of yours. We have quite the climb ahead of us.’

‘Shan’t be wasting my smoke, Einslow. I’d rather collapse.’

‘As long as you’re sure ...’ he peered up doubtfully.

The coiling, pythonesque’ stairwell to NonNotion station presented in all its daunting varnish and pomposity.

‘We walk,’ Eliza said with an indignant puff.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 3 Scene 3

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The 693 Rampant Bullyeire.

Einslow had travelled in carriages as comfortable as the of plush and polish of the Bullyeire; shown wymfar of Eliza Motif’s ilk quite a time of it as well. This evenings ride wasn’t a ride for ‘swoon an show tho.’ Rich and deadly business was on the cards.

‘Lovely how they get the heating just right, isn’t Einslow? One feels like curling up with a tawdry Penny Dreadful and sipping a port,’ Eliza said as they stood the back of the carriage.

‘Yes, well, there’ll be none of that. How many rounds do you have in that pistol?’

She rolled her eyes,
‘I never leave without two dozen, Einslow. I am a Hellsmoor vaxen, man! Not a common Slabshaw’ tea-maiden! For shame, Barbierre.’

Einslow flipped his pocket watch. ‘We have exactly four minutes ...’

‘Until what? This is all deliciously covert, Einslow. But we came here for gold!’

He kissed her cheek and she grinned.
‘That was for good luck, Eliza.’
His expression darkened.
‘This is the 26th carriage. The gold is in a cargo hold in the 12th.’

‘How hard is this going to be, Einslow?’

‘Quite, but worth it. Trust me.’
He looked up. ‘They’re early!’

The swing door opened, wind rushed the carriage.

Eliza opened fire.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 2 Scene 5

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‘I despise a flincher,’ Eliza Motif shot the last Salvageman dead.

She walked over to a slumped, upended Einslow Barbierre and kicked his size eleven boot.

‘Get up, Barbierre! We have a damned train to catch, remember?’

Einslow stirred and smiled at his cohort, ‘Oh, Eliza, you brought your pistol along.’

‘Lucky for you, fellow.’ She bent down and kissed his forehead. ‘You can thank me properly later ... once we have our gold. The gold on that train!’

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 3 Scene 2

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Einslow grabbed Eliza by the hand, running them both across the platform and ducking behind a ‘Spirits lounge.

‘I could go a gin,’ Einslow uttered under his breath.

NonNotion Station was the berthing haven for all of Hellsmoor; everyone from the towns elite to gutter-dwelling shiftymen; from token royalty, down to the lamp lighting hobbling children of Skirtingrow South.

‘Where is this beastly train, Einslow? And why are we hiding like guilt ridden covenist’s?’ Eliza said.

‘We’re early.’

He eyed the monstrous, ‘No.92 Corillion Charger’. Its horn blared - steam burst wildly, hats were thrown, a roar of voices hoorah’d! The mighty engine pulled away.

Einslow drilled straight into Eliza’s eyes,

‘Once the Rampant Bullyeire pulls in we board quick, we stay out of sight. Do you understand me, Eliza?’

 

‘Well, yes I do ...’ she raised her eyebrows ‘... has this anything to do with the fellow you are having tortured, Einslow?’

 

‘Everything, Eliza. Stay close.’

The 693 Rampant Bullyeire roared into NonNotion.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 3 Scene 4

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The scene in the plush carriage of the 693 Rampant Bullyere ...

The high speed click and clack on the rails belied the unmistakable stillness of the deceased state.
Eliza had shot the genfar dead.

‘My trigger was keen Einslow, yes?’ she whist’d. Gun smoke still stank the air.

‘Indeed it was friend, and now I have his gun.’

‘A stylised blitzkrieg through this whole damned train, then?’ said the Hellsmoor vaxen.

‘No we use our cunning. The Wickeird Henchman are rife throughout this train,’ Einslow said.
He opened the swing door. The rumble of steam motor and iron wheel deafened. ‘I’ll take the lead.’

Hellsmoor 

Chapter 3 Scene 5

Chapter 4 Scene 1

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‘26 carriages of not much at all, isn’t it Einslow.’ Eliza huffed, ‘thought we would be eye deep in Henchmen by now.’

The two had ventured forthwith, pistols held high, through eleven carriages of the 693 Rampant Bullyeire, toward the gold.
‘It is strange, I agree with you,’ Einslow said as he pushed on yet another swing door and they crossed.

A gun shot directly ahead.

‘Hang on, Eliza!’ He slung his hand across her bodice.

‘To the walls! They haven’t seen us!’ The two ducked behind seating to the left and right of the carriage , a’shon from the other, but within a whisper.
Einslow hissed, ‘Eliza, they have been corralled! This is a predicament. Follow my lead.’
Both peering aside the swing door’s window it was Eliza who spoke first, ‘That’s Quernus Wickeird, the founder of the Henchmen. We are in esteemed company it seems! I shall enjoy shooting him in his chiseled gob!’
Einslow was livid, he bit hard into his lip.
‘I didn’t count on this ... Quernus was the bodder l was having tortured!’

‘Oh dear,’ Eliza said.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 4 Scene 2

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Master Einslow Barbierre and Hellsmoor Vaxon, Eliza Motif, had a clear pathway to bullion in carriage 12.

There had been a swiping of innocent scathes’ tho’.

Both stood the dark of carriage 14.

‘We can be moral. We can also get what we want,” Einslow spoke with resolve. ‘The Wickeird Henchman have no idea there is gold in 12’. They have left us an empty train.’

‘Lets’ then,’ Eliza pecked his cheek. ‘Tho’ if you keep ignoring my advances, fool, and not kiss me properly I shall get distraught with you shortly.’

He held her chin and kissed her lips. Short, but with intent. ‘Will that tide you over? We really are quite busy wymfar.’

‘Fair …’ she breathed in, satisfied, ‘and yes, my fellow’. I am sated … for now.’

The two burst through the swing door and ran the length of the swiped and vacated 13th carriage and entered the 12th.

Fumbling hands along the cargo hold brought the reward. He shone a pocket gas light.

‘Goodness, that’s a smite gruesome!’ Eliza exclaimed as Einslow flipped the box lid.

‘Mr Whites Unfortunate Fortune is our good fortune, Eliza. Hands cut off at the wrists. He wasn’t about to give it up easily.’

‘A decent stumping. Didn’t expect that.’ She nodded.

Einslow slammed the lid.

‘We stash it. We go on and rescue the scathes.’’

Hellsmoor

Chapter 4 Scene 5

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The view of the River Twahla as the cry-wheel boat pulled to the back of the Sufting House, was of gilden twilight.

Buildings of storied millienthe’, punching infinitely skyward, shadowed the sullen waters; the town of Kifflington Opal Offla Mia a bronzed wonder.

‘Midnight in this part of Hellsmoor is certainly a confusion,’ Eliza said as she stepped on to the almondnickle-flonted jetty. ‘How would one sleep, Einslow?’

Einslow sighed, ‘O’ one doesn’t. One smokes from the Jeddpipe and drinks cylinders fill’d with thickened spirits’ ... you’d learn to live with it.’

‘Should I swaff’ my pistol, Einslow?’

‘You should.’

The two entered the fragrant gloom of the Sufting House foyer.

Hellsmoor

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The Ariondontal Tunnel, the longest in Hellsmoor, ran the length of 1 n’7 miles on the 5th line toward ‘Fleechington Do’ath’; a Penchant Town to the city’s north.
The mighty 693 Rampant Bullyeire had pulled to a stop at the 1 Mile mark. Power was off’d. Carriages were left in darkness.

A thrilled Eliza Motif whispered to her compatriot, ‘Oh Einslow, how I do love the dark.’ She squeezed his upper arm.

Einslow’s playful grin went unseen. He knew The Vaxon so well. Eliza’s mischief he appreciated to no end. ‘I know Eliza ... but this looks troubling, does it not?’ Through the swing door window, he squinted into the next carriage.
Harried voices of the corralled passengers. The yelling of the Wickeird Henchman.
The passenger door to the twelfth carriage was forced open.

‘Their leaving?’ Einslow gasped.
‘It’s a swiping,’ said Eliza, ‘Those bastards. The Henchmen do this often.’

‘The gold tho’.’ Einslow rued.
The silence invaded as outside , footsteps on track rocks, shouts of ‘Move it! Yer mothscretes! We’ll av’ yer heads!’

‘Einslow - we have a clear run - but we also have a dilemma, man. A moral dilemma!’

A decision had to be made.

Einslow rubbed his chin,
‘Yes, friend. To save the poor scathes’ or take the gold.’

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 4 Scene 3

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Kifflington Opal Offla Mia,

a concrete bustling town north east of Hellsmoor.

To get lost in the crowd was only to head out on the thoroughfare, ‘Carapice’.

Einslow and Eliza blended with the raff’ and tumble, the colour guard and shiftmen.

They kept twenty heads’ a’farrar of the Wickeird Henchmen and their swiped scathes - genfar’ and wymfar, young’s and babes.

‘Where do they take them, Eliza?’

Eliza shrugged,

‘To the ‘Flesh Traders of Ironmark’, I would guess.’

Einslow paled, ‘this could be a very long evening.’

Hellsmoor

Chapter 4 Scene 4

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On an orish’ pontoon in the middle of ‘River Twahla’;
Kifflington Opal Offla Mia’s one and only ‘Sufting’ House’ loomed like a smoking, snorting ‘Orror engine.

A lone, cry-wheel boat made its way across, sinking low with the weight of its swollen crew; The Wickeird Henchman and their swiped’ victims.

‘Eliza, is there another cry-wheel’ you can see?’ Einslow scowled. ‘The River Twalah isn’t fit for wading through. It’s all cess’ and ceptic ... and the dead.’

‘I can’t see one,’ Eliza Motif searched the shon-dock, ‘Just that Stantfish Steamer. And there is not a single way in Hellsmoor my underside sits in that!’

The cry-wheel pulled up at a haze filled dock point at The Sufting House.

The stolen Wymfar and genfar huddled the young under Henchman’ Blundergun point.

‘Einslow, who do you know in the ‘Sufting’? Anyone of note? We might need some clout.’

Einslow mused,
‘Ms Stacier Reckener - Vice Chaust of Districts.’

‘She sounds impressive ... how do you know of her, Einslow?’ she pried.

He snorted,
‘Now’s not the time, Motif’, surely. The ‘cry-wheel’ is on the return. Let us move dock-ward.’

‘Ha! Cowardly genfar ...’ the Vaxon said. She folded her arms and followed.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 5 Scene 1

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The Sufting House.

In many ways its own’d contradiction. An innard’ of plush grandeur, of drapery, of furnish’ - as well a sensory invasion of herbice and illicit pipe, of brewing spirits’-teas and lageurs’.

S’was also the house that sent wymfar n’ genfar to dark trade and hellish’ ever-mores’ in Hellsmoor’s lowliest and most vacuous corners.

The vaxon, Eliza Motif walked the raspberry coloured hall alongside Einslow Barbierre, smoking her beloved cigar.

‘Here, Barbierre.’

She grabbed Einslows’ hand when she saw her.

Sitting by a gastion clock was Ms Stacier Reckener; vice Chaust of districts, descendant of Lord GlundleKane-the high minister of the Ironmark Flesh Traders.

She was a clindictateur’, not to be quelled when piping heated nouns, not to be crossed ever, not ever.

She greeted Einslow Barbierre and Eliza Motif with a flourish of a porcelyne’ pale hand.

‘Einslow, you sowl’. What brings you to the ‘Sufting’? And this charned wymfar you have with you?’ Stacier recrossed her legs. ‘She looks ... well, she seems your type.’

Eliza blew smoke through pursed lips, her chin high.

‘Einslow, this woman is quite the strickenbrow, isn’t she.’

‘That she is, Eliza,’ he smirked and then addressed the Chaust’.

‘Stacier, we have history, I know, it was ribbonesque and wild. And it has been some time ... but we need your clout, woman. Will you lend it?’

Stacier gave Eliza a hard look then shut her eyes. She then opened them to Einslow and nodded slowly. She breathed,

‘Our history is why I will, Einslow Barbierre ... tantamount.’

Einslow nodded.

Eliza dug a nail into his palm.

Hellsmoor.

Chapter 5 Scene 2

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‘The scathes you speak of, Einslow, have already left for the Flesh Traders of Ironmark. Kin’taur was all fill’d for this Crestiall eve.’

Stacier Reckener strolled Einslow and Eliza through the Staunchfil Distillery area of The Sufting House.

Turflen brew boiled in the atmosphere, numb’d the senses, wafting Gin-Tin flower fermented in Striped-Wiffleberry Rum.

‘It is a’shame for you both. You will now need airship trans-crossing to ‘Ironmark.’

‘Will you sort that, Stacier? And what of Quernus Wickeird and his Henchmen? Have they crossed?’

‘O’ Einslow, of course Quernus has crossed, he wants his payment.’ She raised her eyebrows. ‘Your looks and your uptake don’t always run the same parallesque’ arrow, do they ... was the same when once we were enraptured ...’ she sighed.

‘Now, please follow me to the ‘Ferryer Raffters’. We have ‘The Merrigolden Icelindicate’ awaiting berth. Will be adequate.’

‘You two were ‘enraptured’, Einslow?’ Eliza whispered squeezing his hand syaxingly’.

‘She is goading you, woman, pure sowlplay’’ he said clearing his throat.

A long arterial-glandenway out’d to the echo’d Orring’ housing of ‘Ferryer Raffters’, - The Merrigolden Icelindicate’ awaited most monstruently.

Stacier tip’t her brim to them both, ‘Cont’ue.’

Eliza watched her walk.

‘She is an attractive wymfar, Einslow. A well done past for you, man.’

He grabbed her hand, ‘please stop with this, Eliza. We have work.’ He peered up, ‘let’s board this pag-snouted wyndfreighter.’

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 5 Scene 3

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The Merrigolden Icelindicate, berth’d from Kifflington Opal Offla Mia without one wave of a Bristalle’ hat or a copperhorn blow from the ‘Ferryer Raffters’ onsightmen’.

Hellsmoor’s consistent ayre’ traffic never registering much more than a yawn from the on’foot below.

The craft rose high above the Lowndries’ through the rains of Heliamstrawn’ enroute to the lowliest of Hellsmoor’s co-municipality’s Elldridgen, home to the flesh trading burrough of Ironmark.

‘You know, I’ve left my bloody chime-horse tied to a pole in the city proper,’ Einslow rued as he gazed through the window at the greyed outscance.’

Eliza stood at his shoulder in the slightly dated devillian’ plush and upholstery of the ‘Merrigolden’s’ roomful cabin’ry.

‘What’s the name you call that trotting wire’grate, Einslow?’

‘Deviance.’

‘Are you concerned someone might try and swipe it?’ She put a hand on his shoulder.

‘Ha! They might try, woman. Deviance will maul.’

The wide scaled dirigible’s motor downed steam. At ground level, skeletally ore’d frameworks of sputting-yards’ and caged’run-ruins appeared through the haze.

‘What is our plan, Einslow?Scathe-wise? This is bigger than we anticipated isn’t it ...’

Einslow continued his gazing,

‘We’ll need to daunbrow’, I fear. Is the only way Ms. Motif. The only way.’

The Vaxon grinned.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 5 Scene 5

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The dump and dire’ on the streets of Ironmark made for a locale none would savour ...

‘Daunbrow’, was a Hellsmoor term meaning ‘to go all out,bletzen’!’

The Vaxon, Eliza Motif, approved of this way af' assault.

The vile Ironmark native was an unexpected abruption’ on the evening. He was pathetic;

‘You, you ... ‘branded Sally’ what are playin’ at!’

She struck a devil-flint and held the flame up at his nostril.

With her free hand she dug nails into the throat of the simplified genfar’.

She whispered with menace,

‘Stupid oath’of’all. Do you know what a Vaxon is? I could n’ would tear your apple’ straight from your throat, you sowler!’

‘A moment, Motif, will you.’

Einslow bent down to engage with the grabber - s’was a bald-sween, with a lip scar, a shundled eye and a nose that was about to be ‘bloody-waxed-candled’ by one n’sensed’n irate Hellsmoor Vaxon.

‘So, you tackled the wrong sort, man! I won’t ask you who you are, because it doesn’t matter.’ He tutted. ‘And she won’t accept an apology, so don’t offer one. If she lets you go on, count yourself bless’d, sol’.’

Einslow straightened, turned and walked.

Eliza lit im’ up and squeezed.

The screams filled the streets of Ironmark.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 6 Scene 2

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With skidding stepfell’, pistols drawn,Einslow and Eliza followed the screams n’ scuttle’drag of a suddenly animated Brochiall-Helm House.
The echo was enormous n’ hollow.

Wymfar and genfar were being led out. The dumpity, fleshtraders’ skuttleryman brought up the back, holding chains draped across his wrists hollering,
‘Eyefell!’Earfell!’Fallen aft’ for trade! Make way as they take thar’ last!’

‘Drop your arm’ Motif,’ Einslow drew breath.

The skuttleryman paid them no mind and walked on, as did the scathes.
‘Eyefell!’Earfell!’Fallen aft’ for trade! Make way as they take thar’ last!’

The group moved through’n’on, vanishing in the dark’ning umberant’.

‘Of all the Helleny’, Eliza! Would you geddy’ that way?’ Einslow grabbed the Vaxon’s arm.

Peering into the open door of the doomroom’, she rubbed the perfect sculpt’ of her v-shaped jaw and just stared at the menace’ of the machinery. It’s use obvious.
‘They nog’wash them, Einslow? Wasn’t expecting that.’
‘They trade them empty, Motif.’

‘Indeed.’

The doomroom’ door slammed shut.
Brochiall-Helm House fell silent.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 6 Scene 4

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The Wickeird Henchman of Low Patrolleum. Thuggish crimsmen’; vile, slit-neck’n carriage runners of the most untoward.

Quercus Wickeird spoke gruff and straight s’ a pistoline’ barrel.

‘Ya bullion?’

The scove’ lifted his steaming Kellier’ gun, chin height to Einslow’s. ‘Of course you’ll be handing that to us.’

‘Will we?’ Eliza Motif raised her eyes genuinely amused. She took a step toward Quercus. ‘Why would you think that, scowler?’

‘Because we’ve been known t’ disembowel n’ spit in the left over innards uf’ any that wan’ follow us on,’ said Quercus.

Einslow gave him a deep glare and a deeper tone. ‘Not so feistish’ my dum’ friend. Have you ever heard of the ‘Breisling Terminal Engine’? Much more to savour there than mere bullion.’

‘Call me dum ... what are ya un’ about, sklunt’,’ spill it!’

Eliza Motif grinned. Her Einslow Barbierre had a plan.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 6 Scene 6

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The lookout at the Aiken’Farrer Carrier platform belied the woe’d footland’ af’ Ironmark below.

Eliza Motif stood a mite uneasy at Einslow Barbierre’s shoulder and made minor word’s flow.

‘The Wickeird Henchmen were quite the ploddy’ fight for us. Wouldn’t you say?’

‘Hm ... yes.’

He continued en’search the sky wide for their next berth; a courier-air’e back to Kifflington Opal Offla Mia - and subsequently back to their gold.

‘Ahem ... there were two bloodshot claggers’ left. We’ll see them again no doubt.’

She touched his shoulder.

He pointed afar’ at a coming airship,

‘There! That’s the ‘Canviarre Shifftenberg’, a definite solid model for this cross.’

‘Puh!’ Eliza pulled hard on his shoulder.

‘Good god! What are you on about wymfar!’

She bristled,

‘Ho! Einslow Barbierre! Shall I bring up what happened back there? You have never kissed me like that before!’

Einslow smirked, ‘You liked it?’

‘It was better than you obviously thought it was!’ She tapped a cigar and struck a light, visibly dishevelled, she expelled a plume his way.

‘Must you? You smoke far too much, friend ...’

‘Ha! Friend!’ The vaxon gave him a look of a scallow wanderer. She drilled into his eyes.

Deep.

‘Of us, Einslow, what is it we’re doing?’

‘Whatever do you mean?’

‘You know man. Do not vex me!’

Hellsmoor

Chapter 7 Scene 1

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In a wildly uncomfortable quarter’space, just off the ‘Canviarre Shifftenberg’s’ control room, Einslow and Eliza sat knee to knee, on a pad’d pillar bench under a dome-glo’ oil lantern.

‘Good of them to find us a seat I suppose, given this bloody air-transits’ state of refurbish’ ... not so wild about the draft tho’,’ Einslow said as he looked through the driving window. ‘The elevatory feel is not so’ when you’re with the driver’stosh tho’ is it.’

Eliza rolled her eyes, arms folded, ‘Yes, not so high man ... Einslow Barbierre, are we to talk in a way that will address this lion’fair between us?’

He nodded, ‘Ok, Eliza-‘

‘Yes?’ she raised her brow.

‘If ...

Hang on! What the?’

Einslow’s attention switched as he launched from his seat.

‘Motif, those two Henchmen! They’re taking over this bird! Get your pistol!’

Trobbling’ bats were swung.

Bodies collapsed at the helm.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 7 Scene 3

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Are you impressed with my landing, Motif?’ Einslow Barbierre grinned as he ease’d the ‘Canviarre Shifftenberg’ to the vacant expanse of the Terra’- Quoil Planes’.

The iron bar’d configuration of the temporary lodging docks presented.

‘Can I ask, Einslow, why you are dumping us this far from anywhere af’ note?’ Eliza Motif said as the craft bump’d n’ jolted.

A stumbly’ old fortsmeth’ ran round and threw a chain over the underships’ clampingbuckler’.

‘This will do us fine, wymfar,’Einslow said gazing down at the wounded henchmen on the aerolite floor. ‘Quercus Wickeird will not’ve pass’d on Eliza ... I think we should saunter the scenic route back to Kifflington Opal Offla Mia.’

‘Einslow Barbierre, I have a stiletto heel - you scowl of a genfar!’ Eliza exclaimed with a surl’.

Einslow held the hatch door open for her. ‘We shall talk and walk, Motif.’

‘Finally, Barbierre! Stantfast’! I’ll de-boot for that!’

The two jumped to the dirt.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 7 Scene 5

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‘I am Brothren’ Strang. Welcome to Talion’House, home to the community of The Staunchian en’Flux.
We teeter on the very edge af’ the doorstep af’ Hellsmoor. The Flux’ does not agonise nor’ does it apologise. It persists.’

‘Quite the greeting ... as boast’ful as it was,’ Eliza Motif said scowling at the Flux’-man.

The short genfar’ was cloaked; black hair oiled and strand’lick’d.

‘Is this place a truth?’ Einslow said taking in the cathedralesque iron innards’ of Talion’House. A piston driven Schivlington’Piano-Organ stood flanked between two cobalt coloured Gastion Clocks. Oil torch’s were lit and fire’highed the surrounds. ‘The reason I ask, is this Vaxon and I were umbling’ the Terra Quoil Planes and up it sprung, like a coil in the ... Quoil’.

‘O Barbierre’-‘ Eliza rolled her eyes and looked to Brothren, ‘Was it you playing that awful pianol’clang on that contraption?’
He sniveled, ‘that clang’ was the ‘Stromphian Villia’ Langth’ in B flat!’

‘O? Never heard of it ...’ her eyes glazed as she turned to her genfar and sighed, ‘Einslow, what are we to do in this flunk af’a tin chapel? Shall we head out?’

‘Not so swift, Wymfar.’ He turned and gave her a lengthy stare. ‘I find this all a stark rarity, don’t you?’

‘I suppose so ... where are you heading with this, Barbierre?’
He reached for her hand and she gave it.
He then turned to Brothren. ‘Do you have a formality scrit, per chance?’

‘I do.’

The Vaxon grinned, ‘Einslow?’

Einslow squeezed her hand hard, bowed and kissed it. He watched her with force. ‘Eliza Motif, this will not be a complete Betrothal-not until we make it back to the city.’ He peered into her green eyes. ‘We could find finality then ... but, will you?’
Her eyes widened then thinned,
‘Hm. As long as it doesn’t fizzle out here, Barbierre.’ She lifted his chin with two fingers. She found his mouth and kissed him. ‘I would be enchanted.’

The Schivlington’Piano-Organ played a celebratory flisk’ in D minor.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 8 Scene 1

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The whirling sands of the Terra Quoil Planes soon gave way to the bricken’d outskirts of Chiffing, a town only a scant mile away from Kifflington Opal Offla Mia.

An arched pale blue came upon the newly betrothed, Einslow Barbierre and Eliza Motif as they walked in stride. A recognisable silhouette appeared holding a steaming Trunkling’gunned apparatus.
The Vaxon couldn’t contain herself;
‘O, for all the’sorry’barking-arsonic’bastards of Hellsmoor! Einslow! It’s Quercus!’

‘You should ave’killed me, Barbierre! You and that huxton’mouth next to you.’

Einslow left Eliza’s side, and stepped fore.’
‘Quercus Wickeird. My fellow’fellower. Yes! We have a non finalised transaction, do we not?’ He gave a wink, gestured with open hands. ‘You haven’t forgotten have you? The Briesling Terminal Engine!’

‘O it’s too late fa’that, fuggler! Ya shot me in my shoulders! Left me bleeding!’
Einslow shook his head. ‘Yes, that was unkind of us. Motif. Would you agree?’

Eliza struck like The Vaxon she was, ‘He got his come’facking’uppance!’

Einslow shut his eyes, ‘Not helpful beloveful’, not helpful ...’

He turned to the Henchman once again,
‘Well, If you are certain The Briesling’ will not appeal we are at a grand standoff.’

Baring yellow teeth, Quercus Wickeird charged the Trunkling gun.

Hellsmoor’ 

Chapter 8 Scene 3

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The topic of conversation was as torrid as the view from ‘Cantillian Bridge’ in Kifflington Opal Offla Mia was extrordinairre’.

 

Vibrant skies sold hope’n’calm in wild’n’golden rays.

Still ... the conversation was torrid.

‘A vile end for a vile bodder,’ Eliza Motif jested, ‘Ha! Have you ever seen a head burst in such a way, Einslow?’

Einslow Barbierre inhaled the clashing fragrants’ of the harbour town; dredged up Scalette’Dalmar Trout from the River Twalah; glogg’ smoke piping hi’fal from cry-wheel boats, all mingling with the Sufting Houses’ many burning illicit aromatiques’.

Einslow took his wymfar’s hand. ‘So before we make our betrothal official, Motif, I feel I must ask. How many deaths have you witnessed?’

‘Barbierre? Why would you ask?’ She said lighting another cigar.

‘Because my love, you were remarkably relaxed whilst Quercus Wickeird exploded in front of your wild eyes.’

‘I have a high tolerance for frame’bursting, Einslow.’ She exhaled her smoke left, away from her beau’s side. ‘And yes, I have witnessed my share of callow’d’corpsing.’

Einslow Barbierre smiled. ‘I knew I chose well in you my Vaxon.’

He kissed her hand.

‘... Devastatingly yours, Einslow.’

Hellsmoor’

Chapter 8 Scene 5

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Chapter 5 Scene 4

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The Merrigolden Icelindicate shifted gearing, motoring fartheringdown’ in the subtle wind-drifts. Down, down into the darks’ of Ironmark.

‘G’off!’ shouted the Man’O’Front.

‘You rude clag!’ Eliza Motif growled.

The chute door swung open and Einslow and Eliza jumped onto a tin roof - five storied highfal’.

The Merrigolden’ sprayed an uncaring shower of steam then drove off skyw’rd to Hellsmoor’s wests’, back toward Kifflington Opal Offla Mia and The Heights of De’ Cavignon’.

Hands on hips, Einslow considered Ironmark below.

‘What is that stench, Eliza?’

‘Grease catching alight on the Coal-Body fires’ one would expect.’

The Vaxon nuzzled in close at his side. ‘I’ll take some of your body heat, man. There is a dirty chill out this eve; a deathwhisperind’.

Einslow continued watching the town with squinting eyes; the crooked stairwells, the ember-lighting from gaslit dome lamps’ barely perforated the soot and gloom. Taximen’ in Frickson’cylindered Hanson cabs drove under Trott’ bridges; merely motorised

shadows in the umber.

He pondered their next step while Eliza sparked another ‘Fiddlers-Trumpitt’ cigar

- her brand.

‘Decent time has ran, Eliza. The Wickeird Henchman would be close to striking a deal with the FleshTraders’ for the scathes by now.’

Eliza puffed smoke hi’chinned as she held his upper arm. ‘Maybe not Einslow. I hear the queue for fleshtrade’ is a long one ... tell me, how much would you say is a fair price for a wymfar’ or genfar’? In good plomp’ of course.’

‘Two t’ three thou’ per head I would think.’

‘Good currency.’

Crossing a soot coated glandenway the two dissolved into Ironmark.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 6 Scene 1

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Brochiall-Helm House, a draft’d gutter’d factory from the Witchen’ Overthen’ era of Hellsmoor’s, Ironmark-circa 392nd.

Not to be fool’d by its dank’n’char; doomrooms fill’d with drypaper currency under octangularlock’n’key awaited launder from shifty hands and some of Hellsmoor’s most soulless feldonhanders’.

On this eve’, the outer and street of Brochiall-Helm House was as busy and entry guarded as if  The Gelden’ Crystalisian was on show.

The FleshTraders were a’sides the law in Ironmark; all power, fear, law and currency - the want to trade was high. And the traders were invisible, faceless, monsters.

The two had made their entry through a ‘clock-doomroom’full mechanicalist gantway’. The hidden lock was slid with an uncanny hand ... Einslow Barbierre’s overt skill in all things sly’t and stealth’fil’ s’was a thing of great beauty.

They stood in an empty, fierce’n’airy, metallic hall. Iron doors flanked left’n’right’n’all the way through.

‘You do know how to impress a wymfar, Einslow Barbierre,’ Eliza sconted, looking mysterious’magd’allenesque in the half-light.

Einslow chortled,

‘There is always a way in, ‘Motif ... tho’ now we’re here, it seems ominously quiet.’

The Vaxon nodded with pursed lips, ‘I am fairly sure this is how it works. Nothing is seen, nothing is known. Everything’s covered until the deeds’ done.’

‘Apologies, friend, but how do we find our scathes’?’

A great sound of a door rolling open, further in’ down.

Chains.

Screams.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 6 Scene 3

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Einslow Barbierre knew not all in Hellsmoor was as true as copper’n’iron and not all steam’n’lectric’.
Some things were not body’d and form’d at all ... he wasn’t exactly at ease with such things tho’.

The one way out of Brochiall-Helm House was a brindling exit with a numbing chill in its stone’n’granite aisle’way.
The whispered voices suffocated the aisle’, sucking’n’spitting phantasmagorical air; brimming with disgust.
‘Pieces of vile uncouth like you clotts and others’ of the b’fore, fill the spectralrealms of Ironmark, don’t ya know.’

‘Stay close, Motif,’ Einslow said feeling his arterial flow leave his face and syrup’drip down foot’ward. The two paced to the outre’ and the voices kept on.

‘Ironmark is just a killin’ quart, don’t ya know. They all slip away, live in the shadows oft’ ... thar’ never come back.’

‘Did you hear, Motif?’

Grit fill’d, Ironmark mist peppered their faces as the court-way opened.
The spectres forgotten -
Eliza Motif was livid,
‘Is this true, Einslow? Has this all been a fockery’! Damn’n’all of Hellsmoor! They just kill them?’

‘Must do. What a bleedn’ waste, eh?’ Einslow rued. He shook his head, ‘Let’s go get the bullion, Motif.’

‘And what bullion would that be?’
The voice was gruff, and unmistakable.

It was Quercus and the Wickeird Henchmen.

Helllsmoor

Chapter 6 Scene 5

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The streets of Hellsmoor’s Ironmark’ were grim and grimy. On this eve a small band of miscriots’ walked the soot’dusty drag.

Two af’fare; five af’vile.

Einslow Barbierre and Eliza Motif were being nudged along at pistol point by the scaze-crusted Wickeird Henchman.

Eliza Motif kept her head up and neck straight as she uttered under her breath at her man’fellow.

‘And what is this Briesling Terminal thing you’ve bought us some time with, Barbierre? Were you just speaking trop’ to these slit-throats?’

‘I don’t lie, Eliza ... I furnish’. There is something known as the Briesling,’ Einslow whispered with husk. ‘Whether the ass’ish’ thing is worth a dry farthing I don’t know ...’

With a quick glance over his shoulder Einslow addressed the murderous Henchmen’.

He cleared his throat, ‘This line of work you pride yourselves in ... after your pay, the scathes’ are sent for slaughter. You’re aware of that?’

Quercus spoke,

‘Nowt’ all of em’, yer silkenglover! You un’ yer vaxon ther’ know not a thing of Ironmark. Just shut yer gabs’n keep yer promise of this engine!’

Einslow felt an end of a gun barrel prod his kidney. ‘Ouch! ... and we shall, scove’.

‘Tho’ first-’

He stopped dead and reached for Eliza’s jacketed upper arm - he pulled her in to his chest. Holding the vaxon strong and close he peered into her eyes - his look ‘arcfire’.

‘Einslow?’ She grinned.

He kissed her lips with a passion undeniable’.

‘Hey! What’ in merryhellier’ dont’ cha think this is!’ Quercus yelled as his Henchmen unravelled at his side.

The kiss continued and Einslow spoke to her in low and deep muffled tones as he worked her mouth through his. ‘When ... I ... say ... now.’ He breathed a warmth her way and the vaxon dug her hands into his shoulders.

‘Hm ... yes, Einslow ...’ she swallowed.

‘Get, your pistol ... ‘ he pushed his mouth in harder, and tightened his embrace. ‘Hm ... we go ... ‘ he gently bit her lip, ‘all out bletzen. Ok?

She whispered, ‘ok.’ And loosened her grip.

A guttural shout and a fist came rushing in to seperate them.

‘NOW!’

Eliza leaped back as Einslow smashed his forearm into the lopes’ mouth and cracked his teeth.

The vaxon shot Quercus in both shoulders with two pistols.

Shots echoed.

It was all out bletzen!

Hellsmoor

Chapter 7 Scene 2

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A mid’sky struggle.

A non pilot’d air’carrier; bedlam on the Canviarre Shifftenberg. The coma’ridden’n’unconscious crew lay sprawled on the aero lite floor.

‘Yer scallied the boss, Barbierre! Yeh, we know who you are! We’re here t’clen’ ya clock fool!’

The unshaven mug was red and spitting n’ wild rage.

Einslow punched him in it.

‘Eliza! Who’s driving this burper’?’

‘Not a soul, Einslow! What do you think man!’ Eliza took a hit with a trobbling bat to the high’leg.

‘O’ you just didn’t do that, stansioner!’ The Vaxon high kicked the Henchman and unloaded a round to the stomach.

Einslow Barbierre broke fingers with his Cruck’boot heel - then cracked the Henchman’s head on his knee bone.

The cabin spoke quiet.

Motors whirred. Bodies sprawled.

Einslow and Eliza stood watching the other.

‘Can you fly us, Einslow?’

He blew fringe from his brow. ‘I can.’

The Vaxon crossed her arms, her tone boiling.

‘Best do it quickly, Barbierre. We’re crashing.’

‘Are you still cross with me, Motif?’

‘You know I am.’

Hellsmoor

Chapter 7 Scene 4

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The Terra Quoil Planes, so far’ northern, were vast and mist’ille. The clay’d sands were shadowed by an ever-motioning ceiling of’silver.

There was a duo walking; the discussion edged in emotion’d tinged bryst’; particularly from The Vaxon, Eliza Motif.

‘You are a motionless stilt’ of a genfar at times, Einslow!’ She shook her stiletto heeled boots at him. ‘I feel like boshing yer’ thick ear’oles with the points of these - Ouch! - a shat af’ a rock!’ She cried, stumbling.

Einslow held her arm while she shook her foot,
‘Eliza, why must things change between us? You seem so bloody strung’up about it, wymfar. All rather sudden, wouldn’t we say?’

They set off again.

‘How is it sudden, Barbierre? And am I not the quintessential’?’ She pursed her lips’n’leered, ‘no need to answer, Einslow, we both know.’

Einslow looked afar’ and want’d suddenly to be far’far’away. He sighed,

‘So what are we decanting’ here, friend? Betrothe’? Is that how far you want to take it?’


Eliza folded her arms and grinned. ‘O’, Barbierre! Straight for the heart’wax ... hm.’

Einslow halted, pointed and broke thought entirely-
‘Of all the will’dern! What’s that up there?’


An eerie choral chant and twist’d organs carried the wind’drifts’. A clock glowed on a spire’d facade.

‘O that’s come out of nowhere hasn’t it?’ Eliza stood stunned.

Hellsmoor

Chapter 7 Scene 6

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The back courtes’ of Talion’House were a place af’ quietus’.
The confusing’n’strange, edgy’n’whispered, ceremony held by The Staunchian en’Flux had departed.

Einslow Barbierre
pondered his new future with the Vaxon, Eliza Motif. He gazed up at the high branches of the
Oe’klingdallery’ Oak and spoke aloud.’
How do we feel, wymfar? Now we are betrothed. Are we in love do you think?’

Eliza took a step to’ and rested her cheek on his shoulder.
‘I have a fire for you, Barbierre. That I would think is by far pronounced.’ She lit a cigar. ‘And you for me? Choose your words with wisdom Einslow ...’ she puffed a plume of smoke, a purple-grey in the slothelight.

He dug boon’fuls in her eyes with his, kept his tone low with delibe’rance.
‘At the beginning of this jaunt’, Motif, I might not have said so ... how I am, how you are.’
He kissed her, ‘Tho’ I do think there is love there. You are a once and only,Motif.’

She lowered her eyes and grinned, ‘As you are, Barbierre.’ She ran her hands through his dark’top as she dragged more cigar.
‘Let’s collect our gold, Einslow.’ She kissed him again, ‘Then let’s seal this properly’on’skin, back in my parlour.’

Einslow nodded slow, holding his breath.

Hellsmoor'

Chapter 8 Scene 2

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A Trunkling gun. A cumbersome and lethal’weapon best loaded and fired by a skill’d Oproprioterre’.

Quercus Wickeird was stalling. Einslow could sense the head henchmans’ trepidous’aire.

His newly wed’d Vaxon was never backward coming forward tho,
‘But you have us dumb’fer! We are at your disposal. Can you not handle your weapon? Are you not equipped? Puh! I have heard this about the Wickeirds!’

‘Shut yer’ yap scumard!’Quercus faultered as the motor spat kero’fluid from its copper mount.

The Trunkling gun’s inner gearing now screaming as Quercus floundered.

Einslow offered with a smile, ‘I can help you. You have no weight in the trigger, you foddler! It is with the intricacies of the clutch you see.’

Quercus’s eyes were wild, ‘bastards af’ woeful dogs!’ He continued to fail with the guns clutch device. His arms shaking as the Trunkling rattled. Sparking flame ran up the barrel.

‘HO! YOU ERRANT FLAILLER!’ Eliza screamed delighted. ‘BURN YOU HUFFMAN!’

Einslow grabbed her arm, ‘Wymfar, this stupid over compensating arse’ner is going to blow himself up! RUN!’

Then Quercus Wickeird exploded.

Hellsmoor’

Chapter 8 Scene 4

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The last eve’.

Kifflington Opal Offla Mia.

Betrothal.

A glinting ceremony in

‘The Chapel af’De’Twelth Lyar’.

A worrisome, thinly haired, grinning chapelion’ waited patiently.

Mr. Drewin’ Mc’Feiste’ Conductionerre’, led

Twaust’d’Villiolin players as they strung a Moch’Cath’edralion dirge of an epic grandeuet’.

Dress’d to piping haunch’ness, Einslow Barbierre led his Vaxon, Eliza Motif, slow. He admired the flo’ of her blackened Lench’gown.

He uttered,

‘We shall savour this, Motif. S’is a proper beginning and a’ruining to savour.’

‘Indeed, Barbierre ... although once we are official,and before we quintessentially finalise all af’ this,’ she whispered, ‘uncloth’d in my parlour.’ She squeezed his hand, ‘Let’s not forget to pick up our stashed gold.’

‘Yes the gold. Our reason, my Vaxon. I haven’t forgotten.’

Hellsmoor'

#The Final!#

On Copple Bridge, a lone Chime’horse cut an ominous figure standing outside a ten’sioned doorway. Waiting. It’s name, ‘Deviance’. It had one owner. One rider.

Master Einslow Barbierre.

He was inside.

They were inside.

Officially betrothed.

Behind her parlour door.

On Eliza Motif’s disheveled bedsheets of strawberry satin.

‘Oh, we are a fine match on’skin, Barbierre... Marvellous.’ The Vaxon said cooling’down, slowly.

Einslow squeezed her hip, smooth’n’bare. He garnered his breath, ‘I agree, Motif. Like Trallion’Cannon fire.’

‘Ha! Indeed!’ Eliza grinned and rolled from his embrace. She reached for a cigar from the drawer.

Einslow noticed their gold bar. S’was dropped to the floor in their haste upon entry ... ‘Well, I am glad after such a night, we came back ingotted’. Not that I would have regretted anything, my wymfar.’

Eliza lit up and puffed out a slew. ‘Ahh. Always most satisfying after... hmm.’ She shut her eyes and savoured. ‘Tho’ I agree, for it was what set us off in the first place, Barbierre.’

‘The death of Quercus Wickeird. Will there be a thorough uproar do you think, Motif.’ Einslow wondered aloud as he waived his wymfar’s smoke from his face.

‘Could not give a shiny’danyards’arse’hole, my genfar. We are explosive. ’Fyre’forever.’ She raised her eyes viciously.

‘You know that engine I sconch’d Quercus with, The Briesling ...’

She stubbed her cigar and put two fingers to his lips, ‘Shush ... Einslow Barbierre, please please me once more.’ She pressed against his torso and kissed him slowly.

‘Then we will sleep.’

He smiled,

‘Infinitely my Vaxon ...’

‘Perpetually, Barbierre.’

Hellsmoor’

The End

Thank you.

Coming shortly!

Hellsmoor’- season 2

Einslow Barbierre and The Briesling Terminal Engine.’

Get in touch!
s.b.norton.author@gmail.com​
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