If You Would Be Kind Enough To Assist

from http://iamschan.wordpress.com/

Weighing in at 193 words, this unusually curt period piece challenged the normal verbosity of 19th century fiction.  But never fear, with a reliable pair of seamstress scissors, an old Remington typewriter, and some glue, anything is possible.  This is Diana’s first submission to the “You Didn’t Write That” contest.

The Invaluable Assistant

by Diana Diehl

Just as I thought I would go mad, the earsplitting clanging emanating from my Time Machine stopped.  I hadn’t realized I’d been cringing in my seat as if trying to present the smallest possible surface to the auditory bombardment.  I resumed my normal posture and took a deep, satisfying breath—or tried.  Abominable corsets!  They don’t wear these in the 24th century.

My dear assistant, Durwood, uncoiled in the adjoining seat.

Thank the deities of the dimensional timestream, we were back in my parlour!  I pulled aside the curtain and began to alight when Durwood indelicately grabbed my arm.

“Lady Cordelia, wait!  You haven’t checked the Continuity Preservation Device!”

Chagrined, I set my field journal on the leather-bound dash.   With trepidation, I unlocked the Continuity Device and extracted from it a matching book.  I opened both journals to the identical page.

We leaned forward to compare the entries.

I gasped.

“You didn’t write that!” exclaimed Durwood.

“I should say not!”

Instead of my botany notes were detailed plans to assassinate Her Majesty, the Queen.

“That curséd Dr. Fa is up to his old tricks.  Replot our route, Durwood!  We’ve Time to unravel!”


Diana is our sometimes Technical Director and occasional contributor to the site.  When she’s channeling Lady Cordelia, she waxes verbose about time travel and velocipedes.  You can learn more about Lady Cordelia and the Steampunk genre at her site, Diana Diehl Presents.

13 thoughts on “If You Would Be Kind Enough To Assist

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Botany, sure, right.  As the plot thickens in the end, I feel a bit of the of the Harrison Ford adventures kicking in.  In fact these raiders of time will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of things.  Am I right, am I right??  Sorry, I am excited.

    • diana_SD says:

      My word! Lady Cordelia would never stoop to nefarious means to attain her spoils. . .I mean artifacts!  After all, a lady must be ever circumspect when protecting her social standing.  And don’t listen to those rumors of her having ridden a velocipede wearing bloomers.  Heaven forfend!

      • Michael Stang says:

        Damn it, I have missplaced my copy of Woody Allen’s, whatever that was.  Okay.  Fine then.  I will just have to write this myself. 
        “Our badinage so light and bulky, no animus inferred  to Lady Cordelia (is that an English name, one so anglophilia).   Do stand me as I retire my capricious thoughts of greed.  That this damsel never would concede ignominy.”
        Where is that weirdo when you need him the most?  Out pressing against maiden’s breats-imagined?

  2. Mac Eagan says:

    *GASP*  I mean no disrespect to any of our other regular authors, because I have read some fantastic stories in our inaugural relaunch, but this is the most original use of the prompt I have seen so far.  Can’t believe you only have 193 words in there, because it reads so much bigger.  And to save the prompt until the end and use it as a pivot piece for the plot?

  3. Chalice Divine says:

    Ooooh delicious steampunkery, imp-osing feminine craftiness and panache. It must be a Diana Diehl!
    Credible composition and edible visuals. You so rock:D

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