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.
“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.