by Karen J Carlisle.
I never thought I would end up in a girl’s school. It was during a Pickleman attack on the airborne Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. I plopped down onto the dirigible deck. Luckily one of the students scooped me up and adopted me.
Sophronia is an odd sort. She sneaks off in the middle of the night, leaving me behind to endure the attentions of her friends. Eventually they joined Sophronia on her midnight jaunts. I was glad when she befriended the Sooties, who live in the bowels of the school dirigible. I was getting rather hungry; even mechanimals need feeding. And I do love coal.
One day, I thought my luck had changed. Sophronia dressed me up in silks and ribbons, then finally took me on one of her adventures. A strange woman stood in the room teaching them how to take tea, swoon and use handkerchiefs in most interesting ways.
I was not allowed to join in. I was under instructions to stay quiet. Very quiet. I tried. I don’t know what I did wrong but it must have been terrible. One night Sophronia shoved an explosive device into my mouth and sent me off with a fortune teller to live with pirates.
I just don’t understand young girls. Maybe I would have been better off with the Picklemen.
Karen J Carlisle is a writer of speculative fiction – mostly steampunk and fantasy. She is currently working on a steampunk novel – The Department of Curiosities. You can follow her blog at Purplefiles or connect with her on twitter.
Ed: Curtsies and Conspiracies #2 in the Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger is available at Booktopia.