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Another late entry for Bekindrewrite‘s Inspiration Monday. This week’s prompt was posted on 19 November, and I chose ‘plane in my living room’.

A little steampunkery imagination from our friends, Samuel Fortesque and Joshua Smythe …

* * *

‘Smythe! What the Dickens is this?’

Fortesque paced around the room with his hands clasped behind his back. Smythe’s boots stuck out from under the mass of wires, rods, pulleys and doped paper wings.

‘I’ve told you before, that the place for these things is out in the orangery.’

‘Nearly finished, Forts!’

Fortesque sighed. Joshua Smythe wriggled out from under his latest contraption.

‘Samuel, I need to get this on to the roof.’

‘What is it this time, another flying machine?’

‘Yes!’ Joshua beamed back at his friend, ‘You recognise the design!’

‘No, with you, everything is a flying machine. One day, one will fly.’

‘This one will fly, Samuel. I know it will.’

It took a couple of hours but they managed, with the help of the butler and head gardener, to get the machine on to the flat roof of the west wing extension. From there they could see across the immaculate lawns, as they fall away to the river at the bottom of the valley.

They mounted the glider onto the launch ramp.

‘We’ve done flying before, Joshua. What is so special about an unmanned glider?’

‘There is war coming. We must get ahead of the enemy. If we can see what they are up to on the battlefield …’

He opened a case that the butler had brought to the roof. Fortesque peered in at the brass chassis holding the cogs and springs.

Smythe explained, ‘We need to take a series of photographs, not just one. Eastman’s new celluloid film in a camera, powered by this clockwork motor will give us that intelligence. I’ll show you.’

He set to, fitting the clockworkings to the winder and shutter of the leather-clad camera.

‘If it works on this glider, then we can start work on fitting it to the new powered flying machines.’

He wound the brass key, adding tension to the spring. ‘We can use this modern machinery to save lives, Sam, an early end to war.’

* * *

(c) 2012, K Patrick Moody

Inspired by InMon, Bekindrewrite 19 November 2012

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