Short Story Idea given to me by an awesome FB friend, Theresa Blaydoe. She is helping me veer into a newer genre for myself, Steampunk. I have one story started in this genre but have yet to complete it as I am still new and researching more on the genre but I will do my best on this one. Sorry if it isn’t Steampunk to you but like I said I am trying. And everyone, I hope you all stay safe during these trying times.
Idea- A young female detective in Steampunk London who uses magic rather than science. She comes across a series of murders that are based around stolen memories.
Sitting at her oak desk, Janice stares down at the paperwork that seems to keep growing as case after case is solved and she has to finish typing up the reports. When she became a detective, she never thought her life or her job would be with her stuck behind a desk only filing and writing reports. She sighs heavily as her chocolate brown eyes scan over the newest report that had been placed on her desk early that morning. She taps one long finger on the paper as she looks up at the screen of her analog computer, her keyboard waiting for her to use it to type up the missing pieces in the report on the screen. Finding where she has left off, she begins to tap her fingers on the keyboard, the harsh clicking of the keys being her only friend at the moment. Word after word spills onto the blank lines of the digital report, her eyes rolling every once in a while, wondering why she even stays at this crumby job when her boss never lets her go out into the field with the other detectives. She glances over to see other empty tables, the men and women who are usually sitting behind them in meetings where they are being briefed on their new assignments or out on the roads of London chasing down leads for the cases they are involved with now.
Janice runs her fingers through her short pixie hair as she hits send so that the finished digital report slips through the invisible lines of technology to her boss’ computer so that he can read it over before storing it forever in their database. She pushes her chair out and stands up, stretching her arms over her head as she twists slightly in order to pop her stiff back. She brushes off her black pants that sit under her ruby red corset and stark white shirt. She clicks her black geared tall boots on the ground before she walks away from her desk to head to the window where she can look down on the cold London streets. She watches as a few people bustle around on the streets below and watch as a few horse-drawn carriages and steam-powered cars ramble by. She wishes she was down there, walking around, smelling the smog and gas as she chases down someone, anyone, trying to do harm. But here she stands in the office with nothing but piles and piles of paperwork that seems to never end, no matter how fast she types with or without the use of her magic to help. She returns to her seat after a few moments of staring off into space as a blimp putter through the sky above the buildings. She pulls up the next report that needs to be digitalized and begins to type away, her mind wandering to the case she is typing up, wondering what her colleagues had seen.
Janice glances around to make sure that she is alone before she pushes her keyboard off to the side, the keyboard pushing a few of her books off to the side as well before she places the paper in the middle of the desk. She takes in a deep breath, letting it out slowly, and reads the location of where the robbery had taken place. Once she has the street memorized, she relaxes her body and her mind, placing one hand on top of the paper and the other on her desk to help keep her grounded to where she is before she goes to where the robbery had happened. She closes her eyes and taps one short nail against the paper, a blue light surrounding the paper and her body. The sounds of wind fill her ears that quiets down a moment later and the sounds of people talking take its place. She opens her eyes to find herself standing on the street directly outside of the small jewelry shop that had been robbed a week prior. But now she stands on that day, watching a young couple enter the shop in order to find a rose-shaped ring with a diamond as an engagement ring. She follows behind them, her boots silent on the cobblestone street and sidewalk since she herself was only a ghost traveling back through time.
She stands beside the door, watching the others shop, returning her attention to the couple as they stand above the ring case, pointing at this ring and that but not finding what they were looking for exactly. Janice moves over to the counter where a young gentleman stands, helping an elderly couple look for a watch that not only tells time but also can call their children and grandchildren who don’t live in London. The man pulls out a few watches that do what they want and they begin to look them over, wanting to buy two so that they each have one and so they can even call each other if they wanted.
Janice enjoyed using some of that kind of technology but she relies mostly on her magic since she has better luck with magic than technology. Hearing voices raise, she turns to see the couple is growing irate over not being able to find the ring of her dreams. The woman behind the counter who is trying to help them, telling them that they will be getting a new shipment of rings tomorrow and that they are more than welcome to come back to see if they have a rose diamond ring then but unfortunately none came in the last shipment they had two weeks ago. The man groans as his girlfriend throw her hands up in the air, growing angrier since she has supposedly talked to someone at the shop and they told her that they had the ring.
Janice moves closer, knowing from what she has read what will happen next. The woman stomps her foot, her black heeled boot ringing through the suddenly quiet shop as everyone turns to see what is going on at the ring counter. The man smirks as he watches her throw a tantrum before he pulls out a gun from under his black trench coat from his left leg, the gun has been resting in a leg holster. He points it at the woman behind the counter and mutters something that Janice can’t hear since she hadn’t been there in person and only had what the survivors said he told the woman. Without warning, the man shoots the woman behind the counter and spins on his heel while his girlfriend pulls a bag out from the top of her corset and heads around the counter, kicking the body out of the way. She giggles excitedly as she begins to put the rings in the bag.
The man turns away from them and begins to shoot wildly, not caring if he hits the others in the shop, only being careful as to not harm his girl. Janice steps back as the elderly couple rushes for the door, nearly escaping but sadly they both fall dead, two watches they wanted to buy still clutched in their hands. Janice keeps an eye on the couple as they keep robbing the shop and shooting the other employees and customers. Finally, one of the bleeding men on the ground pulls out his own piece and shoots the couple straight in the middle of their foreheads, their bodies dropping dead to the ground the instant the bullets hit them. Janice then lifts one hand, the hand that is on the sheet of paper, and she is back sitting at her desk. She looks around to see that no one has returned from whatever it is they are doing that day. She looks down at the paper, still wishing that she could have saved the elderly couple but the last time she tampered with the past, she had caused more harm than good.
Janice puts the paperback on top of the pile and she looks around her messy desktop for the keyboard. She spies it under a few pieces of paper that have fallen over it while she was gone and pulls it back towards her, ready to get back to work. As she reads the paper, a blue light, the same as what appeared before, reach out from her hands and begin to type up what is needed, Janice groaning out of boredom. Another day slowly inches to the end, the sun moving across the sky and all Janice can do is type up report after report until she can call it quits and go home. Just to liven things up from time to time, she would jump back to watch what had happened during the case. It is the only way she made it through her boring days but she knew that soon she will have to stand up to her boss and demand that he let her out on the field with her own case or quit and find another job where she can use her magic to help others.
But until she gets up the nerve, she does reports, drinks coffee, and jumps from case to case with the help of her magic. Once her day is done, she heads home to her small condo and cat that is waiting for her to feed him. She sighs once she is able to sit down on her couch and relax, turning on the radio to listen to her favorite show, Murder Streak. Soon, she is dozing off on her couch listening to the soothing voice of the narrator tell the stories of murder mysteries that have been solved by magic.
1 thought on “The Memory Thief”
Nice details Lacey, they really bring your story to life!