Another teaser from a steampunk short story I’ve been working. My codename for this world is Altered America, and this is the fifth short story I’ve placed in it.
Each time they stepped on the swaying platform between the cars, Laurel paused. Jemina couldn’t blame her. There was an exhilaration to the travel when you could feel the buffet of the passing air that was lacking when you were inside the actual cars.
They stopped outright on the last one. Laurel clenched the railing, shoulder-height for her, with both hands and looked out. Her hair lashed in the wind like an uncontrollable Medusa’s tangle.
“Will we see Indians?” she said.
“Quite probably,” Jemina said.
“Undoubtedly.” Jemina had, as was her way, researched the trip well before embarking on it. She knew the distances between cities, and had the route plotted out on the map of the United States that hung in her head, colored with elementary school dyes, unfaded over the years.
Laurel took a deep breath of the wild air, sweet grass mingled with coal smoke, before reluctantly moving to the door.
Jemina stepped after her. They both nearly collided with the passenger coming out, who scowled at both of them, dividing the look between both and them and pronouncing them equally unsatisfactory. He was dressed in the Western style, with high-heeled boots, but with a tuft of lace at his untanned neck, a dandy’s puff that somehow set Jemina instantly against him.