Friday, March 21, 2014

Make your own Steampunk

The week the writing challenge was to build your own steam punk world, but with a personal spin on it.  If you're not familiar with Steampunk as a genre, Chuck sums it up nicely.

So I was going to use an idea I'd had last time this challenge rolled around, but I was getting stuck on the logistics.  Then I was at work and a song came over the radio and this idea sprang to mind.  (The title still sucks but whatever)  I deliberately left out dialogue this time, I wanted to work on getting more detail instead.

The Sound of Silence
MotherSong was all he could hear, all he wanted to hear.
It filled him, it supported him.  Wave after wave of the glorious verse crashed into him, pulled him down into its warmth, buoyed him up into its love.
All their work was for the song, the machine must be tended.  All the workers moved in perfect harmony with the song, with each other.
The pitch of the song changed, telling him where he was needed next.  He followed the beat and left his work, following the massive flow of hundreds other workers following the same unspoken instructions.
Words were not needed.  The song told them all they needed to know.
            The soothing hum of the MotherSong filled the central hall, a room as vast and beautiful as the love Mother felt for them all.  Gleaming silver walls caught the light and warmed their bodies as the song warmed their souls.
He stood in line for his daily ration, one of the countless lines they all stood in.  He waited for his turn for food, he listened to the song.  Everyone heard the song differently, but all were blessed with the same feeling of peace.
            Movement at the front of the line drew his attention.  The Lord Overseer, glorious in his silver helmet, was announcing that all the days rations had been given out, all workers were to report to their next shift.  The song was all the nourishment he needed, it did not matter that he had not eaten in days.
The line turned as one, in tune with the pulse of MotherSong.  They moved toward the exit when something happened.  A hissing noise filled the air.  A rasping screech that cut into the beauty of the song.
The hissing grew louder, louder and louder until it screamed in his ears.
Then the song stopped.
MotherSong stopped.  He could not hear it!
Why- Why was it not silent?  If MotherSong was not playing, then nothing should be playing.
But something was.  He could hear a humming pulse, a smooth flow of air.  A steady double beat that soothed him.  What song was this?
Something else, something beyond this new song.  The noise…What was causing that noise in his head?!
            It- It was his thoughts.
            His- My thoughts.
            I can hear my thoughts?
            I look around me and see the shining silver of the hall as it really is, a dull steel hull.  I see the other workers, lying on the floor in fear.
            I see the overseer, the faceplate of his helmet open as he calls for reinforcements, waving frantically to protect the piles of unopened rations behind his station.
            I feel my hunger give me strength.

They find me hours later, surrounded by scraps of food.  Covering my ears and screaming, trying to stop the song from taking me again.
I fight them, afraid they’re here to take me back.  It isn’t until they put the headset over my ears that I relax.
I can’t hear the song anymore.
They explain that not everyone can handle being freed.  Many aren’t able to live without the song.  But some fight, some run, as I did.
They ask if I’m willing to join them.  To fight, to free others.  One of them reaches out.
I take his hand.  The headset fills my ears with noise.
I ask what it is.
"We call it music."

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