Airship Pirates and stuff with J. A. Campbell

I know I missed yesterday. I’m sorry. To make up for it I’m going to post a whole story as my teaser 🙂 It’s not completely edited, and I apologize for that, but it’s a teaser.

Life has been really crazy recently. I was working two jobs for a short time though now I don’t have to and I quit the one. Edits for Senior Year Bites, on top of writing for the Electric Short stories on top of Edits for the shorts on top of working every day of the week and exercising a Border Collie have kicked my ass. However, after this weekend things should be a little better in that department.

No we haven’t actually been camping, but I liked the picture so I thought I’d post it. Kira and her big brother had a great time last fall. I can’t wait for my next camping trip.

This story came about from a challenge from Seleste. She gave me a prompt Tomorrow, noon, Hyatt, room 312. I asked if I could write about airship pirates. She said she’d give me kudos if I could make it work with that prompt. Below is the story 🙂 I hope you enjoy.

Kimy the Airship Pirate

Kimy deftly lifted the man’s purse and scampered away before he could notice her.  Judging by the weight she’d have enough money to eat for a month if she were careful.  Maybe even get some new clothes.  Kimy ran, sprinting up fire escapes and across rooftops until she was safe in her little corner – a deep overhang in the eaves of an abandoned church.

She sat in a patch of light and dumped the contents of the pouch out in her lap.  Gold and silver and a few small coppers glinted up at her.  She grinned – that was more money that she’d ever held in her entire life.  She was rich.  Kimy gave a small, quiet laugh and put the coins back in the pouch.  She felt something else in the pouch and pulled out a small piece of paper.

Kimy could read, a little.  She’d learned her letters before her parents had died.  She tilted the paper to catch the light.  Tomorrow, noon, Hyatt, room 312.  Kimy frowned, trying to work out the meaning.

“Hyatt,” she muttered.  “That’s the hotel with the landing strip on top.”  She grinned, only the richest people stayed there.  Maybe there would be more pockets to pick.  She’d have to get new clothing, but now she could.

A few hours, and a set of newer clothes later, Kimy was ready to go.  It was almost noon and the man she robbed had been heading in the direction of the hotel.  Her purse was considerably lighter, but she was freshly scrubbed and almost presentable.  Kimy couldn’t do anything about her bare feet, but hopefully no one would notice.

A steady stream of people went in and out of the front doors of the huge hotel.  She picked a couple that looked like they were old enough to have a daughter her age and scampered up behind them.  She walked like she belonged and the door guards ignored her as she followed her “parents” inside.  As soon as the door guards were out of sight she ran to the gas-lit stairwell, guessing it would be safer than taking the elevator.  Of course she forgot to take into account that, due to the steady air traffic, the floors were numbered in reverse.  Instead of having to go up three flights, she had to go up seven.

Kimy was panting by the time she made it up the stairs, and she had to rest under one of the hissing gas lamps before she pushed her way out into the hallway.  No one was around and her feet sank into the deep carpet as she scampered lightly down the opulent corridor.  She looked around as she ran, eyes wide at all the luxuries.

She almost missed room 312 because she was gawking so much.  The huge man standing outside the door was much harder to miss and he made a grab for her as she ran past.

“Hey, now, whatcha doing up here?”  His voice was rough.  In fact, his dress was pretty rough too, and the cutlass he wore seemed a bit out of place in the nice hotel.

Kimy was an expert at dodging and avoided his hands easily.  It wasn’t quite as easy to avoid the second man that she ran into and he managed to grab her arm.  Acting purely on instinct she snatched a dagger from his belt and sliced at him.  Unfortunately, the big man caught up to her and between the two of them she was trapped.

“Wotcha doin?” the newcomer asked.

“Eh, she don’t belong here.  Figured I’d see what the boss wanted to do with her.”

“Sure.”

“Don’t I get a say?”  Kimy struggled but the big man was too strong for her and he carried her, kicking and squirming, into the hotel room.

Kimy stopped struggling when they carried her into the room.  It was opulent, but she barely noticed the things that surrounded her.  The body on the floor had all of her attention for a brief moment.  She stared at the man she had robbed, watched as the blood leaked out of his skull, then she blinked and started kicking again.

The big man clamped his hand over her mouth just as she opened it to scream.

“Hey now, what’s this?” a refined voice said.

Kimy bit the big man’s hand and slammed her heels backwards into his groin.  He bellowed and dropped her.  Kimy managed to grab another knife on her way to the cushy ground.  She rolled and dashed for the door.

The other man slammed it shut, and the click of a gun being cocked stopped her.  A knife she could dodge.  Bullets, not so much.

“Found her outside.”

“And you brought her here, why?”

“She seemed suspicious like, thought you’d want to see her.”

Kimy slowly turned.  The man holding the pistol on her was dressed in fine clothing, a feathered hat, and her pickpocket’s eyes saw several treasures hanging from his belt.  The compass, especially, would bring a good trade.

The man with the gun laughed.  “She has your knife Rolph.”

The big man growled something uncomplimentary sounding.

Kimy held it in front of her, backing towards the door a few steps, but the fancy man gestured with his gun.

“None of that.  I like your spirit girl.  What are you doing here?”

“Found a note, said to be here.”

They all stared at her for a minute, then the fancy man laughed and lowered his gun.

“Want a job girl?”

“Job?”

“Yeah, pay, for services you perform?”

Kimy glared.  “I ain’t that kind of girl.”

“No, not those services.  You’re way to young for that.  You’ve light fingers.  We could use your skills.  I do pay well.  Ask Rolph.”

Rolph nodded, still glaring at her.

Someone shouted and the fancy man holstered his pistol.  “That’s it then.  Ma’am, we will discuss my proposition over dinner.  Grab her.”

Before Kimy could react, Rolph hoisted her over his shoulder and they ran from the room.  Their urgency kept Kimy from struggling.  She had a feeling she didn’t want to be found in the room either.

The men ran up the remaining three flights.  Kimy couldn’t see much more than Rolph’s broad back but she could feel the wind whip around her as they reached the rooftop.  Something wooden thunked under Rolph’s big feet and the fancy man started shouting orders.

“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay put.”  Rolph dumped her on the ground and hurried away.

Kimy sat up and looked around, stunned.  Men and a few women scampered about on the deck of a ship.  The sails billowed, steam squealed through pipes and filled a giant balloon, and gears started spinning.  Airship Pirates…  The man, must be the captain, had mentioned a job.  Kimy could do a bit of pirat’in, as long as it wasn’t that other kind of job.  Yes, indeed she could.  Kimy started to grin.

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14 Responses to Airship Pirates and stuff with J. A. Campbell

  1. Love this story! Very well done.

  2. jlwylie says:

    Oooooh Love it!
    Have you written the rest? 😀

  3. I like where you are going with this!

  4. Aubrie says:

    Cute story! I like the line:

    “Bullets- not so much”

  5. Michelle Muto says:

    Well done, my friend. Very good start indeed.

    Michelle Muto
    The Book of Lost Souls

  6. I remember this one! I’d wondered what you were going to do with it 🙂 ❤

  7. Gareth says:

    LOL, a lot of fun as usual. Well paced and kept me interested throughout. Wonderful

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