Steampunk Family


December 11, 2011
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»

Claire did her best to warn Lady Aubergine about what happened at the fountain,  but without Adolphus she could only tell what she had seen. She did not know how the boys had started fighting. The twins railed against Adolphus’ stupidity until Bettina, a red spot flushing each cheek, flung herself at her sisters, screaming “My fault, my fault, my fault!”

Claire scooped her up. “No, not your fault. Any of us would have uncovered those carvings. Father and Mother taught us to value knowledge and discovery. We all would have wanted to see what was under there and why.” She hugged her sister, who for once did not try to squirm away. “It’s just so much more complicated here than at home.”

Adolphus stayed out for hours, returning just before dark, disheveled and haunted. He said nothing of where he had been, nor, once they saw him, did his siblings ask.

Lady Aubergine straightened his hair and smoothed his cowlick more gently than his mother ever had, and tears started in his eyes. He smeared them away, and Eglantine pretended not to notice.

“I was born in trouble, Adolphus,” Eglantine said. “And never for any reason. All my life

I’ve been threatened with terrible punishments just for being born. Once again I shall slip through to continue the wait, or something shall fall on me. Either way, I have never felt so happy as I have with you children here. I could not wish for a better reason to be in trouble than you.”

He managed a shaky smile for her, and she rewarded him with a warm one.

The summons came the next day, late in the morning. Queen Drysi awaited Lady Aubergine and the children immediately.

“Now,  I will do everything I can to keep you safe until your parents arrive. You are brave and thoughtful children, but I must beg you to keep quiet, which I know is unlike you, and behave meekly, which will be difficult. But I must insist that you allow me to do what I can.”

Adolphus could only look at his shoes. The twins and Gerhardt stood close together, and Bettina clung to Eglantine’s skirt. The lady stooped and picked her up.

“Oh, this is all our fault!” Claire wailed.

“No!” Eglantine softened her voice and drew the children close. “You are sane visitors in a madhouse. Remember this: If she does something bad, it is her fault. Not you, not the terrified idiots watching, just her. You can only, ever, be responsible for your own behavior.”

With one last check as to the children’s presentability, she sailed down the corridor, proud as an admiral’s flagship, although behind her was a downcast fleet. Mirabelle caught up with her older brother.

“Look, it was a matter of time before one of us thumped him,” she said. “I just which I’d gotten a lick in.” She squeezed his arm.
Entries in this series:
  1. On Grandmothers
  2. With A Bang!
  3. In Search of Ancient Angiosperms
  4. Assault on the Galley
  5. The Sorrows of Chef
  6. Faeries, Helpful Siblings, and other Mythological Creatures
  7. Meanwhile, Back in the Lab
  8. A Day of Discovery
  9. The Children’s Hypothesis
  10. A Research Date
  11. Aboard the Schmetterling
  12. The Cave
  13. The Cage
  14. Knee of the Yeti
  15. Kidnapped!
  16. A Clue
  17. The Yeti and the Comb
  18. Fighting the Count
  19. Fighting the Yeti
  20. Falling
  21. Breadcrumbs
  22. The Search is On
  23. Flight to Saigon
  24. On the Streets of Saigon
  25. The Sad Man
  26. At the Grandiere Club Aeronautique
  27. If you Give a Count a Cookie
  28. Out of Cookies
  29. Stuck!
  30. Airships Float?
  31. Where is Claire?
  32. Drowning
  33. Into the Drink!
  34. Boat!
  35. Mushroom Trip
  36. Ambush
  37. The Variegated Strangler
  38. In a Strange Land
  39. Hand over Hand
  40. The Last of the Gouda
  41. An Unusual Breakfast
  42. Downstream
  43. What's for Dinner?
  44. Axe and Fire
  45. Meanwhile, Back at the Airship
  46. Over the Gobi
  47. Return of the Grandmothers
  48. Warning from Huang
  49. Anxious Hours
  50. Ulrik Prepares
  51. Destruction by Dawn
  52. Finding Philomena
  53. No Luck in Pekin
  54. The Children Rescue...Something
  55. Corndog Liberation
  56. The Fate of Corndogs
  57. Have you Tea?
  58. Antafrican Hosptitality
  59. Onion Porridge
  60. Homesick
  61. On the Hunt
  62. Farm Living
  63. Singing for Supper
  64. You Say Potato...
  65. Curiosity is the Foundation of Discovery
  66. An Awkward Position
  67. Trouble Comes Riding
  68. Capsicum Capture
  69. To the Palace
  70. The Death of the Lincoln
  71. War Wings
  72. A Long Way Down
  73. Enter the Lightning
  74. Before the Queen
  75. You are a Tomato!
  76. A Sunken Ship
  77. Eglantine Aubergine
  78. Children of the Soil
  79. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  80. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  81. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  82. The Price of Popcorn
  83. Ulrik and Chef
  84. Fire!
  85. Claire's Bluff
  86. Tomato Queen and Aubergine
  87. It's Going to Blow!
  88. Rhodri in the Gardens
  89. The Servant's Fountain
  90. History Revealed
  91. Fight at the Fountain
  92. Repercussions
  93. Father Discovers the Yeti
  94. Aboard the Lucy Stone
  95. Summoned
  96. The Queen's Accusation
  97. The Queen's Rage
  98. The Khan
  99. The Last War Wing
  100. Eglantine Departs
  101. Thumping Rhodri
  102. Bad News from the Boys
  103. Where's the Count?
  104. In Search of the Count
  105. Spying on the Queen
  106. Confronting the Count
  107. Orphaned?
  108. Orphaned?
  109. Montesanto's Experiments
  110. Montesanto's Experiments
  111. The Queen's Tantrum
  112. Bettina's Tantrum
  113. The Flaming Queen
  114. Uprising!
  115. Uprising!
  116. Escape
  117. On the Run
  118. The Mysterious Coach
  119. Red Racer!
  120. Revolution Reset
  121. By the Acid Sea
  122. Farewell Antafrica
  123. Home Again!
Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Comments are closed.

Previous Post