“The train to Bristol is now boarding! Quickly now, quickly now!”

A shrill whistle blew somewhere to his right, and he knew he had to get off the tracks.

“Damn it!”

He rolled out from his hiding place under the train, a drop of perspiration hanging precariously from his pointed nose as he hauled himself up on to the platform. His face was flushed with exertion and the immense heat from the train’s underside, but he grinned heartily nonetheless.

“You are a strange man with even stranger hobbies, Mr. Kinchington,” remarked a nearby café owner who had stuck his head out his service window. “I cannot understand why anyone would want to spend time under such monstrosities as trains.”

“Ah, but Vincent, a train is a monstrosity of great beauty!” Kinchington ruffled the back of his burnished bronzed locks and laughed richly. “If you could only see what I see when I am down there! All the pistons and axles and gauges all working together…it fascinates me how something so complex consists of so many tiny parts that all come together to make the, as you so put it, ‘monstrosity’ function.”

People began to crowd around the train, waiting for the doors to open and conversation became too difficult, so Vincent simply shook his head bemusedly and retreated back in to his café.

Kinchington peeled his heavy gloves from his sweaty hands and adjusted his goggles atop his head as people milled around him. He plucked his father’s handkerchief from the front pocket of his worn leather overalls and dabbed at his moist brow. Before he could return the cloth to the safety of his pocket however, a man bustled past him, bumping his shoulder roughly in his haste. Kinchington dropped the handkerchief and watched helplessly as it disappeared under a sea of feet. He got on all fours, swiping desperately at the ground. That handkerchief was all he had left of his father, and to see it being trod on by numerous shoes was distressing and unpleasant to say the least.

Kinchington could only catch brief glances of the yellowing fabric between the gaps between peoples’ legs, and they kept disturbing it further and further away from him with the matter-of-fact pace of their feet. It made its way in to a train carriage, but as Kinchington began to make his way to the carriage, the burly stationmaster began to slide the doors shut.

“No, my handkerchief,” Kinchington cried. “Somebody, please!”

The people surged forward, rushing to secure their place on the train, and Kinchington felt his handkerchief was lost at that point.

“Here, sir!”

A flash of yellowed cloth appeared in a pale hand above the heads of the hurrying crowd. The faceless ocean of commuters parted a little and Kinchington saw a plump but attractive woman waving his handkerchief in the air. Her cinching corset, well-rounded body and full skirt should have been one giant disaster, but somehow she managed to pull it off, carrying her voluptuous flesh sensuously yet gracefully.

“I believe this is yours,” she said breathlessly, her cheeks flushed and her blue eyes twinkling.

“Yes,” said Kinchington, wrapping only his index finger and thumb around the handkerchief so that he clasped her hand.

“Thank you, Miss…?”


“Anastasia… What a lovely name.”

“Why thank you, Mister…?

“Kinchington. Alexander Kinchington.”

It was wonderfully strange the way they clicked almost instantly. Neither had felt this tug of endearment before, and yet they knew that they were destined for each other. They were like parts of a train, Kinchington thought. He was the furnace and she the hydraulics system, and together they powered a great locomotive – a locomotive of newly-sprung love.

“Do you perhaps – ”

” – wish to accompany you for a little while?”

It was perfect. They smiled warmly at each other, her cheeks dimpling and his reddening as she reached up to his face and wiped away some axle grease with her thumb. As they turned their heel on the tracks, Anastasia gave not a second thought to missing her train as it lurched and pulled out of the station, her fair ringlets bouncing as she strode through the station hand-in-hand with Kinchington, and he thought of nothing but what incredible fortune it was to have met such a brilliant woman. They would make perfect companions for each other in their train-related adventures and escapades.

About the Author

“My name is Flora and I’m the only teenager I know who is a fan of steampunk. I’m only a recent fan though, so I don’t know all there is to know about the genre/culture, but what I love most about it is how technology, something generally coined as ‘modern’, meshes together with the aged and vintage-y ambience of past time periods such as the Victorian Era and the Industrial Revolution to become something innovative yet traditional.”