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Author Topic: Steampunk and/or Victorian Urban legends.  (Read 15810 times)
chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
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Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
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« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2014, 09:37:41 pm »

Another piece of Canadian folklore, this time steamier:
http://www.virtualsk.com/current_issue/ghost_train.html
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2014, 02:10:41 pm »

More Dieselpunk Than Steam But Hey:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0jBA5QW90M
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gaslampfantasy
Deck Hand
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2014, 01:09:57 pm »

Don’t Go Out On The Moors

“Don’t go out on the moors.” the publican said, as he put my pint of ale on the worn wooden counter in front of him.
   Staying off the moors was something which I did not intend to do, as I had come down to Devonshire, in the year 189-, upon the recommendation of my doctor that I take a break from my work, and have a few weeks convalescing in England’s green and pleasant land. a few gentle strolls across the moors had been exactly what I planned to do.
   “Why ever not, sir?” I asked, as I reached into my pocket for a couple of pennies for the veer. I could not begin to imagine why I should not go out onto the moors, unless this barman considered it a possibility that a city gentleman such as myself might, perchance, get lost in such unfamiliar terrain.
   Perhaps he was considering offering some relative as a guide. I had been warned, before leaving London, not to let any of these country folk attempt to gull me.
   “It’s not safe – not for the loiks of you.”
   Perhaps this barman feared that I might wander into some mire, and be sucked down into some marsh, never again to see the light of day. Well, I might have spent most of my life in more genteel surroundings, but I did not consider myself to be some Tom Fool. I had a stout walking stick with me, which I intended to use to test any suspect ground before treading on it.
   “Because of the wolf.” the man said.
   “Sir, that is ridiculous.” said I. “The last wolf in Britain was shot more than a hundred years ago. I am in no more danger from wolves in Britain than I am from pirates.”
   “Don’t say that I did not warn you.” the barman said. But I had ceased to listen to his fanciful notions. I took my pint of beer and made my way to a free table at the back of this inn.
   An inn I call it, and an inn it was, the sign outside declaring it to be the Coach and Horses. Obviously it had once been a coaching inn, before the railways had done for that trade.
   I had already arranged with Tavison, the innkeeper, that I would lodge here for the next five days. The rates would have been more than reasonable in London – but we were not in London, and I believed that mein host had charged me above the rate. Still, though, it was not as though I could not afford it. But such matters did not influence me to listen to any ridiculous warnings.

I sat at the back of the inn and drank my beer. It was slightly stronger than I was used to. At least I knew that Tavison did not water the ale.
   I observed the other patrons of this bar. Tavison’s customers numbered no more than six. None of them looked as though they had ever gone beyond Devonshire – they were all dressed in what I consider to be rural clothes, the uniform of farmers and the like. They had to have come here from the few houses which I had observed on my journey to this place.
   None of them bothered to engage me in conversation. But that did nit bother me. I doubted if any of these men would have anything to say to an eminent banker from the City of London.
   I drank my beer, and then enquired about food for the evening, as Tavison had promised a stew. This was duly served, while I had a half pint of the local ale. The stew appeared to be mutton and vegetables, and had the virtue of being piping hot, but little else to recommend it.
   Once I had eaten I retired to my room for the evening, as the journey from London had tired me out – and I was supposed to be at ease for these days, if I was to obey the instructions of my doctor.

The room was small but not squalid. A fire had been made up in the small hearth to the side of the single bed. There was a washbasin, with a small round mirror above it. While the washbasin drained away, this place appeared not to have much in the way of plumbing, for there were no taps. There was a tall pewter ewer with water in it beneath the basin, for the purpose of washing. There was a small table beside the bed, with a small gas-lamp responsible for providing light.
   There was nothing else in the room, unless one counted the cobwebs hanging from the sloping ceiling. It did not even have a gasogene. But I supposed that I could endure the lack of luxury, as I would only be here for five days, and as I did not intend to spend that much time in this bedroom of the inn.
   I read a little, but found that I could not concentrate so, with nothing else to do, I turned out the gas-lamp and went to sleep.

The next morning was misty, with a light fog lying on the ground. I could see no further than a hundred yards at the very most.
   Yet, despite the fog around the inn, I decided that I would walk on the moor to the north of the Coach and Horses. I rejected the warning from Tavison, as being nothing more than superstition at the very best.
   I had obtained a map of the area, and I had purchased a compass, as well. With my stout walking stick, and my coat, I felt that I had all that I needed.

So, after a less than hearty breakfast, I set out from the tavern, ignoring a final warning from Tavison concerning the ridiculous notion that the moor might contain some wolf. It was a little after eleven of the morning. I thought that I would walk for a couple of hours, before returning to the Coach and Horses. That would be a goodly constitutional, as far as I was concerned. It should also serve to whet my appetite, for whatever food Tavison could prepare for a late lunch.
   I crossed the road from the inn. The inn was some miles distant from the nearest town and railway station, with only a few scattered cottages and smallholdings being in the area. The moor began directly to the north of the road; and it had been one of the reasons why I had decided to stay at such an isolated hostelry. I could think of few places further from the hustle and bustle of high finance in the City.
   I paused at the far side of the road, and glanced back towards the inn. I was surprised to see, through the mist, that Tavison had come to the door of his establishment, and was shaking his head as he looked at me.
   I had had enough of such rural nonsense. I got my compass out, holding it firmly in my left palm, and proceeded to walk directly north, testing the ground with my walking stick as I went. I ventured no further glances back at the old coaching inn.

I found it pleasant to walk across the rolling landscape of the moors, even if my field of vision was limited by the persistent mist. I could see not more than a couple of hundred yards at the most, and soon I would not have been able to see the road or the inn, if I had bothered to look back in their direction. But that did not bother me. I was a man of remarkable intellect and I had my compass, to which I regularly referred. Thus equipped, and with such precautions, I did not see how I could get lost.
   I did not walk fast. I saw no need to exhaust myself, as this trip had been about recuperation, not exercise. So I strolled through the moors, taking my time, and enjoying the atmosphere.
   The air was certainly different than the city which I had left behind. I had noticed it on the hansom ride from the local train station to the Coach and Horses. It had nothing of the smoke of London. It tasted of growing things, such as the heather of the moor. It was clean, I supposed. But it would still take some time to get used to.

I walked along almost as though I was in a dream, with the mist around me. I do not think that I thought of anything at all, as I strolled across the moor, in the mist, and all of my worries faded away, at least for a while. This was why I had left London, after all, to be delivered from the pressures of high finance. I was sure that after five days of such pacific surroundings.
   I continued onwards, occasionally testing the ground with my good walking stick, although from the way that the moor undulated I was sure that I was not in any danger of walking into some bottomless marsh. For a while there seemed to be nothing which could disturb such a tranquil scene.
   Then I heard a howl, coming from somewhere ahead of me, in the fog. I ceased my perambulations across the moor.
   It could not be a wolf, I told myself. It had to be the dog of somebody. But I did not even want to encounter somebody’s pet hound in such circumstances.
   I looked down at the compass in the palm of my hand. According to the device I had been heading due north. To retrace my steps all that I would have to do was to turn around and go die south. That should take me directly to the doors of the Coach and Horses.
   I checked my fob watch, and was surprised to see that it had already passed one o’clock. I had intended to head back an hour ago. Walking through the foggy landscape I had seemingly lost all sense of time.
   “Well.” I said to myself. “You will have missed lunch by the time that you get back, old thing. But maybe you will be able to talk Tavison into preparing some cold cuts for you.”
   I turned around and began walking back towards the inn, as I had intended to be back in the inn by now. I wondered if, perhaps, I should have heeded the warning of Mr Tavison not to go out on the moor. Yet I had expected that the mist would melt away, once the sun was high in the sky; whereas, if anything, the fog had thickened since I had begun my walk.
   Then, after a few minutes, I heard the howling coming from in front of me, to the south. I stopped walking, not wanting to run into some dog which some fool had let loose on the moors.
   I thought about going to the left and to the right, but I considered that to be a foolish action, and one which might indeed cause me to become lost, as I only had my compass to guide me back to the inn. I could not deviate from my southerly course.
   I waited, forcing myself to count up to one thousand. I hoped that, by then, the hound would have moved on, and that the way back to the inn would be clear.
   I walked on, moving slowly, and listening out for any strange sound, once I had counted to one thousand. I moved slowly, holding my walking stick ready to use in a defensive manner, should some dog come running towards me.

It was as I was proceeding in such a manner that I saw one of the most terrifying things in my life, and one which I will remember until my dying day. I saw a wolf coming towards me. One glance told me that it was a wolf, even though I had never seen a wolf before. But it was like no wolf which ever had lived, surely, for the monster stood for and a half feet tall at the shoulder.
   It had yellow eyes which seemed to glow with a soulless evil, and light up the mist which it stalked through. Its huge jaws were open wide, and I could see saliva dripping from its sharp teeth. I could see the muscles ripple beneath its dark grey fur. But the worst thing, in my opinion, was that the monster appeared to have no feet – its legs faded into the mist which it stalked through. This was no living creature, but the ghost of some giant, dire wolf.
   It was daylight, yet I could see the spectre, as clearly as I could see my own feet. I did not stop to wonder about such an event. I turned around and ran, back towards the north. My only thoughts were to escape this demon before it attacked me.
   I ran as I had not run since I had been a child, growing up in Richmond. My lungs felt as though they would burst; and I thought that my heart would fail me, it was beating so fast.
   Suddenly I found that I was running uphill. I continued upwards, the slop making me slow sown, until I found myself in front of some rocky tor. This stony outcrop, I saw, was above the level of the mist. It was like I was on an island, in a sea of fog.
   I knew that I was safe while I was next to that tor. That spectre which I had seen was a monster of the mist, and I believed that it could not leave the fog.
   I waited for the mist to dissipate. Above me I could see the sun, and the mist should have melted away. But it gave no indication that it was inclined to do so. It appeared that the mist would stay all day, and I wondered if, perhaps, that ghostly wolf which I had seen somehow controlled the mist, causing it to remain.

I waited for hours on that tor, until I felt that I could wait no longer. Then I began to head back. But I had not gone far when I heard growling in front of me. I could not see the terror, but I did not need to see it to know that it was still there.
   Twice more I waited, and tried to make my way back to the inn. But on the second attempt I was turned back again, hearing the growling, once more, of that terrific spectre. It was only on the third attempt to return to the inn that I did not hear or see anything other than the mist.
   That walk back through the mist was, I think, the longest walk of my life; or, at least, that was the way that it seemed to me. I kept thinking that, at any moment, that spectral wolf might lurch towards me from out of the mist, and tear me apart with its unholy teeth. But I did not see the wolf, or hear it, and I somehow made it off the moor.
   The road was in front of me, going to both my left and my right. There was no sign of the hostelry where I was lodging; and no sign of any people on the road.
   I wondered which way I should go.
   I heard another howl. It was off, in the distance, in the heart of that desolate moor. But the thought of that horrible spectre spurred me to action once more. I went to the right, hoping that I had chosen the correct direction.
   I could see that it was beginning to get dark. I looked at my fob watch, thinking that it could not possibly be that late. But I had been out on the moors all day, and it was now evening.
   I did not want to be out after the sun had set. The ghost of the wolf had been bad enough by the light of day, when one is not supposed to be able to witness such spectres. I feared what it might be like when it was fully dark. I chose the left, and hurried along in that direction. Thankfully I did not have far to go before I saw some hope before me.
   
I saw a patch of darkness looming out of the fog, the mist still thick so that I could not see where the building joined the earth. But it was a building! I had never been so glad to see such an edifice in my life before.
   I ran towards it, keen to get out of the fog, and leave behind all of the ghostly monsters which it might hide. I did not go into the bar area straight away, but upstairs, to the room which had been prepared for me.
   A fire had been lit in the grate at some stage, and was burning low. But that did not interest me. It was the mirror over the washbasin which I desired, for I felt that I had been changed by what I had seen.

I stood there, and stared into the small, round mirror, provided for gentlemen wishing to shave. My face was lined more than it had been when I had set out. It was something which I would have been prepared to swear to in a court of law.
   Yet it was not my face which was so shocking to me, but my hair. My hair may have been grey, before, having lost most of its original brown colour, with the passage of the years, but now it was purest white. The site of that spectre had turned it the colour of freshly fallen snow.
   I sat down on the bed in that room. My body shook, with realisation that I had come close to some sort of supernatural tragedy. It was a good half an hour before I had recovered enough to consider going to the bar below.
   I brought myself under control, eventually, and went down to the bar. I needed a strong whisky to steady myself. I had come out to Devonshire with the intent of relaxation, but I had suffered the opposite.
   I walked up to the counter. Tavison stared at me, as I asked for a small Scotch.
   “I told you, didn’t I?” he said. “Don’t go out on the moors.”
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gaslampfantasy
Deck Hand
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2014, 01:11:48 pm »

Lost (A Cautionary Tale)

We were lost. There was no other possibility. The road which we were going down in my Stanley Steamer did not correspond with any of the roads on the map which Edwards held. Edwards, my faithful manservant, had proved not to be the best navigator in the world. Or it was possible that the map was at fault.
   We were somewhere in Yorkshire, in the East Riding. The sun had long set; and, by now, I had hoped that we would be in some hostelry, enjoying some good Yorkshire food, on this tour of the north of England. It seemed to be ages since we had last passed a signpost; and I had come to the conclusion that the signpost had been wrong, anyway.
   I had halted the automobile to allow Edwards to see if he could find our location. But trying to read it by the light of the moon was not ideal.
   “I think that we are on the correct route.” Edwards muttered. “We should be on the correct route. Forge onwards, sir.”
   “Wait, look.” said I. I pointed ahead of us, down the rutted road. Edwards looked, staring into the darkness.
   “I see nothing, sir.” Edwards said.
   “Look again. There is a man there, walking towards us. Perhaps he can advise us of where we might be.”
   “Ah, yes, I see him now.”
   I could not yet see the man, apart from the fact that he was a man, and not a woman. It was only when he neared my automobile that I was able to see some details. The moon came out from behind the clouds and I glimpsed this Yorkshireman.
   The stranger was of average height, at best. He was a stocky chap, and I though that he had already seen the best years of his life. As he neared us I got a better look at this individual. I could see that he was balding, and dressed in the way that I imagined some farmer to dress: cotton trews, rather than trousers; a cotton smock; and rough leather boots. His belt was of string rather than leather. He had a single strand of straw in his mouth. He was balding, and his few strands of grey hair did not stop the moon from shining on his balding pate.
   The man walked along the road as though he had done it a thousand miles before. It was clear to me that he must know the area well.
   “Excuse me, but may I ask you a question?” said I.
   The man halted next to my automobile.
   “Speak, sir.” said he. His voice was surprisingly frail, considering how stocky his frame was. It was barely more than a whisper, and I had to lean towards him to catch everything which he said.
   “We appear to be lost.” I said, throwing a glance at Edwards. “I was trying to find a place called Larmby, where we intended to stay for the night. Do you happen to know if we are headed in the correct direction?”
   “Well, you can get to Larmby this way around.” said he. “But this would be the long way round. It might be quicker if you turned your horseless carriage back around and went back to the last crossroads.”
   “I knew that we had taken the wrong turning.” said I. Edwards did not say anything. “Sir, can you show me on the map which route we should pursue?”
   “Nay, I’m no good with maps.” the man whispered. “But I could show you, if you want me to ride on your contraption.”
   “Sir, I do not like him.” Edwards whispered in my ear. “There is something wrong about this individual. Can you not feel it?”
   Now that Edwards mentioned it, it was a little odd to find some farmer walking along on his own in such a manner; and there was some other oddness – which I could not name – about this individual. Yet I was so annoyed about the fact that Edwards had got us lost that I chose to ignore any misgivings which I might have about this individual.
   “Please hop aboard.” I said to the farmer. He climbed into the back. He moved so softly that I did not even feel the Stanley move, and I had to look over my shoulder to check that the farmer had got on. But he was there.
   The farmer whispered his instructions as I drove along. He did not seem to be bothered that I was driving him along in the opposite direction to that in which he had been heading.
   We turned left at the next intersection, and then left again. A few minutes later and I could see lights on in buildings ahead of us, and I knew that we had found the small hamlet of Larmby, where Edwards and I would be staying, this moonlit night.
   “It’s just along here.” the farmer whispered in my ear. “That was where the cart ran me down and killed me.”
   I stopped the automobile and turned around to look at my passenger. But he had gone, although there was nowhere where he could have gone to, so quickly. I felt the hair on my head rise up.
   “He’s gone.” Edwards said. “He’s gone.”
   Suddenly I had no desire to be out on the road, and every desire to be in some inn among other living people. At some haste I drove my Stanley along to the Red Lion public house, where we had arranged to stay the night. I felt safe only when Edwards and I had gone through the doors of that establishment.

“I thought that you had got lost.” the owner said, when I introduced myself.
   “We had.” I said, as I threw a glance in the direction of my navigator. “But we were shown the correct route by some farmer. It was a most unusual occurrence, however, as on arriving at the outskirts of Larmby he claimed that he was run down by a cart and killed; whereupon he managed to run off so quickly that I did not see him go.”
   I laughed, hoping that there was some earthly explanation as to hat had occurred, and that the farm had only been playing some prank on Edwards and I. But my host did not laugh.
   “That was Legg who you saw.” my host said, looking into my eyes. “He was knocked down by a runaway cart and killed not ten years ago, and now his phantom walks the roads around Larmby. You’re not the first to see him, and you won’t be the last.”
   It was only then that it was confirmed that I had given a ride to a ghost. Well, I had the light on in my room all that night; and I resolved to be more careful as to whom I gave a lift to in the future. Next time I would make sure that they were alive, for I have no desire to find myself in the company of the dead.
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CPT_J_Percell
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Zeppelin Captain
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The werewolf Airship Captain.


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« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2014, 08:29:59 pm »

Why are there no dragons?

Sat in the travellers rest, an inn in the middle of the woods that exists in all worlds and towns yet also in none. I listened to a conversation on the far side of the common room. I come to the woods every so often from my own world for some quite meditation. When I am in need of a drink, I make the two mile walk from the hidden valley to this place, order a pint then covered in the deep hood of my gray robe, I site near the fire.

"Why are there no dragon?" One of the two strangers asked and from the lack of noise, I could tell that others had heard him.

"Why, because they have never existed!" the other said slurping his drink.

"There must be some, the Victorians found them!"

I nearly choaked on my pint, yes the victorians had found them but we had made sure to hide all evidence.

"They were wrong, they had discovered dinosaurs and didn't know what the bone were from."

"There not the only ones, dragon stories fill histories."

"I think you need to go home, your drunk!" His mate said and they both stood up and headed for the door.

I heard a chair scrape and looked up to see someone hiding in their own travel cloak following them. I sighed, stood up, walked over to the door and stopped the person from following. Grabbing them by the collar of their robe, I pulled them back to my table next to the fire.

"What do you think your doing?" the person ordered pulling back their hood to reveal a female head with distinct dragon features.

I pulled back my own revealing my werewolf form. She growled at me and reached for a weapon hidden under her robe. I pulled out my revolver and dumped it on the table with a thud. "We have worked hard to keep your kind a secret, the queen would be most displeased if I had to send one of your kind back unconscious and under armed guard."

"What do you know of my kind?"

"I watched two of your kind kill each other after braking the exile laws and I have worked with the queen to make the laws that given your existence here. The people of this world are not ready to know the real world they live in. Let them live in the knowledge that there are no dragons in this world."
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I suffer from a random misfiring synapse and a bad case of wolfen the turns me into a seven-foot-tall werewolf or a seven-foot great wolf!
https://dragon-rehoming-centre.myshopify.com/
http://purbry.wordpress.com
pakled
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States


Minions Local 305, at your thervice!


« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2014, 06:12:36 am »

...and remember, no anchovies...Wink Actually, the only Victorian urban legend that comes to mind, was a Civil War Battlefield, where a 'lucky' shot went through a man, and punctured a woman, carrying...well, let's say the wound caused issue...9 months later...there's true, really true, and 'outta be true'...Wink
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2014, 06:17:26 am »

...and remember, no anchovies...Wink Actually, the only Victorian urban legend that comes to mind, was a Civil War Battlefield, where a 'lucky' shot went through a man, and punctured a woman, carrying...well, let's say the wound caused issue...9 months later...there's true, really true, and 'outta be true'...Wink

And was proved to be totally false.
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Fairley B. Strange
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« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2014, 11:04:41 am »

...and remember, no anchovies...Wink Actually, the only Victorian urban legend that comes to mind, was a Civil War Battlefield, where a 'lucky' shot went through a man, and punctured a woman, carrying...well, let's say the wound caused issue...9 months later...there's true, really true, and 'outta be true'...Wink

And was proved to be totally false.

Well, given the comparitively mundane explanation of how a wounded member of the soldiery might contribute to an unmarried nurse being placed in a 'delicate condition', the miraculous bullet story is a much more interesting option, even allowing for the site of the chap's wound saying something about his determination in adversity.

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Choose a code to live by, die by it if you have to.
pakled
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Minions Local 305, at your thervice!


« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2014, 05:53:17 pm »

...ergo, why it's an urban legend...Wink
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gaslampfantasy
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



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« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2014, 05:21:22 pm »

Victorian legends from London in Victorian times include, of course, Spring-Heeled Jack. I might well do a vignette about him, if nobody else beats me to it.
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gaslampfantasy
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2015, 02:43:20 pm »

Beware of Spring-Heeled Jack

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha!” echoed the maniacal laughter across the rooftops of old London town.
   Cats stopped prowling to look up towards the source of the human caterwauling, think that, perhaps, they had some competition.
   Old women crossed themselves, thinking that perhaps the Devil was about. But it was not the Devil. Not unless the name of the Devil was Spring-Heeled Jack.
   The first appearance of this monster had been back in 1837, when he had attacked a woman called Mary Stevens as she had walked across Clapham Common. The next day he had frightened the horses and driver of a carriage, as he had leaped down in front of the coach. But Spring-Heeled Jack had then leapt away, high into the air, as though it was the easiest thing in the world.
   For almost a year, now, Spring-Heeled Jack had terrorised the people of London. He had attacked women, tearing at their clothing, attempting to leave them in a state of some undress. He had jumped in front of cabs, scaring the horses, and then jumped away before he could be struck by the carriage. And not one person had been able to catch this fiend, and bring him to justice.
   There had been a meeting chaired by the Lord Mayor of London, when the problem of Spring-Heeled Jack had been discussed. Although the Lord Mayor was sceptical concerning the existence of this demon, the meeting was followed by reports in the newspapers, and by the police being asked to bring the fiend to justice. A reward was offered for someone catching Spring-Heeled Jack. But no one even came close to catching him. The demon carried on plaguing London
   More girls were attacked, in the Kensington, Ealing and Hammersmith areas of London. One of the young women had been so terrified by his appearance that she was still having fits days afterwards. Another claimed that she had been wounded by his claws. There was even some unreliable hearsay claiming that some women had died of fright, so horrific was his appearance.
   Descriptions varied, but they all claimed that he had claws, and that his face was horrific in appearance. His voice was inhuman, high-pitched like a woman, yet one which would break out into demonic laughter. He could project blue or white flame from out of his mouth.


   Something had to be done. But who would bring this person to justice?

George Phillips, would-be inventor, was sitting in the lounge of the Black Swan, with a small gin on the table in front of him. Nobody in there bothered to speak to him. But he did not mind that fact. He had his thoughts for company. And they were great thoughts. He thought of how great it would be to be a hero.
   Phillips had read up, in a newspaper, of one of the more recent attacks by this supposed demon. But Phillips was also aware of a letter, anonymous, which had been sent to the Lord Mayor of London. In that letter it had been claimed that Spring-Heeled Jack was no demon, but some wealthy individual who had entered into a wager with his friends, to take on various disguises, including that of a demon, in order to scare people, and that it was this individual who was behind these tales of Spring-Heeled Jack.
   A mask could provide the horrific visage of the supposed demon. Gloves could incorporate claws. Yes, of course, it was all some terrible trick. As to the flame Phillips was one of those people who believed that the common folk could easily exaggerate what they saw.
   “I will bring this demon to justice!” George Phillips suddenly declared, to the crowded bar of the Black Swan tavern. A few people looked up from their beers to see who was making all this noise. “I am an inventor, and I will invent a device to capture him.”
   There was a general muttering, as people returned to their drinks. They held no truck with people claiming to be inventors.
   George Phillips did not care, though. He finished his drink, and then staggered back home to his lodgings. He went straight to work on the design for a trap to catch Spring-Heeled Jack…

The next morning he woke up with a foul headache rattling around inside his head. He had slumped over his drawing board, falling asleep on his supposed design. Phillips took one look at the trap which he had designed while being drunk, and tore up the piece of paper.
   “That would never have worked.” he muttered. But his boast still echoed in his mind. He would capture that demon who was plaguing London, or his name wasn’t George Phillips.
   Not one of his inventions had yet been adopted by the companies of London. But if he could invent something which could get Spring-Heeled Jack then he would be hailed as a hero. People would be bound to invest in his inventions. He would become wealthy beyond his dreams.
   He took a walk around the streets of London, in an attempt to clear his mind from the migraine which had assaulted him. But his head still throbbed. He returned home and took some pills. The bottle declared them to be Cockle’s Anti Bilious Pills, and they claimed to be for Bile, Liver, Headache, Heartburn, Indigestion, etc.
   They did not make his headache go away.

Phillips returned home. He felt a little better, even though his migraine had not entirely dissolved. He returned to his drawing board, and began to work.
   In the mind’s eye of Phillips he saw some sort of strange mechanised costume, by which he would capture and unmask Spring-Heeled Jack. Yes, that was what he would create – a suit which would boost his natural abilities, so that he could go jumping across the rooftops just like Jack.
   It occurred to Phillips that the person behind Spring-Heeled Jack’s reign of terror must have created a similar suit. The man behind the campaign of fear must be some sort of inventor. Well, Phillips thought, what could be invented once could be invented twice. And so he set to work.
   First of all Phillips experimented with powerful springs in the boots. That did not go will, and caused him a second headache, and the impression of the top of his head in the plaster of the ceiling. He put the springs aside, at least for the moment, and experimented with other means.
   He tried having balloons filled with gas. But it was quickly evident that Spring-Heeled Jack could not be doing that. Besides, Phillips was scared that the balloons might take him too high before bursting, and he would plummet to his doom.
   He tried a system of hydraulics to make himself stronger than any normal human being. The suit was very heavy when it was strapped to him. It was so heavy that he could hardly walk. But the suit was supposed to make him more powerful. Unfortunately, when he operated the suit to make it move with him strapped inside it, it almost broke his leg.
   It was back to his bed; and, when his leg had recovered, back to the drawing board…
   In the end it had to be springs – but modified, ones which he could operate just by the flick of a switch on his belt, to allow him a single great leap which should be the equal of Jack. They must have been similar to the design which the individual pretending to be a demon had constructed.
   Phillips did not make his own claws; or attempt to create anything which might make flames come out of his mouth. The would-be inventor believed that the blue fire must only be exaggeration, as there was no way that a person could breathe blue flames.
   Phillips did design a padded suit, however, in case he should suffer some mishap, and as protection from the claws which the miscreant had fitted into his gloves.

The night that he had completed his springs and his padded suit Phillips went out onto the streets of London looking for Spring-Heeled Jack. He could not walk in his spring-loaded boots, and was forced to carry them with him. But, should he see this person who played Spring-Heeled Jack, then he would put the boots on his feet, and attach the wires which led from his belt. Then, with but the flick of a switch, Phillips would be propelled through the air. Hopefully.
   Spring-Heeled Jack did not cooperate, though. He did not appear that night. He did not appear the next evening, either. And he did not appear the night after that.
   A lesser man might have given up, rather than spend all of his nights awake, looking for some demonic phantom, and spending most of the day asleep. But Phillips considered himself to be of sterner stuff than most men; and he had already constructed his device with which he hoped to catch Spring-Heeled Jack, unmask whoever was playing the part of the demon, and bring the foul blackguard to justice. No, Phillips was not about to give up. He would keep going for as long as it took.
   In the end it took twenty seven more days before Spring-Heeled Jack put in another appearance…

Phillips was in Hammersmith when he hard people talking about Spring-Heeled Jack; apparently he had just scared the wits out of some woman in the Whitechapel area of London.
   Phillips hailed a hansom cab and had it drive him towards Whitechapel, at as great a rate as the cabbie dared. The wheels of the cab bounced off the cobbles as the cabbie did not spare the horses.
   Phillips only got halfway to Whitechapel, though, when looking up at the roofs of the houses he espied somebody running along the top of the buildings. It could only be the knave who had frightened people by pretending to be a demon.
   “Stop, cabbie!” Phillips shouted, banging on the roof of the hansom cab. The cabbie brought the vehicle to a stop, in as short a distance as he was able to.
   “I thought that you wanted to go to Whitechapel.” the cabbie complained.
   “Here is sufficient. There, your money.”
   Phillips did not bother to ask whether there was any change. He quickly strapped on his spring-loaded boots, and he activated the lever. He was somehow thrown into the air, landing on the roof. But Phillips had to throw his arms out to the side, to make sure that he did not overbalance, and fall from the roof onto the hard cobbles below. Such a fall might lead to serious injury or even death; and Phillips found that it appeared to be a lot further looking down from the roof that it had been looking up from the ground.
   He had made the roof, though. Now it was time to stop the miscreant. Phillips looked around, to see that the villain was now on a roof a hundred yards away.
   “You! Stop, sir! I say stop, sir!” Phillips shouted. His shout echoed across the rooftops. It was not, perhaps, the most commanding statement ever. But Spring-Heeled Jack turned around to look at Phillips.
   Jack could have jumped away, and Phillips would not have been able to catch him, as the springs were only good for a single jump; and Phillips was not strong enough to load them by himself. They had to be reloaded with his equipment, back in what passed for his laboratory.
   But Jack did not escape. Instead he jumped from roof to roof, until he was on the same roof as Philips. Phillips watched the blackguard jump; and the inventor could not see how the springs were hidden. For all the world it looked as though jack was making such prodigious leaps with nothing other than the power of the muscles in his legs.
   Jack landed on the roof a few yards away from Phillips. Phillips now got a close look at Spring-Heeled Jack: at the sealskin style jacket which he wore; at his powerful legs; at the claws on his hands where fingernails should have been; and at the blue flames which seemed to emanate from the mouth of Spring-Heeled Jack.
   It was when Spring-Heeled Jack stared into Phillips’ eyes that the inventor realised that he had made a great mistake. Jack’s eyes glowed in the dark. They could not possibly be the eyes of any human being. This could only be a demon escaped from the pits of Hell. Phillips took a step backwards, almost falling from the roof.
   “You! You are not human!” Phillips gasped.
   “Ha ha ha ha!” Jack laughed. The laugh sent a chill down the spine of Phillips. It was the sort of laugh which would have even terrified a jackal. Phillips almost took a step backwards; and he feared that Spring-Heeled Jack might leap on him and attack him. Those talons at the ends of his fingers looked like he could shred anything; and Phillips feared that his padded suit would provide little resistance.
   Jack, though, simply leapt away, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, as though it was the easiest thing to do. And that was the last time that Phillips ever saw him – something for which the suddenly religiously-inclined inventor was incredibly happy about.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2015, 08:01:35 pm »

Good evening to the good folk of Brass Goggles,
I hope you do not mind my reawakening this thread. I was hoping to add to the collection of excellent stories here last year for Halloween, but I manged to be distracted and the season came and went... But, rather than leave this languishing on the hard-drive, I thought I'd post my cautionary tale up for this year. It's turned out a bit long, so I'll spoiler it to avoid clogging up the page for readers scanning through.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2015, 08:15:33 pm »

Good evening to the good folk of Brass Goggles,
I hope you do not mind my reawakening this thread. I was hoping to add to the collection of excellent stories here last year for Halloween, but I manged to be distracted and the season came and went... But, rather than leave this languishing on the hard-drive, I thought I'd post my cautionary tale up for this year. It's turned out a bit long, so I'll spoiler it to avoid clogging up the page for readers scanning through.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Jolly good tale.  Thank you for sharing
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You have to tread a fine line between avant-garde surrealism and getting yourself sectioned...
Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2015, 05:23:04 am »

Perhaps not quite on topic for a story thread, but I posted this in metaphysical some time age (It seems to have disappeared since then)

Sewer pigs and dopplegangers: Victorian urban Legends

This is the first and only time I'd heard the legend of sewer pigs, kind of cool since I ended up reading Neverwhere some months later.
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~-- Purveyour of Useless Facts, Strange Advice, Plots --~
GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2015, 04:27:14 am »

Good evening to the good folk of Brass Goggles,
I hope you do not mind my reawakening this thread. I was hoping to add to the collection of excellent stories here last year for Halloween, but I manged to be distracted and the season came and went... But, rather than leave this languishing on the hard-drive, I thought I'd post my cautionary tale up for this year. It's turned out a bit long, so I'll spoiler it to avoid clogging up the page for readers scanning through.

As your tale unfolded, I was hoping it would turn into an EC Comics-appropriate story...and you did not disappoint!

Plus, you earn bonus points for making me look up "shagfoal"...
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2015, 07:53:07 pm »

Dear Ms Cora and Admiral GCCC - many thanks.

Perhaps not quite on topic for a story thread, but I posted this in metaphysical some time age (It seems to have disappeared since then)

Sewer pigs and dopplegangers: Victorian urban Legends

This is the first and only time I'd heard the legend of sewer pigs, kind of cool since I ended up reading Neverwhere some months later.


I wonder if this was being referenced in the Doctor Who episode Daleks in Manhattan?

Yours,
Miranda.
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gaslampfantasy
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2015, 01:14:47 pm »

Nice to see this thread continue. Now i have to come up with a vignette for Halloween...
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CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
Zeppelin Captain
**
England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


WWW
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2015, 09:23:36 pm »

One out of the 3 submitted to a collab that was refused (other 2 will be published soon!)
Quote
Shadows
The small nightlight in my room flickered and went out leaving only the light of the moon too illuminate my room. Darkness swirled around my room and it felt like the shadows were growing closer. I wrapped myself tighter in my bed sheets and tried to hide. I heard scrabbling under my bed, claws scratching and the wooden legs and the wall. I felt a small shape land on the bed and make its way up to the covers. The monster under my bed dug under my sheets and cuddled into me shaking with fear scared of the shadow.
And one from the war Diaries
Quote
War Wolf

"Übergabe" the Hun soldier shouted at me an instant before I ripped open his chest with a massive fur covered claw. I was surrounded by dead Hun soldiers, each one the victim of this wild beast. I turned away from the carnage and made it two steps before I was overcome with tiredness and collapsed into the mud and blood above the English Army trench
I was woken by soldiers shouting "The war is over"
"What happened, did we win?" I asked looking down at my green blood stained uniform.
"The War wolf came and slaughtered every last Hun Soldier.
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