The Ambitious Drifter

Words, Images and The Occasional Noise

I dream about steam


Some flash fiction for the writing challenge

                                        From the memoirs of Latimer Naseby.
                                                      ICE, WATER & STEAM.
Father Brennan’s sermons were a little too modern for some of his flock. Ice, water and steam as states of your soul didn’t quite resonate like the fire and brimstone they’d been used to. I didn’t mind at all.
Like most of the crew at the Relaying Station, I took the steam bus up to Lisdoonvarna every Sunday morning. I can’t pretend that our troop of young engineers was particulatly devout, but it was a change from the wild coast and the ancient fishermen. Plus, one could meet some of the younger locals, bright boys and girls in their Sunday best. Afterwards there was always the lunch at the Inn, so much tastier than our canteen food!
Ice, water and steam, it was a sermon written for engineers. I still remember the sense of it, since it encapsulated my past, present and future.  The ice was still to come. One day I must tell you how I helped rescue the crew of the airship ‘America’ up beyond the Arctic Circle. I have an imagegraph somewhere of me with ‘Kiddo’ the famous dirigble cat.
Water and steam were, and are, my stock in trade. I majored in pneumatics, but I love all the magic of it. Is steam the soul of water? Certainly it is the life breath of my engines. I loved to watch the giant flywheel in the Atmospheric Transfer Station. Such rhythm, driven by the inhale/exhale of the machine. Next door it spun the relay mirrors with the delicacy and precision of a Swiss made watch.
I wouldn’t have been the first person to drift off during a sermon. I was lost in a cloud of steam. If I had pipe dreams they came from steam pipes. I thought of slide-valves, not saints that morning. Father Brennan was a young man, I’m sure he would have understood. The future was in that steam cloud. After almost a century, the real Age of Steam was about to begin.


The mysterious uses of steam, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

3 thoughts on “I dream about steam

  1. I’ve been to Kangaroo Island! Camped out there in 1972!!!!


  2. Top post! Enjoyed reading this. It reminded me of sermons I heard as a child that felt like a mystery but made sense later on. Happy new year!


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