Steampunk Short Story: Maker of Flight

In celebration of Short Story Month 2011, today I bring you “Maker of Flight” by Richard Thomas, the winner of the “Enter the World of Filaria” contest at ChiZine.


Moist air clung to his skin as he hunched over the workbench, goggles tight. Isaac held the little bird down with his gnarled hands, the incessant chirping pinging his ears.

“Schit schtill, wouldja,” he said, as his mouth clenched shut, rotten gums pressed together tightly where teeth used to be. “Thish ish for your own good.”

A flurry of blue wings batted at his knuckles, panic stretching the tiny bird’s eyes wide, as Isaac poked around its backside with the silver screwdriver. Finding the latch, he inserted the tip into the screw and the cavity flew open, spilling sprockets and gears onto the scarred wooden surface. Quiet filled the room as he placed the still bird down. Wiping his brow and the top of his bald head, the candlelight bounced off the walls. Silence. Stretching his back, shoulders raised, he took a deep breath. Hacking out a deep, rattling cough he spat into a dirty handkerchief and stuffed it into his pocket. His dusty dungarees were more stain than fabric. The floor was lined with metal parts lurking in the shadows. Sheet metal and iron beams, mesh wire and rebar. Rust and mold drifted to his flat, wide nose, his sinuses raw from the turpentine and ether.

Read the rest of “Maker of Flight” over at ChiZine.

Richard Thomas was the winner of the 2009 “Enter the World of Filaria” contest at ChiZine. He is the author of the neo-noir thriller Transubstantiate. He has published dozens of stories online and in print, including the Shivers VI anthology (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, Murky Depths, PANK, Pear Noir!, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, Dogmatika, Vain> and Opium. Visit or for more information. He also writes book reviews for The Nervous Breakdown.

Connect with Richard Thomas on Twitter & Facebook. Find more short stories on his blog.


What are your thoughts on “Maker of Flight”? Let’s chat.

Plus, don’t forget, I have several short stories available to read (or listen to) for free as well.

~ by omgrey on May 20, 2011.

One Response to “Steampunk Short Story: Maker of Flight”

  1. thanks for the kind words, glad you liked the story!

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