The Big City – Dieselpunk Short Story Challenge

Photo by: Matthew Wright

The Big City

When Neville caught the bus in the small town of Rantoul, Illinois all was as predicted. The bus had the expected eight wheels. On board the bus, Count Basey’s band played on the diesel-powered television as it chugged out the same old fumes. A diesel-powered cellular phone was available, puffing out smoke as it idled, waiting for the next user. Everything was normal and familiar.

In the massive metropolis of Chicago, things got weird. Few people drove cars. They drove ambulators. The machines galloped on four legs, careening along like giant horses and leaping over the far slower, eight-legged taxis.

Neville wondered at all this as he bought coffee at a familiar mobile coffeehouse. At least that was normal!

And then the coffeehouse sprouted ten legs and walked away.

Neville barely held onto his coffee cup.

Eventually, he found the Grand Palace Hotel where a room was waiting on the 27th floor. Neville asked where the elevator was.

“Elevator?” smirked the valet. He pointed to an eight-legged taxi. As Neville watched in shock, the taxi’s “feet” found purchase in holes drilled into the hotel sides. It joined forty other taxis climbing vertically up the hotel’s exterior.

Neville shuddered. “Got a staircase?”
Author’s Notes:

I’m familiar with steampunk, but the “dieselpunk” genre is new to me. I had to look it up. Turns out the hysterically funny “Iron Sky” movie I watched probably qualifies as dieselpunk. This is my first wild stab at the genre. Here’s how it is defined:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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9 Responses to The Big City – Dieselpunk Short Story Challenge

  1. Very cool i got vertigo from that last paragraph… 🙂 Dieselpunk’s an oft ignored genre but it can be a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Indira says:

    Very funny story, liked it but that link i visited and could not follow much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great atmosphere and scene-setting, Eric. I got inspired reading this a couple days ago, as well as your pointer to Wikipedia. Mine turned out (way) too long for the challenge, however. Might see if I can do something else with it, as it’s probably only loosely dieselpunk. In any case, I love the fusion of living and mechanical forms you’ve created here. I think you did great with the subgenre, for what that’s worth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      That’s worth a lot. Thank you! I’d be very interested in seeing what you wrote. Length doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t think it matters much if it’s strictly dieselpunk either. I’m glad you enjoyed the weirdness of my story. It was pretty out there. Thanks much, Leigh!


  4. Shey says:

    So high-tech! I would want the stairs too. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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