Starting Point: Let’s Go Walkies

This week’s story starting point was sent to us by John H. Reiher Jr.


“What was that noise Sedgwick?” asked Mayor-Captain Hieronymus Spalding.

First Mate-Deputy Mayor Arnold Sedgwick looked over the side and said matter of factly, “It’s the left foot sir, it’s come off.”

Spalding leaned over and looked at the array of gears, guywires, and general debris spewed out in front of the Village of Hawthorne. “Bloody Hell. Better get Maintenance on this right away Sedgwick. This is a job for Lucius…”

Lucius Barrington Hightower was currently standing on a dirt road tut-tutting the damage done to the walking village’s feet. Two of his workers were standing on the right foot, inspecting it. He then saw the First Mate-Deputy Mayor waving a hand at him form an upper balcony. “Bugger, what does that fool want?” he muttered to himself.

He walked back to the Village of Hawthorne and yelled up at that Sedgewick, “What now! Can’t you see I’m trying to fix this bloody mess you made of my village!”

Sedgwick looked up at the small airship that had docked with the Village of Hawthorne. He turned back Lucius and, using a megaphone, yelled, “We need to move the city! The City of Brighton has right of way!” He pointed to the looming megalopolis in distance, “It’s headed this way and we’ve been told to move or be pounded flat into the dirt!”

Written by John H. Rieher Jr.

Artwork by Sergey Skachkov.

  • Daniel Lind

    With some tightening this could be an excellent start. I shall give it a thought. 🙂

    • John H Reiher Jr

      Thanks! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  • Paulo R. Mendes

    A walking village?! this sounds so weird! (o.0;)

  • kinda reminds me of the Mortal Engines series.

  • Christmas Snow

    There is such a thing, though not initially intended to be used as “mobile city”.

    Strip-mining machines are multi-storied digging machines with diggers mounted on cranes. This is a Wikipedia search result on “strip mining”

  • The idea of walking cities has been done in the steam punk novels of Philip Reeve in the Hungry City Chronicles.
    Now I have a honest question: Do you guys consider steampunk, diesel punk actually SF. It might loosely fit into fantasy Sci Fi. I don’t mind but seeing these articles about “sciencey words” ,” artifex world building” and John’s insistence on rocket science and quoting “Atomic Rocket” articles. It appears that there are split camps. Of course if there are bears as beasts of burden then it’s fine…;-)
    Back to serious :What do you think, are these genres SF or even SCI FI or rather fantasy, because physics and science are clear out of the window

  • John H Reiher Jr

    Necroposting from the Future! Coming soon to a theater near you: Mortal Engines!