TITLE: NEFERTITI'S HEART
GENRE: NA Steampunk Thriller
There was something cathartic about wielding a crowbar. Cara used one end to loosen the tacks, before ripping up the expensive Persian carpets. She tossed the strip in a growing pile by the wall. Taking a moment’s break from her work, she flung open the second story window and took a deep breath of London air. And coughed. Coal smoke and steam spiralled past her window, forced skywards by the combination of the narrow street and tall buildings. She blinked the stinging smog from her eyes and looked up. An airship glided by like a giant floating dodo, its tiny props spinning frantically to keep its bulk airborne.
Turning, Cara leaned on the casement, surveying her work. She had taken up most of the library carpet, the wooden floor boards dull in the morning light. Hidden for years under the carpet they were coated in dust and grime. Pacing the floor she knew she was close, a spot to one side called to her. The hairs on the backs of her arms rose as she walked the bare boards. Ah. There. The wooden planks of the floor stained a slightly darker colour. A maid had spent hours on her knees there. Using scrubbing brush and bleach, she had tried to wash away the blood before the new carpets were laid.
There was an old saying blood will out. Cara wondered if this was what her grandmother meant. You can scrub as hard as you want, but you can never remove the taint.