Friday Fictioneers : A monster of smoke and brass




Lou peered through the net curtains, watching the street through a mesh of swirls and flowers.

The automobile was still across the road, an alien thing of brass and leather, rubber, smoke and noise.

‘It doesn’t run on coal?’ she said over her shoulder.

George was reading the Sporting Life, the pages spread across the dining table as he took notes on the day’s runners and riders. ‘No, love. Something called petroleum.’

‘Petroleum?’ The word sounded like a pomade you bought from the barber’s – something that would leave greasy marks on the furniture. ‘Filthy thing. They’ll never catch on.’


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale. Visit here to join in and to read the other, wonderful stories.

The Sporting Life was a British newspaper which was largely known for its coverage of horse racing – those ‘runners and riders’ George is so keen on.


38 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers : A monster of smoke and brass

  1. Hahaha! Indeed. So much the thinking of some people today. And to think that I was born around the time of when the integrate circuit was invented! Who knew?

    Neat story, Lynn. It’s full of people. That’s NICE! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny take on the photo! I can certainly see how this would have seemed a ridiculous fad at the time. I had the same comment on Rochelle’s page, that it’s amazing to think of how bizarre these cars must have seemed at first. Or for that matter, can you imagine seeing a train for the first time, if your whole world has been horse carts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very true – trains especially, I think would have seemed extraordinary. All that steam and smoke and noise for many who lived in the countryside and the loudest thing thet encountered would be church bells! No wonder they were often unpopular and people believed you’d faint if you went over 40 miles per hour 🙂


      1. I’d heard that too — 40 miles per hour must have seemed incredibly fast. And the trains are just huge, too. And of course, in those days, still quite dangerous (not that they’ve worked all the bugs out even now). Yes, it would not be something for the faint of heart to try!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. For a second, I couldn’t tell if this were a scene from the past or the future. In the far future, gas driven cars will be seen as archaic and even dangerous. All that pollution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the not so distant future, I hope – we can’t ustain the pollution levels we have at the moment. I think London hit their annual pollution level within the first few days of January. Terrifying stuff. Thanks for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely piece of interaction, great dialogue and unfortunately she was wrong. (I feel hypocritical saying this as obviously, I have a car and it gives me the freedom to do so many things I couldn’t without one.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michael. I don’t condemn you for rueing the dominance of the car – it affects all our lives and often not in a good way. If only those early inventors had developed cleaner ways to run the darn things. And you’re absolutely right about convenience – we’re a non-driving family and quite honestly we’ve missed out on a lot over the years as a consequence, public transport just not being up to certain things. No wonder my 12 year old son is a petrol head … 🙂


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