Middling Woden’s Day

The music of a women’s quartet sung their song over the serenading hiss of steam whistles and the constant whir of engines all around the city block. A woman plucked away on a Biwa through a somber melody around the corner almost in tune with the women’s harmony. Her face hidden beneath long, strawberry hair as she strummed away at a moderate pace on her lute. Annwe flew her Dragonfly past the musician. Further down the dusty road, the sounds of the music died inside the factory where one man screamed, red-faced, at another man who sported a bulging vein above his eye. It was just another day for the workers who ignored the verbal quarrel and made their way to their duties. Beyond the laborers, a sauna amount of steam poured out a doorway with a descending stairwell. Not a man or woman didn’t shimmer with the sweat, grease, and dirt that came from making a living working in what the locals labeled Steam Hell. In the wetness above the steamy doorway was an engraving of a large ship firing off a launch pad. Most referred to the rocket as Desertion, but others knew the image more as what was meant to be the homage to the launch of the ship, “Venus’ Embrace.”

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