Rory liked to imagine that catching and mounting a wild beast mid-flight would be a little like climbing on board Crazy Willy’s steamcoach. She kept her knees bent, hands at the ready, head turned to the right as she waited for it to arrive.
The noise grew louder: the mad clatter of wheels, the rattle of the coach, the whine of springs, the grating of metal on metal — and just audible over the commotion, Crazy Willy’s crazy laughter.
It appeared like something out of a nightmare, screeching around the corner, the metal wheels sending sprays of sparks on either side. Two wheels lifted from the ground, tilting the whole coach sideways, and Crazy Willy laughed louder. He turned the steering wheel slightly and the coach crashed back to the pavement.
The steamcoach rushed towards Rory, huge and dark, bristling all over with metal rungs that gleamed in the moonlight. The engine’s chimney poured out smoke as thick as tar, and fire roared, glaring out of air holes like the burning eyes of a beast.
Celine Jeanjean is French, grew up in the UK and now lives in Hong Kong. That makes her a tad confused about where she is from. During her time in Asia she’s watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat, lost her shoes in Vietnam, and fallen off a bamboo raft in China. Celine writes stories that feature quirky characters and misfits, and her books are a mixture of steampunk, fantasy and humour.