The Curious Case of the Coffee Contraption Chronicles

Belle Epoque coffee machine by Elektra

When first I scrutinized Professor Phineas Fitzwhistle’s Marvelous Mystifying Mechanical Mocha Maker, I experienced considerable consternation at the contrivance of cogs, cups and coils.

“I believe it is, in equal parts, polished brass and poppycock,” I said.

* * *

I found the above text in an old computer file of story ideas. Just this and nothing else. I have no clue when I wrote it or where I’d intended to go with the tale of Professor Fitzwhistle. I often jot down odd sentences here and there, usually around 3am, then find them months or years later with absolutely no explanation or recollection.

I imagine it was just some steampunk silliness, along the lines of a character I created called Captain Pippi Liederhosen, the Swedish airship pirate with a fear of heights.

Meanwhile, here’s an actual steampunk coffee shop. This is Truth in Cape Town, South Africa.

Photo by Shanna Jones

Photo by Shanna Jones

~ J.L. Hilton

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