The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday

The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday

illustration by david malki

This story is also available for download from major ebook retailers.

Inspector Wilde was in a fine mood when he arrived at the headquarters of Salmagundi’s Legion of Peace, carrying three paper-wrapped sandwiches and an armload of printed broadsheets. He had a spring in his step and walked in time to one of the latest music hall ditties, which he whistled cheerfully for the benefit of his coworkers. All along the gaslit passage, clerks and secretaries poked their heads out of their rooms and stared, in wonder and admiration at his audacity. Most of them smiled as he passed, and a few of the braver ones tapped their feet along with the tune for a few moments before dashing back to their desks to avoid the ire of their supervisors. Wilde laughed as he passed a room full of secretaries who somehow managed to type in time with the music.

Midway down the hallway was the Chief Inspector’s office, which was fronted by a small antechamber in which her secretary, Marguerite, was busy making sense of several unsightly piles of documents. Her work table was a model of efficiency. Her pens and pencils were all neatly arranged to one side, along with writing paper and a three-section typewriter for preparing documents in triplicate. A rack of empty pneumatic capsules waited nearby to be filled and dispatched.

Marguerite smiled as Wilde approached, delighted by the cheerful whistling. Wilde leaned down, eyebrows arched, and tossed Marguerite the top sandwich in his stack.

And a girl in uniform’s just the thing for me...” Wilde said playfully, completing the refrain of the tune in Marguerite’s ear.

“Max!” Marguerite exclaimed, her cheeks flushing. She pushed him away and made a show of reorganizing the papers on her desk. “You mustn’t say things like that to me. People will talk.”

“Well, if ‘people’ are going to talk, don’t you think we should give them something to talk about?” Wilde asked, flashing one of his trademark recruitment smiles.

Marguerite was trying to come up with a reply when a third voice interrupted. “Max, get in here!

Marguerite jumped in shock and pulled a handful of papers between herself and Wilde, as if to deny that they had even been speaking. Wilde was also caught by surprise, but retained his composure. He looked over at the polished voicepipe mounted next to Marguerite’s table just in time to hear the Chief Inspector’s voice again.


This story is part of Steampunk Month: ‹ previous | index | next ›
William Frank
1. scifantasy
“So ‘IIMOT’ means...?”

“We pronounce that ‘eye-moth.’ It means ‘it is my opinion that.’

“What about ‘IHN?’”

“‘In Heaven’s name,’ Chief.”

Oh, no--it's USENET on broadsheet!

I love it.
2. GoblinRevolution
Glad to read more from GD FALKSEN. I loved the serial "The Strange Case of the All Seeing Ear" in The Willows magazine. Salmagundi is a wonderful creation.
3. a. m. rtyr
GD Falksen has a truly unique imagination. Love it!
Ethan Glasser-Camp
4. glasserc
I really really liked this. It's like there's an implied critique of the characters for thinking they're more important than they really are -- but at the same time, when Wilde needs to relax, Cerys just pushes him to an even more trivial and mindless form of entertainment. Still, well told.

5. titanium_mike
that was one hell of a story. very original and well written. I loved it. Ah, how different our world would be if we didn't have our tit-tats. I've seen so many Mr. salad monday on infinite number of forums.
6. Donna Ricci
What a wonderful ride! I hope this is a serial to return soon or a more regular feature here. Consider me a new fan!
7. Mind Elemental
I liked it! Very cute story and a nicely envisioned world.
8. PlanetaryColonist
Wonderful story. The carry-over of pronounced abbreviations/acronyms threw me off for a minute, but then I settled down and realized it was a perfectly reasonable habit for the tatters to fall into. Wilde also seemed a bit schizophrenic, being so prone to laughter in the first half, then exhibiting a harder edge during the confrontations, and finally giving in rather easily to Cerys's suggestion to let it all go. I still enjoyed the story immensely. This is my first time to this site and I hope to see more of Falksen's work here!
9. Sheniver
Really good story!
Evelyn Kriete
10. jaborwhalky
What I would love to know is, dose Mr Monday look how an Octopus would look where it a jelly fish or is it how a jelly fish would look where it a Octopus?
mm Season
11. mmSeason
Please, Tor, please stop dividing stories into multiple pages! or at least provide a 'view all' option.

I always download anything longer than about 300 words as too much screen time plays havoc with my health (eyes -> migraine -> sometimes several days before i can use a computer again, so it's *really* worth the trouble of copy + paste). I'm sure i can't be the only person to whom it makes a big difference, for many reasons.

I'll try n remember to come back n comment after i've read this. First impressions are good. :0)
12. suprspi
Some of the better fiction I've read lately has come from TOR.COM.

I really enjoyed this story, and the world/city of Salmagundi - I'd love to explore it further.
alessandro montagner
13. black_swan
The Naked Brains of Zeppelin City, now Mr Salad Moday... what is it with the blobby shapeless sentient creatures thing?

A very good story. I'm a scholar myself (same age as Falksen, too) and I loved the way he built the narrative on historical features: the broadsheets, the printing houses, the different social classes...

@11: what about downloading the pdf? That's what I always do, although I end up reading these stories on my pc screen anyway.
Silvia Wilson
14. sillama
Lol...Good yarn, with enough ends left dangling to warrant a continuation. (puns intended) Very enjoyable and well-imagined. It's a world that I would certainly like to explore further.
16. davechu
Excellent story, thank you! Very engrossing but not long enough :) I got here through lets hear it for steampunk.
17. Dr. Curiosity
Messrs. Falksen and Malki in the same place? This is a good thing to see.
18. OwenKL
A nicely told steampunk story. Mr. Salad Monday seems like an adequate doppelganger for the Flying Spaghetti Monster. My thanks to Mr. Malki! (to use his idiosyncratic formulation of his name) for directing my attention thisward.
Gregory Lantern
19. lantern
Great story, I liked it! Very cute and a nicely.
20. Jennifer Oaks
Delightful story. Well written and exciting to read. Great characters.
21. Gordon222
If only his stories were as interesting as he is.
Sorry, but I find his work a good cure for insomnia.

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