This is my first 200 words for Blogger extrordinaire Daena Barnhart. I only found out her page through this contest, but I'll certainly be visiting her often in the future.
Genre: Steampunk, 80k words
Finished, and edited, and edited, and edited. Then edited some more.
Konrad Adler wormed his lanky frame up the steam conduit, and tried to ignore the burning in his shoulders. The duct had been shut down for maintenance moments earlier and the heat was enough to suck the air straight out of his lungs. In five minutes it would be cool enough for the cleaning crew; he had that much time to sneak into Otto Dragomir's laboratory, steal a couple of vials and escape.
Sweat ran in a steady stream down his face, heat and nerves drew moisture from him like a wrung sponge. Normally Konrad avoided anything that whiffed of criminal enterprise, he picked through refuse to sell, or ran errands for half-pennies to help his father out. That would not cover it this time though, they needed some serious coin, or he and his father would be finished.
He squirmed past the sixth access hatch. The brass wheel that opened the seventh hatch, the one leading to Dragomir's laboratory, was just a floor above. Another minute of squirming through the thick, oily air brought him abreast of his destination. Konrad reached out to turn the wheel, but the metal seared his hands. He choked back a gasp of pain and rolled his sleeves over his hands to try again.