Saturday, 10 November 2012

Chapter Three:Somebody's Eyes

"Hey Billy, can I use your light?"

Billy shrugged and handed over his flip-lid Zippo. Lionel, holding the blue flame to the cigarette hanging from his mouth, squinted and then raised his eyes.  They were hard and dark, with heavy lids and a kind of noir know-it-all gleam in them.

They stood against the wall of the washed out electrolysis studio, hands in their pockets.  A couple of cars drove by, dim blurs in the twilight.

"So have you seen Campbell lately?" Bill asked.

"Nah.  He's off in India with his dad."

"Huh. And he thought of me when you called him."

"He gave me your number, sure did."

Billy rubbed his hands together and stuffed them in the sleeves of his black and grey striped hoodie.  "So what did you need?"

Lionel kicked a rusted nail across the sidewalk.  "A place to stay for a few days.  I'm passing through on my way to Hawkstone.  I wouldn't be trouble."

A couple more cars rumbled by, a city bus loosening its breaks and winding its way around the corner.  Billy watched the cigarette smoke mingle with the air. "I gotta admit, Leo, I'm not in the best situation at the moment."

"What, you squatting?  I don't mind, just a roof over -"

"It's not that. I'm staying with -"

"Parents.  I get it."

"No, it's my sister."

"And she wouldn't be cool with some random guy coming to stay?  Weird.  You couldn't say I was a friend from boarding school or something?"


"No, no, I get it."  Lionel took a deep drag on the cigarette, "What's she like?"

"My sister?" Billy pulled a cigarette from behind his ear, "She's a writer."

"Oh really.  Been published?"

"Loads.  She's really good too." Billy flipped his lighter shut and drew in smoke.  "Ever heard of Gilda?  That's her."

"No kidding."

Billy smiled with pride.  "She's the best there is."

Lionel nodded, stubbing his cigarette out on the wall.  "You know anyone else I could call?"

Billy scrawled out a few numbers on the back of an expired lottery ticket.  "Try them, they're all in the city."

"Thanks, Billy."  Lionel took the paper and sighed.  "I owe you one."

They parted ways, Lionel headed up the street towards Main, Billy cutting through the grocery store parking lot and disappearing over a fence.  Lionel took the paper out of his pocket along with a black aluminum lighter and burnt the numbers into ash.  He brushed his hand on his coat and kept walking.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Chapter Two: The Trouble With Doorsteps

Up an over polished marble staircase, down a too bright, scantily dressed corridor. Through double oak doors with golden plaques, into a boardroom stuffed with grey suits and black neck-ties. She went with emerald green scarf sailing behind her - a misplaced beacon of colour in a monochromatic world.

"Abeline." A man of exceptional height and shoulder greeted her from the head of the long mahogany table that adorned the center of the room.

"Please, call me 'Gilda'."

A chortle escaped the younger members of the board, which was quickly stifled by a glance from their Official. Rarely had they received the request to call an author by pen-name.

"Alright..Gilda..would you please have a seat?"

"Why yes, I would - that is, if you were willing to give me one?"

Another laugh, far more boisterous then before; another look, this time taking form of a glare.

The man waved his hand to a high backed chair at the foot of the table, resisting the urge to take that very same hand and rake it through his thick dark hair.

"Oh - yes, thank-you, William." Abeline sat.

William Strides contemplated the woman, who was made to appear unusually small by the wooden frame and velvet back of the chair in which she sat, taking in her wide, nearly clear green eyes and twitching hands folded not so neatly upon a deep purple skirt, and decided for the millionth time that she looked - in her entire - unusual. Slightly more so then before, he thought, and sat.

"We've had quite some time to discuss what it is you request" he began.

"Two weeks, two hours and fifteen minutes." came the interruption. Abeline glanced at clock above Strides' head to confirm the time. It was indeed quarter after noon.

"Yes, as I said: quite some time. And I do believe we've come up with a decision - isn't that right, gentlemen?"  Nods came from both sides of the table.

"Well I presume you would have, or I wouldn't be here today - correct?"


"Go on, then, what is the verdict?"

"The answer is no."


"No. We simply cannot allow you to 'go abroad' with this novel."

"And why the heavens not!" Abeline shot up from the chair, nearly knocking it over.

"Good grief woman! Sit down!" This came from a man two seats to the right. He was thin, with a narrow chin and eyes that looked to be always frowning.

"And who might you be?"

"Jeremy Willright."

"Well, Jeremy, I will not sit down until I know the meaning of this barbaric imprisonment."

"Having you stay in Dremlock while you finish your writing is not imprisonment my dear Ab - er - Gilda." Strides broke in. "Now please, won't you have a seat?"

Abeline conceded, smoothing her skirts and pursing her lips.

"Now, tell me, why can I not go abroad with my writing? I find it quite helpful - I do turn in my writing some time before the agreed due-date, do I not?"

"Yes, but unfortunately there's no room to implement this into the contract - which has already been signed! You may have a history of turning in your novels sooner than expected, but how are we to know that this time won't be the opposite? We really are sorry, Gilda, but it's difficult for us to keep track of you and know that a deadline is being met when you don't even have a computer." he paused "Where would you be going, anyways?"

"Wherever the wind takes me."

"Than it's settled, you are to stay in town. Agreed, gentlemen?" Another round of nods, including a rather exuberant one from Willright. "Agreed, Gilda?"

"Oh, I suppose so.."  Willright snorted at her sigh; Abeline caught his eye and glared.

"Nice tie, did Mommy pick it out for you?"

"Nice jacket, let me guess - Salvation Army?"

"No, my Grandmother made it for me." And at that Abeline left the boardroom.

"Publishers" she muttered, bustling around the cluttered kitchen of her Old Victorian home. "Nasty coats, they are. I should've stayed free-lance."

Abeline cleared the table of yesterday's dishes, dropping them carelessly in the sink. She had removed her coat and flung it over a chair stacked with old thesauruses and writers references. Upon the coat sat her cat, a ten-year-old Blue Russian named Figaro who watched her every move and didn't seem to mind the newly acquired coffee stain on her favourite paisley blouse. Abeline extracted from the cupboard over the stove a half devoured jar of crunchy peanut butter and an Italian loaf covered in cheese. From the fridge she removed a carton of eggnog and poured herself a full glass from the collection on the counter. Taking the spreader from the chipped knife block, she made herself a sandwich and sat down in the plush armchair that took up an entire corner of the dinning room. On the nearby table sat a typewriter, one which she eyed with longing. She could almost hear the click of the keys, stamping ink lettering upon crisp new paper. Figaro leapt from the kitchen chair onto the table which was thrice his age and padded his delicate way to the typewriter. He nuzzled it with his chin, purring loudly, and gave it a paw and a swish of his tail before prancing to the floor, onto Abeline's feet. There he curled up - his favourite spot - and closed his eyes as she bit into her lunch.

The doorbell rang.

Figaro started, Abeline lowered her sandwich.

The doorbell rang again.

Figaro scooted down the hall to the front door, Abeline abandoned her food and glass. Heart pounding, she moved with the third ring down the hall after Figaro. A dark shadow took up the frosted glass of the entrance window. Abeline swallowed. She swung open the door.

"Hello, Sis!" the young man grinned and moved into the house. "Long time no see!"

"Billy!" Abeline gasped. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in school?"

"I..well..the dean is a little fed up with me right now.. They said I should go home."

"So you came here? Brilliant! Please, throw your things in the living room for now, I'll make you some lunch and a hot drink." Abeline closed the door quickly, locking it and sliding the deadbolt into place.

"Gees, Abs, you look like you've seen a ghost!"

"I nearly have, seeing you here!" She looked her little brother up and down, taking in his baggy clothes hanging from his lanky frame. Figaro twined himself around his legs, meowing loudly.

"Miss me, little buddy?" Billy gave him a scratch.

"Come, let's get away from the door.." Abeline led the way into the kitchen, Billy depositing his coat and bag on the sofa along the way.

"I don't understand why we even have those things." Abeline placed a mug of hot chocolate before her brother, who sat in the only kitchen chair that wasn't piled with papers or books.

"Have what, Abs?" He took one last bite from his sandwich and blew steam from the mug. He was used to his sister's odd spoken thoughts and had often humoured her growing up.

"Doors, Billy. Front doors.."

He laughed. "You're still shaken by the sight of me? Come of it, Abs, what's wrong with front doors?"

"Oh it's not really the door that's so wrong, it's the doorstep."


"You see, the trouble with doorsteps, Billy, is that you never know what you're going to find on them."

Monday, 22 October 2012

Chapter One: Abeline

"Don't make me go back over there," Myriel hissed to Max.  They were standing behind the cash register, stealing glances towards the corner table where the lone occupant was still sponging coffee out of her shirt.  "She's not saying anything, but I can tell.  She's upset."

"Just bring her the bill, and if she starts saying anything, apologize. Apologize until you get back over here.  Maybe bow or something."

"That's real helpful, thanks."  Myriel rolled down the sleeves of her white button up shirt and sighed.  "Well, guess I'll go."

"It's fine, Myriel.  Happens to the best of us."

"I know, okay."  Myriel picked up her tray,which held a black leather half-folder, forced her face into a smile, and walked tentatively towards the woman who was sitting back in her chair staring blankly at the mosaic on the opposite wall.  She was about 25, with a thoughtful face, a wide mouth and thick nose.

"I love that," the woman said, realizing someone was standing in front of her, "It's a beautiful image, don't you think so?"

Myriel humoured her, considering the jumble of pixelated flowers and brightly coloured figures of dancers.  "It's been here a long time."

"Just like you," the woman said, turning her attention towards her, "I know I haven't been coming here long, but I can tell."

"Only a few years," Myriel said, her face falling a little, "I like it here."

"So do I."  She felt for her open notebook and scribbled something without looking down.

"I have your bill here, but please don't feel you have to rush out.  I know you like to finish at least three cups before you leave."

"Today's different," the woman said, "I have a meeting to go to."

"Oh," Myriel said, seeing that the coffee colour still remained where she had spilt it five minutes before,  "I am so sorry about your shirt."

"No worries," the woman replied, "I can wear my jacket over it, no one will notice a thing. Besides," she giggled, "they expect it.  They expect a writer to be socially awkward and to have bad hygiene.  I'll be fooling them."

Despite her years of serving experience, Myriel didn't quite know how to respond.

The woman seemed to accept this.  "Well, guess I should ask you this too,'s kind of a strange question."  The woman started braiding a section of her oatmeal coloured hair.  "Has anyone been...asking around about me?  Has anyone asked your boss if someone who looks like me or has my name has frequented this cafe?"

It was that kind of day: Myriel had no words.  It was as if she had been divided from her ability to react and she simply had to wait, a passive agent, until something forced her into movement.  Her thoughts flowed slowly until she sieved out the word she was looking for: "No."

"Good. Would you mind letting me know if someone does?"  The woman laid a twenty dollar bill on Myriel's tray and picked a green army windbreaker from the back of her chair.  "See you on Thursday," she said, and walked out.

As the glass door clicked shut, Myriel came out of her stupour.  "That's what you get for not eating all day," she told herself, blinking rapidly.  What had the woman said?

"Abeline's something, isn't she?" Max said, coming up beside her.  "If we're lucky, we'll get this place into one of her stories and then we'll be on the map!"

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Welcome to your Doom :)

Hallo! And Velcome to our LAIR!!!

Allow me to introduce ourselves. My name is Hysteria Pie. That there *points invisible finger at shady figure* is my counterpart, Daft Shepherd. What we mean to do here is both entertain and HORRIFY you with the deep labyrinthine caverns of our minds. This shall be accomplished by the writing of a "novel" of complete and utter fantasticness - it will be written as such: Daft will write the first chapter, I will write the second, and so on and so forth!

So prepare yourselves! There will be no turning back as of this moment of this day! We have captured your eye and amusement... they shall forever be ours.

Let the tale begin...