Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Teaser? Huh? EDWIN COPPERPOT


Yes, I know, I've lost my mind! I've had a lot going on lately and I'm hoping to have some exciting news soon, but I wanted to post something from EDWIN COPPERPOT, my WIP.

As you may have guessed, Edwin is our MC, a somewhat cynical, incredibly charming chap, who happens to be deceased. In this scene, our cadaverous hero, is on his way to the mysterious House of Warrants. They run the show in this booming necropolis.

Please enjoy and all comments welcome! And oh...happy Friday!!

xoxo -- Hilary

The carriage thundered down the streets, careening round corners as it neared the House of Warrants. Edwin sat inside, wondering why his withered entrails were feeling like watery knots. Phantom pains, he deduced, his own thoughts making him feel things he wasn't supposed to feel, at least not any longer.

The carriage came to an abrupt stop. He pitched forward, scarcely catching himself, almost smashing his face into the opposing wall of the coach. He chuckled. That would just be his luck, wouldn't it, a shredded face of pulverized bone and absent teeth, perfect first impression for the prestigious Warrants. Don't be so anxious, he told himself. You've nothing to fear.

He peered out the window. The carriage had stopped before towering iron gates. Beyond the gates awaited the House of Warrants, a colossal stone stronghold of pillared perfection, which loomed high over the deadened poplars, glaring down at its defunct populace with a flinty air of superiority.

The gates opened of their own will, cracking apart like an iron ribcage. The carriage slowly rolled inside, now at a snail's pace, as if ushering Edwin to his execution. He leaned forward surveying the grounds, lifeless as the rest of his surroundings, but quite manicured all the same, a deathly charm about them. A weary looking fellow raked up dead leaves, dumping them into a basket, while his grim associate, who was all but missing his entire back side, swept the never ending dust from the cobbles.

Edwin noticed an entrance off to the side of the main gates. An endless line of the dead waited single-file, only allowed entry when checked off a register by a bulky woman. She was clad in prickly charcoal skirts, with an iron chain of keys kept round her waist. Two uniformed men accompanied her; both dressed in the same sooty gray. Why did he receive such particular treatment, an escort, a carriage? Surely it wasn't his noble status, what would that matter now?

The carriage stopped directly before the steep front steps of the House of Warrants. Without time for him to have descended from his perch above the stallions, the mustached man materialized at the carriage door, opening it. "Sir," he said.

Edwin climbed out. He watched the lengthy stream of deceased waiting in their snaky line at the far west entrance of the building, like servants having to skulk in through kitchen door, their lowliness too unpleasant to be seen by their esteemed employers. His curiosity got the better of him. "Why did you come for me in the carriage? Why am I not waiting in line over there, with the others?"

"Maybe you're special, sir." The man smirked for a split second, swiftly shifting back to his unbending sobriety. Edwin didn't care for his caustic tone, but didn't think it wise to take notice of it just the same. The man evaporated. The front doors of the manor opened from the inside. Again, the man appeared. "This way, sir."

So used to the utter dinginess of all things since his reckoning, Edwin stood with his mouth gaping as he scanned the interior of the majestic House of Warrants. With high vaulted ceilings, it hung with ornate chandeliers of crystal, each one twirling with blue smoke. Stark white busts, lined the walls on stone pillars, the Warrants, he assumed. Even the deadened flowers were exquisite, painstakingly preserved in their hand painted vases. Impeccably clean, nothing broken, no random bones or parts lying about, it was like stepping into a reoccurring dream, that familiar echo of a once beautiful life, as if at last being heralded through Heaven's proverbial gates.

Edwin didn't anticipate a useful answer, but couldn't help but ask. "How is everything kept so pristine? I've tried for an eternity to keep our manor house in some sort of order, but to no avail, almost as if the more I tidy up, the more mess manifests."

The man began to walk, Edwin followed, his buckled shoes clacking on the marble floor. "I know not the secrets of the Warrants," was all the man had to say on the matter. Edwin presumed the miniature man knew much more than he'd ever let on, but he seemed the type who'd never reveal the time of day, let alone well guarded secrets. He imagined the man must have been a spy before his reckoning or more likely a butler, to himself keeping all the peculiar secrets of the well-to-do.




7 comments:

  1. Another great teaser. I love the premise and your used of description. You paint with words. Bravo.

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  2. I love this. Love this sentence: The gates opened of their own will, cracking apart like an iron ribcage.

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  3. This is a lot of fun - I really want to know the backstory on this world! I can imagine a lot of kids who loved the Lemony Snickett books would dig this one for its entertaining darkness.

    a typo: " lowliness to unpleasant" should be "too"

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  4. Ah-ha! I hate typos! Thanks, Lisa! You are the second person to mention Lemony Snickett. I do love creepy! Not scary, just nice and creepy!

    xoxo -- Hilary

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  5. Loved this line: a flinty air of superiority. And I agree with Rose - the iron ribcage image is powerful.

    Such great description here! If the dead can smell, I'd be interested to read some of the scents going on here.

    One other note: You've got a lot of sentences beginning with "The carriage" in the first few paragrpahs.

    Great work!

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  6. Marissa,

    I do, don't I? It's so great to get a read through on the 1st draft, so many little things we all miss! Thanks!

    xoxo -- Hilary

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  7. How did I miss this? i love reading pieces from this story. I just can't get over how clever it is, and how it makes me smile. Your descriptions are brilliant and I love the humor and I'm probably repeating myself...again. :)

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