I said I was not going to put up any more of my WIP, EDWIN COPPERPOT, but alas, I'm eating my words! I'm about 75 pages in and at this rate the book will be finished in a month or so! I reserve the right to change the last statement at any time! Here is another segment. For those of you who know nothing about the story, Edwin and his cohorts are all departed, living in a sort of purgatory. This is a YA Fantasy & black comedy, with mystery and a little touch of romance. I hope you enjoy the read and please feel free to comment, excusing any first draft typos!!!
xoxo -- Hilary
Percy Poole and Edwin rounded the corner, exiting the theatre. They were on their way to the café, meeting Maura, Charlie Redgrave and Bunny Black, then off to explore Maura's mysterious graveyard. The topic had become of some interest in their little circle of the dead and it seemed the perfect night for investigating. Truth be told, they had nothing much better to do.
Edwin stuffed the playbill in a breast pocket. "I must say, I've always been one for supporting the theatre, keep Shakespeare alive and all that wonderful stuff, but never, and I truly mean never, did I think I'd see the fair Juliet dragging her legless carcass across the stage to meet the severed head of her star crossed Romeo. It made the romantic scenes rather awkward, don't you think?"
"It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night, quite literally!" said Percy. They laughed riotously, making their way across the bustling avenue, always busiest at high moon. "So Edwin, what do you make of our little yard of interment on our already interred island?"
"I truly have formed no opinion. We're all dead and buried already. Why would anyone want to go through all that nonsense again? Maura had a good thought on the matter. She deduced that possibly the graveyard belongs to those never buried. Those poor souls whose bodies were never found or perhaps buried in unconsecrated ground, dumped unceremoniously in a hole, something like that. Maybe their dead relatives made a burial ground, a cemetery, to honor those not honored properly at death."
They approached the café, when from out of nowhere a diminutive man materialized directly in front of them, his forehead appearing just inches from Edwin's nose. Normally Edwin would have walked right through the stranger, but the man's severe façade unnerved him, nearly sending him backward.
Edwin grabbed his hat so as not to lose it, while he reclaimed his footing. The squat, bald man stood before him, his eyes vacant. His spoke coolly. "Lord Edwin Copperpot, I presume."
"Your presumption is correct, sir." Edwin took two steps back, not comfortable with the man's close proximity. He studied the man, his stony face, unfamiliar, but recognizable all the same. "Who, may I enquire, is asking?"
The man wasted no time with pleasantries. "You have been formally summoned to the House of Warrants. As a servant to the High Warrant, I have been sent to collect you--now."
Percy slapped Edwin on the back. "Our Mr. Copperpot--called by the Warrants, what an exciting turn of events, to be sure! Well done, Edwin!"
Edwin ignored his chum's good wishes, quite taken aback and uncertain, to some extent dubious of the man's intentions. "You’re a different chap than before, shorter and your mustache it's quite different. You do look similar to him, but you're not him nonetheless. I thought he would be fetching me."
The man's deadpan expression did not change, however his eyes flashed an unfamiliar shade of purple, and then quickly shifted back to their lifeless gray heather, as if saying something without saying it. "Who says I'm not the same chap?" He motioned to the street. "Now, get in."
Percy gasped. "Good God, now that's a carriage!" Before them stood an enormous black carriage led by four imposing stallions. Slithery braids of smoke wafted from their dingy sable coats, as they whinnied and snuffled in the night air.
"Sir," said the man to Edwin, nodding at the open carriage door.
Edwin did not want to go. An ill feeling swept over his entire being. He'd never felt this way since well before his reckoning. He felt unsure of everything. "I need to bring along a friend of mine, Miss Maura Lancaster. She will be accompanying me to the House of Warrants. She's only just round the corner, in the café."
The man spoke brusquely. "No one goes to the House of Warrants, who has not been summoned. Called alone, you must go alone."
Percy put his hand on Edwin's shoulder, steadying him. "Edwin, don't be so nervous! You'll be fine. I'll go round and tell the others of your good fortune. Maura can wait. You can tell her everything upon your return. You know how she loathes waiting for news. This will be sheer torture for her, all the more fun for you!" He walked Edwin towards the carriage, who was simply too staggered to speak further. "For goodness sake, don't look so serious. We'd all die for a chance to be in your shoes! Now off you go."
Edwin climbed into the coach, feeling as though he couldn't say no. Percy shut the door behind him. The undersized man had already disappeared from the street, reappearing atop the carriage, with the reins in his hands. "Ya!" he commanded, snapping the reins. The horses sped quickly down the avenue.
Edwin poked his head out the window. Holding his hat in the wind, Percy Poole waived to him, his figure growing smaller and smaller with each revolution of the carriage wheels. Percy swiftly dashed round the corner to the café, on his way to enlighten everyone of Edwin's remarkable news.
The pit of Edwin's stomach curdled.