Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teaser Tuesday - Mystic Taxi

I can't believe how much I got written over the weekend. Today alone I wrote 2400 words and the story just keeps getting more exciting for me. I hope it's equally exciting for readers. The following is a short excerpt from my steampunk urban fantasy novel in progress, Mystic Taxi.

Henry heard the whoosh of thrown darts before he saw them. Five copper needles thick as porcupine quills stopped a fraction of an inch from his face.

"You're late," came a graveled voice from across the room. "You know how much I hate waiting."

Henry touched the hovering dart aimed between his eyes. The sharp prick left a dot of blood on his fingertip. "I get your point." He slid sideways and all five darts dropped to the ground. "Must you always be so dramatic?" he said to his telekinetic friend. Levi would never hurt him badly, but he'd pulled some painful surprises on Henry in the past. His moods were unpredictable. "It's not like I'm late on purpose."

"Then why are you late?"

"Can I come in first?"

Levi nodded, the mask of leather that covered his disfigured face bobbing like one of those doll heads on a spring. The mask clashed with his eloquent velvet frock coat and crisply ironed slacks. White lace peeked from the cuffs.

Levi stepped around Henry to approach a long couch inside an old wooden subway car. The car's capsule-like roof was gone, the doors missing, and it served nicely as Levi's parlor within an otherwise dank and dusty tunnel. The lacquered wood gleamed and ornate copper scrollwork lined the seams that joined each wall inside the car. Lush carpet patterned with lilies and roses lay at Levi's feet. He gestured for Henry to join him on the couch.

"Cops got me," Henry said as he leaned back against thick velvet cushions. He held up his blistered hand. "They did this."

Henry couldn't see Levi's expression, but his friend stiffened, apparently feeling both outrage and empathy. But it hadn't been a policeman who dipped poor Levi, head-first, into a barrel of seawater when he was a teen. It had been Levi's human brother.


ChristaCarol said...

You are a slave driver to yourself, Karen! I admire you. I can't wait to really get rolling on my next ms so I can compete with you daily ;)

Good stuff! I could really picture Levi. Keep it up!

amybai said...

Very much enjoyed that, Karen (and it's nice to see steampunk, since my latest project insists on being one!) --sunna

Anonymous said...

I was dragged in by "human brother". I love the title and it reminds me of a title by a friend who writes sci-fi, Margaret Yang - I think you've met her. I'll email. Karen Lin

Jen said...

Human brother? I'm hooked!

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks so much, Crista. You, too, Sunna and Jen. 8^) The anonymous poster is my friend in Colorado, who sent me a separate email. Thanks to you, too!

Barbara Martin said...

"Human brother" did it. Good hook.

I'm putting your blog on my Fantasy link. I found you through a comment left on Book Ends.