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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Teaser Tuesday - Mystic Taxi

The following is an excerpt from my steampunk urban fantasy, Mystic Taxi.

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Henry opened one eye, then the other, and rolled onto his stomach. "Make it stop," he mumbled into the pillow.

The radio played a big band tune, and instead of stopping, it played louder.

"Stop!" he shouted.

The radio fell silent.

"Thank you." He drifted off again, and just as quickly, the radio switched back on.

"All right, all right! I'm up." The radio went instantly dead. Squinting against a rush of daylight through his bedroom window, Henry sat upright. "Cawwfeeee," he yawned.

The sound of a percolator burbled from the kitchen, followed by the rich aroma of French Roast coffee, his favorite.

"Eggs. Scrambled. Toast, and not burnt this time." He blinked and looked at the gear-covered clock taking up half his nightstand. Four in the afternoon. Ugh, it was too early, but he had a job to do and a thieving wench to lynch. "Make it five eggs and don't scrimp on the hot sauce."

The heavy four-poster bed creaked as he swung his legs over the side and he felt around with his toes for his slippers. The wood floor was cold as cement. He shivered. "I need some heat here. What are you trying to do, freeze me to death?"

A large copper disk the size of Mystic's hubcaps rose up on spindly metal legs and crab walked closer to Henry. He snapped his fingers and it skittered faster, stopping a foot away. The rim began to glow red and Henry moaned with satisfaction as welcome heat flowed around his icy feet. "Much better. You know, I think you're probably the best invention Vernon's come up with yet."

The disk tapped one metal leg on the floor two times, which meant "thanks" in Imp-speak. Also Snit-speak, for that matter. The lesser demons had a limited vocabulary.

Henry pulled on a pair of canvas trousers and trudged to the kitchen for his breakfast. Next item in Vernon's automated kitchen should be a butler robot. That would be keen. Then Henry wouldn't have to leave his bed at all.

He stretched and took the filled mug of coffee from the percolator's dispenser. The robotic arm on the wood-paneled refrigerator reached for the skillet on the stove and slid a mound of steaming scrambled eggs onto a plate. Henry plucked a slice of burned toast – they'd never get it right – from the toast rack.

4 comments:

Jen said...

Wow, I think that passage might well describe my idea of heaven. Though being served the coffee in bed would make the fantasy complete.

Karen Duvall said...

Hey, Jen, me, too. 8^) Which is why Henry wants a butler robot. Later in the book I introduce d-mail, which is like e-mail, except that the message is telepathically transmitted between demons and typed with a manual typewriter operated by demon energy.

Suzanne McLeod said...

Love this,Karen [and yes, like Henry, I want a butler robot too! LOL!]

Jen said...

Love the d-mail!!!!