Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Mystic Taxi

No marketing news to report, but I did hear from my agent last week saying she'd send revision notes for Mystic Taxi this week. She's also getting in touch with the editors still considering Knight's Curse.

Time for a new teaser from Mystic Taxi. Poor Henry got cut with a psycho ghost's ax and is suffering the side effects. Is insanity just around the corner? Or can Henry be saved before he loses his mind? (author note: I edited out a short section unrelated to Henry's plight to prevent possible confusion.)


"Henry!" Wanda grabbed him by the shoulders to give him a hard shake. "You're scratching your arm again and now it's bleeding. Get a grip!"

Henry still wore his coat and the sleeve was soaked with blood. He blinked, fire roaring behind his eyes, and it wasn't his will trying to break through that was causing it. He had a fever.

"You're sweating." Wanda pulled him gently down to the couch beside his nephew. "You're really sick. Would you just show me your arm—"

He turned away from her and stared at Vernon. A murderous rage built inside him and his scales rose like hackles on an angry dog. Someone had hurt his nephew! His blood boiled, and not just with fever. His fury was unlike anything he'd ever experienced.

Henry swallowed, his mouth dry as a dust storm. He had to get something to drink. He eased off the couch and stumbled toward the kitchen, but dizziness overtook him and he fell before he got there. Claire rushed to help him.

"Henry, are you okay?" she asked.

"He's sick," Wanda said. "He got cut by a ghost—"

"I remember." Vernon seemed to forget his own injuries as he scooted to the edge of the sofa, his eyes anxious. "I was there. I saw it happen." He heaved himself off the couch and staggered over to Henry.

Henry tried to focus on his nephew, but the image was blurry and washed out. Instead of Vernon he saw a woman and two small children cowering in the corner of the apartment. They looked terrified, their eyes wide and their mouths open with silent screams that brought about a strange excitement in Henry. He wanted to see them bleed, smell their blood, and watch their eyes become vacant as the life seeped out of their mutilated bodies. He wanted…

The vision faded and he saw Vernon, Wanda and Claire staring down at him in concern.

"Oh, my God." Henry sucked in a choked breath. "That ghost imprinted a memory on me, gave me its diseased anger." He scratched at his arm, trying to rake the skin off, to peel away the sickness that wanted to drive him insane.

Henry dragged himself up from the floor and stumbled the rest of the way to the kitchen. He grabbed a knife off the counter.


sue laybourn said...

Oh my!
This is such a clever story.
I love it.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what would happen! (The whole point of the "teaser" thing, I know.) Poor Henry!

Anonymous said...

Ooch, poor Henry! He's really getting the short end here....

Lovely. And very interesting. :)

Anonymous said...

Nice! The very last few paragraphs reminded me of "Here Comes the Bogeyman"--an etching done by Goya.

Kari Stewart said...

Yikes! Somebody please take the knife away from him.

JM Donahue said...

Creepy, the ghost imprinting that "diseased anger" on poor Henry. Love the tension you've built with this teaser. The vision and the knife in last line is very ominous indeed. Good work.

ChristaCarol said...

The last para "Oh, my God.." is gripping. I winced at the thought of him scraping his skin off, so vivid there. Eeep, not the knife!

Courtney Allison Moulton said...

Cool!! This story just sounds so awesome. I love what the ghost's attack has done to Henry. Really, really cool.

Karen Duvall said...

You guys are all so awesome! Thanks so much for your compliments. It means the world to me. :)

Creative A said...

Waahh! Henry, noooo!

*Clears throat*

Okay. I'm better now. But seriously - great scene, very engaging.


Sarah said...

Love the idea of imbibing someone else's anger - very vivid!

Anonymous said...

Incredibly gripping. I've seen your little tidbits on Twitter and I always just love your writing on a sentence-to-sentence level. You have such a way with words!