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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Mystic Taxi

Most of this will be cut from the book, per my agent's suggestion. Here's your once in a lifetime opportunity to read it before it becomes hard drive chow. Ha! :)

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

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Eunice prayed her old ticker would keep on ticking as adrenalin sung through her veins. The lever at her back still hadn't moved an inch and Jasper's thug was plodding down the stairs toward her.

Sylvester leapt from her arms.

She lunged to grab him, but she wasn't fast enough. The clockwork cat scuttled across the floor on its wood and cable legs, the visible gears on its sides spinning to make it move. It sprang for the stairs and landed on the step just below her tormentor. The spawnster's heel slid across the cat's metal back and kept on going, both his feet leaving the stairs while gravity forced him to crash-land on his butt. He continued sliding down feet first, his head thumping against every step along the way. He collapsed in a lump at the bottom.

Dear, oh, dear. Eunice choked in a relieved breath, thankful to her faithful cat for saving her from the brute, but there was nothing to celebrate yet. Hellspawn recuperated fast, and this one would be good as new before she could say Cock Robin. In fact, he was already stirring. Think, think, think, Eunice. She needed a spell that would paralyze him, but all her spells were in the upstairs pantry. The only one close at hand was the potion she'd been working on. The Snit antidote. What would it do to a spawnster? There was no time to consider. She'd have to take a chance.

The spawnster sat up slowly, his rat-like whiskers protruding from the sides of his face like antennae. He twitched the long wiry hairs and shook his head like a dog shaking water from its back.

Eunice grabbed the beaker, its contents still boiling, and threw it at the ratman. He screamed as his shirt erupted into flame, but it couldn't be the fire that hurt him. Spawnsters thrived in fire. Even so, he was definitely hurt because his scream abruptly changed to sobs.

"Goodness me, Sylvester," Eunice said to her mechanical pet. "I do abhor torture. I only meant to stop him from coming after me. The poor thing."

But the spawnster shook his head. "It's not my body that hurts," he said between sobs. "It's my heart. I've been such a bad, bad spawnster. Evil. Cruel." He wailed and Eunice plucked a lace-edged hanky from her apron pocket. Careful not to get too close, she reluctantly handed it to him. "Thank you," the ratman said, and blew his nose.

15 comments:

Ella said...

I've never read steampunk, but you got my attention. Great scene. You rock!

sue laybourn said...

Your writing is so vivid. I love pictures you paint.
Another brilliant scene.

bryngreenwood said...

Hahaha! Sorry this is getting cut. Love the 180 shift from pursuer to ratman in need of sympathies.

Courtney Allison Moulton said...

You're such a great writer, Karen. This was really cool! Your description was spot-on and the action was intense.

amybai said...

Such a shame this is getting cut. You have such a lovely, firm grip on the pacing of your scenes, Karen.

Sarah said...

Oh God, I LOVE the idea of spells being upstairs in a pantry! Brilliant. So sorry this is for the chop!

houndrat said...

Vivid scene--bummer it was cut! Thanks for sharing.

JKB said...

The cat was AWESOME!

AWESOME!!!

Gretchen said...

I love the spawnster hissy fit at the end. Reminded me of my favorite Mercer Meyer book when I was a kid THERE'S A NIGHTMARE IN MY CLOSET. Totally got a laugh out of that!

JenWriter said...

Wish this wasn't getting cut! I hope the clockwork cat is still in the story. I'm intrigued.

Rose Pressey said...

Great writing. I love the description.

tasha said...

I've never read steampunk either but this sounds really good. To bad it had to get cut.

JM Donahue said...

wonderful pacing here, and I really enjoy the tongue and cheek humor. Sorry you must kill this darling, but I always think it is a good sign when something this good is left on the cutting floor - what remains is even better.

shanasilver said...

Oh, I wish you wouldn't cut this. Such lovely descriptions and actions. I love the first sentence!

Karen Duvall said...

Can I take all of you home with me? LOL! Such lovely compliments! You're amazing. Thank you so, so much!

I don't have to cut the whole thing, just the last part and what comes after, which I didn't post here because it's too long. It has to do with the potion Eunice uses, which of course affects all that comes later. You know how that goes. Ripples in the pond and all that. So my ratman will have to be incapacitated another way, which is really hard because spawnsters are practically indestructable.

Thanks for attending the wake of the last part of this scene. Mwah! xoxoxo