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EF: Chapter Eight
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:43 am    Post subject: EF: Chapter Eight  

((thanks to the wonderful CrunchyFrog for coding and piles of input, and the great idea (and pretty much writing of-) of the "story so far" segment! whee!))

The Story So Far...
What happens when a womanizing jerk ticks off the local tavern owner in olden times? Why, a mysterious lingering curse, that's what! The jerk just happened to be Rolph.. but the curse he carried just keeps spreading!

“May you and your bastards live the life of the damned forever!” the barkeep had cried, and so Rolph did just that... but not ONLY Rolph! Every child he produced throughout the centuries lives on at the physical age at which they died: a set of septuagenarian triplets born in 1772, a nefarious forty-something born in 1890 and a financially astute nine-year-old born in 1892 .. and that's just the older kids!

Europa Fielder, one of his more recent accursed offspring, is twenty-two years old, still alive and therefore not yet immortal. She discovers that somehow her estranged father has broken free of the curse, having died instantly as the centuries of immortality caught up with him. Europa is determined to find out how.

Euro teams up with her immortal brother Davis, a quasi-skater stuck at fourteen, and Bernice, killed a century ago at the age of nine, and the little trio set out in search of the origins of the curse. All the while, the threat of Harrold, a malingering older brother who is intent on injuring Euro to the point of vegetation, lingers over the group.

Armed only with a letter embossed with the symbol of the ‘eyebrow tree’, the same symbol on the cover of a mysterious book left by their deceased father, their investigations took them to an upscale bar and grill called the ‘Incarna’. The history of the establishment seemed to fit the very place where Rolph was cursed. After tricking information out of the proprietor, their suspicions were confirmed and they headed off to the County Records office for more clues.

As this chapter begins, Bernice and Davis are searching the building, and Europa is wandering the cavernous back hallways looking for purchasing records for the Tavern. She realises she is lost, and a mysterious breeze is coming from inside the library....

Chapter Eight:

I wound my way through the stacks of books, wishing I had a trail of breadcrumbs to follow, when I noticed the ground. Littered with papers, visible against the stained white foolscap was indeed a trail of crumbs, speckled with the same marmalade that had covered the county registrar records. I gingerly shoved a sticky piece of paper aside with my toe. What the hell was going on here? Who was that masked man? Or.. rather, who was possibly leading me places with only toast and marmalade as bait?

I quested onwards. As I rounded a corner of semi-composted atlases dating back to the previous evolutionary era, the smell of pot roast abruptly strengthened. The smell was so strong, I felt like slices of freshly carved beef must surely be hiding inside some of the nearby National Geographic magazines, perhaps lovingly tucked in among the dog-eared pages of topless Namibian women.

A sliver of light brightened the dusty air, and I pounced at the chance to escape from my papery tomb. An old door poked from behind a poster of the Dewey Decimal system. Standard grey prison paint, chipped in places, revealed a battered steel door better suited to a penitentiary than a library. A little window, complete with steel bars- minus one- graced the upper third of the portal. I heaved on the door, and was surprised when it gave way with little more than a mellow grunt of protest.

The light was much stronger now, and the scents in the air were reaching peak capacity. Cinder block walls speckled with must and cobwebs gave way to suspiciously funereal looking mauve wallpaper, and within moments I found myself standing in the back hallways of the Happy Endings Mortuary!

The tantalizing aroma that had lead me through the book stacks now revealed itself to be the less-tantalizing smell of someone being cremated. I wondered if that person had a penchant for marmalade, in life, and the thought made me retch. I desperately pulled my shirt collar over my nose, and tried to concentrate.

Whereas before I had come in through the front door, like a normal visitor to a business, this time I found myself facing a row of office doors. One of these passages undoubtably led to the, er, business end of the crematorium. Judging from my past journey, from library basement to suspicious mortuary, the other doors could lead anywhere.

A shuffling of zombiefied footsteps sent me to my knees behind an aging photocopier, and I only just managed to tuck my toes out of view as Lurch slouched into sight. I gawped at his face in surprise, and recalled my first meeting with the unsightly mortician.

Lurch, as I was wont to call him, had been singularly unhelpful when we had visited the Happy Endings Funeral Parlour and Mortuary earlier in our quest. Despite my friendly, if shirt-covered countenance, he had been less than forthcoming with information about the joint. Instead, he had directed me to the lumbering Burger McPlace across the way, insisting Happy Endings had only even been the storage facilities for the tavern.. which itself now rested under the McFoundations.

Now that I had opportunity to think over our little encounter, I found the crypt keeper to be a little lacking in the details and truth department. I vowed to return with Davis and Bernice, and question the malignant dude in detail.. as soon as I could escape from my hidey-hole. I began to feel the start of a toner-induced migraine, and tensed myself to bolt for the door at the first opportunity.

As if reading my mind, he casually assaulted the door back into place, and locked it while I watched in hidden dismay. A smirk marred the otherwise perfect lack of emotion on his pale, and badly shaven face.

* * * * *




((DP: What's up with Euro, the mortician, and the hallway of doors?))
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject:  

This chappie is shortly to be redone and expanded... any thoughts on what should be added/included/extrapolated upon?
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject:  

okay, I've refamiliarized myself with this SG, and very entertaining it is, too!

I do like the scene settings especially.

The sudden POV change seems a little odd at the end of this chapter. Also its a little confusing with the double DP.

I'd get rid of the Davis/Bernice part, its only short and not much plot progress there anyway. Stay with Europa, and perhaps expand on her thinking about her first encounter with Lurch, which I think was in Chapter five. This will help remind existing players of the story so far, and for people jumping in on this chapter, will help orientate.

My suggestion for the DP - Europa tries to distract Lurch by throwing something into the opposite corner of the room, in a desperate (and probably useless) attempt to escape. :)
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8778
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject:  

Nice Skitty.

I'd say she remains hidden, see what he's smirking about!
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:31 am    Post subject:  

YAY!! RESPONSES!!

thanks, Crunchy and Cren! Okay... i do agree with removing the Bernice and Davis DP. I really enjoyed the chance to break away from Euro's POV, BUT... as you pointed out, i think it is a little confusing to suddenly have a POV shift eight chapters into a tale. Let me tweak it a little up there..

yay! almost enough suggestions for a poll!
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject:  

Okay, guys and gals! A poll! You know the whole world loves a poll..
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject:  

Egads, I got here before the poll did! *waits for poll* o-)
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DeadManWalking



Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1005

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:54 pm    Post subject:  

Heh. Well this seems pretty cool.

I've only read this chapter and the synopsis so far, and I'll try to catch up soon.
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject:  

WHOOT! Yay! Enough votes for me to close the poll!

okee dokee... looks like Euro is waiting for Lurch to leave, and then trying to explore and gain some insight into the crazy...
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TruePurple



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 256

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:56 pm    Post subject:  

Id like to know what they hope to learn about the 'curse'? How to end it? (why would they wan't that?) How to prevent it from being ended? The character's and their dynamic is interesting and enjoyable. (from what I read of it, I mostly read a chapter or two then went to the synopsis, I'll back track and read it more fully latter maybe but theres so much to read and only so much time )
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject:  

All good questions, TruePurple. The gang is trying to find the exact nature of the curse- if Rolph was somehow able to die, then the whole brood could potentially have a similar problem. Also, Euro doesn't actually WANT to be immortal- or immortalized as a mental vegetable, as Harrold would prefer.
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