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EF: Chapter TWELVE- the Last? Or is it?
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:32 am    Post subject: EF: Chapter TWELVE- the Last? Or is it?  

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.

After infiltrating the Library and following a secret passage into the depths of the Nefarious Mortuary of Doom (not the actual business name), Euro rushes to the supposed rescue of Bernice and Davis, only to encounter her siblings happily hanging out with the librarian, the mortician, and her arch nemsis.. the vegetation-desiring Harrold!

Now confused past the point of no return, a shaky truce has been established, and Davis in intent on showing Euro something in the hallway from which she has just charged...

Davis eyed me over with the mix of love and disgust that only an older relative can give- extra disconcerting in an older relative that seems to be younger than yourself- and shook his head. He tugged again on my hand, inching me further from the warmth of the games room, and further into the hallway.

"Dude! Did you even look at this place?"

I rolled my eyes and punched him lightly in the shoulder. "Uh, not really. I was too busy saving you guys.. at least that's what I thought. What's the big deal? Don't tell me.." I pitched my voice lower, and waggled my spooky-fingers at him. "... the lights are haaaaaaaunteddddd..... right? ooogley boogley?"

Again with the disgusted look, this time spiced with the sass of all his teenaged angst. He snorted derisively, the loud offshoot of his nostrils momentarily grabbing the interest of the assorted others in the room, and punched me back in the arm. The others, assured that the quota of violence was being met, turned back to the games table where yet another war of Scrabble was being waged.

"Look, Euro! Just look at all this!" Davis spread his arms wide and did a little hippity-hop of joy while I continued to look about me with total confusion. I rubbed my sore biceps.

"I just.. I don't see anything, Davis. Seriously. I mean, yeah.. the plaster is cool, i guess.. and the flooring is certainly nice, way nicer than I was expecting. It looks like someone actually took some care with this area, as opposed to the rest of this dump but.. what exactly has you prancing around like the happiest boy at the teddy bear picnic?"

"I warned you, she's too young and self involved to see past her own nose." A snooty voice polluted the hallway behind me, the heavy door closing with a click, and I felt the hair on the back of my neck tremble with mixed outrage and suspicion.

"Harrold. Captain Snark himself, oh the joy! Davis was trying to show me the.. uh.. the elegant patterns of.. uh.. crap. Okay, trying to show me something. I hardly need you barging in making snide remarks!"I put on my best Know-it-All face, and shot him a snotty look.

Harrold leaned against the far wall, and tried his best to wither me into dust with the lasers of his eyes. Apparently Bernice' little truce only held true so far as physical violence was concerned- mental anguish and embarrassment were still very much on the menu.

"Yes, well. Apparently, you do" Taking on a scholarly tone, Harrold surprised me by grabbing my hand and guiding it to the wall, pressing my fingertips firmly against the plaster in the farthest corner. His hand was surprisingly warm, the skin firm and dry, and I stifled a shudder. Too much history was between us for me to easily accept any kind of contact with my Most Hated of Siblings. (I had, at one point, sent him a valentine's day card with that message. It was hand made. Hallmark doesn't cater to the Unwanted Relative crowd.)

"Uh.. I don't see what hand holding has to.."

"Shh. Europa. Stop being so stubborn and just look!" He scrubbed a patch of dust away with the elbow of his Old Man Sweater, and gestured again, tracing the outline of a faint design with his other, unoccupied hand. Beneath his dancing finger, I saw the beginnings of a pattern leap to life.. the same curling design I had vaguely noticed while creeping to the rescue scant moments earlier.

"What the.... oh.. OOH!" There! With Harrold's help, I saw the curling tendrils of a vine emerge, the fragile leaves and stems flowing effortlessly along the wall.. further and further, branching and spreading, twisting down the hallway like one long, effortless... "TREE! It's a TREE! Oh my god.. it's the tree..."

The design culminated at the far end of the hallway, and there, barely discernible from where I stood, a small fresco hovered in the middle of the massing vines, inscribed with the mysterious Eyebrow Tree symbol.

Davis continued his Charlie Brown shuffle of joy, as I turned back to stare at my fingertip, and the start of the vine, in wonder. A twinkle of glee warmed the frozen wasteland of my arch enemy's glare, and Harrold laid a calming hand on Davis' shoulder- an indescribably fatherly gesture, a horror I never thought to witness. Again Harrold brushed at the plaster with his sleeve, and more detail lept to life. Inscribed in the center of each delicate, folding leaf was a name.

"Holy leaping.. what the f... SERIOUSLY???"

My eyeballs shot down hallway again, taking in the swirling mass of leaves and vines, and picking out the tiny writing hidden in each leaf.. each one.. tens, hundreds... names swirled down the hallway like so many bubbles down a drain, and my thoughts went with them.

I sat down heavily on my ass, the heavy wooden flooring proving less comfortable from this angle than the dingy lino and carpet had been earlier.

"Guys.. there are... is this really... US??"

My voice sounded small and tiny in my ears, one more aphid on a leaf in a giant tree.

HAAA! END OF BOOK ONE!!! or is it? You guys decide- that's the DP here... are we done? Do we start BOOK TWO of Eterna? Does Book Two pick up where Book One left off? YAY!!! I'm so excited about this.. I've had that in my brain for a while... thoughts?

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Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:38 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: indescribably fatherly gesture... - Shudders... Is there more to Harrold than we know?

Good grief, Skitty you can't just leave it there! This type of mystery game needs to be quick and regular so the details stay fresh in our minds and I suspect a DP may not do the plot justice at this point - perhaps a thousand or so words summary as a prelude to a Book 2 would be the way to go.

But the possibilities... The Eyebrow Tree - the family tree - does every leaf represent another unfortunate bastard brought into the world courtesy of Rolph? Just how many people could he father over two centuries? Could the curse live on through grandchildren? Euro could have great-nephews and nieces that were born and died/living on before she was even born! Now there's a thought... How widespread is that curse - and what kind of people are still out there who by rights should be dead and buried!???

Wow... I vote for a Book 2. You've already got 1 reader before you start! :-o
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject:  

Allow me to just say...


Personally, I'd like to do a Book Two. I have plenty of ideas still to come, I'd just like a chance to kind of close this chapter, and scoot in more directions at once. Plus, some of the cast from this "era" can get dropped out without someone later coming along going, "Uh.. whatever happened to so-and-so.. your continuity timeline blarg blarg*" and all that fun stuff.

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The Meaning Of Fear

Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 980
Location: In a deep, dark corner of the universe, plotting.

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:33 am    Post subject:  

GAH! Meanie need more!

Book 2! Pwetty Pwease?
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