Despite her royal lineage, she was known to the kitchen staff and servants as Deuce.
If she was lucky then, with a mock bow, she might even be afforded the title of Little Miss Deuce or, should there be knowing nobles within earshot, Princess Deuce.
The dark man constituted a beacon of shadow amongst the falling snow, his greatcoat open about him, all but trailing amongst the snow and frozen flowers. At his side attended a young lady, no older than 16 or 17, her complexion warm and rich despite the pale of the virgin snow and the dark of the sky overhead.
She felt faintly self-conscious beneath a parasol stained by snow and a starched crinoline dress. Her slender figure was held further in check by the pressure the corset exerted over her and her dark hair was swept back over her shoulders and adorned with ribbon.
It was uncomfortable for her to be dressed in such a fashion, originating as she did in a world of bright light and shorter skirts, just as the utter darkness of the night, save for the flickering candle of the lamppost they approached, was disturbing and unnatural for her.
[in which the author reads a situation entirely different to the one Mister Charles Dickens wished to convey]
She traced the lines of the other girl’s pale face, the timid reflection of that girl she had first witnessed in the arms of her own loving father not more than eight or nine years past. To look at her now, Meg reflected with the merest tremble of her heart, was to know little of the ardour that had fallen upon them as surely as her own father had fallen from the tower of the old church those many years ago.
Though holly now hung over the bed they shared, she had instead prayed for mistletoe.
An uncomfortable familiarity had been borne of the failure of Meg’s wedding day. Though it was the man who once she had intended to take as her groom that had reunited her with poor, child-like Lilian, Meg could not help but resent the intimacy to which Richard inferred, by his lack of words, to having known with her.
To think that sovereigns had bartered passage where, for many years, Meg’s chaste kisses could not, filled her with a sort of trembling sorrow.
She made tiny sounds between her petite lips, shaping experimental words in address to the slumbering cherub on the pillow before her, dirty blonde hair plastered by sweat and grime to the pale skin of her face.
Her hands gently pulled back from that sleeping face, convulsing like victims of the same malignancy that afflicted their weeping owner.
In that dirty room where no fire burnt and even the yellow light of the candle waned, Meg Veck whispered the silent platitudes of a genuine and oft betrayed love.
These just fell out of my brain:
My left-leaning brain is
For untangling strings
I make a killing,
Charging by the minute
Because it only takes a few
To undo the damage
Of 365 days in cold storage.
A year in attic lockdown
For six months.
I can’t afford clothes,
There’s a nudist colony
At the edge of town.
I posted the first chapter, and I’m curious if there’s any feedback out there for it. Here’s some background on LOAN WOLF:
This is an old, old, old story I brushed off when Ian approached me about contributing to the awesome stories already found here. Originally written for a forum called The Digitial Kore (no longer online), the first chapter was actually written as five parts, each only a few hundred words. It was also entitled “The Wolf Age” but I’ve since expanded the concept to include other monsters such as the Fae, vampires, and ogre (with mo to pop up soon).
The new name, “Loan Wolf,” is sort of a pun. Our main character is your everyday schmuck, down on his luck, couldn’t give a fuck, private eyeball. He turned his back on the supernatural world years ago, but now he’s been hired by someone that is putting him in situations where the things-that-go-bump-in-the-night are unavoidable. He’s a loner, but he’ll sell his skills out to pay for lunch. Hence, the play on words in the title.
Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed, no matter what monster you slept with the night before.
Eric loosened his tie and wiped the sweat from his head. He had been foolish to walk down this alley; known Judhik Clan turf. He was following up on the tip he had received from the faery he had slept with the night before (a literal faery, with wings), and the trail had led him directly where he knew he shouldn’t have gone. He just wanted to turn around now…but the three Judhik Clan members didn’t see that happening. They encircled him, chanting in their clan’s language (of which he knew only little), and they had their claws ready, and their teeth gleaming.
The heavy overcast spreads across the sky. Cut into pieces by the jagged mountaintops that disappear into the horizon. A softer than normal crosswind helps break the heat of the day, an effect started by the coming rain. There isn’t a sound, with an exception to the stray bugle player testing his lungs.
It is a starless night, not unlike many winter nights in this city. The clouds pass over the sky, keeping even the moon hidden from sight. Only the dirty yellow that emanates from the rusting posts that curve over the sidewalks provide any light of use.
Barren are the streets at this hour. As only the insane would leave their homes after the dark falls, there are few who break the curfew, but there are reasons to fear the dark, reasons to stay inside since the cops became useless figureheads of a failed society. The wind is slow and icy, litter floating in the air. An abandoned page of a week old newspaper wraps itself around a man’s leg.
Standing below the flickering light of a failing lamp post, the man shakes off the paper. His leather jacket reflects the dirty light, his skin taking on a jaundiced glow. He keeps his hands inside the pockets at his waist, and leaning against the neglected street lamp, he waits for possibly someone as insane as himself.