Thursday, September 25, 2008

Talkin' Heads #1

Title: Mystic Taxi
Genre: Steampunk Urban Fantasy

Set-up: POV Character is approached by a stranger in Central Park in the middle of the night. The part you don't see is right after, when she kicks his a**.


"How doin'?" It came from the foggy dark, the words sounding burned as if by coal dust. She knew that sound. The raspy voices of coal-digging spawnsters had filled the patch towns of her Kentucky home. She still heard them in her sleep. "Spare a dime for a man down on his luck?"

She turned around, her spine stiff and booted legs poised to kick what would hurt the most. The only threat he posed was the stink coming off him in waves strong enough to choke a skunk. "I'm poor as you, mister. You won't hear no coins clinkin' in my purse."

"I be a pig's uncle. You's a woman, ain't ya?"

"Last I looked."

He chuckled. "You dressed too masculine to be one of Hell's Bells. What you doin' out in Central Park all by your lonesome?"

"Waitin' for someone. How 'bout you?"

His brown-toothed smile spread his mouth wider than normal for a human. He was a spawnster, all right. "Makin' new friends." He took a swig from a bottle wrapped in a paper bag. He held it out for Wanda. "Wanna be my friend?"

She grimaced at the smell of rancid olive oil that intoxicated him. "No, thanks."

He frowned, his dark eyes starting to glow. Great. A drunk spawnster with a temper. "I'm sure you're a nice guy and all, but I ain't interested. Share your, uh, oil with a lady who can enjoy it, k?" She turned to face the street.

12 comments:

Gypsywitch said...

The speech shown here was easy to read while still adding characterizion. From this bit, it sounds like a good story. :)

fairchild said...

Very good. I liked it. :)

goldchevy said...

I liked both voices--even though the speech patterns were unconventional, they were smooth. Her voice seemed to change to me in the last paragraph--it got slightly more formal.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

This was really fun to read, and the voices were both really nice.

Christy said...

I enjoyed this. The only thing that threw me was the "k" at the end. I think it would have read smoother as 'kay.

Lori said...

Some grammar issues and passive phrasing, but the old man's voice worked well and seemed appropriate for his character.

Ardyth said...

The character's accents worked just fine for me. I could follow them without trouble and the man's voice fit well with the information she gives about him.

Merc said...

The accents work for me, but I was more interested in the world, which sounds like a lot of fun! :D

Good luck,

~Merc

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks so much, guys, for your kind words! I'm having a blast writing this book, even though I've barely scratched the surface (haven't even finished writing chapter 2 yet). I'm having a great time creating my "spawnsters" and their weird half-human ways. Thanks again for your feedback. 8^)

froget said...

The dialogue reads fine to me, and works well in the scene.

One word threw me... perhaps you can explain.

Olive oil?

I live in Greece, olive oil is used for cooking only. I'm confused... is the guy drinking olive oil, or has he used it on his hair and just stinks of it?

Please confirm.

Just_Me said...

works for me :o)

Karen Duvall said...

LOL, froget! It's olive oil he's drinking, and yes, it inebriates Hellspawn (the derogatory slang for them in my world is spawnster). All vegetable oils make them drunk and they're especially fond of virgin olive oil. Alcohol doesn't affect them at all. They also can't eat salt, which is like acid for them them, and salt water will badly burn their skin.