Murder Most Fowl – Part F #atozchallenge

For the A to Z challenge, I present Murder Most Fowl, an unedited serial story from the unpublished Cera Chronicles. Please excuse the grammar mistakes. This hasn’t been critiqued yet. If you’re just diving into this story, you may want to start with part A.

Flashes of blue and yellow light sparked from the bent barrel. A whirring added to the ticking sound. Molly screamed a muffled exclamation.

An arrow struck the glowing ray-gun and shot it from my hand. It exploded in a brilliant display of incandescent light and pelted the ground with liquefied metal.

An eerie cackle howled on the wind, and a second arrow split the dirt between the masked man’s feet. The masked man whipped his remaining gun in the direction and fired.

The manic laughter intensified. A figure leapt from behind a rock. It stood about as tall as my thigh with dark skin painted in a flurry of contrasting colors. A carved wooden mask covered the top half of his face, and stretched as high over his head as he was tall. The top right corner smoldered with rising wisps of black smoke. He brandished filed dagger-like teeth in a grimace. Or maybe it was a grin.

The masked man grunted. “What is th—”

The cackling figure lifted a wooden tube. A blow dart struck the masked man’s neck. He tumbled forward and fell into an undignified sprawl.

“That,” I said, “is a pygmy.” To be precise, my pygmy, Fues.

Fues prodded the masked man with the tip of a hunting knife. “Who he?”

“Don’t know.” I bent and shoved the unconscious man onto his side. When I reached for the mask across his eyes, his hand shot up and grabbed my wrist. Had he woken up? Nothing else about him moved. I dropped him back on his face and shook his grip free. His hand flopped to his side like a de-boned jellyfish. “Did you make him one of those necro-whatsits-slave thingies?”

“No. Different dart.” Fues scrutinized me. “Why I must rescue you? Why you no find me?”

“Hey, give me a break! I’ve been shot, electrocuted, run over, and some bird took off with one of my heels.” I sniffed. Was something burning?

“Too bad. Good shoes.” The corner of his wooden mask glowed orange, on the point of combustion.

I licked my fingers and extinguished the ember. “Do you know where the others are?”

He shook his head. “Only me.”

Molly wormed her way forward. “Mmmphm mmph mmph!”

Oh yeah. I’d been rescuing her, hadn’t I? “Hold your ostriches. I’m coming.” I knelt next to her and untied her gag. “You—”


Read G here.

Thanks for reading! If you want to start at the beginning, find it here. Don’t forget to visit other bloggers participating in the A to Z Challenge.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

35 thoughts on “Murder Most Fowl – Part F #atozchallenge

  1. And the story gets interesting… Will the masked man reveal his identity?

  2. Way to end on a cliffy. This is a very zippy, fun piece.

  3. Great closing hook. I’m following you through the A to Z, and it’s been a great journey.
    Deb @

    • You have some excellent ideas on your blog. I love all the suggestions you brainstorm up.

  4. Interesting… way to go 🙂

  5. This is a nice piece..the mystery moves 🙂

  6. A pygmy friend! Ha, ha, nice! This is alot of fun, Loni. Good job!

  7. Love the sidekick. My creative side is digging this.

  8. I love that Cera is SO upset about her shoes. Makes her SO human!

    I love this!! Can’t wait for tomorrow!

    • Hehe, so human, huh? Well, I suppose she does equal out to more than half human. 🙂

  9. As I said before, you got me hooked. You attitude in the story comes through loud and clear 🙂

    • I do try to inject a lot of personality. I’m glad it reads like it. 🙂

  10. Ooo, a fun long one today! I want to learn more about Fues. And the others – nice way to drop clues, there 🙂

    • Heh, no history lessons in this story. I kept the word count to a minimum for the challenge. But I do get a bit into their background in the novella.

  11. I’ve seen a few people do this with their A to Z entries. Kudos for writing an entire serial for the challenge. And we do love adventure stories, don’t we? 🙂

    • It’s my rule of thumb. Story lagging a bit? Throw in an explosion!

  12. What a place to end it!!
    At least it was her pygmy.

  13. stopping ny on the 7th day of the #Challenge. Great looking blog, interesting theme. Know you will make new blogging friends. If you have time or interest, I’m writing about gardening and related topics. Visit if you can.

    • Glad you like the look of the blog. Took me a while to find something that matched me well. I’m horrible at keeping plants alive, but I’ll swing by your blog and maybe I’ll learn some tips!

  14. Murder Most Fowl is a most outstanding title. If I were to do the A-Z blog challenge again one of these years, I would definitely want to do posts that could lead to some form of a book.

    • You’ve done the A to Z challenge before? What theme did you choose?

      I’ll admit, my first response to any sort of challenge is to pull Cera into it. She’s very dynamic as far as content goes.

  15. Wow, this sizzles! Well done. 😉
    Love the cliffhanger. There are more of them, oh no …

  16. Between the pygmy and the, “I’ve been shot, electrocuted, run over, and some bird took off with one of my heels,” statement, I’m already wondering what I missed and what’s yet to come! Great humor to boot:)

    Echoes of Olympus
    A to Z #TeamDamyanti

    • A lot is crammed into such a little space. I tried to keep it interesting. 🙂

  17. Wow…. it’s going so beautifully.. then then?

    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

  18. Great cliff…

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