For the A to Z challenge, I present Murder Most Fowl, an unedited serial story from the unpublished Cera Chronicles.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.
“Law dictates that a man’s wife belongs to his family.” The masked man narrowed his eyes. “I’m the eldest unmarried man, therefore, she is my wife.”
I glanced to Molly. “Are you okay with that?”
She tugged on the x-shaped medallion hanging around her neck and rolled her eyes. “Do you think I was kickin’ and screamin’ for my health?”
Well that settled it. I put two fingers to my lips and let loose a piercing whistle. The masked man’s brow twitched quizzically. Fues’s cackle floated up from the bar below. The masked man’s nostrils flared and he tensed.
I smiled and batted my eyelashes. “If you start running now, you might escape with your life.”
Footsteps thudded up the stairs. The masked man spun toward the window. He shoved Mr. Stalking Bird out of his way and leapt out onto the wooden overhang covering the entrance below. The bird squawked indignantly.
Fues threw open the door. A wide grin filled with razor-sharp teeth flashed across the pygmy’s face. He clicked his tongue in a raspy cadence, howled with manic laughter, and chased his prey out the open window.
Molly stared after them. “Will your friend really eat him?”
“Depends on how fast he runs. But don’t worry, I don’t eat people. Fues is the only cannibal of the bunch.” I sat on the bed and sprawled backwards, reaching my hands over my head and waggling my fingers. Mmmm. The stretch felt good. I yawned.
“Who else are you looking for?”
“Huh?” I blinked. “Oh. My companions? Well, there’s a boring naked guy with gold hair down to his knees, a big guy with a sword and nasty death-stare—he has all of my spare clothes with him too—and then there’s—”
Something crashed and clattered downstairs. Was Fues back already? That was quick, even for him. I pulled myself into a sitting position and climbed to my feet. Molly scurried after me as I stalked downstairs.
Dancing women huddled in the corner. The piano player hid behind his piano. The photographer’s flash puffed into smoke.
I focused on an overturned table.
A man stood next to the table, face red, chest heaving, ray-gun shaking in his grip. “You cheat!” He fired the ray-gun and table exploded into dust and splinters.
The bartender pulled a shotgun from behind the counter and aimed it at the angry fellow. “You’ll be payin’ for a new table.”
The angry man pointed a trembling finger toward the dust cloud. “Don’t side with him, Bartholomew! He’s a dirty, rotten scoundrel. He musta rigged the cards.”
The cloud settled around the figure in the center. A 9-year-old boy brushed the dust from his sleeves, straightened his vest, and lifted his chin. “I did not cheat.”
A smile spread across my lips. I nudged Molly. “And then there’s Michael.”
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.
Do you have any criticism? Suggestions? Wild, off-the-wall ideas of “you know what would be funny…?” Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear them.