Murder Most Fowl – Part N #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For the A to Z challenge, I present Murder Most Fowl, an unedited serial story from the unpublished Cera Chronicles.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.

Not to brag, but I looked pretty spectacular. I spun in front of the hotel room mirror, watching the skirts fly out and twirl about me. The corset complemented my metallic bronze skin and did wonders for my posture. I tucked a loose crimson ringlet beneath the top hat brim and held out my arms. “What do you think?”

“I think this bullet stems from the same source blocking your power.” Michael squinted at the extracted projectile, completely ignoring me. “It seems to react to your blood.”

At least it wasn’t chaffing my internal organs anymore.

I dropped my arms and rolled my eyes. At least he’d fronted the bill for the replacement outfit with his winnings.

My stalker squawked appreciatively from the window. Did he just leer at me?

Molly offered me a smile. “I think you look purdy.”

“Thank you, Molly.” I curtsied, then nodded toward the bullet. “Think that metal might help my dad?” That was the reason why we were hopping from world to world anyways—to find a cure for my dad’s coma.

Michael tucked the bullet into his vest. “Initial analysis says no, but I can verify once we find the others.”

The bird squawked again. Noisy thing.

Michael crossed to the desk and logged notes in a pad. “The mortality rate on this world is extremely high. From what research I have performed, medical facilities are non-existent. Technology advancements encompass weaponry and little more.”

Fues sat on the dresser, legs folded beneath him. He pulled a freshly-carved bone toothpick from his mouth and pointed it at me. “Use power make bleed again?”

I shrugged. “Nothing happened when I heated the bath. I doubt I’ll have problems now that the bullet’s out.”

Molly shuddered. “I can’t get over how you just stabbed yourself wit’ a knife.”

Michael’s face scrunched and he flung up a flippant hand. “Why is she still here?”

“It’s called layin’ low. I got a price on my head, remember?”

“Could you not lie low somewhere else?”

I huffed. “Enough quarrelling. We have more important topics to discuss.” I turned and examined my profile in the mirror. “Do you think I should accessorize with the goggles?”

Something struck and clattered on the rooftop. The ceiling vibrated and bits of dust fell from above. I looked up. There was that ticking noise again—the one I’d heard with the gun.

I grabbed Michael and Molly and dove for the window. Fues beat me there and was already through. I leapt from the sill out into open air. Michael and Molly screamed, and the hotel exploded behind us.

Read O 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.

Do you think today’s installment is too cliché? I do try to play on tropes, but usually genre specific ones. But since my visuals are running on the lean side, I decided to pad Cera’s description with a bit of color. Should I find a different way to work the information in? Should I do it in an earlier letter when I rewrite? Do you need more information on any of the other characters or the world? I already plan to add more about the overarching plot when I rewrite. (Thanks Liz!)

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.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

10 thoughts on “Murder Most Fowl – Part N #atozchallenge

  1. Coming in late for your story. Sounds intriguing.

  2. LOL, you’re welcome! And you read my mind 🙂 As I was reading this, I thought, ‘oo it’s so nice to find out what Cera looks like! Can we find that out earlier?’ I’m not an expert on this genre at ALL, but as far as I’m concerned, I don’t think it’s too cliche. You do a great job in general of playing off of Western cliches and adding a unexpected twist, and that feels true here, too.

  3. Ka-Boom!! Girl just cannot catch a break. I hope her outfit didn’t get singed. 😉

  4. Boom!
    Maybe a hint earlier that they are searching for a cure for her father. Unless you did mention it and I missed it.

    • You didn’t miss it. Liz mentioned that as well, so I’ve since added some un-posted content to earlier letters.

  5. Even reading it out of order, it was very intriguing. The dialogue gave the characters life and it flowed perfectly. Very well done!

  6. Haha! And just like that, the place explodes. Love it. You definitely keep the action coming. It was nice to finally learn what the MC looks like, but it wasn’t a deterrent for me. She wasn’t interested in her own appearance, and the way she carried herself communicated enough for me with how short these snippets are, but definitely where you’ll be rewriting, I’d work in one or two minor details earlier on.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  7. Great place to leave things off! And I didn’t find the description to be too much or out of place. It’s always a bit of a trick to get that kind of info in there seamlessly!

  8. Every time I tune in for another snippet something exciting is going on. Love all the colorful characters. 🙂

  9. The only thing I would say, which has already been mentioned, the deal with her father would be better spoken of earlier in the story. That way the reader will know why she is charging round the Universe. Apart from that, I love the way the story is panning out, 🙂 So no, the cliche elements, as you put it, are subtle enough but work well with the overall feel of the story. 😉

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