For the A to Z challenge, I present Murder Most Fowl, an unedited serial story from the unpublished Cera Chronicles.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.
Ostriches fled in all directions, squawking and scrabbling as they tried to evade falling debris—including us. The blast from the building flung us forward. I landed on something small and a little squishy. Nice break. I dropped my grip on Michael and Molly. They emitted ‘oofs’ and ‘acks’ of varying pitches. I straightened my corset and dusted my hands.
I heard muffled screams and looked around with a frown. Where was that coming from? Michael and Molly rolled away and a pair of dark, painted hands waved frantically to either side of me. Oh! I stood up. Fues crawled out from beneath me, muttering curses in his native tongue. He glared at me. I hid my grin. I couldn’t really take him seriously with that dirt-print of my rear plastered to his mask.
A blackened bundle of feathers fell from the sky and landed at my feet. My stalker was dead. Again. Maybe.
I turned toward the saloon. Apparently, only the hotel portion had been damaged, particularly our room. People spewed from the lower batwing doors like chunky, multicolored vomit. Women in vibrant dresses, men in fancy coats, cowboys in twill and leather.
Bartholomew the bartender stalked out with his shotgun. “Damn pirate zeppelin.” He waved a fist at the air. “You’ll be paying for that.”
A bulky shadow plunged the crowded street into darkness. “Molly Fischer,” boomed a female voice from overhead. Was that Perry? “You have until the count of three to surrender. One…” She certainly did like counting.
I glared up at the giant metal balloon looming over us. “Is all this really necessary? Why make such a fuss over one dead man?”
“One?” Bartholomew—toothpick still in his mouth—stared at me as if I was stupid. “Massacre Molly’s killed dozens of men.”
Molly folded her arms. “That’s a dirty lie!”
Rope ladders cascaded from the giant balloon. “Two!”
Michael stroked his chin. His eyes narrowed, studying the floating vessel. His gaze flicked around. He grabbed Molly’s gun from its holster.
“Hey!” She reached to take it back, but he turned away.
He ripped one of the pipes free and tossed it to me. “Mistress Cera, will you grind that into dust please?” He hurried to the closest ostrich tie and started scraping at the bolts with a small knife and collecting the fall-off in a handkerchief.
“What’s he doin’?” Molly asked.
I shrugged and started crushing the metal pipe with my elemental-given super strength. Out of our five-man team, Michael was one-third of the brains and Fues was the other half. I wasn’t about to argue.
Pirates descended. “Three!”
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.