This is the seventeenth entry in my Birth of a Novel series of posts, where I talk about the development of my new YA urban fantasy. Yes, seventeenth, even though the post is entitled Part 11.
But enough about that. On to Mythos!
Life now double sucks for our bestest buddy and big toe, Zydeco Cashcan. I alluded to "The Aftermath Part I" in my last post and said there was more to come. Well complete awfulness has arrived. I've pretty much taken away everything and everyone he cares about. Serves him right, after all. I mean things were going so well with Tameina.
I think I did well with the "making life miserable" thing but of course, there is no point unless Zydeco shows his mettle and makes us root for him. That'll come, but for now, let's look at this scene as he scrambles back to his apartment.
By the time I reached the fourth floor, my heart pounded in my ears and my breath came in short gasps. The crappy lighting in the corridor flickered like a broken disco ball. I ran my tongue over my lips and stared at our door. It hung open no more than an inch, allowing a narrow beam of light to enter the hall from inside the apartment. Another dose of reality crept all over my skin like a dozen spiders. I was too late.
And a few moments later.
After some time, the tears wouldn’t come anymore and my insides were empty, just devoid of anything. I didn’t want to think, or breathe, or even be. So I sat there, for how long, I don’t know. But at some point I realized my heart kept pumping, and didn’t appear inclined to give it up. I lifted my head from my hands and inspected my surroundings.
The place looked like a massive bar fight had taken place. Broken plates crunched underfoot as I wandered over to the wall beside the still open door. One of our hickory handle butcher’s knives was impaled to its hilt in the plaster three feet above the microwave lying on the floor. The utensil turned weapon held a torn patch of blue, pinstripe fabric to the wall.
Zydeco began to go through the seven steps of grief in the previous chapter, and he continues on here. I thought it was important to have him react normally, even though he is/was a mythological creature. The cool part is that the evil Phineas Malice arrives in his apartment looking for any evidence that might lead to the capture of Octavio - who he's got a real problem with. He and Zydeco exchange some serious barbs here. And Malice introduces a "timelock limit", by which stuff must be resolved. This is good for the story and good for me, because it'll force me to get to the end.
When I finished this chapter, however, I was a little concerned about how even though Malice and his cronies are nabbing other Mythos in the city, they still never take Zydeco. Originally, I did this because, well, Zydeco is my protagonist, and the story won't go where I want it to go if he's thrown in jail or worse. So after getting a critique on this chapter, I went back and put some thought into why he's still free. Fortunately, there was another loose string I'd left in the book that I was able to knot up with this loose string, thus tying up both loose ends. Wow, what an awful metaphor.
Zydeco also discovers a mysterious package containing... MWAHAHAHAHAHA - Well I know what's in it - it's in my green sasquatch composition notebook - and this information will find its way into Chapter 15. This information will set Zydeco in motion, which will ultimately bring back a familiar character and bring the story to closure. I can't wait until I get there.
If you'd like to see what happens next, grab some snow shoes and clomp over to the next post.
To read about the last chapter, toboggan or ski back to the previous entry.