I haven't done a teaser in a few weeks, and since I'm gearing up for my Steampunk Event-thing-project or whatever (*cough* I heart puns and yes I'm a dork *cough*) I thought I'd do another sample from S.o.S. today.
My brain seems fixated on this scene lately, even though I wrote it over a year and a half ago. Perhaps you'll understand why when you read it...
Songbird of Souls -
Masks and Machinations: Book I
There was a loud clamor of voices that echoed from outside the bar on the main strip, and everyone simultaneously turned towards the door. Linus stooped his head to peer curiously out through the warped glass window to find the odd silhouettes of a gathering amassing curiously outside. As the seconds passed, more and more came, crowding the Enforcers that barricaded the entrance.
Administrator Coyle slowly rose to his feet.
“Take Lahoul back to The Fortress until I’ve finished my investigation.” He ordered. The two Reds on either side of Linus grabbed him by each arm. He shifted and yanked against their grasping hands until one man angrily struck him with something hard on the back of the head and shoved him, stumbling towards the exit.
They pulled him roughly through the growing mob as the bright morning sun glared over the city like a searing eye. Linus squinted in pain at the Red-painted prisoner wagon waiting at the other end of the square. He was to be paraded through the streets in an iron cage that swung in a row of such cages for everyone to see.
The Enforcer on his left groaned and cursed through his teeth as he was struck on the cheek with a mouthful of spittle from someone nearby. He immediately beat back the grasping arms of the Plain who’d gathered in the square, heedless of who or what he struck with his furious fist.
“Move aside!” Another of the Reds yelled, kicking out his boot and hitting a man hard enough to knock him backwards into the crowd. The mob hastily moved away, but the energy around them continued to grow to dangerous proportions.
“Stupid Reds!” Someone shouted.
“Fools must have mistaken him for Maveli the Wicked! He only plays a villain on the stage, you idiots!” Another voice cried out. A moment later a rotting mass of fruit launched across the chaos, hitting Linus’ guards with a splatter of putrid brown flesh and sticky innards.
The mob surged around his entourage, curses and taunts echoing through the streets until all Linus could hear was the boom of raised voices. They had reached the prisoner wagon, but it was surrounded by the Plain who’d flooded into the street, their hands beating upon the painted metal siding until it rocked back and forth on its wheels precariously.
On the opposite end of the square a large and unusual vehicle paused amongst the commotion. A gilded horse-less carriage, complete with well-dressed footman and etched glass windows. Linus wasn’t the only one who noticed the fine mechanical marvel - two levels high, with a wrought iron balcony on the upper story for use as a stage during impromptu performances. The white-lace curtains pulled away, and a pair of blue-gray eyes peeked out curiously into the crowd.
Linus’ breath caught in his throat as her face came into view.
It was her.
The Songbird’s footman sat in the steering chamber at the front, yanking and pulling on the gear-shift in frustration before he noticed the anxious mob edging towards them. His eyes widened with panic, and he hurriedly shoved the handle forward, a long grinding screech responding as the carriage lurched forward. His fingers gripped the ivory-inlaid steering-wheel, and he panned his gaze from right to left in desperation, but there was nowhere for them to go.
They were trapped in the surging mass of bodies pouring into the square.
The Plain that had gathered around Linus and the prisoner wagon unexpectedly thinned as they hurried for The Songbird’s carriage. In the chaos that quickly ensued, Linus saw his fleeting opportunity to escape...
As always, thanks for reading!
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