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Julie L. Hayes
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Silver Flash: Lust Never Sleeps #14: Welcome to the Grand Illusion
Happy Hump Day, Happy Wednesday, and welcome to another Silver Flash, brought to you by the authors of Silver Publishing! This week, our lovely cover artist Reese Dante was our Guest Prompt Diva, and she gave us: Nope, wasn't listening.Too busy thinking about...
The alternate prompts are from me and they are: bell, book, candle or things that go bump in the night (either figuratively or as a phrase) or He was so full of shit that his eyes were brown....
This week, Lust Never Sleeps continues. When we last left them, our heroes and their party were seeking a safe house on the docks. But what sort of place is it? And what sort of man is Elias Dickory? Enjoy!
Lust Never Sleeps 14: Welcome to the Grand Illusion
Darryl stared at the man who’d hailed them. He’d never seen a Fu Manchu quite that long before. It stretched from its starting point around the man’s mouth, and fell down the front of his body, dropping below their line of sight, presumably ending somewhere near his feet. It had to end somewhere, right?
“Hello, Elias, mind if we come aboard?” Sawyer shaded his eyes with his right hand, staring at the apparition as if it were nothing out of the ordinary. Darryl reminded himself not to be silly. There were far worse things in this world, including all of those that go bump in the night. And those monstrous flying things which had just beset them. Speaking of which… he glanced about nervously. Not a sign of any flying thing about. Not even a bird. How very peculiar. At least he assumed it was. In Lust, apparently anything was possible.
“You, Sawyer? Seriously?” The man threw back his head and began to laugh, a mirth which spread and was taken up by Amandine and Brushton. Brushton practically rolled on the ground in a paroxysm of guffawing; Amandine was a bit more genteel about it. Sawyer scowled at them both, before answering the question.
“Yes, old chap, I fear I’ve no choice. As my dear, lovely ex informs me, yours is the only safe house close at hand, or else I’d not be here. And if you wouldn’t mind hurrying, I suspect another wave is about to start. Unless, of course, you simply wish to be blown to kingdom come? I, for one, do not.”
“Keep your pants on!” came the rejoinder. “Lust wasn’t built in a day.” But the man began to move, nonetheless, bending down, his finger pressing something unseen. Instantly, a metallic object began to extrude from the strange vessel. It rose straight up, then took a bend in mid-air, and continued to slide toward the dock on which they stood. To Darryl’s surprise, it resembled a ladder. Rungs and all.
“Amandine, please don’t just stand there, get aboard,” Sawyer instructed her through gritted teeth.
“Your concern for my welfare is touching, my dear,” she murmured, giving him a knowing smirk before she began to ascend the ladder, Brushton just behind her. Darryl marveled at her ability to even climb the thing, what with those spiked heels she wore, but she seemed very much at home, and never missed her footing once. At the apex, she turned and backed down, disappearing from view into the interior of the strange object, followed by her brother, still wearing the bulky cow suit. The walrus-moustached man had bobbed out of sight, and was nowhere to be seen.
Probably too tight a fit for two people, Darryl reasoned.
“Your turn, lovie,” Sawyer prompted him, jarring Darryl from his reverie. He gave Darryl a pat on his derriere, as if to aid him. Darryl realized they’d no time to waste, glancing nervously at the sky again. Did it seem darker, or was that Darryl’s fears manifesting themselves?
He began to climb the ladder, clinging to the fragile stairway tightly. When he reached the top, he turned, and was surprised to see Sawyer still on the dock. “Sawyer?”
“Coming, love, coming,” Sawyer assured him. He took a deep breath, and set his foot upon the first rung, then paused. “Maybe I’ll just…”
No sooner had the words left his mouth then a hideous sound filled the air around them, a roar which made the previous awful buzzing seem like the whisper of tiny insects. Time was now officially up.
“Right. In we go.” He began to ascend the ladder at a quicker clip. “Hurry, love, hurry,” he urged Darryl, who turned about, the hideous noise fueling his descent. He wasn’t sure what awaited him inside this thing, but it had to be better than what was about to assault them from outside of it.
The sound grew fiercer, more ominous. It vibrated through Darryl’s very being. He was fairly sure he didn’t want to see the cause. He dropped down the ladder as quickly as he could, waiting for Sawyer to join him. Once he felt the reverberation of Sawyer’s feet touching the floor, he grabbed him and held onto him for dear life, breathing heavily. As they were so engaged, the light began to recede above them.
“We’re submerging,” Sawyer explained. “It’s the only way.”
“Are you alright?” Darryl asked, running his fingers through Sawyer’s short blond locks. His eyes were trying to adjust to the dimness in which they found themselves.
“Of course. I’m with you, what could be wrong?” Sawyer answered lightly. “Come, let us join the others before Amandine gets it into her head to come after us. Something I’d rather avoid.”
He turned, holding onto Darryl’s hand, leading him through a long narrow passageway. On either side of them were what appeared to be port holes. Darryl paused to look through one of them, peering intently into the darkness. The next moment, a pair of giant eyes looked back at him, and he jumped back.
“Don’t worry, lovie,” Sawyer reassured him. “It can’t really see in. It doesn’t know we’re here.”
“Good to know,” Darryl murmured, although he wasn’t really sure how secure he felt, knowing something lay just outside wherever they were.
Where were they?
Oh yes, under the Lost River. Lovely.
Wait a minute. His mind began to resist the evidence of his eyes. The glimpse he’d gotten of whatever this thing was indicated a sphere, and not a large one at that. How was this possible?
He didn’t get a chance to ask, as Sawyer tugged on his hand, pulling him into a… he rubbed his eyes, and stared around him.
It appeared to be a drawing room filled with elegant furniture and glittering chandeliers. Against one wall sat an enormous pipe organ. Elias sat at the keyboard, fingers in place. As Darryl watched, he began to play.
The music shot straight down Darryl’s spine.
to be continued
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