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Monday, 15 October 2012

House of Horrors for Romanticfridaywriters

For this RFW challenge, I have an emerging character for whom I am planning lots of adventures.  For an introduction to Olivia Kent find Plausible Deniability in the archive for May.


My Demon, My Lover.

‘Helloooo.’  Charles Baxter followed his ghoulish welcome with a cackle and ushered Olivia Kent and her adult nephew, Nick, into the gathering.   Crime writer and challenger for the position of matriarch at Baxter’s Publishing, Angela Connolly, greeted them.   ‘Lilly, you look just like your heroine.  Is that your real hair?’  Tidy, middle-aged Olivia Kent usually wore her shoulder length grey hair in a neat bun.  For the themed launch party of her latest novel, she had untied it, let it out and coiffed it.  Angela herself looked like Cruella De Vil.   ‘And Nick darling, aren’t you the demon.’   Nick’s snarled response was in character though Olivia was sure there was more than a touch of honesty in it.   Kelly, her personal assistant slid in beside her with her permanently attached Blackberry pinging.  ‘So Miss Kent, Charles will launch at ten.  Mark O’Grady from ‘People’ will be here at ten fifteen for photos and then you’re signing from eleven.’
‘Thank you, Vampira.  Now please go and enjoy yourself.’
The girl giggled, ‘Isn’t it fun?’ before blending into the otherworldly crowd.  As Olivia moved through the congregation acknowledging fans and colleagues, she thought she saw someone she knew; someone she had tried to forget, but honestly, some days he was everywhere.  What would Jason be doing here?  She could not be sure but the tall frame and strong jawline were so familiar.
A death knell clanged and she came to attention with the rest of the company.   ‘Demons and lovers all, may I introduce our guest of honour, Miss Olivia Kent.’  Charles led the applause and for the most part the crowd clapped politely though some who were really in character howled or smacked their lips.  Olivia climbed the podium. ‘Thanks for coming out of your hovels and lairs all of you to be here this Halloween night to help launch ‘My Demon, My Lover’, my thirteenth novel.’  Jason’s face was morphing before her, but when it faded into the crowd again, she was not sure what she had seen.   ‘Thank you Charles and Baxter Publishing and thank you fiends.’  There was a spatter of laughter from the gathering.  ‘Please buy my book for a special price tonight and I’m here to sign it for you.’
From somewhere in the crowd there was a shocking scream, followed by a ripple of uncertainty.  Was this part of the show?  Olivia looked to Charles whose panicked look back to her told her this was real.  The mob knew then also and scattered in fright.  Angela Connolly lay alone and still, her two-toned wig bloodied from a head wound.   Nick grabbed Olivia and dragged her from the stage.  ‘Come on Aunt Lilly.’  Together they followed the crush to the exit.
‘Stop.  Nicholas Kent, you are under arrest.’
Olivia watched as Nick ran headlong into Jason who pointed a gun and began firing at his attacker.  Olivia’s knees collapsed under her in shock and there was something damp at her hip.
‘Livvy!  No!’  Olivia smiled with dizziness and remembrance.  Jason was the only one allowed to call her Livvy.  The colour drained from her face and leaked from the hole in her side.  The floor rose to meet her and everything went dark.
Jason held her pale head on his knee and rocked her sweetly.   ‘No. No.  Come back to me Livvy, please.’   In the motion of his tenderness Olivia was at the beach by her house standing in the waves watching a man and his dog.  She stirred in pain and opened her eyes.
‘Jason is that you?’
‘Yes my love.  I’m here.’
‘Why?’  She winced with physical suffering and emotional confusion.
‘I’m here to arrest Nick.  He’s wanted for questioning about a disappearance.’
Olivia raised a bloody hand to brush Jason’s cheek.  ‘You disappeared, Jason.  Always disappearing. . . ‘  Her voice faded and her hand slid away as she drifted back into the cool waves.
On the beach the man played with his dog.  As Olivia watched, the scene became Jason and Nick fighting to remove each other from the world.  Conscious again, she moved toward them sliding painfully, the blood from her wound streaking the floor as she went.   As she crawled past Angela’s still unmoving body she wondered if she were living one of the writer’s twisted storylines.
‘Stop. Stop.’  She tried to speak but her tongue was thick in her dry mouth and the pain in her side moved up her body to explode in her brain.  Jason and Nick’s sickening rumble came to an end.  Nick was handcuffed and stood pleading down to Olivia who lay with agony and questions interchanging across her face.  Jason marched Nick before him and they exited.
‘Don’t move Miss Kent.  The ambulance is coming.’  Kelly sat beside her.
‘Efficient Kelly,’ said Olivia as she weakly patted the girl’s arm.  She looked over to where Angela lay unmoving and alone even now.  Kelly followed her gaze.  ‘Oh Ms. Connolly is dead.’  The ice in Kelly’s words sent a shiver through Olivia.  ‘I have been very efficient.  Angela Connolly will write no more.’  Her face contorted and her mouth twitched into laughter.  The ensuing shriek was lost in the sound of approaching sirens.
On the beach Olivia watched the tide go out.

Word count   880

41 comments:

  1. Wow Raelen; that's a lot of action and emotions. Loads of mysterious happenings here.

    Thanks for participating with RFW this week.

    .....dhole

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks donna, always fun to be involved in RFW challenges.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cool! I'd like to see more. New follower here and I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome Sylvia, thanks and there will be more adventures for Olivia and her adult nephew, Nick!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Intriguing and I woyld love to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ooh 'I have been very efficient' sent a chill up my arm. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Excellent, a murder mystery, a romance all set at a masquerade party and a book launch. Nothing more intriguing!

    Very well done!

    ReplyDelete
  8. appreciate your comments, thanks Yolanda.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Action, mystery, and romance all packed into this piece. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ah, a nice mystery romance story. Great entry, Raelene.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sneaky little miss efficient! On the plus side, the publicity from this event is going to help sell those books, lucky Olivia ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Raelene
    I'd say that's a book launch to remember. So scary. Imagine an agent or editor that turned out to be a murderer or a victim. The stuff of nightmares.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for reading, Nancy. Yeah, book launches I've been to have been quiet affairs. time for a change!

      Delete
  13. Dear Raelene,
    What an unusual book launch! Isn't it enough of a nightmare trying to get published, without a murder?!! Oh no! Did they arrest the wrong person? The nephew instead of the personal assistant.
    Great story!
    Best wishes,
    Anna

    RFW No. 46 - 'Jenny Holland's Robinson Crusoe Halloween'

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ha Ha, Raelene. This deserves to be a best seller, don't it?? LOL! I've never been to a book launch quite like it. I love the names, especially Cruella De Vil. Inspired. Great story for the challenge. Wot! No mortician!! (I love him!) :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, and I have to say, Anna's comment is priceless!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Best of luck with the judging! I'm glad it's Ann and Nas who have to choose from this awesome lineup! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps if the story continued, the mortician would show up! Yeah, wishing Ann and Nas all the best for judging.

      Delete
  17. I would not usually do this, but your piece was so packed together it was hard to read. One of the helpful notes I got from a recent conference was that agents balk at pages of solid text with no paragraph breaks. In your case, it was unclear who was speaking because of the lack of proper breaks. I didn't do anything else, format/editing wise, and I absolutely understand if you feel my correction is impertinent. Pasted below is your submission with breaks. Unfortunately, because of the format of the comment box, it does not show paragraph indents.

    ‘Helloooo.’
    Charles Baxter followed his ghoulish welcome with a cackle and ushered Olivia Kent and her adult nephew, Nick, into the gathering.
    Crime writer and challenger for the position of matriarch at Baxter’s Publishing, Angela Connolly, greeted them. ‘Lilly, you look just like your heroine. Is that your real hair?’
    Tidy, middle-aged Olivia Kent usually wore her shoulder length grey hair in a neat bun. For the themed launch party of her latest novel, she had untied it, let it out and coiffed it. Angela herself looked like Cruella De Vil.
    ‘And Nick darling, aren’t you the demon.’
    Nick’s snarled response was in character though Olivia was sure there was more than a touch of honesty in it.
    Kelly, her personal assistant slid in beside her with her permanently attached Blackberry pinging. ‘So Miss Kent, Charles will launch at ten. Mark O’Grady from ‘People’ will be here at ten fifteen for photos and then you’re signing from eleven.’
    ‘Thank you, Vampira. Now please go and enjoy yourself.’
    The girl giggled, ‘Isn’t it fun?’ before blending into the otherworldly crowd.
    As Olivia moved through the congregation acknowledging fans and colleagues, she thought she saw someone she knew; someone she had tried to forget, but honestly, some days he was everywhere. What would Jason be doing here? She could not be sure but the tall frame and strong jawline were so familiar.
    A death knell clanged and she came to attention with the rest of the company. ‘Demons and lovers all, may I introduce our guest of honour, Miss Olivia Kent.’ Charles led the applause and, for the most part, the crowd clapped politely though some who were really in character howled or smacked their lips.
    Olivia climbed the podium. ‘Thanks for coming out of your hovels and lairs all of you to be here this Halloween night to help launch ‘My Demon, My Lover’, my thirteenth novel.’ Jason’s face was morphing before her, but when it faded into the crowd again, she was not sure what she had seen. ‘Thank you Charles and Baxter Publishing and thank you fiends.’ There was a spatter of laughter from the gathering. ‘Please buy my book for a special price tonight and I’m here to sign it for you.’
    From somewhere in the crowd there was a shocking scream, followed by a ripple of uncertainty. Was this part of the show? Olivia looked to Charles whose panicked look back to her told her this was real.

    .... and my comment was too long to be accepted in full. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for that Erin. I certainly didn't give much thought to formatting. Will make sure I do for next time

      Delete
    2. I only mentioned it because it hampered readability. Again, I did not intend to offend.

      Delete
  18. Hi, Raelene,

    Talk about the book signing from HELL. I do LOVE a good murder at a masked party. Mine entry is similar in that respect.

    You have fantastic action, imagery, and dialogue. Well Done! The competition is stiff. Poor Nas and Ann.

    ReplyDelete
  19. thanks michael. masked parties are such good fun to write.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, Raelene! You have a very unique name; I like it. :) Do friends ever call you Rae for short? Apologies, I am just now getting through all of the House of Horrors excerpts. I agree with Erin that your writing would have been easier to read if there had been paragraph breaks. As for the story, it's a memorable one for sure haha. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Wendy Lu

    The Red Angel Blog

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Wendy, yes Rae is used by some though it doesn't quite stick. I will certainly consider my presentation next time. Thanks for reading.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Raelene, There's nothing like a good murder. Interesting read. Keep writing!! Blessings, Laura

    ReplyDelete
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