#VignetteSeries – Perkins Has a New Master

Author’s Note: I wrote this really quickly because I was feeling that way out. Perkins always cheers me up.

Poor old Perkin Perkins, he of the forgettable name, has found a new employer. The gentlemen asks far too many questions, however, and Perkins just isn’t in the mood.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Plopkins?”

“Mopping up, Sir.”

“Why?”

“Because the floor requires cleaning.”

“And don’t I employ a housecleaner to do that?”

“No, Sir.”

“Why not?”

“You’re economical with your wallet, Sir.”

“That might be termed slanderous, Porkins.”

“It might, Sir.”

“And that!”

“No, Sir, that would be termed indecisive. It’s not the same thing.”

“I ought to tan your backside!”

“That would require copious amounts of energy, Sir.”

“And?”

“You haven’t got it.”

“You’re only here.”

“Only at the moment, Sir, as I would run if you tried.”

“And where should you run to that I would not find you?”

“The cafe down the road, Sir.”

“Goddamn your insolence! Why the hell there of all places?”

“They sell breakfasts, Sir.”

“Your point being?”

“Mine’s on the floor.”

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#VignetteSeries – A Queen Angers

Author's Note: This is a snippet from the Steampunk Novel I am currently editing. Here, two particularly slimy scientists are confronted by a — let's say altered — Queen Victoria. She is not a happy monarch.
Objects 177

“What is it you wish of us, Your Majesty?” Monk’s words shot from his mouth like a trigger-happy soldier.
They were met by an ominous silence. The quiet extended from a pause, to a thought, to a comatose sleep.
Monk wrung his hands together as the silence lengthened, his finger ends apparently not up to the job on their own. Somerset fiddled with something deep inside his jacket pockets before reemerging to pick remnants of Monk’s masonry from his shoulders. Each piece fell to the floor with a plink.
“I hate littering!”
“Sorry, Your Majesty,” Somerset’s hasty response as he shoved both hands back inside his pockets.
“I hear you have taken issue with my eyes.”
“No… no, not at all. I just mentioned it to…”
“To whom?”
“Just Sir Magnus, Ma’am, I was concerned nothing more.”
“It concerns me that you are concerned enough to concern yourself with a verbal distribution of facts that do not concern you.”
“Ma’am?”
“KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
The words echoed around the throne room like the bells of Westminster Abbey. Sir Magnus covered his ears, Somerset, too. The warning grew louder than ever until the two pitiful figures quaked on the floor like rabbits before the hounds.
Only when the two men wept without care for who or what saw them, mucus pouring from their noses like Cumbrian tarns, did the echoing stop. Not even a ghost of a whisper remained.

#VignetteSeries – Lost

Author’s Note: This is a snippet I’m working on, where the investigator, Mortimer Headlock, begins to lose his cool. Headlock is a man who never loses his cool!

Lost in the space between dreams and insanity, I tremble with the frustrations of another damn dawn. The world reshapes before my eyes, twisting, contorting, stretching beyond the realms of reality, administering lies. These vehicles for ocular perception see what he wishes me to see, what everybody sees, what the universe sees, yet I am Mortimer Headlock, so my eyes must see more. And they do. I see it all. Everything! I’m coming for you, Black. I’m coming.

#VignetteSeries – Merryweather

Author’s Note: Here we find Sir Walter Merryweather charming the ladies — sort of. I liked the idea of this but ditched it from the beginning of The Eternals as unnecessary. I’ve added the names here so you know who’s talking. Still makes me laugh though.

THE ETERNALS

Merryweather: “Ah, Jean, the blackhole to these ladies’ lovely planets. Are they trapped in your gravity or lost?”

Jean: “Oh, God. What are you doing here, Merryweather?”

Merryweather: “I came to join the party, sourpuss. I thought I might take one of these lovely ladies off your hands.”

Jean: “Please do, I’ve tried depositing Portia on everyone else.”

Portia: “Why must you feign insouciance, Jean. You know you want me, my dark raven. Why not admit it.”

Merryweather: “Yes, Jean, why not admit it.”

Jean: “Button it, Merryweather.”

Merryweather: “Why? Because I appreciate Portia’s charms when you don’t? Honestly, I don’t know why you treat her so badly. She’s everything a man could want: educated, stylish, voluptuous, knows all the right people, has eaten the rest, likes you — I can’t understand that one — and provides excellent ballast in a balloon. Who else could offer so much as a singular individual? Eh, riddle me that? So what do say, Portia, shall we take a roll? I mean stroll! My apologies, your merangueness. I mean, your thighness! Oh, my!”

Jean: “Might be for the best if you shut up.”

Merryweather: “I agree. I’m quite tired with all this chatting the girls up malarkey. Best leave it to an expert.”

Jean: “Yes, please do.”

Merryweather: “Jean?”

Jean: “What.”

Merryweather: “Where can I find one?”

Thanks for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

#VignetteSeries – Luna

Author’s Note: A first draft clip from the latest fantasy I’m working on. Here we find the mysterious gentleman Cornelius Black preaching to a very frightened little girl called Luna.

Full moon rising copy

“There are few views ones might accept as the truth of all things, fewer still an exactitude. The universe in all its alternate dimensions has many beauties, many baubles and trinkets, many curtains of colours to draw across imperial night. They all falter before she. You see, my dear, my sweet young thing, to reign in heaven as one does on earth one must weave subtlety into one’s shades, not venture to outshine nor outdo. Those with the bravado to boast such things become a target for those inferior higher percentile who smudge the cosmos with tainted greys and dirty shades. The majority hate the minority unless that minority compliment them, ease their worries, become as essential as she to me. You see, Luna, like your namesake, you are a child of subtlety. If you stood out too far you would be persecuted. I shall not allow it.”

Thanks for reading

Richard

#VignetteSeries – This Dancer / This Monster

Author’s Note: I was playing around with twisting paragraphs. Just when you were to think ‘ooh, that’s lovely’ it wouldn’t be. This is one of them.

She pirouetted like a dandelion seed caught in a breeze exuding freedom from her every fibre. She danced across meadows and twirled over sidewalks, skipped through puddles and sashayed between bluebells, a gentle summer sprite without a care in the world. Unbothered by those who saw her, those who desired her, her dance would never end. A goddess, she drifted through life as I mired in it.

I was less receptive to those idling imbeciles than she. I watched them, the anger building, rage expanding. Every wide eye, every drooling mouth, frustrated me beyond all reasoning. A volcano ready to burst, my blood boiled and fingers grasped for throats. She’d made me. Because of her I was a monster. And she didn’t even know my name!

#VignetteSeries – The Pegasus Carriages

Author’s Note: Scenes in first draft from an upcoming work.

The flying things filled the sky like oversized bluebottles buzzing here, there and everywhere with a general disregard for their passengers safety. Dark ink stains on a dirty blotting paper sky, the Pegasus Carriages went about their business of human transportation with even less purpose than the insects they so resembled.

“They bother you, Mortimer?”

Headlock appeared not to hear his companion’s words, instead, his attention remained fixed upon London’s latest aerial business.

“Mortimer?”

When he spoke, it was with measured words.

“It is not the carriages per se, Grace. No, it is not them at all.”

“Then, what? To see a man whose business it is to instil unease in others having that same unease instilled in him is frankly unnerving.” Grace placed a canary-yellow glove upon Albion’s champion’s arm.

Headlock lowered dark eyes to the ground, then returned them to Grace’s flashing green own.

“It is those creatures that power them, Grace, those beasts they call automata. They are wrong, ungodly, devils dressed in suits of lead and I intend to prove it.

When Headlock moved away, Albion’s fogged gloom followed, a little more ice filling the space he’d vacated.

Miss Grace Grace was not a girl prone to chills, but she did; she did not relish the sensation.

#VignetteSeries – Fair Enough

Author’s Note: From my WIP.

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“It infuriates!”

“I’m sure it does”

“Her sheer refusal to die flies in the ideals of God and nature!”

“Must you rant and rave so?”

“Yes!”

“Fair enough.”

Headlock flipped the pages of The Times open with such ferocity as to rip its central spine.

“Is there anything I can say to calm you?”

“I doubt it.”

“That was not a no.”

“Neither was it a yes.”

“Fair enough.”

“Do you have to say that? Is it now your signature sentence?”

“Why, do you find it infuriating?”

Headlock lowered his paper so dark eyes peered over its literary horizon. “Yes.”

“Fair enough.”

VignetteSeries – Universal Shores

Author’s Note: I still may use this, but as it stands have stripped it from an anthology I’ve just about finished.

We opened our eyes to endless night and a firefly vista of twinkling lights. We’d washed up between worlds, realities, time and space, those places parked in dreams and lucid nightmares. Our universe, or one of them, had cast us upon the shores of forever without map or compass.

They’d belittled Chambers, dragged his name through the mud, but he’d been right all along. We weren’t alone, never had been, and everywhere we looked the eyes of others, those ghosts and gremlins, spectres and alternate us, glimmered. They waited for someone to make the next move in that infinite nothingness that spider’s web of intertwining dimensions and burgeoning beginnings and I for one hadn’t a clue what to do.

“Hello, my name’s Grace,” said Grace.

Well, it was a start.

#VignetteSeries – Pearl

She shone. Her skin, albino in the strong sunlight, glimmered with a translucent sheen to rival a pearl. If I’d not worn sunglasses, she should have dazzled me. Reclined upon the sand like a seashell awaiting a wave, she casually lifted her head, squinted sapphire eyes and smiled. In that moment, that beach by a sea on an island in an ocean in the sunshine, was ours and nobody else’s. Mine and my Pearl’s. I gabbled it because I had to, my mind, body and every function was already hers. Good I thought, it’s been mine way too long.