8FOLD: Mighty Medley # 25, January 2016, by Messrs. Alambre, Brenton, Perron, Russell, and Stokes

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 21:54:23 PST 2016

On 1/15/2016 11:01 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
> A private dick, a dame, a double-cross: Mr. Alambre delivers the
> noir-infused goods in one of his signature tales of life on the wrong
> side of the law.

Ooooo, another noir detective tale!

> Marcus's deepening appreciation of how wrong his world is.

I think we can all relate to that

> Can I just take a moment to say that one of the things I find
> consistently wonderful about Mr. Perron's writing is the combination
> of heartfelt generosity, deep kindness, and earned optimism? I often
> wish I could write from that place.

Awwwww! *furious blushing* JEEZ. <3 That's good, because I often worry about 
this stuff coming off flat - not communicating what I mean for it to communicate.

> Maybe you need something found... or maybe somebody... but you can't
> go to the cops because you're public enemy number one.
>     That's when you need a _very private_ private eye. Someone who can
> be objective about any of your _questionable_ objectives.
>     Someone like me.
>        My name's Jack Teer. I'm a criminal detective.

I'm surprised I've never seen this idea before, TBH! (Except in some Silver Age 
Batman stuff, but that was less noir and more... well, Silver Age Batman.)

>     "It's not about the money, Mr. Teer. I can't have people crime-ing
> against me. Find someone I can punish."


>     And once I got a peek through their penthouse skylights, I found
> them wrapping more than just fingers. I made sure to take a couple
> 'artistic' pictures of the two of them fadoodling while I was there.

I love the slang you use in this one. XD

>     The other palooka was a lifer, the kind of fanatic who only worked
> for a single criminal. Whenever she was out sharpening her claws, this
> guy was right out there with her. God knows what gets into these sort,
> but I find _they're_ the ones you really had to be careful of. And
> with just one look at his mug shot, I was _sure_ I'd found my man. I'd
> seen that goofy look in his eyes in any number of stupid men.


>     I gave the poor sap twelve hours to skip town. If he was lucky, he
> got himself gone before she started looking for him. He crossed a
> line: he got caught crime-ing against his own boss. He'd never work
> this burg again.

Heeheehee. I still love "crime-ing".

>     Lucky for him, I didn't care. "Far as I see it, she got the
> scapegoat she wanted. You pay me my fifteen percent, and we don't need
> to... confuse the matter further." He cut me a cheque then and there.
>     Crime closed.

Heh heh heh.

>     Everything was going completely awry, but if he panicked then he
> would probably miss any small opportunity that he might otherwise be
> able to take advantage of. To salvage what might otherwise be a
> hopeless situation.

Ah, yes, FOMO.

> "Have you ever heard of the idea that shadows aren't
> cast by people and animals and objects, but are instead reaching out
> to them and come to an end at those things? That if you trace any
> shadow back that other way to its source, they'd all meet at the same
> place."
>     "No, I hadn't," replied Joan in a neutral voice.
>     "No reason that you'd need to. It's a pack of lies," Marcus said.


> "But this is magic. As long as the idea makes a kind of sense and
> isn't incoherent gibberish, then it can be used as a magical symbol."

A good magic system.

> She quickly realised that it was some kind of
> Ludwig of Bavaria style fantasy castle, all in white stone rather than
> dark granite, and with pennants snapping in the night breeze. The tune
> to the title song from Camelot jumped to mind.

It's just a model.

>     A feeling crept over Deidre. It combined awe with an uncomfortable
> recollection of the encounter at the troll bridge. She wandered up to
> the building, reaching out a hand as if to assure herself of its
> solidity. A piece crumbled under her touch, and she rolled it between
> her fingers before sniffing it.
>     Joan picked up her mood and asked, "What?"
>     "It's gingerbread."

Wow, it really is just a model. XD

>     "Well, yes, of course," said Marcus.
>     They both looked at him. However, he still seemed to be paying more
> attention to the castle. Then he asked, "Is this another one of those
> strange things where the world doesn't work properly, and I just can't
> see it?"
>     "I believe it is," Joan said with careful diplomacy.

Gleeful. <3 I love that.

> The Castle of
> Wonder has always been here. Back to before the time of Herman."
>     "Herman the German? Arminius?" said Joan. "In that architectural
> style?" She was suddenly struck by what first century tribesmen, or
> even first century Romans for that matter, would have thought of this
> faerie tale cake confection of a castle.
>     "I take it back," said Marcus. "This isn't just annoying. This is
> flat out terrifying."

A cliffhanger based on architectural inconsistency! Dun dun dunnn

> Redecoration began with an eerie, slightly gritty ringing sound as the
> Librarian's wires sheared through granite slabs, as effortlessly as
> sticking a straw into a milkshake.


>     "Do you feel anything?" she asked the air, and her ever-present
> companion. "Because I don't. Not apprehension, not a shadow, nothing.
> It's as soulless a place as I've ever come across, and that's saying
> quite a lot, isn't it?"
>     -There is nothing /to/ feel,- the Library confirmed, sounding...
> disappointed.  -This facility is so old, even its ghosts have left for
> their final rest.-

I just. I love this idea. So evocative.

>     Instantly, light poured out from between her fingertips, a cold and
> piercing silvery thing, filling the depression before racing down the
> triplicate grooves in every direction with a soft hum. The brunette
> opened her eyes, still seeing the numbers in her vision as the Library
> continued exploring the network, and looked up to see intricate
> designs of the silvery light covering the chamber walls and the
> ceiling. Not just designs, either; a map of the facility, if she read
> it right.

I love the implied worldbuilding here, too.

>     -I suspect Fn'ordh is helping us the best he can,- the Library
> mused, tactfully.
>     "True enough," the brunette murmured thoughtfully. "I wonder how
> he's doing..."
> Fn'ordh was not doing well.

This transition is, by itself, enough of a reason for this double-size issue to 
exist. <3

> His sights were set
> instead on the Tome of Royal Lineage, which was said to hold the name
> of every daemon in the realm and how they were descended from the
> original denizens - whatever that meant.

You know, I missed this implication while beta-reading. <3

> Fn'ordh despised blackstone for the same reason he despised
> everything else about the Underworld: it never changed. Someone had
> presumably built the structures of the Underworld at some point, but
> no one could remember when, or how; and since they would regenerate
> even incidental damage, like the scratches from his barbs digging in,
> everything stayed the same and would continue to do so interminably.

So fascinating!

>     She let him up, and immediately he began clawing at his throat,
> pulling the skin away from his neck and his face. His fingers touched
> the new skin underneath, and he was duly surprised to find a scar
> where the knife had found him.

Ahhhhhh, well, that's fair.

>     He wanted to say that he knew Hank only briefly, less than a few
> hours, but that in that time he had gotten a pretty good sense of his
> character, Hank being someone who made an immediate impression.
> Instead he just rubbed at the scar about his throat.


>     "Had some trouble getting out of there," she said with a shrug.
> "Some of Peake's boys put up an awful fight, and it wouldn't do to
> leave witnesses." Then, she smiled; there was something terrifying
> about her smile.

:D :D :D So rad.

>     "I had done it once before. That was on account of Hank. Hank and I
> go way back, before he was Hank and before I was Celine. We were in a
> bad place, the two of us; a miserable place. And one day, Hank decided
> that he didn't live in that place any more, and that he had never
> lived in that place. That he was a man, and his name was Hank. Or
> rather, it weren't that he decided at all, but that he discovered that
> that had always been the case.
>     "I fell in love with Hank then. Because it had never occurred to me
> before then that my story could be what I wanted it to be, instead of
> what had happened to me, or what everyone thought I was.


>     "There's some water in the canteen, and some sausages, like I said.
> You'll need to roast them first. Take care of yourself, Indian. No one
> else is going to."
>     The sun was coming up now. He watched her disappear into it, then
> fell asleep.

So rad.

Drew "really good month" Perron

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