Sunday, March 27, 2011

Killer Canopic Jar

           Betty sprang up before the PINHEADs, clapping wildly.  “Where is he?” she shrieked, giddy and badly misguided.
           Milo Bumbles was a heavy man to the day of his tragic death, but he had quick reflexes.  In the blink of an eye he dropped the key and seized the other thing he held, which I could now see was some sort of stone carving, pointing it at Betty.
           The little idol in Bumbles’s hand exploded into a horse-sized snarling jackal head.  The head looked alive as it reared up and thrashed in the air above the ghost of my mother’s housemaid, but it had skin like jade and dark blue eyes.  The jackal lunged forward, its many-toothed mouth gaping wide.
           Poor, defenseless Betty.  “That’s not him!” she cried, and then the gigantic jackal head swallowed her in a single bite.
           The head immediately shrank back down to the scale of the object in Bumbles’s hand, which I could now see clearly was a stone jar of a faded orange color, with hieroglyphs cut into its side and a green jackal’s head for a lid. 
           “I shall have to thank Mrs. Whample for the key as well as for the tip-off,” Bumbles huffed.  He held the stone jar, shook it, pressed his ear against it and grinned.  “She’s still yelling ‘that’s not him’.” 

*   *   *

I try to write visually.  I do this because many people respond well to strong visual images, even in written form, and because I harbor the completely unconcealed and unabashed hope that some Hollywood greenlighter will read my stuff and get excited about it.

The above passage is from The Devil's Interval.  Betty, Francis's mother's housemaid, is a recently-deceased ghost like Francis himself, but, unlike Francis, is very disoriented as a result.  Here Francis witnesses her capture by the PINHEADs, a sort of Ghostbusters-meets-MI5 outfit.

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