In the Strangest Places


Part six of Misplaced Fire

When they arrived at the museum they were standing on a metal grate platform looking out from two stories up at a pipe organ with massive pipes extending three stories up the wall. The section they were in looked neither entirely cave-like nor entirely museum-like. More like a Tim Burton-ized urban setting. Their platform was connected to a spiral staircase that led to a series of wavy platforms climbing six stories up to the roof. They were in a rectangular opening in the center of an old wood-walled building. The light came from the sky above them, exposed by the lack of a roof.

Jason immediately ran up the stairs. “I don’t wanna be in your way, and this place’s s’posed to have a school bus danglin’ off the roof that you can go in.”

Isabelle twirled her hair for a second, then ran after him. She stopped when the spiral circled back. “Yo no se anything about liogons; I’d be worse than useless. I’ll keep myself busy on the five story slide.” With that she continued up the stairs.

Dinah shook her head. “Humans.”

Nesrin and Aravis both pretend punched her arms.

“You two are only part, don’t count.”

They heard a deep but subdued growl, and a strong smell petroleum burned its way to their nostrils. A faint flicker showed itself behind a rock at the organ’s level.

The room got darker as they descended the steps and the decor gave way to rock formations and cavernous passages. They found the liogon, though, standing not in a rock but amongst a twisted mass of purple-lit metal bars that rose up through the floor.

Dinah whistled three high notes in rapid succession. The liogon turned to face her and laid down. She summoned a piece of meat to toss to it, which it caught in its mouth.

Just as the trio began advancing towards it a museum worker rounded a corner with a flashlight. The liogon noticed the newcomer and its whole body turned into fire. The worker turned and ran while Dinah, Nesrin, and Aravis withdrew and huddled together.

Aravis asked, “Is there any chance it could part hinn?”

Dinah began to say, “no,” but instead said, “I guess zillion to one is still a chance.”

Nesrin was looking at the thing sideways. “It’s not doglike enough for a hinn, I don’t think.”

They watched slack-jawed as they thing turned to smoke and slipped through the bars into the level below. They turned transparent themselves and followed it to a place near the cave’s entrance, where it stopped and sat under a chandelier. It returned to its physical form when it stopped.

Aravis caught a glimpse of something shinning in its main. She reached out gently and grasped something that felt like a stone set in metal.


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3 thoughts on “In the Strangest Places

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  1. Good morning David,
    This is mesmerizing, intriguing and makes one to want to read more. I like the setting. It conveys mystery: “a twisted mass of purple-lit metal bars that rose up through the floor” “something that felt like a stone set in metal””museum”.
    The interaction of the characters flows naturally and it’s superbly done. The more I read, the more I love them.
    An excellent use of language ( how beautiful and flexible the English language is !)
    I can’t wait to read this book.
    When do you think the manuscript is going to be ready?


    1. Your comment fills me with joy, G! Thank you very much. I have great fun with these characters, and am always happy to find that someone else enjoys their company as well. Trying to describe that setting, however, had me worried; you put my mind at ease.

      As far as the novel manuscript, I’ve given myself the middle of next year as a deadline to finish. The main hold up (other than school) has been that the core story took a long time to solidify because I couldn’t decide what direction I actually wanted to go in. At one point I think I was trying to put about five novels in one. To clarify, though, Misplaced Fire is a separate story I’m writng on the side specifically for the blog, so the entries of Misplaced Fire are actually not excerpts of the main manuscript, but rather installments of something I’m putting out in its entirety as I write it. The proper novel will have quite a different story than this.

      Thank you again for such an uplifting comment, and my apologies for taking all day to reply. I hope your day was a nice one.


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