In my last post, I talked about the novel I had actually last-minute decided to write for NaNo; the novel that had taken over my previous idea as the culmination of several past novel ideas. The Glamour Man was once several novels – Aftermath, a post-apocalypse/zombie novel, A Midnight Dreary, a Wild Hunt-oriented faerie novel (and the one I was going to write for NaNo) and a Wizard of Oz concept I was going to play with at some point in time.
I haven’t written an official synopsis for The Glamour Man yet, so here’s the poor man’s version –
Pendor Moonby is a Greenthumb, one of the few people remaining with the ability to grow plants in a world where such energy is absconded by the Faerie. She’s a drifter, and when a spellstorm destroys her livelihood she picks up and moves on – or tries to. Caught up in the fate of two nocturnal Pale Elves due to misunderstanding, she is told of one person who can give them all the truth they’re looking for – the mysterious Glamour Man.
She had just decided to go back out the way she came when a sound trailed along the tunnel, like a living thing crawling over her head. Pen froze, listening, searching for the source of the sound in the near-black.
Flexing her fingers around the staff, she took a step forward.
The sound stopped her again – this time it came from behind; a deep clicking sound, like a handful of marbles bouncing down a flight of stairs.
How did something so tall move so quietly?
“Wo’gwa chea?” His voice echoed off the stone walls and as he bent down, his features became visible – milky skin and a black upper lip, curved in a grin. She thought he had two pairs of eyes for a moment, until she realized goggles were strapped around his forehead, their round eyes almost as unnerving as the pale, blinking set below. Raising his voice, he called, “Ey, Mond! She’da hab’o fly-rat!”
Her mind raced, trying to translate the cobbled-together faerie language. She recognized ‘fly-rat’ well enough – he was referring to Tip, his arms wrapped around her neck.
Spell-storms – a malevolent side-effect of the war – were not just larger than natural storms. If the lightning, frequent and searching, struck you it left you with something to remember it by. People discovered they could only hear on a different frequency, or someone previously right-handed was now left-handed, or someone now had a forked tongue.
Sometimes they were worse – the lightning never killed, but sometimes death was a kinder option. Pen had once seen a man reduced to a shriveled, skeletal nightmare crawling along the street looking for his eyes. She wondered somewhere if someone had been struck with lightning and received an extra pair.
If a Pale Elf had really been captured, it would probably be on display in the Showoff, a circle a block away where all the big things happened – trials by combat, midsummer dances, speeches, executions, and rummage sales.
Pen stopped moving. She’d seen a dog with rabies once; the diseased animal hadn’t acted like a dog should. It hadn’t been afraid of her, it hadn’t moved like an animal. It hadn’t known danger when it saw danger. The morlock reminded her of the dog – it was putting itself in danger this way, coming out in the daylight, standing less than ten yards behind a crowd of humans who hated Pale Elves as much as anyone.
As if sensing the weight of her gaze, the Pale Elf slowly turned his head to look at her.
“Beat it,” he said.
She made her way toward the front gates – from a distance she could see they were still open, but as she turned the corner to approach them, she saw they were guarded. The Governor’s men had formed a line across it, each bearing a torch and a sword. Night was falling, and Pale Elves were nocturnal.
Apparently they hadn’t seen the rabid one climb a wall.
The mohawked elf strode stiffly over. He wasn’t taller than his companion, but his hair gave him an added two feet.
It didn’t seem to intimidate the other, who said, “Back off. I can handle her.”
“Menem veeson ey’so,” said the other elf with a soft snort.
Pen had never heard this much faerie spoken in her life – she actively avoided them, like any sensible human, but she found herself entranced by the funky lyricism of it. She felt like the language would mug her in a back alley while singing her a lullaby.