In Time: Devil Incarnate

In Time: Devil Incarnate

March 15, 2012 Writing 19

This is part of my serial Steampunkish story called In Time. You can find more here.

Viola stepped into the elegant red phone booth  and, with a swish of her arm and glint from the magnet, disappeared from the air. The new place she materialized in was so dark,  she pressed the small button of the miniature miner’s light she kept on the brim of her hat. A brief glimpse around the small room revealed it to be a small janitorial closet. The  top of one wall was lined with shelves that contained odd trinkets, vials of link, and strange guns with long cords with prongs on the end that fit into a small box on the wall. She found broken compasses and magnets of her era mixed in with the various cleaning supplies of a more modern one.
She turned the knob on the door, relieved to find it unlocked. She opened it a crack and listened to the sounds beyond. The  soft noise of conversation negated her fear, and she reached for the door again only to have it torn from her grasp. On the other side stood a handsome man of average size, a fedora worn on a bald head covered in thick black markings the likes of which she’d only seen on royalty, a thin curly mustache on his upper lip, and long soul patch on his chin. She breathed in relief to see him dressed in striped dirt colored woolen knickers, a bright blood red satin vest peeking from underneath a deep brown overcoat.
She watched his hand fly to his waist and his coat catch behind a golden holster.  A pistol was pointed at her face  before she could exhale.

“Who are you?” he asked.

She stared at him unwilling to answer. He stepped closer and she felt heat pass her ear as a bullet flew into the wall behind her.

“Who are you?” he demanded with an icy edge to his voice that wasn’t there the first time. She let her eyes roam over him one more time, this time noting the white band lurking underneath the collar of his sky blue Henley. She relaxed a little, believing he would do her no harm.

“I am Viola Grace.” She reached for one of the strange guns, twisting it in her hand as she took a closer look. “What kind of place is this that you have weapons like  these?” Her amazement echoed in his eyes. He holstered his gun and extended his hand. She took it gratefully and allowed him to lead her out of the closet.

“I am Father Lee, and this is my tattoo parlor.” He made a small bow followed by a grand sweep of his arm. “It was inevitable that you would land here at some point, since it is I who leads this quest.” He stopped and she felt his eyes gliding over her body. “I recognized you when I opened the door. I apologize for firing on you,  but Roderick is a master of disguise. The fact that you were baffled over the ink and the guns is what saved you. Roderick has been here before. Come, let us move from this spot. I have much to show you.”

She followed Father Lee to a room with an elongated black chair set on a metal circle that lifted it off the ground. She laid back on the chair and watched as he removed his hat before taking the strange gun from her hand and holding it in front of her face.

“This is a tattoo gun,” he  said. She remained still and let her eyes follow as he picked up a vial of ink from a table nearby and slid it into the chamber.  He took one of her hands and placed it on his head. “Feel the ridges? These are ‘tattoos’ or what I prefer to call body art. All who enter my Temple are required to receive  one.”

Father Lee moved quickly and she found her arm pinned in a steel clamp. She reached down to grab her gun with her free hand when a girl came out from behind a curtain and restrained her. She wriggled and twisted in the seat, but they were too strong.

“What kind of priest are you to hold someone against their will?” Spittle flew from her mouth and rained down on his face. He laughed wickedly in response.

“This is my world and I am God. All answer to me, including you. Without me, there would be nothing. You travel time and gather these pieces because I have commanded it so.”

Pain rendered her momentarily speechless as the gun hammered into her wrist repeatedly. She could feel her skin weep with blood in response.

“You’re no God. You are the Devil Incarnate.” Viola seethed.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Allyson challenged me with “Write a piece in which a character has a conversation with god, using your personal concept of god to define the character — yes, even if you’re an atheist and you believe god is nonexistent.” and I challenged kgwaite with “Write a story based on this line from Patricia Coldwell’s Cause of Death: “Looks like you’ve had some luck,” I said. “Although I’m not sure what I’m seeing. And I might be too early.” ”

This week’s challenge from the masterminds behind Story Dam was: Write a piece, fiction or non, in which your character suddenly finds themselves somewhere and have no clue how they got there.

This week’s 3 Word Wednesday words were baffle, elegant, and negate.

I welcome your feedback because it is important to me for growth. Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.

Thanks for stopping by!!


19 Responses

  1. Renee says:

    Oh, Father Lee is a bully of a “god”, isn’t he? I’ll be waiting to learn more about him.

    My concrit is with the first line; “Viola stepped into the elegant red phone booth and disappeared into the air.” Disappeared, yes. But just into the air? Was she not expecting it? Was she whisked away? Whooshed, or teleported? It just seemed not thought through to me.

    But I like the rest! And I like this story.

  2. Morgan Dragonwillow (@MDragonwillow) says:

    Hi Sam, this is a really imaginative piece. Believe it or not it is hard for me to give Constructive Criticism because I don’t want to say anything that would ever stifle anybodies writing and creativity. But I know that I really do want to hear what others think that will help make my stories better… so hear goes.

    ConsCrit: It really feels like you were trying to do too much in one story by covering all four of these prompts. I think you are right when you say “I’m not sure I really established how and why Father Lee is an obstacle to Viola Grace.” I too like to combine prompts but I try and keep it to two so that I can keep the integrity of the story strong.

    There is a lot of descriptive in this story that possibly could have been used to help explain more about your Main Character and what her obstacle actually was or why/how the Father was the Anti-Hero. I truly feel like not enough was explained for me to understand what was going on. That being said I thought the characters were interesting and had possibilities for the makings of a good story. I also thought that you did a good job with the conversation aspect.

    • SAM says:

      Thank you. I think I may take out the anti-hero prompt and write a second piece to this for it instead. Thank you so much for your feedback. It does not in any way stifle my writing or creativity, I promise. It actually helps me write better.

      • Morgan Dragonwillow (@MDragonwillow) says:

        I am so glad because I really wrestled with saying anything at all. I haven’t received any constructive or otherwise on my piece for this challenge, (except from a Rower friend) and I was afraid it was because people didn’t like my conscrit. I am glad I could help.

  3. Carrie says:

    I like seeing more of viola grace. I had such a poor impression of her when she was first introduced but now my opinion is changing.

    I do agree that the story felt a bit cramped. I think continuing on this scene to expand how Father Lee is an antihero is a good idea.

    The first paragraph feels very long. I’d suggest breaking it up in a couple. Also you use “it was” to begin 2 sentences in a row at the beginning.

    My only other suggestion is to break up Father Lee’s first little speech to viola with some blocking. It will give a better impression of the tone behind his words and what he is doing.

  4. lexy3587 says:

    I’m beginning to like her. I am also really intrigued about her journey – I love the way she can travel to strange times and places.

  5. Jester Queen says:

    A priest who runs a tattoo parlor is a fascinating character. The question then becomes whether he does, ultimately, mean Viola Grace (great name, by the way) good or ill.

    • SAM says:

      He is based off a guy I met at the gas station who was dressed like this, with tats on his bald head, and worked at a tattoo parlor. I got so excited I had to flag him down and he was quite happy to hear that he would become a character in my Steampunk story. Then he introduced me to his girlfriend who looked exactly like I picture Viola Grace. it was SO awesome!

  6. Allyson says:

    Yes, I’m a week behind on IndieInk, as usual. New dayjob does not give me any internet browsing ability……anyway, LOVE IT. I had no idea what to expect when I issued this prompt, but the results are fantastic!

It's YOUR write side, too! Let's hear it!

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