Wit’s World: Never Was, Chapter Eleven by Elizabeth Watasin

CHAPTER ELEVEN

The voice came from above. Em froze. She glanced at the sidewalk. She spotted the moon-shadow of a young girl who stood at a perfect right angle upon the wall. The drop of her long hair and dress were the only indications that gravity still acted upon her body.
Em inhaled, and watched the girl’s shadow move. She heard the deliberate, slow scrape of a boot’s heel upon the wall, as if the movement were meant to emphasize right then that she was allowed to hear it. Fey Dently, the Vampyre who could walk on walls, had been following her the entire time.
“I mean no harm,” Em said, finding her throat dry. “I only came to find my sister.”
“The blonde version of you, with the Tomorrow sword?” the Vampyre asked.

Wit’s World: Never Was, Chapter Ten by Elizabeth Watasin

In short: EM is now in Darque Towne.

And Pip is eating chicken.

CHAPTER TEN

Even though she was in the company of a notorious Wally rake, Pip was enjoying her fried chicken. Being starved, she couldn’t discern whether it was better than what she could have at home. Apparently, food in this dimension just existed; prepared, cooked, and served on a platter with silverware. She and Wit, Jr. sat in the Crystal Dome at the foot of Mystica’s castle. The castle loomed above them, its pastel stone walls covered in climbing ivy. Pip never had the pleasure of enjoying the Crystal Dome of Amazing World. It was a ritzy restaurant priced far beyond meager Daring means and Em and Pip usually settled for the playground snack stand and rode the carousal there. Pip doubted that a playground could be found where she was then, much less a carousal horse. Each terrace of the island was a careful arrangement of gardens with statuary, lily-covered ponds, fountains, and tucked-away arbors and gazebos. The Mystica of Never Was was more like a rich noble’s leisure estate than a fantasy setting for children to run and play. Granted, the castle was far too big for a noble, so Pip reassessed her impression and qualified that as: rich Queen’s leisure estate. Mystica, according to park mythology, belonged to the Queen of Night, the Carny Man’s wife, after all.
Since she’d never been inside the Crystal Dome back home, Pip wasn’t sure if the chandeliers were characteristic of the place. The white glass was etched in gold with figure portraits that looked like the Queen of Night and her daughters, the Sun Maiden and Moon. When Pip and Em had peeked through the restaurant’s glass walls as small children they had been more preoccupied with trying to see what the diners were eating than what might be in the dome above. Em would have loved seeing these portraits. Pip was not much for glitter, but she could still admire the beauty of the chandelier crystals even while stuffing her face with chicken and mashed potatoes. Beyond the glass of the dome were the many lush trees and flowers in the castle’s arboretum. It also served as an aviary. Twittering Puppetron birds of colorful plumage flitted about the trees. Pip even saw one fly. Again, she was impressed by the remarkable sophistication of the Puppetrons of this dimension.
The dining area she and Wit, Jr. sat in was the picture of civilized repast. Crystal glasses and centerpiece glass figurines decorated every table. All the place settings were of gold utensils and gold-trimmed china with white napkins and white tablecloths. Pip had to wonder; were the centerpieces really glass or carved ice? She poked their table’s unicorn for the answer. It was ice.
A Puppetron string quartet with shiny, oval metal heads and black evening wear roused from a sleeping state next to the illuminated fountain and began to play. Their faces were smooth plates entirely lacking features. Like the Puppetrons Pip was used to back in Amazing World, the string quartet appeared to be fixed to the chairs they played from. Among all of the tables in the glass dome, she and her host were the only patrons. Pip had laid her sheath and sword aside to be polite when the maitre d’ had seated them, but decided that wearing the crown of Sun was okay.
“Will I really feel full or will this be like dream food?” Pip asked, cleaning up with her cloth napkin and dabs of the drinking water.

Continued at: http://www.a-girlstudio.com/  Enjoy!

The Carnival Anthology comic book, edited by Curls Studio and Carolyn Belefski is 28 pages of b/w comics by fourteen indy comic book creators. I illustrated the back cover (‘Velcem To Darque Towne’) and contributed the first appearance ever of Fey Dently, called ‘IN DARQUE TOWNE’. I’m currently illustrating and writing Fey’s storybook, FEY DENTLY, VAMPYRE. So pick up The Carnival Anthology for Fey’s 2010 2 page comics debut and enjoy. Carolyn Belefski: “The Curls Studio Carnival Anthology came to me as an idea in the fall of 2009. The goal was to publish a book featuring the work of people I had met at comic conventions or people I admired. With the carnival theme in mind, I contacted everyone I wanted to contribute and asked them to contribute a two-page story with a beginning, middle and end. The book represents overall diversity in the comics format and shows what fantastic storytelling can be done with a minimal amount of pages. The book is dedicated to showcasing how each of us tell our stories and our individual artistic styles. Sample the taste of 14 different writers and artists as we take you on an eclectic journey.” Stories in Carnival Anthology: Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski – Kid Roxy: Carnival Life Elizabeth Watasin – Darque Towne Ava Ann Vrooman – a2alien in the Foe Show John Bintz – A Moment of Clarity Else Tennessen and Kris Black – Charlie (via Curls Studio Carnival Anthology Comic Book by Elizabeth’s Never Was on Storenvy
)

The Carnival Anthology comic book, edited by Curls Studio and Carolyn Belefski is 28 pages of b/w comics by fourteen indy comic book creators. I illustrated the back cover (‘Velcem To Darque Towne’) and contributed the first appearance ever of Fey Dently, called ‘IN DARQUE TOWNE’. I’m currently illustrating and writing Fey’s storybook, FEY DENTLY, VAMPYRE. So pick up The Carnival Anthology for Fey’s 2010 2 page comics debut and enjoy. Carolyn Belefski: “The Curls Studio Carnival Anthology came to me as an idea in the fall of 2009. The goal was to publish a book featuring the work of people I had met at comic conventions or people I admired. With the carnival theme in mind, I contacted everyone I wanted to contribute and asked them to contribute a two-page story with a beginning, middle and end. The book represents overall diversity in the comics format and shows what fantastic storytelling can be done with a minimal amount of pages. The book is dedicated to showcasing how each of us tell our stories and our individual artistic styles. Sample the taste of 14 different writers and artists as we take you on an eclectic journey.” Stories in Carnival Anthology: Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski – Kid Roxy: Carnival Life Elizabeth Watasin – Darque Towne Ava Ann Vrooman – a2alien in the Foe Show John Bintz – A Moment of Clarity Else Tennessen and Kris Black – Charlie (via Curls Studio Carnival Anthology Comic Book by Elizabeth’s Never Was on Storenvy

)

Update: Skip Days and My handcrafts Never Was Store debuts


If you’re on the Never Was mailing list you already know that I planned a Skip day for the mailing list chapter update and personal blog chapter update. It’s due to some very modest freelance that came in. So what else did I do besides make a few pennies? I also worked on my handcrafts shop at Storenvy, a free community of storefronts for indy creatives, much like Etsy—but free. I’ve made quite a bit of handmade merchandise for WIT’S WORLD: NEVER WAS (my YA adventure novel) in the last few months and so far I have listed my Magnetic Cup Pendant Necklaces (where you can change the illustrated cap—a 1” button), and collectible 1” button or pinback sets of Emma Daring and Fey Dently. There’s also the Carnival Anthology comic book and I will list more books soon. And keychains and magnets. So please check it out, and Like, Tweet, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Delicious, and Digg it if you could. I’m not asking that you buy anything; but every little ‘Like’ helps, so Help Spread The Word. Thanks. :)

http://neverwas.storenvy.com/


Visit my store on Storenvy

Wit’s World: Never Was, Chapter Four

CHAPTER FOUR

    “Em, Pip, look who’s here; it’s Wit,” their mom said as Shade smiled beside her.
    “It’s Shade, Mrs. Daring,” he said.
    “Shade,” she said with a twinkle in her eye, “decided he was in the mood for waffles. Your dad is upstairs but we have extra food made. Do you mind if Shade joins you girls?”
    Pip strolled primly to the family table. Em shook her head. She did not look at either Shade or her mother. She took her seat, Pip already eating. Their dad had made Em’s favorite waffle shapes for her: bat wings.
    June set a plate in front of Shade as he sat down. He didn’t know what to say about the odd waffle shapes.
    “Those are mistakes,” Pip said.
    “So, Shade, you’ve been in Europe all this time?” June asked as she sat at a smaller table in the back where she was counting the register. “How’s your mom?”
    Em sat still as a statue across from Shade and did not touch her plate.
    “She’s good,” Shade said while eating. Em wished, not for the first time, that the news of Shade’s twin sister had been formally announced. Wila had never been in the public eye; for the most part, no one even knew of her existence. Em only found out because Shade had come to her in grief before he left abruptly for Europe. Sometimes she wondered if all her attempts to contact him had been ignored because of that confidence.
    “That’s good to hear. But you’re not here just for waffles and chitchat, are you?” their mother asked.
    Em stared at her, appalled, but her winking mother was already leaving the kitchen for the rooms above, cash bag in hand.
    “No,” Shade admitted, glancing at Em. “I was thinking … want to go to the Tragedy in Death show this Saturday night?”
    Em loved Tragedy in Death. The lead singer was an idol of hers, with her long dresses and soprano voice. She would have gone if it hadn’t sold out.
    “I have to do this publicity stunt at Amazing World,” Pip said. “But if you give us the tickets I’ll be happy to go with Em.”
    “I was asking Em,” Shade said.
    “Oh, I know.”
    “How about it?” he said. “I could probably swing a backstage pass, too.”
    Em closed her eyes.
    “I think it’s nice that you want to go with her to this show,” Pip said. “Beats going to clubs in France with that other girl.”
    “What girl?” Shade snapped, fed up with Pip’s interference. Pip only pointed to Em with her fork.
    “We saw you in the magazines,” Em said. “She was with you in every photo.”
    “The gossip rags, Em?” Shade said, laughing. “Doesn’t seem your style.”
    “I showed them to her,” Pip said. “So, are you still seeing that girl?”
    “It was just parties. You start to see the same people all the time. It didn’t mean anything,” he said, looking directly in Em’s solemn eyes. She looked away. Parties and girls might be the way Shade escaped his loss but Em still couldn’t forgive how he chose to tell her. She rose from the table.
    “Telling the truth is smarter,” she told him in a low voice. She left by the stairs.
    Em climbed the steps quickly, not wanting her mother to see her upset. The tears were already coming. She knew the magazine stories linking him romantically with other girls were true; the rumors were constant when he was with her, and this had been before what happened to Wila. He never even argued for an open relationship. Shade just cheated.
    Once, he had shown her an antique lighter; a craftsman’s piece, long and slender with delicate scroll work and a goddess in relief on its surface. It was unlike the beat-up silver one he usually carried, the one he liked to say best represented him. He handled the antique with care.
    “This one’s you,” he had said.
    “Really?” Em had said. The piece was beautiful, but if it represented her and the silver lighter was Shade, she wondered about the others in his collection.
    “What about the red plastic one? Or the black one?” she had asked.
    Shade hadn’t answered, though a dark smile Em had come to dread came to his lips as he lit a cigarette with the goddess lighter.
    She wished she had never fallen for a boy who liked to collect girls just like his lighters. Em could not make it to the attic soon enough.

* * *

    Shade stood up when Em abruptly left, exasperated that she had eluded him. Pip watched him and when she realized he wasn’t returning to his meal she ate his peas and carrots.
    “You’re really serious?” Pip asked.
    “Would I be here if I wasn’t?” He ran a frustrated hand through his hair.
    “Hmm. I’m thinking about how you never wrote her all that time you were away.”
    “Write? Kind of old-fashioned, don’t you think?”
    Pip laughed in agreement. “But you know Em. You did get her letter, didn’t you?”     By the look on Shade’s face, she knew the answer. She moved for the stairs, carrying Em’s plate. “And never mind that you didn’t call, either. We know you were busy. Going out with teen models.”

* * *

    When Pip entered their bedroom, Em was at the dresser table, quietly weeping. She went to Em immediately and put her arms around her.
    “I thought I was over this,” Em whispered.
    “It’s okay. It’s okay,” Pip said. “Auntie would say that a broken heart put back together was still kind of broken, remember?” She wiped Em’s eyes with a tissue, gently dabbing the make-up away. She hugged her again. “I know it hurts.” Em rested her head on her shoulder.
    “With him, I feel stupid,” Em said.
    “It wasn’t that serious to him. You thought it could be, but who knows with those Wallys! The Carny Man was a trickster. His son Junior was a womanizer. Shade’s mom Winifred had a few scandals herself. Remember that Danish princess?” Pip paused. She took a moment to enjoy that memory. “Anyway, I shouldn’t have encouraged you to go out with him,” she said. “Those Wallys are blue-eyed rakes.
    “And what probably hurt the most are all those girls Shade won’t apologize for. Hmm. I wonder if the boys ever cry about me.” Mischievously, she looked at her twin’s tearful reflection in the dresser mirror. Em couldn’t help herself; Pip’s attempt to cheer her up worked, and she made a soft, sad laugh.
    When Pip thought Em was feeling better she showed her the plate of waffles and greens.
    “Here. Eat your bat wings. Dad even made you a clown,” she said, pushing the plate closer.
    “I hate clowns,” Em said, wiping her eyes a final time. She sniffed, but picked up her fork and knife anyway.
    “A customer decided he hated clowns, too.”
    Em hugged her again.
    “About boys, and you,” she said as she ate the clown, “when I saw Ted he was still mad at you, but he apologized.”
    “It was my arm he grabbed,” Pip said. “Why did he apologize to you?”
    “I help his grades. He needs to be in my good graces if he wants to stay on the football team,” Em said. “As the mayor’s son he needs to do well.”
    “Maybe you should have maced him. Then he would be in as much trouble as Todd,” Pip recalled smugly.
    “You shouldn’t have gone out with him. Todd hit you.”
    “I’d heard he was like that, but I didn’t know for sure. It’s a good thing that when he decided to smack me he did it in front of everybody at the party.”
    Em finished what was left on her plate and was just about to ask Pip about Kate when she glanced at her sister in the mirror. She saw something in Pip’s reflection that she had not seen before. She turned quickly.
    “You made him do that on purpose,” she softly exclaimed. Pip stared back innocently. “He could have hurt you badly!”
    “Could he?” Pip said. “We were at a party. And you were there.” She picked up Em’s empty plate. “You always save me.” She kissed her twin.
    Em smiled at Pip’s affection. “Not all the time,” she said. “There was Kate.”
    “Ah. Leave it to you to not forget.”
    “She looked really hurt.”
    “I’m surprised you care. Your circle and hers don’t mix.”
    “The way she left this morning,” Em said quietly. “I think I’ve seen that look on my own face.”
    Pip sighed. She put down Em’s plate and picked up Aunt Dawn’s silver throwing daggers. They were a gift from the Magnificent Margie, and one had Dawn’s name inscribed on the handle. Several target boards were set up around the room but Pip chose the most direct one to her far right. She threw with her left hand. The knife hit.
    “Girls often flirt. Especially from Kate’s circle. It means nothing, really,” Pip explained. She threw again with her left. “And sometimes some of them are curious. We kiss and have fun. That’s about it.”
    “I knew that slumber party wasn’t innocent.”
    Pip grinned and threw two more daggers. Her aim improved; she hit the bullseye twice. She went to the board, pulled the knives out, and returned to Em. She handed her the daggers.
    “But Kate was serious,” Em said.
    “I had no idea. Not until you said what you said. So it looks like I have something to talk to Kate about after all. But admit it; aren’t you glad I don’t feel the same about her?”
    “I want you to be happy but I am very relieved you’re not serious about Kate,” Em said. She could imagine Thorn, who delighted in baiting the popular crowd, gleefully engaging Kate about dating someone whose sister was a Dark Girl. Em hated social drama. She turned to the dresser.
    Using the mirror, Em marked a target board behind her. She turned slightly while still watching the mirror and snapped her arm. The dagger struck the board right on the bullseye.
    “Show off,” Pip said, picking up Em’s plate.
    When she passed the closet where her Tomorrow Maiden costume hung on the door, Pip touched it fondly. Then she remembered something.
    “What’s in here?” she asked, playfully knocking on the darkroom door.
    Em stood up, a small smile on her lips. She opened the door and retrieved a paper hung on a clothesline within. She brought it out for Pip to see.
    The pinhole image she had developed was of the spot where the Venus Grotto once stood. The long exposure captured the empty space and the partly demolished building. The Grotto appeared as a ghost in the spot it had occupied in life.
    “Haunting,” Pip said.
    While Em carefully stowed the photo away Pip descended the stairs. The creak of the steps was both familiar and comforting. Her hand passed along worn wood walls with its drawings and framed family photographs. The scents of kitchen, Mom, and even Dad’s soap suddenly became starkly clear. Pip made a resolution: Whatever it took, their home would not end up a ghost in an empty lot.

* * *

    When Pip returned to their bedroom, all dishes washed downstairs and no Shade to be seen, Em was at their worktable, her face clear of makeup. She was carefully applying ink to a hand-drawn model sheet of the Waffle Wizard. She delicately delineated the tiny gears of the machine in the window.
    “It’s absolutely beautiful!” Pip said over her shoulder. “I can’t wait to build it in the morning.”
    “You have to finish your homework in the morning.” Em dipped her pen again. “Much of this shoot can’t make it into the final version of our documentary anyway. There’s too much of Amazing in it and they’re not going to give permission.” She looked at the paper models they had already built of the park. She had intended this project to be a short film of the Waffle Wizard and their family which they would show in the restaurant and even submit for festivals and broadcast. Additional storytelling would cover the illusionist heritage and novelty architecture of Silver City. Em realized too late that though the fantasy park was intertwined with their past, Amazing would never want to be shown as a part of it.
    Em looked at the other projects stacked on her table and sighed. Their parents stretched their budgets so that the twins could continue to take classes in the disciplines they loved. Em gave up fencing so that she could have singing lessons. Pip gave up stunt horseback riding so that she could continue with swordplay. It was up to Em to earn enough from tutoring to buy frames for her photographs and watercolors or else she’d never get to hang her work in a show. She decided to let Pip know later that their film would be postponed until she could afford the software to edit it. And then there were Aunt Dawn’s storybooks, the ones Em was illustrating and hoping she could get published.
    “But it’s our story. We should tell it how we want,” Pip said, breaking into Em’s musings. “At least let us shoot two versions.”
    “If we have time. Homework,” Em reminded.
    “I at least want to cut us out,” Pip said, picking up the sheet of finished paper models of her and Em. She admired the contrast of their light and dark figures. When Em didn’t answer, she sighed in resignation and dutifully went to find her school books.
    While Pip was studying some science notes she glanced over at her twin, calm and serene in her work, and had an idea. A thoughtful tap to her lip helped her recall lyrics to one of Em’s favorite Tragedy in Death songs.
    “Find me,” Pip sang. “Break free, release, and find me.”
    Em’s soprano voice smoothly carried the rest of the lyrics, the sound rising sweetly though she did not look up from her work. At any other time, Pip would have harmonized with her, but that night she was content just to hear her twin sing. Pip, satisfied, returned her attention to her books.

* * *

    A motorcycle rumbled in the alleyway beside the Waffle Wizard. Shade quickly shut off the engine and marched up to the locked side gate. He easily scaled the wall. He was still irritated with Em. It made him not think properly. He walked up to the locked patio door and reached into his back pocket. He pulled out the Tragedy in Death tickets he should have left behind in the first place. He stuck them into the door frame and then heard Em’s voice in song, drifting down from the twins’ bright attic windows. She sounded unselfconscious and free.
    Shade laughed, exasperated. Since he was alone and no one could see him he decided to remain on the stoop and pulled out his battered silver lighter. He lit a cigarette. He finished it after Em sang another song.
    Just after midnight, the lights finally went out in the attic of the Waffle Wizard.

(end Chapter Four)

Wit’s World: Never Was ©Elizabeth Watasin 2011

WIT’S WORLD: NEVER WAS is Reader Supported. Thank You!

Pg 7 of FEY DENTLY, VAMPYRE (a storybook by E. Watasin)

… THE information revealed on this page and the following page is the setting for my (still being re-written) urban fantasy novel, WIT’S WORLD: NEVER WAS. Those who beta-read the first version of the novel may be happy to see the Park Map at last. :) Enjoy!

Pg 6 of FEY DENTLY, VAMPYRE (a storybook by E. Watasin)

Enjoy! :)

Darque Towne, back Cover to the Carnival Anthology

http://curls-studio.com/carnival.html

Get your copy of the Carnival Anthology in the link! First appearance of my Darque Towne and Fey Dently. Enjoy!! :)

Pg 5 of FEY DENTLY, VAMPYRE (a storybook by E. Watasin)

Enjoy! :)

Pg 4 of FEY DENTLY, VAMPYRE (a storybook by E. Watasin)

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