Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love Triangle Entry #5

Title: COGLING
Genre: Steampunk
Word count: 85,000

Query:

When fifteen-year-old Edna discovers an expensive pocket watch hanging around her little brother's neck, she is afraid he stole it.  As she tears the watch off, her brother crumbles into a pile of cogs.  Horrified, Edna flees into the city streets for help, but encounters Ike, a thief who attempts to steal the watch before he realizes what it is—a device to power Coglings.

According to Ike, hags kidnap children to work in their factories and replace their bodies with Coglings—clockwork changelings.  Desperate to rescue her brother, Edna sets off across the kingdom to the hags' swamp, with Ike in tow.  There, they learn Coglings are also replacing nobility so the hags can stage a rebellion and rule over humanity.  Edna and Ike must stop them, but the populace believes hags are helpful godmothers and healers – no one wants to believe a servant and a thief, especially when Ike has secrets that could label them both as traitors.  The two must make the kingdom trust them or stop the hags themselves, even if Ike must embrace his dark heritage and Edna must surrender her family.

First 250:

The window slid up with a squeak.  Green smoke slithered up the side of the tenement and drifted over the cracked sill onto the floor.  It lifted toward the ceiling, solidifying into the shape of a woman.  Crimson curls framed the hag’s narrow face, shadowed by the deep hood of her cloak. 

The scent of lavender hovered on the hag’s robes, clashing with the smell of must that clung to the small room.  Two brass-framed beds took up most of the floor.  Blankets covered the sleeping lumps atop them.  The little boy on the bed wheezed against the head of his stuffed bear, drool dripping onto the brown wool.  The hag tiptoed to the bed across from the door and, from the folds of her enchanted cloak, drew out a mechanical square almost four feet long.  She set the square on the floor at her feet and frowned at the sleeping teenager – too old to be of any use.  The girl faced the wall, with the threadbare blankets tugged around her chin. 
The hag removed a vial and a rag from her skirt pocket.  Holding her breath, she dribbled three drops onto the rag, yanked the teddy bear away, and shoved the cloth against the child’s mouth.  His eyes opened wide, his gasp muffled, and his body jerked. 

By the seven saints, she should’ve cast a sleeping spell over the girl, in case the boy made too much commotion. 

“The Dark Mother will string you up, Simone,” she cursed herself. 

20 comments:

  1. Okay, I'm intrigued. I'd keep reading. Seriously, can I keep reading ????

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    1. Sure! I'm always looking for new critique partners. :)

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  2. I love how you jumped right into the action of the story. It gets the reader hooked right away and wondering what the heck is going to happen next.

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    1. Thanks. I love that kind of feedback.

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  3. It's so nice to read the beginning after I reading the ending over at ebysswriter :) This has an intense start and sets up the journey to come, nicely done!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad to know the opening and ending caught your attention.

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  4. So her brother is a Cogling?? Crazy!

    And at first I didn't know what cogs were...perhaps I am just really naive. But I understand now. :)

    Great first 250!

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  5. I had the great pleasure to read the full. Awesome story!!
    I really hope you get there...

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  6. Great story - So glad to see you up here! Good luck :)

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  7. I always enjoy reading this one. Love the title! :D

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    1. Thank you. :)

      This contest has been a great opportunity.

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  8. So....I was reading a *different* query this morning and couldn't stop thinking about *this* query. How's that for a love triangle? I must read some more. Please could I see the first 100 pages??

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    1. Thank you! I'm honored the query stuck with you. How would you like me to email the pages to you?

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  9. Yay, Jori! I keep thinking about the poor Coglings myself. If you really are interested in a new cp or beta reader, please look me up. Wishwryter@comcast.net. And my entry was #8, so you know what you're getting into :)

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    1. Your story looks interesting. Shall I email you at the above address?

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  10. That'd be great. I look forward to hearing from you.

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