How it all begins: The Ballad of the Spermwhale and Giant Squid

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PRELUDE

excerpt from: Noola and the Whale Changeling (#1)

PRELUDE (Intro)

He wanted to take her and her stupid manuscript and shoot them both to the moon, never to see her again!

Severin Roosmeer couldn’t believe his eyes. Moonbeam was at his door. At first, he took her police uniform for the real thing, but a second look told him only the cap and leather boots were authentic – the rest was painted on her naked body.

She laughed and stumbled drunkenly into the foyer, leaning heavily on him to keep from falling. He herded her roughly into the kitchen, sat her down in a chair, opened a can of Blue Hippo and set it on the table in front of the inebriated young woman. Clumsily, she knocked it over and the sticky brew streamed over the table and onto the floor. Laika truckled in, tail wagging, and licked it up.

Moonbeam reeked of alcohol, sweat and sperm. She smiled contentedly. Obviously, the blue paint on her hairless body had been smeared by handprints in several places. She giggled inside her reverie. Severin Roosmeer flushed in anger. Just who does she think she is? His eyes bored into her, but for other reasons than she assumed.

“Like what you see?”

“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SHOWING UP HERE…LIKE THAT?! You’re going to ruin my hard-earned reputation!”

“Cool your jets! I think my presence here just might do your reputation a bit of good. Besides, no one knows I’m here.” She ejected an unladylike belch.

“My neighbors are extremely inquisitive!”

“Your gay neighbors were at the same party…”

Severin Roosmeer started. “Did you talk to them?”

She laughed. “No, but they’re city celebrities. It’s hard to overlook those queens.”

The situation was so bizarre, he had no idea how to handle it. He had to make this woman vanish somehow. Maybe Noola could help?

Severin Roosmeer closed his eyes and took a deep breath, slowly regaining his composure. “Wipe the mess off yourself, I want to introduce you to someone.”

He moistened a towel and gave it to her. She held it uncertainly and he saw she was utterly ignorant of her pathetic condition. He snatched the towel from her hand and began rubbing the souring, dried splatters from her body. A goodly part of body paint came off in the process, staining the towel blue.

“Come!”

Towering masses of year-long, patiently accumulated refuse dominated the living room, leaving only a narrow path threading through an intense reek of decaying earth. They made their way between books, countless loose pages edited in red ink, gutted video cassettes and video recorders, cocoons and rats’ nests until they reached the cellar door. Severin Roosmeer opened the door and switched on the light.

“Come, I want to introduce you to someone. She’s the woman who actually lived through the experiences described in ‘Gone, but not’ ! Come!”

Moonbeam was suddenly worried. Several of her fellow students claimed Severin Roosmeer had kidnapped Sarah, the little girl who recently went missing from Babel.

Looking around his house did nothing to inspire trust. There were stacks of useless junk everywhere, audibly inhabited by pattering mice, rats and other vermin. The branch of a tree grew through a crack in the boarded-up window.

Had years of loneliness unbalanced the author’s mind, compelling him to kidnap young girls? Was she his next victim, lured into his cellar by some bizarre story? Does Severin Roosmeer, renowned author, snatch children, lock women in his cellar and do God-knows-what with them? Could that be true?

Still, in his defense, she had to admit that she had forced herself upon him. He would never have invited her. She wanted something from him; she wanted his opinion on the manuscript she had been writing over the past months.

It was true that no one knew she was in the author’s house. Not even Rainbow, her sister. Was she on the brink of vanishing like little Sarah had recently? Or like Roosmeer’s woman did years ago? No one would miss Moonbeam any time soon. Rainbow was on the other side of the planet.

The cellar door gaped open, a musty, dark mouth.

Rustling, invisible life scurried amid the colossal putrid hodgepodge called a living room. A grandfather clocked ticked loudly, it was almost eight. Should she turn and flee for her life? What will happen to the microscopic black hole in her head when she died? Would it be snuffed out with her? Or would it destabilize and develop unimaginable power?

“Are you coming? You don’t have to, if you don’t want to. You can just go. There’s your manuscript! But if you’re looking for advice, I suggest you talk to Noola.”

Moonbeam shivered in the chill air wafting up from the cellar. Slowly, she approached the open maw. She took the first step hesitantly, turning to look at Severin Roosmeer. Is he going to push me down the stairs? Her knees weakened at the thought.

Severin Roosmeer waited a moment before joining her on the steps.

“What are you waiting for? It’s perfectly climatized, like the catacombs in a Gothic church.”

She had no idea what he was talking about, but carefully took the stairs one by one.

A decaying board suddenly broke beneath her weight. Her hands flew out, reflexively groping for an anchor but found nothing. She lost her balance and fell. Severin Roosmeer caught hold of her, but her wind-milling arms escaped his grasp. Her body thundered down the wooden stairs. Gathering velocity, she smacked against the wall like a sack of bones, tumbling down the last few steps unconscious, landing limp and still on the stone cellar floor.

In the brief moment of her demise, cocoons nesting in the debris opened, releasing majestic butterflies. They began to dance in the warm breeze whispering through the narrow crack between the boards covering the open window.

Severin Roosmeer stood stunned at the top of the stairs, gazing down on the lifeless body below. Thus, calamity inexorably took its course.

“What do I do now, Noola?”

The grandfather clock struck eight.

To find out more, please check out the project page. The first part of a 4 part novel series will be published next July (2019)

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