Friday, February 12, 2010

Guest Post by N.D. Wilson, Part 2 (Exploring One of the Cupboards)


Tired and sore, I, Richard Hutchins, again face new journeys. Anastasia, your grandfather’s tattered and filthy bed invites me to rest my weary bones and nurse my wounds (I still have a pinch in my hip from yesterday’s dangling). But onward I intrepidly press. Cupboard #63 awaits—along with glory, discovery, and the possibility of a grisly and unnatural end. I have already set the combination in the attic.

After yesterday’s sudden drop, I have decided to investigate this cupboard with more of my traditional caution. On all fours, I approach the small door, pencil in hand, sliding this journal ahead of me.

Darkness. I see no sun. No harbor. But I can hear . . . splashing?


I apologize. I had no time to write more in the suddenness of that moment. Sour, warm, sea foam just slopped through the cupboard and onto the carpet. I leapt backward, forced to scramble across the room or become moist. (And I would apologize for damaging the floor, if Henry and your sister, Henrietta, hadn’t already done enough to destroy it years ago when we first met—your father’s bloodstain is still visible).

Should I choose another cupboard? Water has never been my friend, particularly when connected to anything oceanic. No. Courage, Richard.

The wash has crept out again. Wherever the other side of the cupboard is, it is clearly within the reach of waves. When the next wave recedes, I shall make my move. . .

Perhaps after the next one . . . Or the next . . .

I don’t want to do this. But I can’t go home now. You’ll know. You’ll see it on my face. Forward. I’m leaving the journal on your grandfather’s bed. If that’s where you (or any other) find it, then Richard Hutchins has been lost at sea. Do not mourn me unless you mean it.

Never mind. I’m bringing the journal. I need something to hold.

This place is dark. And cold. And wet. Excuse my penmanship, I am writing by the light of a weak moon, perched on a damp rock with very wet feet and trousers clinging to my stinging ankles. In a moment, my eyes will surely to adjust.

The tide seems low by the sound of things. But there is also a clattering with each wave, I don’t know why. Perhaps it is the rattle of tumbling pebbles.

I appear to be in some kind of ruin. A long mound of rubble stretches away into the sea, and I am seated near what must have been the base of a great tower—I’d wager it’s the remains of the lighthouse noted by your grandfather. I can make out ships now, most without sails. Oared ships, but big. No engines. No smokestacks.

The clattering again. The foam is rising. Black objects are rolling around the foot of my pedestal.

Ah, there’s an engine, and a fast one, gauging from its roar. No! Wave!

Horror. Horrible. Anastasia, I shiver. The pages are ruined. Can you read this? Why am I even writing? The water swept me off of my seat, and it is only by luck that I dove for the cupboard—I and ten thousand crabs. They were the rattling pebbles, Anastasia. I have been pinched and snipped and covered with viciously clicking legs. The soaked carpet is swarming with them. I may not be able to leave the safety of this bed. Big crabs, little crabs, and sinister medium crabs. Side-walking villainy surrounds me. Black and green crabs—hungry, I’m sure. Smelling me, no doubt. They want my meat.

What would you expect of Richard Hutchins? Fear? Inaction? Well, I acted Anastasia, and the cannibal crabs can feast on each other tonight—not on me. I jumped from the bed and into the hall (and oh, the awful crunch beneath my feet). Upstairs, I reset the combination and again, I had to face the pinching hordes—this time on my knees. Crunching shells and crushing lives as I crawled, my soft hands easy targets for their revenge, but I overcame. I am home. The streets of Hylfing greet me, though I am afraid that your grandfather’s room will soon be a foul-smelling graveyard. It may be a week before I venture through the worlds again, but when I do, I have chosen my path:

#72. Collected 1907. White ash. Tarnished copper corners. First report: Collector in Constantinople dismayed at having lost items within a locked cabinet. Tested repeatedly, always confirmed. Invited examination. Acquired easily after a rich supper and at the cost of only one drugged bottle of whiskey.

[Southern Cit./Boghazk/Alt pas. Back 4C]

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP