Finding Perdita by April Grey Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Fairy Tales can come true, it can happen to you...Run!
Down on her luck and out-of-work, actress Cindy White's life changes for the worse when her roommate kicks her out. Landing in new digs in an old Chelsea tenement Cindy discovers a tunnel to the land of Perdita, a place she'd thought her father had made up in the fairy tales he'd once told her.
A dangerous, ruined place of fairies, demons and captives, like her father who she thought was dead.
In this dark fantasy, a young woman discovers her true self and must align it with the old in leaving the world she knows behind in an effort to free her father.
She stripped out of her wet clothes and ran a bath. In the note Sadie said to use up whatever was in the apartment. So be it. One of the old style cabinets revealed a collection of booze and there was soda in the fridge. With a medicinal rum and coke in hand, Cindy eased into the steaming tub.
A furious thumping on the front door roused her from her peace. Knocking? More like the men in blue had decided on an unannounced raid. "Hold your horses." Cindy, wrapped in a towel, headed through the kitchen to find out who was making such a noise.
"Sadie, hurry up I got news," came a bass voice from the other side of the door.
"She's not here. What do you want?"
Silence for a long minute.
"Who in blazing hell are you?" Well, with that attitude Mister Voice could stay where he was in the hallway.
"I’m the sub-lessee. Now go away. You can ask the Weird Sisters what’s going on."
"You let me in this moment. You’re in danger and you’ve got to get out."
"Nice try, buster. I’m not buying it." She heard footsteps leaving.
It was getting dark out, yet the kitchen clock said it was only 4:10 in the afternoon. After getting dressed in a semi-dry tee and shorts, Cindy searched through Sadie's store of snack foods. The nacho-flavored Doritos looked good.
Bag in hand, she froze when she heard a key in the lock. Too late, she ran to put the chain on the door. He was in. Oh my, he was a big one. He looked like an escapee from the World Wrestling Federation. She took a frying pan from the stovetop and held it over her head with the bag of Doritos clutched to her breast.
"What are you planning to do? Poison me?" He nodded at the Doritos. He was taller than Josh's six feet one. He had about 20 pounds on Josh, all in muscle. His black tee displayed rippled biceps. His reddish-gold hair, mustache and sideburns made him look like a cross between a Confederate Rebel and a 70’s rock musician. She held the frying pan higher. He slid past her. "I don’t know what you’re planning, but I like my eggs over easy." A comedian.
"Get out." Cindy waved the pan.
"We need to talk. I don’t know what Sadie told you, but this place isn’t safe and she shouldn’t have involved you."
Cindy stayed near the open door still holding her weapon.
"Go ahead, talk." Cindy lay the bag of Doritos on the kitchen counter only to have them snatched up by the stranger. He ripped them open. With a wink he held half the nachos from the bag in his bear-like paw. In the living room he plopped down, taking up the entire couch.
"How much did Sadie tell you?" he said with a mouthful of neon orange-colored crunchy corn triangles.
"Thor, she doesn’t know anything." Cindy whipped around to see her neighbor, Leo, standing in the hallway.
"Tor? Like a granite outcropping?" Cindy asked.
"No, Thor like the god." The intruder smirked. “The “h” is silent―It’s the Scandinavian pronunciation, unlike the Marvel movies.”
April Grey's short stories are collected in The Fairy Cake Bakeshop and in I'll Love You Forever. She is also the author of two urban fantasy novels: Chasing the Trickster and it's sequel, St. Nick's Favor.
She edited the anthologies: Hell's Bells: Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments; Hell's Garden: Mad, Bad and Ghostly Gardeners, Hell's Grannies: Kickass Tales of the Crone and last year's, Hell's Kitties and Other Beastly Beasts.
She and her family live in Hell's Kitchen, NYC in a building next to a bedeviled garden. Gremlins, sprites or pixies, something mischievous, lurks therein. Someday she'll find out. Please visit www.aprilgrey.blogspot for her latest news.
Last year was the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The following might add some further appreciation to this accomplishment of the first Science Fiction novel.
14 Things To Know about Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
• Born in 1797, Mary Shelley was the daughter of two famous radicals, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, a feminist, and William Godwin, known for his proto-anarchist political beliefs.
• Due to the lack of germ theory, doctors did not wash their hands before seeing patients. Mary Shelley’s mother died of childbirth fever, probably due to this lack of sanitation. Perhaps leaving Mary with the guilt that she caused her mother’s death by being born.
• Her father remarried resulting in Mary having two step siblings and a half-brother.
• Mary was sixteen when she began her affair with Percy Bysshe Shelley--who was married at the time and whose wife was pregnant.
• Mary had her first child with Shelley out of wedlock when she was 17, and that child, born premature, died after only a few weeks of life.
• Prior to writing Frankenstein, Mary wrote in her journal that she dreamt of her dead infant returning to life.
• She was only able to marry Shelley after his wife committed suicide. Mary was 18 at the time.
• She began her novel Frankenstein at the age of 18.
• By the time Mary was 25, she was a widow and had witnessed the death of 3 children plus nearly died of a miscarriage. Her son, Percy Florence Shelley, was her only child to reach adulthood.
• The first printing of Frankenstein (1818) was anonymous, and thought to be written by her husband.
• The popularity of Frankenstein may be due to the numerous staged and film adaptions of the book, over one hundred plays, in the past two hundred years.
• In the first adaption to stage (1823), Frankenstein’s creation was presented as a mute, hulking monster. In the book, his speech is quite elegant. Also the character of the bumbling assistant was a creation of the playwright.
• Though the plays kept her novel in demand, she never saw any money from the productions due to early copyright laws.
• Her writing of Frankenstein could be seen as an inditement of men not taking responsibility over their creations, such as children; or about the horror of creation itself due to the death of Mary’s children and the death of her mother due to Mary’s own birth.
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