Young City Breakthrough

Did you know that Erin is on Amazon? She is! Right here; have a look!

She will also be available in Chapters

On the :Trenchcoat Farewell Project: front, Martin reports that he’s started in again on the artwork for Syndicate. This clears out one of the remaining obstacles and pushes us ever closer to the final release…

I’m looking forward to the weekend, when Cameron comes over. A visit by him just sets the synapsis firing!

My job these past few days has started at 10 a.m., but I arrive at the University of Waterloo at 8:30 a.m., thanks to my car pool ride. Not one to waste an opportunity, I head into the Dana Porter library, get myself a coffee, and sit myself down at a large table by an east window to write. It’s a great experience. For those who have said that libraries are excellent places to write, you’re vindicated. You can also get good coffee there too…


The Young City Scorecard:
47192 words
Twelve chapters
189 pages

I have been struggling with one of the chapters of The Young City. I’ve already discussed how. I finally decided that Rob Cameron doesn’t belong there. Bringing Rob’s story to a close here is artificial and forced, and forces me to remove him from another part of the story (where Peter is captured by Birge) and bring new walk-on characters into the fray. There’s a good lesson to be learned by this: never create walk-on characters to do something that your minor characters are perfectly capable of doing.

Erin and I call this the Glorfindel Protocol.

The result has been a bit of a breakthrough. The rough patch is past, and I’m now ready to move on to the final confrontation. (Peter and Rosemary have been tied to chairs, struggled their way free and are about to be captured again. I think it works)

The scene below takes Faith and Rosemary back to the sewers rather rapidly, following this scene. Now that Rosemary and her mother have had their tearful conversation, the setting has served its purpose, and it’s time to get our heroes back into the sewers. After this point, it heads into this scene followed by this scene.

“Are you certain?” Faith rushed to keep up with Rosemary as they strode back to the warehouse. “This is your home, your time! Don’t you want to stay?”

“Of course I do,” said Rosemary, her eyes fixed on the sidewalk ahead. People in business suits and briefcases sidestepped out of their way. “But I’m not leaving Peter behind.”

“But to go back alone?” Faith persisted.

Rosemary rounded on her. “Who’d believe us? Besides, if we don’t go back now, we might not be able to go back.” She turned back and continued, walking even faster.

“How do you know?” Faith yelled, running. “How can these things even exist? And what do they have to do with Edmund and those horrible men?”

They reached the warehouse. Rosemary ran up the stairs and grabbed the doorhandle, only to have the door pulled out of her hand. She stumbled back and was caught by Faith.

The two women stared at a hatless, clean-shaven man wearing a sportsjacket and tie. He stared at them in astonishment. “What on earth are you two wearing?”

Faith and Rosemary stared down at their dresses.

But the man shot up an arm before they could say anything. “You know what? I don’t care! You just tell your bosses that they made their last deal with Newman Imports! We had an agreement: three gross of unbreakable china sets in exchange for genuine Victorian furniture, and what do you give us? Replicas! Sure, they’re well built, but they’re not antiques; you din’t even bother to make them look old!”

“What?” stammered Rosemary.

“And another thing,” the businessman shot back. “You guys are weird, with your strange clothes and funny way of talking. You know, I half expected to find this place empty; I didn’t think you’d still be here, given that I’d checked the records on this place. Turns out, you’re not supposed to be here!”

Rosemary laughed nervously. “Funny you should say that—”

But the man cut her off. “Did you know this building’s condemned? Construction crews are lining up to demolish it as we speak. You’d better get out while the getting’s good. Just don’t show your face in our place of business, or there’ll be hell to pay, got it? Goodbye!”

And, with that, he brushed past the two women and strode down the street to his double-parked sportscar, which opened with a beep.

Faith stared after him, until Rosemary took her by the elbow and pulled her up the steps. The door slammed behind them, echoing through the warehouse, leaving only the muffled sound of machinery and the beat of the women’s footfalls as they crossed the open floor.

“What was that about?” asked Faith, still being led by the elbow.

“Edmund’s business partner,” said Rosemary. “Or, rather, one of Edmund’s business partner’s business partner. Edmund doesn’t know it, but he’s trading in items from the future.” A chuckle escaped her lips. “Future’s trading, you might say.”

“But how could anyone make a profit out of that?”

“Unbreakable china sets? Watches that don’t need winding?” Rosemary raised her voice above the rumbling machinery. “How much could that go for in your time? And all paid for with a bunch of cheap furniture.”

“What did he mean about the construction crews?” shouted Faith.

“What?” Rosemary yelled. The roar of engines buffeted their ears.

“I said, what did he mean about—”

Glass crashed. Masonry rained down. A long section of wall toppled in front of them, spraying brick to their feet. A great stone ball on a chain sagged into the warehouse. The chain tightened, and the ball pulled back, knocking more bricks free. Rosemary and Faith choked on the dust.

“We’ve got to get to the portal, now!” Rosemary shouted, but Faith was ahead of her, scrambling over mounds of brick. She followed, then looked up in horror. Standing, she pounced on Faith, shielding the woman with her body. The wrecking ball smashed in again. Brick crumbled and scattered into the pit with the door.

“Go!” Rosemary shoved Faith ahead. The woman stumbled down the steps. Rosemary tried to follow, but tripped and fell. She looked back, and saw her skirts caught on the fallen bricks. She tugged the hem of her dress free.

The wrecking ball pulled back a second time. Rosemary staggered to her feet, then stared.

The door, swinging shut after Faith, flickered in the dust. Its colour faded; cracks appeared beneath a plan of wood someone had used to nail it shut. The past was closing with the door.

Rosemary ran, stumbling over the uneven ground. Sunlight hit her, followed by the wrecking ball’s shadow. She jumped down the stairs and hesitated as the door faded old for a second, and then turned young. She pulled the door open just as the wrecking ball struck.

The blast slammed the door into her back and pitched her into Faith. The wood cracked, and the noise cut out so completely, Rosemary wondered if she’d gone deaf.

They lay on the stone steps, gasping. Gradually, they could hear the rasp of their breathing and finally the sound of running water.

“Faith,” gasped Rosemary. “Do you still have those lanterns?”

“One,” breathed Faith. “I managed to pick it up as the ceiling fell in.”

Rosemary beckoned in the dark. “Give me some light. Let me see the door.”

Faith fiddled with the shutter. Both flinched at the sudden beam of light. They aimed it up the stairs at the oak door. On this side, the door had looked battered and ancient. Now it was fresh and new. Rosemary tried the handle. It was locked.

“What happened?” said Faith.

Rosemary took a deep breath. “The portal is gone.”

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