“Golly, Miss Plumtartt, the Earth is getting pummeled with meteorites!”
“I say, if only these projectiles were organically based, Mr. Temperance, I would not be of such a troubled mind, but I fear that the flaming flotsam are revealing themselves to be warcraft from the planet Mars. Their weapons are uncanny and easily defeat the greatest of Terras resources. These invaders wish to strip our beloved planet of her native sovereignty!”
“Holy Red Planet Invaders, Miss Plumtartt, you’re right! I reckon it’s gonna be up to you, me, and this charming cast of characters to save the Earth in this War betwixt the Worlds.”
Targeted Age Group:: Teen and up.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book is a humorous homage to H.G. Wells, science fiction classic, ‘The War of the Worlds’. I have always enjoyed this story and all of its re-tellings; including Orson Wells notorious radio show. Normally, ‘War of the Worlds’ is a grim tale, but this version contains a whimsical, steampunk element.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Participating in an on-line acting project, I virtually met some wonderful actors and actresses. I incorporate fanciful recreations of these charming people in this adventure.
“Twas the hand of fate that brought Miss Plumtartt and me together, for in truth, we have been happenstance stricken and adventure prone ever since.”
I pet the gentle and loving Mr. Bolt on the head.
“Some of you may have noticed an unusual amount of intelligence and empathy with our little dog Mr. Bolt. Miss Plumtartt and I are of the mind that he too, has been affected by the Revelatory Comet. She and I believe that many animals have kept a certain amount of psychic ability that we as humans, over the course of evolution, have lost. Bolt here, would appear to have an incredible amount of astounding psychic control.”
“Bolt? Would you care to give a little demonstration?”
The little dog, as usual, seems to be following the conversation. Though I do not think he really understands my words, he clearly seems to be able to take my meaning, either by intonation, body gestures, or reading my mind.
He looks around the campfire at his companions.
My skin is itchy. It is as if my body hair is grown in very thickly. In fact, it feels as if I am covered in hair. No! It feels as if I am covered in fur!
“Verily, what is this sorcery! I say unto you, my quest companions, my flesh squirms beneath the sensation of a wiry pelt!”
“Me too!” squeaks Valuria. “I feel as if I am wearing terrier pajamas!”
Bolt wags his tail and we all jump up to look behind ourselves for the phantom appendage.
Then I experience getting bit. It is a tiny, but sharp, bite.
“Bolt! Do you have a flea, buddy?”
The little dog gives a whimper, poor little guy.
I notice a few of my friends wanting to scratch at the bite of a flea upon their person that I know is not there. In fact, they are even attempting to scratch at the flea bite with their hind legs, I mean, rear legs. I mean, their feet.
“Oh! I shall go next, then, shall I?” Clarabelle Nightingale excitedly exclaims. She is practically blazing with enthusiasm. Great heaps of curly Titian hair appear to burst into flame with her inner fire.
“I appreciate your candor and your wonderful tales,” Clarabelle casts a questioning glance over at Bolt. “Though I am still feeling as if I am covered over in itchy fur, and my right leg has an almost uncontrollable urge to scratch behind my right ear utilizing my toes as digging implements.”
Beaming from ear to ear, Clarabelle warms into her story.
“I suppose it’s been about seven years now since the ‘Revelatory Comet’. I was seventeen at the time. Before that, singing had always been a part of my life. I pretty much grew up in the church choir, often being selected for solo parts. In school, I would eagerly pursue any sort of singing chance that was available. In any school performance or production, I was always there, and usually earned a satisfyingly challenging role.”
“However, with the Comet’s passing, I immediately knew that I could do far more with my voice than I had ever realized. I could conjure an image of the structures and harmonies. The wavelengths of the auditory vibrations were visualized in my mind as if by magic. Soon, I could selectively vibrate an object, just by the placement of my pitch. I can shatter glass and crystal. I can even select the particular target in mind, as opposed to endangering all fragile objects, but it was not these parlour tricks that helped me to gain fame. It was my admittedly enhanced singing skills that brought me much fame and attention. I was getting some good bookings, but alas, I allowed my own need to show off get me in trouble. It started with a single crystal from the grand chandelier of the Paris opera house. I thought it would be a nice touch, to burst a single crystal at the peak of my aria. It worked! It was so fantastically dramatic! The whole house caught their breath. Several ladies let out a whelp of surprise and fear. Though several people were gouged by descending shards of crystal, no one complained. In fact, it was such a thrilling moment, that those wounded were honoured to be a part of that incredible experience. They thanked me profusely for selecting the one particular crystal that would strike them. Others were miffed at me for not having been selected to have deadly shards of lead crystal rain down upon them.”
“The kind managers of the opera house were very happy with me. I apologized, insisting that I had gotten carried away by being able to perform in such a magnificent palace as their opera house, and that I was very sorry for any property damage done. The two gentlemen exchanged a queer look. They then informed me that, though for the briefest of moments, the two men were outraged at my callous impropriety. However, the occupant of a particular box seat, a gentleman of the most mysterious connections with the theater, let it be known that he was happy with the performance. It is said that the box is always reserved for him on the opening night of all the proud opera house’s shows. Because this gentleman has so much influence in the theater for some reason, they decided to let the issue drop. My protector even sent me a dozen roses, but mysteriously, his card only read, ‘P’.”
“Well, I thought to meself, Clarabelle, if one little crystal worked well for a bit of notoriety, maybe I’ll just turn it on just a wee bit more next time.”
“Oh, if I could only go back and do it again.”
“You see, our next show was in Lichtenstein, at the famous GuberGraüberz Hall. Some of the grandest crowned heads of Europe were in attendance. Prince Pimpzle Pauper, Duchess Poutsy Illtempertz, and even Queen Glarezalotte were there.”
“Word had spread of my performance in Paris and there was much excitement for another historic moment to be made. As I grew closer to the crescendo, I could feel the anticipation growing in the audience. I could make out parasols and umbrellas being brought to hand in readiness of a glass shower.”
At the fireside, Clarabelle drops her head in a moment of embarrassment. She then looks back up, much of her previous enthusiasm dampened.
“I was really in the moment. I knew that I was not going to disappoint my audience.”
“As I hit my final, ultimate note, I held it in a moment of extended bliss. I may have heard the chandelier shattering, but in truth, I was caught up in the musical ecstasy.”
“Eventually, I remember to end the note. Opening my eyes, I am shocked at the damage done. Not only has any glass or crystal in the house shattered, it has mercifully been powderized back into sand. Even opera glasses and monocles, and there are a lot of monocles in Lichtenstein.”
“The entire audience has been blasted up against the back wall. Along with the seating, and it was bolted down.”
“But I think it was how I was able to peel the gold leaf from the balcony and surrounding ornate parapets that really made a lasting impression.”
“A few of the more sporting vocal enthusiasts provided a polite smattering of applause, but these brave aficionados were quickly shot down with a venomous look by Queen Glarezalotte. Her wig had been knocked asunder, her skirts thrown over her head, and several patrons, along with a few members of the orchestra, had landed atop of her royal highness during the furor of the performance.”
“‘Off with her head!’ the angry woman shrieked! I was very nearly executed on the spot. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed long enough to rush me out of the wrecked Hall.”
“In a majestic rage, Queen Glarezalotte banished me from the kingdom and did everything she could to have me black-balled throughout the World.”
Several tongue snicks against the roofs of several mouths around the campfire click in sympathy. A few ‘Mmm. mmm, mmm’s,’ too.
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