Effing Feline dodges furballs

Photos: DepositPhotos

Fart-Fueled Flying Feline, Effing for short, writes the Weekend Writing Warrior / Sunday Snippet posts on Mr. V’s behalf. Click the pic for info.

Toronto’s CN Tower

I, Effing Feline, had to put my search for mice, begun last week, on ice. Literally.

You see, Mr V flew me to Toronto to visit son #3, aka Brett. Did you know that dandruff can fall from the sky? So much dandruff, in fact, that Ed had to shovel it off the sidewalk. This raises two questions. Number one, who-the-hiss is up there in the sky? Number two, why doesn’t she use Resdan?

Today, another selection from The Trial of Tompa Lee. Last week Tompa was  framed for a murderous act of terrorism. She’s injured in the explosion and is transported up to Navy Ship Vance.

Until now we’ve seen the hero of the tale only from a distance. Today we meet him properly. Dante Roussel, a former Navy hero, is a broken-down policeman with slight brain damage from an injury rather like Tompa’s. (She was hit in the skull with a severed, six-fingered hand, remember?) He visits the infirmary.

For several seconds Dante stood there, his left hand jammed into a pocket, fidgeting with the corrugated oval of a creolidyte adapter he’d carried off from the Comm Room by mistake. Visiting the infirmary always rubbed the scabs off old nightmares. Even worse than the memories, he hated the reason for this visit.

Unpleasant tasks were the essence of a policeman’s job, of course; he’d known that when he accepted the demotion to Military Discipline after his injury, but the job kept getting harder, not easier.

He took a deep breath and assumed the erect posture he expected of himself. Then he stepped to the open door of the room.

There she was. Naked.

“Well, Tompa Lee,” he whispered, “we meet at last.”

She didn’t answer, of course, and even if she could have, her screams would never escape the clear lid of her casket.

Effing Feline here again, and I’ve had a terrifying thought. What if ol’ Dandruff Puss in the sky coughs up furballs? They’d be huge, and as heavy as falling pianos. Now I’m terrified to go outside!

Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday posts.

Effing Feline divider

The Trial of Tompa Lee

Only her enemies can save her from alien injustice

Tompa Lee thinks joining the Space Navy is a dream come true, but it turns into a nightmare when she’s framed for murder on an alien planet. To prove her innocence, she’ll have to trust the policeman who betrayed her to cruel alien justice—and defeat 300 aliens who want to slaughter her.

Edward Hoornaert’s science fiction saga begins The Trilogy of Tompa Lee, though each book in the series stands alone.  If you enjoy seeing lowly underdogs overcoming awe-inspiring odds, you’ll love The Trial of Tompa Lee.

Praise for The Trial of Tompa Lee

“Ed Hoornaert is a marvelous writer: a terrific, engrossing storyteller and a consummate stylist.”  — Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo-Award winning author

“A rollicking romp on a distant planet, full of adventure and heart.” — Amber Belldene, author of the Blood Vine series

“Reminiscent of the best of classic Star Trek.”  TheBestReviews.com

“Hold a tissue ready, as Mr. Hoornaert knows how to squeeze the heart of the reader.” — Love Romances

“Tompa Lee is an attractive, ambitious vagabond.” — Arizona Daily Star

“Classic science fiction, but with enough character development to interest non-science fiction readers.” — Romance Reviews Today

Read chapter one of The Trial of Tompa Lee

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55 comments

  1. Nice intro of Dante Roussel and what a nice way to meet Tompa.
    Enjoy your time in Toronto 🙂

    1. I’m not sure Tompa would agree about this being a nice way to meet, but then, it’s all in one’s point of view.

  2. I love the language you use in the opening paragraph!

    We had almost two feet of snow dumped on us in the NY Capital Region last week. It wasn’t fun, and the city still hasn’t fully plowed and shovelled the roads and sidewalks.

    1. Weathermen were predicting similar snowfall for Toronto, but the city only got a few inches. What a difference a couple hundred miles makes.

  3. Great snippet–I love how they met, Love the description of the infirmary. The other night when I got home from work, I saw pieces of ice falling from the sky, so I understand your kitty’s reaction to the snow. Enjoy your trip!

    1. Their meeting is certainly dramatic, though hardly a ‘meet cute.’

  4. I LOVE that last sentence, Ed. So much said, in so few words. It is full of menace and power.

    Have a safe trip.

    Effing, I would change my imagery. Think of it as drifts from a giant field of dandelions 😉

    1. Were Tompa conscious, I’m sure she’s agree about the menace.

  5. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Loved this line “rubbed the scabs off old nightmares.” Perfect description. But that last line…what a shock. Great snippet.

    1. The casket in question is a med casket, designed to encase a patient in healing gasses and liquids.

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Since he’s the hero, I hope he is there to help Tompa Lee. What a horrible place to be. An intriguing snippet!

    And I feel for you for being in Toronto when that snowstorm hit. I’m only a couple hours away, but we didn’t get hit as bad as Toronto. Safe travels!

    1. He’s the hero yet he’s also a policeman, and Tompa appears to be the only one who could have bombed the pub; it was, after all, a Navy grenade and she was the only sailor in the vicinity who could have thrown it. Therefore she’s his prisoner.

      Toronto didn’t get much snow at all. It’s been cold, sure, but surprisingly bearable for this southern Arizonan. I guess my body remembers what it was like back when we lived ~600 miles farther north than Toronto.

  7. nancygideon · · Reply

    Another awesome snippet, Ed. That last line was a heartstopper! It was wonderful meeting you at the TFOB!

    1. I agree. It’s great to put a face to Internet friends!

  8. You just keep rolling along, enticing the reader with your wicked verbiage. Wonderful snippet once again, my pal.

    1. Dante is torn between his duty as a policeman and sympathy for Tompa’s fractured skull, which reminds him so strongly of his own injury. Although I don’t expect readers to remember, he was the one who made Tompa’s boss include her in his group, not knowing the horror that would befall her.

  9. Well that’s one way to make an introduction! Nice piece! And watch out for any more of that dandruff!

    1. In my romance books, I never managed a cute meet where one of them was nude, but in my first science fiction book, I did it. Oh well …

  10. I am in awe of writers of futuristic science fiction, such as yourself. You have a tremendous imagination. At least you won’t get called out for getting historical facts wrong! I have two of your books waiting to be read, including this one. I hope to catch up when I go on holiday soon. We (UK) have escaped this winter with no snow at all. Tell Effing to wear his mittens.

    1. Conversely, I’m in awe of historical authors, who can’t simply make up facts to fit the story, but have to research everything. That creolodite adapter in this snippet? Totally a figment of my imagination. It took about five seconds to come up with a techy sounding name.

      I’ve read two of your books, though I still need to leave a review of Songbird. While on this trip, I read one of Elizabeth Alsobrook’s — Weekend Warrior folks can keep me busy just with your books!

  11. With what you explained about how she’d been framed, this does not sound like a good situation. Is he a good enough policeman to get to the bottom of the case, though, or will he just be content with his one obvious suspect and look no further?

    1. I’m glad you focus in on his difficult position. This isn’t your ordinary meet cute.

  12. Wow, quite the scene, so much going on!!! I’m always in awe of your plotting abilities, can’t wait to read more….right now I feel sorry for both of them.

    1. I approve of your emotional response to this scene, because in a way they’re both victims, both underdogs.

  13. A cliffhanger – a casket, although I assume she is alive.

    1. Yes, she’s alive. It’s a med casket that immerses her in medicinal air and fluids — the future’s equivalent of an IV.

  14. Is clothing optional in this world/culture or is he intruding on assumed privacy since he’s visiting her in the hospital and looking at her nakedness while she’s healing?

    1. As the policeman assigned to her case, he’s allowed to see her in the infirmary. Under the circumstances, her nudity isn’t arousing.

  15. Cool intro. Hopefully the view helps him push aside his reluctance at being there.

    1. Actually, his empathy for Tompa is more of an inducement than the view. At this point he doesn’t know if she has brain damage like his own, but the similarity of the wounds is a powerful draw.

  16. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    I was heartbroken when I read the word “casket”–but much relieved after reading the comments.

    1. If you were reading the book you would’ve found out soon enough what ‘caskets’ were, but since I’m not going to select the explanatory passage I figured I’d better to it in a comment.

  17. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Quite the curious way to meet. I’m assuming she’s in some kind of contraption to help her heal and not in a real casket. 🙂

    1. You’re correct, Karen.

  18. Awesome first paragraph.
    Lol – I’m actually leaving Toronto – on train heading home – hard to type on a moving train.
    And yes – lots of dandruff fell in TO – but there is lots more where I live- ugh!

    Thank for the Happy Tulips comment. 🙂

    1. My #2 son lives in Vancouver, so we’ve been hearing about the snow out in BC.

  19. You write such great characters.

    1. Dante Roussel started out as your garden variety starship officer, but adding a dash of brain damage really brought him to life for me. Craft books say characters should have a wound, so I gave him a doozy.

  20. Nice world-biulding, Ed. I love this line–“…rubbed the scabs off old nightmares.” It conjures unpleasantness…

    1. Yes, a strong hint of his wound, in the dramatic sense of the word.

  21. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Visiting the infirmary always rubbed the scabs off old nightmares. I love that line.

    1. Thanks. I enjoy taking a common phrases (rubbing the scabs off wounds) and twisting it with an unexpected zinger.

  22. I hope that creolidyte adapter isn’t needed in the Comm Room. Love the name of it, too.

    1. Oh God the ship is going to crash! Where is that missing creolidyte adapter?

  23. Quite an introduction. 😀

    1. Memorable, at least for Dante. Tompa will remember nothing of it.

  24. Those last lines… some serious creep going on there. :/

    Sky cat furballs would indeed be terrifying. Let’s hope they never happen!

    1. That last line is supposed to capture reader’s interest and keep them reading for a few paragraphs until they find out exactly what the caskets are — and they aren’t what you’d think.

  25. I’m not quite sure that counts as “meeting” since one of them isn’t aware of it.

    1. Details, details. Some readers are so fussy!

  26. Wait, casket? Why is she in a casket? Or, wait, you write sci-fi… Never mind! Love how you paint Dante’s past. I wonder why she would have been screaming if she could have answered… That last line has me rather curious.

    1. LOL. Your reaction to the ‘casket’ is exactly what I was aiming for: curiosity so you keep reading. Dante is one of my favorite heroes that I’ve written.

  27. Naked and in a casket. This should be interesting. Great snippet. 🙂

    1. I certainly hope it’s interesting!

  28. I’m sure if Tompa was conscious she would not enjoy being on display naked in a casket, medical or otherwise! Naked is so vulnerable. Maybe she won’t know about this meeting when she wakes up. Great snippet, Ed!

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