Shadow Street Chapter 1
Excerpt: Shadow Street Chapter 1
It was quite an ordinary day on Shadow Street. The streets themselves are of cool cobblestone and dampness. Mr. Curtis and I were settling in for a long evening before the warming stove of number 356. The warmth was there, but there wasn’t much coal left. The room was dark and long and overlooked the street. Mr. Curtis and I have our rooms above, and below is a kitchen and dining room we never use, and a parlor where our assistant Mrs. Constellation kept her desk. She keeps us organized and has free rein to terrorize us whenever we are being too lazy for our own goods.
It didn't help sometimes being what we are.
Outside, a cart rolled by, driven by a dog in a waistcoat and bowler hat. I watched as he steered it around the corner onto Main Street.
Mr. Curtis sat in the back window, smelling incensed with his spindly yet strong legs curled up under him. The waves of incense circled his bulbous frog's face. Next to him, on his desk, was his monocle, and several fountain pens with no ink in sight.
He was in deep concentration, and I hated to disturb him, but Mrs. Constellation had no such inhibitions. She called up the stairs, “Mr. James? Mr. Curtis? It's time for your lunch.”
Mr. Curtis snorted. Almost catatonic, smelling the sweet smoke of his vanilla-burning cone. He licked his eye, smacked his lips closed, and shifted from one foot to another.
“Mr. Curtis?” I said. “Mrs. Constellation just…”
A finger popped up, long and green. It was so flexible I always wondered how many knuckles he must have in there. My rat’s fingers weren't nearly so flexible, and I wasn't sure I’d even gotten through to him.
“Silence Dr. James,” said the frog. His face was bulbous, dark green, and covered in handsome round nodules.
I hesitated, and recoiled, checking my waistcoat for my pocket watch, and returning it to its home a moment later. Still, without the knowledge of what time it was, I laughed a little. “Quite right.”
“Just a moment.”