Wednesday, 24 April 2013

An A-Z Story - U

We're midway through the final full week of the Challenge; I hope no one will be utterly upset when it's all finished!

My theme is as follows: each day I will ask for words beginning with that day's letter, which I will randomly select five from to use in a sentence in an ongoing story. That sentence will be posted the next day when I'll ask for words for the next letter. So my Z sentence will appear on May 1st.

Thanks for humouring me yesterday, and offering umpteen S and T suggestions to bring me back on track. In total, 94 S words and 93 T words were put forward. A good proportion of these were from Jianne Carlo, after submissions were closed, but I couldn't resist adding her offerings to the mix, which, along with a couple of other choice suggestions, took the story in an entirely different direction!

So this is what I used:

Stud (suggested by Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Synchronicity (suggested by Patricia Stoltey)
Saturate (suggested by Jianne Carlo)
Secluded (suggested by Jianne Carlo)
Sensational (suggested by Jianne Carlo)

Triptych (suggested by loverofwords)
Tether (suggested by Shell Flower)
Torrid (suggested by Heather Holden)
Tabernacle (suggested by Elsie Amata)
Thrum (suggested by Jianne Carlo)

And now...


Angels had always had a certain ambiguity, being both human and divine, reflected Acatour with an acute sense of malaise as he looked down on the arable fields of medieval England. A bird flew past making a belligerent shriek, unnerved it seemed by a boggart; Acatour descended, thinking it would take a brainiac like him to unravel the poor soul’s beginnings and why it had not reached Heaven.
     York Cathedral hove into view, shrouded in wooden scaffold as part of the local bishop’s campaign of restoration; but before he could challenge a carpenter over whether any of his colleagues had fallen to their doom, his presence was announced by the crawdad he’d eaten back in 20th century New Orleans repeating on him. He wiped dribble from his chin as the remains of the crustacean narrowly missed the workmen to land in the dew of the graveyard, berating himself for his debauched and unangelic behaviour the previous night; why did that dame have to desert him? The effervescent Ella had always been eager for exciting adventures, but when he’d asked her to accompany him on this esoteric time travel mission, she’d called him a crazy drunk and left.
     It did sound rather fabulous, in the true sense of the word, he thought to himself as he descended further before landing on an empty area of scaffold, all the better for making himself visible; next to him was some viscous fluid, making him think that any fall from this precarious structure would surely be a fluke. Stepping away from the gel-like substance, he felt something watching him and turned to see a Gardengoyle on the wall next to a carved bunch of grapes, which caused the gregarious sounds of the workmen to die away as two thoughts rang clearly in his head: what was it doing here, and did he detect guilt in the creature’s eyes?
     That horrendous stare was starting to give Acatour a headache when a workman with a harried expression shimmied up onto the platform via a hemp rope, his arrival causing an apparently hilarious reaction in the Gardengoyle. “Hey, you!” said the workman, stomping towards Acatour, but something seemed to interrupt his progress, drawing him inexorably towards the island of iridescent liquid, which seemed entirely illogical to the angel until he sensed the impish carving’s illicit intentions.
     The workman slipped on the puddle and waved his arms frantically like a jester, trying not to fall over the edge; in that moment Acatour sensed the wickedly joyful mirth of the Gardengoyle and grabbed the man’s arm, saving him from jeopardy and causing the creature’s joy to dissipate as it contemplated a future in Paranormal Jail.
     “Thank you,” said the man, “my darling Kate is too young to become a widow,” but upon saying this he started to keel over as if affected by his own version of Kryptonite; Acatour had been ready to show kindness to the grotesquely kitsch Gardengoyle, but now saw the only solution was to destroy it. While struggling to hold on to the lanky workman - who had become rather loquacious and kept babbling about his wife and lover, who Acatour hoped were the same person - and stop him from being lost over the edge of the scaffold, he cast around for any tools or discarded carvings he could use as a weapon and finally alighted on a rather hefty rock lobster, which, it occurred to him, would be much more effective than a crawdad.
     A look of merriment crossed the creature’s face that was quite deranged considering it was about to be smashed to smithereens, before it melted into the rock leaving nothing but smooth stone - it was magic, of course - and Acatour quickly descended the monumental structure, past more workmen and a rather flustered merchant, and burst through the main door just as matins was beginning. Two hundred heads turned towards him in a space as quiet as a nunnery, and he felt like a numbskull for interrupting, but he had a need as urgent as a junkie looking for his next narcotics to get that Gardengoyle before it did any more mischief; the next thing he knew, a numbing pain and squeezing sensation on his head told him the Gardengoyle had found him.
     “Oh Father, hallowed be thy name-” began an officious bishop, quickly interrupted by a loud “Ouch!” from Acatour and an earsplitting shriek from the monster at an octave which must have been unreachable by humans as the besieged angel finally wrestled it off his head, before pitching it to the black- and white- tiled floor which looked like pieces from an Othello set, where it smashed into a thousand pieces.
     “Your Holiness,” said Acatour before the stunned bishop could speak, “it is paramount that the remains of this wretched creature are scattered as far as possible, otherwise it will reassemble; and I suggest the privileged members of your congregation would like to take a piece home, one to perhaps repair a dry stone wall round a potato field, another to form part of a whimsical garden frequented by a pixie,” but before he could go on, his eye was caught by the twinkle of precious stones among the debris and he realised the scoundrel had been a thief as well as a murderer.
     By this time the congregation had gathered around the scene, and a man seemed to quiver as he stooped to retrieve a diamond ring before saying to Acatour, “Thank you, good sir, this belongs to my wife; I am a quartermaster, please accept this Quark cheese and flagon of mead to quench the mighty thirst you must have garnered in your quest to quell this monster.”
     Acatour regretted that the being wouldn’t be able to repent, but reflected that it would have probably been quite recalcitrant in that regard; turning to the quartermaster, he accepted his offerings with a rapacious stomach and hopes of rejuvenation from a meal that that great do-gooder, Robin Hood, would be glad of.
     The next sight that met his eyes, however, threatened to saturate his mind as the sensational Ella walked in through the open door; as she called out “Hey, stud!” he recalled the synchronicity he’d sensed between them and his first thought was to take her away somewhere more secluded. Although this tabernacle was not the place for such unangelic behaviour, he couldn’t resist pulling her behind the nearest triptych for a torrid kiss that made him thrum, and noticed she was wearing the necklace he’d left that acted as a tether between them through time and space.

I look forward to utilising your U words with utmost glee! You can offer as many as you like, and they can be as obscure and outlandish as you like (feel free to use a dictionary for inspiration). The more words you suggest, the more chance you have of one being picked. It doesn't matter if you suggest the same word as someone else (as I know not everyone always has time to read all the comments); each will count as its own entry.

29 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

unicycle
unruly
ulterior
unctuous
uvula

Michael Di Gesu said...

Really enjoying this story Nick...

Utter

Utilitarian

Unconscious

Unicorn

Untidy

Undercover

Unbelievable

Universe

moonramblings said...

Great story Nick. I'm glad I've discovered your blog and A-Z challenge. I lived and worked in Edinburgh for 15 years and really miss Scotland. I now live in Northamptonshire and have taken up the pen again and have started blogging.

Dee said...

Wow new character!

Unbelievable
Unique
Undesirable
Ultra
Up
Ulterior
Underlying

J.L. Murphey said...

Until
unconscious
understanding
underneath
underground
ulna
unconscionable
uncontrollable
unto

Kristin said...

umbridge
udder
under
upper

C. Lee McKenzie said...

How about undulate or under or uber. I love uber!

Carol Kilgore said...

undead
uppity
universal
usurp
usable
umbrella
uncle
ugly
ululate
utter
understanding

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for using one of my words!
Unclean, uncouth, and ultra.

nutschell said...

your story just gets more and more creative by the day!
Usurper
Umbrella
Umbra :)
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Suzanne Furness said...

unicorn
unite
umbrella
umbilical
union
unbreakable

Nearly there, Nick!

S.P. Bowers said...

Wow, miss a couple days and lots happen.

Hmmm, U words.

Unbelievable,
unmanned
urine,

Melanie Schulz said...

Those torrid kisses are the best.

Gwen Gardner said...

I'm loving this story!

Unicorn
Ubiquitous
University
Unkind
Ulysses
Undulate

loverofwords said...

I am so pleased that you have used several of my words, being a "lover of words." I will miss this story when the challenge is over.

utopia
ultramarine
unction

michelle said...

I see that random.org selected 3 of my R-words! Yay!
I only have one word for this letter: ULULATIONS!

Writer In Transit

rch said...

Hey Nick, fantastic story telling! Here are 3 words for u: ungracious, upstart, urn

Fe said...

Unctuous
Unicorn
Undo
Unavailable
Undignified
Unsatisfied
Usury
Usurp/er

Ella said...

How enchanting, lol! Thanks for the smile and laughs ;D I love it~

Utopia
united
unique
unvexed
undo
upset
ulcer
umbrella
using
unwed

Thanks Nick I so needed this ;D

Melissa Bradley said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale. I want to know more about this awesome angel.

Melissa Bradley said...

LOL I forgot my U words...

underwater
utility
unctuous
unilateral
utmost
urbane

Shell Flower said...

I am loving the new twist in the story and that you used another one of my words so nicely.

Ululate
Uvula
Ultraviolet

Julia Chiang said...

utter
useless
ubiquitous
untold
ultimate
utensil
undulate

I so enjoy this idea of yours.... :) truly amazed.

Cynthia said...

utilities
underwear
uncouth
Uranus
usage

This is such a clever idea of yours to do this for A to Z.

Rhonda said...

undeveloped
unmanageable
unmistakable
upgrade
useful
under
uninteresting

Julia King said...

Eep! I love a little love story! They should just make-out. haha

Here's my words:

Ugh!
Underdressed
Unboiled
Ulterior
Union
Utopian
Urban

Empty Nest Insider said...

Looks like you have a great assortment of U words. You did an outstanding job with the "torrid kiss" scene!

Julie

Lynda R Young said...

I have but one word: uber

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks everyone! An ultra great list, I'm going to unveil my sentence soon. :)