Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Register)

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This week, our wereduck hero, Tom, has a couple of questions for the werewolf that attacked him in the first chapter.

The werewolf is being held by Lowell Rhombeck, the leader of the Talbot pack, so Tom is headed over to that part of town.


Rhombeck’s place sat on a substantial acreage on the bluff on the upper west side of Talbot.  According to the plaque on the front gates, the National Register of Historical Places called it the Phelan House, though it didn’t mention that Mr. Phelan had been the leader of the Talbot pack when it first settled in the area.

It did state that in 1863, a number of Civil War soldiers did something historical on a corner of the property.  I saw a couple of monuments around the neighborhood honoring them and I knew a parade was held on Veterans’ Day, ending with a rifle salute at the City Cemetery, because the VA sent me annual notices.

Turner and I usually spent the day holed up at Grant’s place, watching a stack of the sappiest romantic comedies we could find and making Turner guess which actors weren’t human.   Kyle had a standing invitation, but she always volunteered for patrol; we all had our own ways of fighting flashbacks.

The packleader’s house wasn’t intimidating, if you liked enormous mansions that were decorated by generations of people who took their money, power, comforts, and personal interests very seriously.

It helped that the cells were in the basement.


Rhombeck doesn’t actually live in the Kingscote Museum in Rhode Island, but it was built around the right time period and I love this image, so I transplanted it to one of the bluffs where I live, which isn’t within three hundred miles of where I’ve put Talbot City.

I defy your historical geography and substitute my own.

52 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Register)

  1. Love the last two paragraphs — or paragraph and line. The last line just made me chuckle. That certainly always helps to give a less creepy and intimidating feeling. Nice snippet.

  2. Great visual. I wonder which actors aren’t human, too. lol And the last line… the cells are in the basement… Yikes.

  3. Of course the cells are in the basement. Can’t destroy the image of gentility and sophistication now, can we? Great snippet, and, like the others, the last line made me laugh.

    • Thanks, Carrie-Anne. 🙂

      My area was full of Civil War training camps, but no battles. We had a sort of skirmish here during the War of 1812, but it was more of a slap-fight than anything. 😀

  4. Hmmm…now i’m going to be thinking about which actors don’t look 100% human. More than usual, i mean. 😉

    I like your sense of historical geography, Sarah. That’s part of the fun of writing, yeah? We get to decide where everything goes. And i want Tom to go into the basement! 😀

    • I have a bit somewhere that says reptiles are easier to spot on game shows because the lights don’t make them sweat. 🙂

      Thanks, Charley! He’ll get there . . .

  5. I’m with Teresa – I love the mix of tone from Dragnet and fairy tales, with your own unique voice molding it all into one heck of a story. The part about which actors weren’t human – too funny. I enjoy every snippet you share from this!

  6. The last line really caught my attention, but the idea of a wereduck does make me laugh. I’m loving this story.

  7. The last 2 sentences are so powerfully intriguing “The packleader’s house wasn’t intimidating, … It helped that the cells were in the basement.” Dynamite job!

  8. Wow, there’s so much going on here. I’m particularly intrigued by the reference to flashbacks. Hmmm. One of the joys of writing fantasy is tampering with history and geography. “Relocating” famous places and historical events has become one of my favorite hobbies. 🙂

    • I hope there’s not too much going on, Christina. 🙂

      Tom, Grant, Kyle, and Turner were part of an Army company that was captured in Afghanistan. None of them have particularly pleasant memories of it, but it was worse for Grant and Tom.

      I tend to steal whole cities and move them wherever the laws let me do what I want to do. 😀

    • I know a couple of veterans who told me they do this on Veteran’s Day. Sappy romantic comedies don’t trigger violent flashbacks . . . unless one has had some truly terrible dating experiences.

      And regardless, Tom would watch them for Grant.

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