First 200 Words (part 12)

Philip José Farmer made a startling discovery when he realized the affect the Wold Newton Meteorite had on the people who were present when it crashed into Northern England. One thing however he did not know, or at least did not share with the world, was why those individuals were there in the first place. Win Scott Eckert has begun his own investigations into this mystery, and tale begins to unfold here:

“Is He in Hell?”

by Win Scott Eckert

France, November 1795

Halt! Identify yourself, citoyen.” Dusk was falling and the small, rat-faced guard at the Paris city gates squinted through the driving rain as the rickety wagon approached.

“Ah, Sergeant Favraux, it is but I, Rambert, with my latest load.”

Favraux took a few steps forward. “Come closer, Rambert, I can’t see you.”

The cart rolled forward a few more lengths and halted at the driver’s touch of the rein.

Favraux slopped through the mud and peered with curiosity at the two men perched on the wagon. “It is you, Rambert,” he exclaimed. “But who’s your driver, he’s a new one.”

The cart’s driver was cloaked all in black. A broad-brimmed hat pulled low over his brow shadowed his features.

“My new driver,” Rambert said, “Citoyen Lecoq.” The man in black gave a respectful, if casual, two-fingered salute.
Sergeant Favraux nodded. “Well, I’ll have to search the wagon, anyway. Can’t be too careful, you know.”

“Indeed,” Rambert said. “But you know the contents of my load. They’ll get ruined in this downpour and my lady will have my hide. Can’t we pull under that overhang, and make it quick?”

The sergeant shrugged and waved the cart toward …

(Copyright © 2010 by the Philip J Farmer Family Trust)

The rest of the “Is He in Hell” can be found in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions. Keep watching this space for more 200 word excerpts.

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