Now that I've bored you to death with The Great Saga of Agent's Epic Word Count Which No One Cares About Except Her, let's move on to–
Part II: Velociraptors
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a large word count must be in want of a little editing to root out the insanity that inevitably crops up.
In this case, raptors.
I don't know why they're there. It seems that when I'm stuck for words or inspiration, I skip the mad gunman, and go straight for the raptors. Maybe it's my innate inability to take my world seriously enough that I can resist lampooning it even as I write it.
Anyway, the damn things pop up everywhere. First, there's Oscar creating them all the time in his dreams, because he's scared of them.
Now enter Aurana Lockhart, which, combined with the presence of other humans and table corners, spells disaster. She is a confirmed node of disaster. Chaos accumulates around her like detritus down a clogged drain. Poor Aurana, she can't help it. It is not her fault that Ethan's mother's pet bonsai velociraptors escaped when the Lord Protector came for a visit. Nor did she know that they are let out of their cages at night, when she decided to go for a midnight stroll. Nor is it her fault that Ethan thought an assassin was at the door, and sent a knife whizzing at her head. (She never liked that hat anyway.)
It is her fault that the butler's wig is now acting as a throw pillow in the raptor cage, and that Ethan's best telescope is in shambles. Never say that she doesn't possess weapons of mass destruction when she has her iniquitous parasol and handbag of doom in her hands.
Too bad the raptors don't like her.
Her worst enemy is an evil behemoth named Rupert, The Scourge of Mailmen. The particular pet of Ethan Brooke, Rupert can smell deception a mile away, and has a mean streak the size of Texas. Needless to say, Rupert the Scourge of Mailmen is totally on to Aurana's little masquerade, and loves to torment poor Aurana when no one is looking. Like many arrogant genius mad scientists, Ethan unfailingly picks on the flaws of other humans, but is persistently blind to the...imperfections of his special pets. It is a little known fact to the others that Rupert knows the secrets of the universe, including the ending of this story. He knows what Aurana is, even if Ethan doesn't.
Too bad Rupert can't talk.
Aurana, watch out for the---
Ethan's mother never liked that very ugly and very expensive old vase that holds the Ashes of Asvarth anyway.