In The Style Of...
Rules: Write an excerpt from a work of fiction, as if it were written by a different author. Have fun doing it.
The Cosmere, in the style of Jim Butcher:
My name is Harrillium Dawnshot Coppercloud Dresdrian. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a Mistborn. I work out of an office in the Fifth Octant in Elendel. As far as I know, the only actively practicing professional Mistborn in the Basin.
With the Catacendre and the dawning of the Age of Harmony, many people believed such things to be gone, or worse still, mythical. A common man might encounter an Allomancer once every few months, a Feruchemist even less frequently due to the Terris community's reclusive nature. But true power, that was the stuff of legends.
And yet, despite all our advances in the last few centuries, the Age of Harmony never quite seemed to live up to its name. As mankind grew more advanced, we seemed to simply learn more and better ways for the powerful to prey upon the common man. Oppression, and the discontent it spawned, festered even in paradise, and where there is such suffering, there are things to feed upon it. And when those things slithered out of the shadows and the storybooks, people in the know turned to me.
Fortunately for them, but not so much for myself, the slithering had been at a minimum lately, a fact that the latest bill from my landlady underscored painfully. I was a month past-due on my rent, as I perpetually had been for the last four months. As I looked around my sparsely-furnished office, I couldn't help but wish for something to happen that would require my services.
Just as I thought that, there was a knock at the door. Ruin's bells! Someday I'm going to learn to stop tempting fate like that.
"Come in!" I called out.
The woman who entered looked sorely out of place in my shabby office. She was tall and stately, her hair long and white. Not blonde, not silver or graying, but white, pure as the mists themselves. Her dark skin stood out in sharp contrast, though I couldn't call her a Terriswoman; her features weren't right. Her face was simply too... stunning, looking like someone who belonged in a high society party uptown, not in the disreputable office of a private lawman.
She wore a perfectly tailored gray suit, the skirt cut just high enough to make it hard to look away, though the tantalizing scoop-necked blouse gave me a reason to turn my eyes elsewhere. At her neck and around both her wrists, she wore fine jeweled chains encrusted with bright, shining opals. My eyes widened as I noticed the distinctive silvery-gray shade of the metal she wore. Aluminum, more valuable even than gold! I got the distinct feeling that, should I burn steel or iron in her presence, I wouldn't find a single metal line pointing to anything on her person.
As she stalked towards my desk like some feline predator from the Roughs, I caught a whiff of her perfume. It was heady, floral, though I couldn't discern the smell. It tickled at my nose with the perfection of its scent, as if Harmony's own hand had distilled the very essence, the core of flower itself, into a bottle and sprayed it upon her skin.
"You are Mr. Dresdrian?" she asked, her voice bearing teasing hints of an exotic accent that I couldn't place.
I stopped gawking long enough to let the words register. "I am, Lady..."
"Prepho," she said. "I am called Drowl Prepho, and you are called many things by the people who know of you. Most of them are highly... unflattering."
"And yet you're here," I pointed out.
"This is true," she said slowly. "I find myself in need of some very specialized services. One of my most highly-ranked servants is... gone."
On one hand, every inch of her screamed money, and boxings were in short supply lately. But on the other hand, it would not go well for me to mislead a woman such as this. "Missing persons aren't exactly my specialty, Lady Prepho."
She shook her head. "I know exactly where he is, Mr. Dresdrian. He was found murdered in his bed this morning."
My eyes widened slightly as I digested this. "Then what is it you need to discover?"
"It was a most unusual killing, Mr. Dresdrian." Her lips curled in one of the coldest smiles I'd ever seen. "His entire bed, comforter, sheets, mattress and frame, was sheared through, as if sliced in half by a giant blade, his clothes as well, and yet there is no wound upon the body, not even the smallest scratch... except for his eyes. They appear to have been burned out somehow. But what is truly distressing is the object that he had in his possession. It has been stolen, and it is of paramount importance that it be returned."
I frowned. "What is it that was lost, then?"
Another of those cold smiles. "Now that, I cannot tell you."
"If I don't know what I'm looking for, how do you exp--"
"Do you practice the art of Soulgazing, wizard?"
I bristled; I hate that term. A wizard is a foolish story told to entertain children and drunks. I'm a Mistborn. But... wait. Had she just said... "Soulgazing? If you've even heard of that power..." I scoffed. "Look around you; does this look like the office of a man who has stores of atium and gold hidden away?"
She set down a tiny bead of silvery-white metal upon my desk, and my eyes widened. Could this be? Malatium was the stuff of legend, even to a man like me! "Go ahead," she said. "Burn it."
I stiffened, suddenly nervous for no reason I could discern. Then the woman stared deep into my eyes, and I shuddered. The colored parts of her eyes held no color; they were as black as the irises. Not simply dark, and not shiny and reflective like ordinary people's eyes are. No, these were dark as a void, dark as a starless, empty night. "Burn it," she repeated.
As that inhuman gaze bore down upon me, I picked up the metal bead and swallowed it, feeling a new reserve illuminate within my stomach that I had never before felt. As I burned the metal, she continued to stare deep into my eyes, and suddenly everything shifted, and I knew the truth of her. Standing before me was something ancient and vast, possessor of powers such as I had never dreamed of. A being that had been old when the Final Empire of legend was in its infancy, who would continue long after the final Ruin of this world. A being with legions of spirit entities at her command, and yet there was some... thing... that was beyond her. And for that, she sought out me.
The metal burned surprisingly quickly, and there was very little of it, so the Soulgaze dissipated after only a few brief moments. As the glimpse burned away, I realized I was drenched in sweat. I slumped back in my chair, a little bit overawed. "Who... what... are you?"
The woman give a cruel smile. "Oh, I am known by many names, and I would not entrust the core of my Identity to one such as yourself, wizard. But you may simply call me Mabam, Queen of Shadesmar, Dark Lady of the Voidspren."
@masonwheeler That's more of a mash-up than a stylistic change; you've kept elements of both stories. Fun though
@Yamikuronue Those work too. Care to try your hand at it?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a wizard in possession of great magical power must be in want of trouble. Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, first son of stage magician Malcom Dresden, had established himself in the town of Ch---, where he made a small living practicing as a Wizard specializing in missing items cases. It was not the most glamorous life, but it was a life all his own, and he felt the freedom greatly preferable to the bondage the previous years had cast upon his soul. Indeed, each day dawned in him a small contentment, a sense that he was where he ought to be, doing what he ought to do.
The young lady that graced his doorstep one fateful morning did not seem to be a harbringer of doom. In fact, she appeared pleasing to the eye, accomplished, and indeed, everything that a young woman ought to be in order to awaken interest in a single man. Alas, the ring on her finger spelled doom for that potential courtship before it could begin. As it happened, Monica Sells was there to request his aid in finding her missing husband, one Victor Sells of the Ch---- Sells.
Upon hearing of her charge, Dresden struggled to control his shock, to avoid alarming the lady. "Ma'am, I'm not really a missing-persons specialist. Have you contacted the police, or a private investigator?"
"I have not," she replied, dabbing at her eyes with her handkerchief. "They cannot help me. La! This is all so complicated, I cannot -- I apologise for imposing upon your time."
"Wait, forgive me. We have not been properly introduced." For, at this time, they had not.
Rather than make the introduction, as was proper, the lady paused, gathering her thoughts. "Perhaps, if it pleases you... you might simply call me Monica." Right away Dresden knew the trouble: wizards such as himself could harness the power in knowing someone's full name and station. But for this lady to know that, she must be privy to secrets that he would not have suspected her privy to. Indeed, she must have sought him out because of his power; but how did she come to know of it? And, if she knew what he could truly accomplish, why had she not simply gone to the person who had told her of such things in the first place?
That's Storm Front in the style of Jane Austen: omniscient, but heavily present narrator, commenting on the events rather than letting us deeper into the character's feelings at the moment. Plus, emphasis on titles, stations, and courtship; Austen had a lot to say about society, while Butcher's more interested in the noir genre. And, just for fun, the redaction of placenames that was common at the time.