Phaeton and America, Part Deux: A Tale of Two Londons
When Phaeton is shanghaied in Shanghai, America Jones assumes the worst––that he has abandoned her in the Orient. An angry Miss Jones returns to London, where their spirited partnership takes an unexpected turn. Alarming attacks by strange creatures plague the city, setting the stage for a terrifying future. People and things–well–there's no other way to explain it, but things appear to be unraveling in a parallel, alternate London. With help from the Nightshades, Phaeton and Miss Jones venture into the strange futuristic London to extract the Moonstone and close the rabbit hole between two worlds.
Phaeton entered Hanway Yard and checked his surroundings. Even though the uneven pavers were enough to trip a person up, gaslights had been replaced by electric lamp posts, and shop windows blazed with light. He had definitely crossed over into a parallel London and it was nearly dark. Phaeton strolled past chic boutique windows with smart looking togs on display and racks of clothing for sale inside. The future—if indeed this was the future, appeared ready-to-wear.
He stopped short near Tottenham Court Road, mesmerized by a shop window filled with ladies unmentionables. The delicate underthings lay scattered about in front of large photographs of statuesque women, nearly all of them nude, except for a tiny string, running between their buttock cheeks.
Christ, he was instantly hard as a stone.
The fragile, lace pantalettes on display came in every shade of pastel, cream and black. Tiny pieces of cloth and string––and all he could think about was how they might look on America.
One of the life-size women in the photographs looked over her shoulder. She cupped bare breasts with her hands––like there was something to be modest about when your buttocks were jiggling in the breeze? Still, he enjoyed a quick fantasy.
Phaeton scanned the yard behind him and entered the shop. A pert young woman with bobbed hair popped up from behind a pink and white striped counter. She looked him up and down. “Love your outfit––going to the Anti-Christ?”
“The nightclub in Whitechapel? Steampunk theme night?”
A bit slack jawed, he nodded. “Right.”
She pointed to the goggles around his neck. “Nice touch.”
Phaeton cleared his throat. “Might I inquire about the cream colored lingerie in the window?”
“Oh!” The shop girl gasped. “One of my favorites––did you notice the strategically placed little rhinestone? Adorable!” The enthusiastic young woman opened a shallow drawer in a display cabinet. “We have them in every color!”
Phaeton picked out the cream with the rhinestone, a violet lace little nothing and something in transparent black with a velvet bows at each hip.
“Is this a gift? Wife or girlfriend?”
Phaeton noted a flash of pale light out in the yard. No doubt his comrades were arriving. “More of a gift for me, actually.” He picked up the delicate underthings and stuffed them in his pocket. “How much?”
“Thirty-one and six.” When he stared, she added: “Including VAT.”
Luckily, he still had a money clip full of his gambling winnings. He counted out nearly as half year’s rent.
“Phaeton––we’ve been looking all over for you.” Jersey swept through the doorway goggles resting on top of his head, his cloak swept back off his shoulders, looking for all the world, like the adventurer he was. The shop girl’s mouth dropped open as her gaze moved from Jersey to Cutter, who stood in the door way––whirring and rasping. “I could call a few friends…meet up with you blokes later in Whitechapel?”
Phaeton stepped away. “We’re off to a…costume party. Perhaps later, love.”
“After hours, then.” She winked.
They joined Ping and Lovecraft outside. “Shopping, Phaeton?” Despite the annoyed look, the professor stole another glance at the display window. They all did. Phaeton deciphered the sign above the pink striped awning and snorted. “Of course the queen would want to keep this shop a secret.
A master of paranormal deduction—and paramour seduction—Phaeton Black has a knack for bumping into things that go bump in the night, from ghoulies and ghosties to long-leggedy beauties…
Mooning For The Moonstone
Barely escaping the clutches of a succulent succubus, Phaeton Black returns to London only to get sucked into another unearthly scheme. Professor Lovecraft has been tinkering with the secrets of life and death, replacing body parts with the latest mechanical marvels. To succeed, he needs to tap the power of the fabled Moonstone—and he needs Phaeton’s help. Of course, Phaeton would prefer to investigate the more interesting body parts of Miss America Jones. Perhaps, bringing his lady friend along for the ride won’t be to too much trouble…
Shanghaied In Shanghai
The bewilderingly beautiful and bountifully gifted daughter of a Cajun witch, Miss Jones is always up for an adventure, especially with Mr. Black as her traveling companion. But when Phaeton is mysteriously shanghaied in Shanghai, America thinks he’s run out on her. Stranded in the Orient—and steaming mad—she’s prepared to look under every stone for the missing detective. The case has put them both in the most compromising positions, but this time, Miss Jones is on top and Mr. Black is at the bottom…of a truly infernal plot.
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