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Discarded Novels
10 Novels Scrapped While Writing American Dog
© 2023 James LaFond
DEC/10/23
-1. American Woman, postmodern humorous adventure
-2, 3 & 4. Bad Medicine, Wendigo and Kettle of Bones, historical western horror
-5. Ditcher, a Plantation America Novel
-6. Dream Eater, a novel of the Neanderthals
-7. Rebel Knell, a History of the Atomic War, a prequel to Hurt Stoker
-8. WhiteSkyCanoe, Final Volume of The Sunset Saga
-9. NEWSLAW: Call of a Notion, or the Hysteria of Book Martin
Copyright 2021 James LaFond
Dustcover
Book Martin, anchorman for NEWSLAW Inc., the first Fact Check Agency to be certified the United Nations, suffers a strange visitation that threatens to unhinge his Brand. For Book Martin is NEWSLAW, the single most important Influencer of his kind. If the Normals cannot depend on consistent Fact Check Assurance, then they, the backbone of the Post Hysterical World, will be in danger of Abnormalism.
At 6:55 in the morning, on July 18, seated at his brand kiosk, Book Martin suffers an Abnormal visitation, a thing from which he is famously immune—the foundation of his very brand. Beyond the shaking of his trademark social confidence, Book Martin also suffers an existential shudder. For the very fleeting notion that HE could slip into abormalism suggests that his millions of followers all teeter on the very brink of Hysteria.
For Ayden, who might see such a world.
“The mass of humanity, said a great man, is merely a sack of potatoes.”
-Mescaline Franklin, 7/26/21
Call of a Notion, or the Hysteria of Book Martin
-1. Brand Kiosk
-2. SIN
-3. NEWSLAW
-4. Betty Hind
-5. Saint Christopher's Cell
-6. Buddy's Contract
-7. Sure Quick
-8. Pentacle
-9. Sovereign Position
The 10th and Final Discarded Novel
My goal in writing this one was going to be concealing the fact that the protagonists and narrator were dogs from the reader until the final chapter.
Servants of Woodbrige Manor
A Learned Discourse on the Curious Character of the Servant Class in the Plantation of New Jersey, in America by Theodore Lapithe de Paris, Esquire
Copyright 2021 James LaFond
A Crackpot Book
Dust Cover
Concerning the plight of the Regal Class, the nature of the Servant Class, the stupendous dilemmas attendant to A Life at Ease, with a narrative of the monstrous happenings of July 2 thru July 4 of 2021 at Woodbridge Manor.
Dedication
Written for Gussie, Rory and Lynn, transcribed from the original manuscript assigned into my care by Theodore Lapithe de Paris, Esquire and prepared according to his stylistic sensibilities.
To the Reader
This work was originally conceived as a discourse on the nature of the Servant Class, and the plight of we, the Regal Class, object of their toils, in such an never-changing and ever re-arranging world. The manuscript was begun at the behest of my charge, Oliver Lewis Lapithe de Paris, also known as the Dauphin, upon the Advent of The Wanderer among us. However, considering the abrupt and unexpected abandonment of our regal personages by the entire manor staff—just like that, with out a “by-your-leave”—and the monstrous happenings that this signal act of rudeness and societal affront did portend, I have decided to simply tell the tale of these last and several days in a manner that might be pleasing to children. For, as Herodotus once opined:
“I can scarcely credit the Egyptian account, though since it is of interest and not entirely without reason, I shall recount it here.”
But first, to the dramatic personages, or should I say, we persons of note and rank, to say the Regal Class, about which the life of the servant class rightly revolves...
Three Regal Souls in a Sea of Barbarity
Oliver Lewis Lapithe de Paris, a scion of royalty, known also as The Dauphin and here living in exile among the barbaric Americans, is a person of ivory white cast possessed of the most tightly curled and elegant locks. He was bred of the highest stock and is hence in exile, what with France being overrun by the lower orders and all.
First, before I explain the circumstances of his exile, I am honor bound to remind the reader that we Lapithe kind are the eldest civilized race aside from Herodotus' storied Egyptians, about which he claims often that they lie to spare themselves shame—and well they should, for it is a shameful lot that asserts a bloodline more ancient than ours! Therefore, we Lapithes who came of age battling the savage centaurs of hallowed antiquity, are certainly, the eldest honest race and most probably the most ancient mortal race of all. Estimates of our antiquity range from 16,000 back to 40,000 years before the present.
Poor Oliver, or as the idiot servant class, who are almost entirely unintelligible in their mumbling gibberish, barely manage to address as “Olly,” was born with a heart murmur. In olden times this might have been a death sentence. But in this enlightened age of zooming conveyances and advanced medicine, it has come off well for Oliver.
You see, the servant class is so dedicated to our lineage—one supposes due to the great services we rendered against such beasts as the centaurs in ages gone—that Oliver's fragile health was the cause of a bidding war. Indeed, when a master of servants, one of those who judges their various disputes, and who happens to be he, with his family, attached to Woodbridge Manor and thereby my hereditary serf, saw Oliver being presented to the local dignitaries. He thereby stepped upon the red carpet of introduction with all of the arrogance of the barrister caste of servants and used the bully purse at his belt to squash the bidding and thus gave a great sum to Oliver's publicist for the honor of serving Oliver here, at Woodbridge Manor.
At this point, I must discourse on the gigantism in America, that the servant class is entirely titanic of proportion. One can well imagine, that their great size compounded by their idiocy and rudeness can make things difficult and impute upon the life at ease a hazardous quality at once incongruent and vexing to members of the Regal Class.
In any case, the Master Servant [for they have masters among their own kind who vie for the honor of our service among other things, for they ever seem to be in contest with one another] brought Oliver home at great expense to the apple of his eye, a veritable princess of her class, small as giant-kind goes, so that her sitting upon me by accident one day was not immediately lethal, and, to wit, she remains utterly dedicated to Oliver's care.
Oliver himself, is, well, an unfortunate bad example of how the Servant Class might spoil those of even the best blood through their constant fawning. This is not to blame the Princess Servant, for I dearly love her too, only to point out to readers in the Old Country, that the plantation servant class tends severely towards the nature of the sycophant. In any event, under my tutelage, it is expected that Young Oliver will one day come to rule this manor in my stead with a dignity commensurate with this high office, for he is not yet an adult.
I, Theodore Lapithe de Paris, the Chronicler, and inheritor of Woodbridge Manor have lived my entire life—other than brief and vexing sojourns to see the physician—on it premises and am an expert as to its every facet. Before Madam Misty passed she had promised but forgotten to tell me my age or the year of my birth, and left me not only bereaved of her company and guidance, but without a true chronological sense of myself. I suppose this is why I write, to find my rightful place among my fellows near and far.
My hair has lost some of its curl but has not yet gone gray and I remain as white as Jack Frost. However, my eyes sight has grown somewhat dim of late, the chill of winter pains me when the snow falls, the heat under the summer sun I now find oppressive and eschew sunbathing by the pool and take to its cooling precincts generally at dusk. As well, stairs are becoming a problem. Just now, I do recline upon my regal couch of soft, cool beige leather. However, the time quickly approaches when mounting this place of ease and honor will necessitate the aid of such as this great, terrible beast who attends me now—the one we call The Wanderer and the subject and impetus of this essay.
Bailey Chesapeake de Brittany is my courtesan, to put it bluntly, acquired for to keep me company by the Master Servant out of a certain masculine affinity that a personage of my gravity should not be without the fairer kind of company. The Old Boy has an eye for beauty he does, for Bailey is a fine physical specimen,a beautiful creature with deep dark eyes and soft hair golden as the sun. I should say that no creature on earth has better posture than Bailey.
Unfortunately, Baily's chief personality trait, is her daftness of mind.
The servant class, despite their general obtuseness, seem to have internalized the fact that Bailey is not of royal blood. For they never call her even by her name, but slur such guttural greetings as “Bail” and “Bails,” and treat her like a child, alternately fawning upon her like the bell of the ball and then forgetting completely about her. The truth is, one cannot blame them, for Bailey is clearly an idiot, possibly even less agreeable to education than the servant class themselves! Try as I may to shine the light of knowledge, this beautiful blonde creature remains as dull of wit as a servant herself.
Bye-and-bye, this would all be agreeable for an elderly figure of the gentry such as myself. For she is fair to look upon and would seem quite a prize by my side, if not for the fact that she towers head and shoulders above me! I should say that she was bred down from the lower nobility into some peasant stock. Well, Bailey is beautiful and good of heart and I should be more gracious in this text, and would be where she is concerned if their remained a shred of a possibility that she might ever be able to read a word of it!
I had thought here to establish the servant staff as characters. But it is nearly mid afternoon and there is an intruder down by the road and I must rouse The Wanderer from his cups to go down and sort this rabble out lest Oliver's nap be disturbed.
Woodbridge Manor Sketch of the Environs
The Servants of Woodbridge Manor Chapter 1
Now that that piece of business is sorted out and the reprobate is upon his needful way it behooves me to provide a sketch of the Manor for the reader so that she will know what of I write one the pages to come.
The road is of paved pitch, quite nicely done, smooth to walk upon, and provides good traction for the many conveyances of the servants with a minimal clangor. This road is known by one in the same name as the manor and ends at its only logical destination—Our Front Door. Well, not quite at the door does it end, for there is grand lawn where I am wont to take by exercise and a driveway for the storage of the various vehicles.
The use of these vehicles is the chief utility of the American Servant Class. In my parkway stands, even now: The Master Servant's powerful silver engine, used to bring in supplies for the Manor, the Matron Servant's Cozy white coup—my own personal transport—and our darling Princess Servant's Sleek black carriage, chiefly used for inspecting the greater estate.
For Woodbridge Manor, aside from our four-flour dwelling of stony-faced sprawl with finely attuned acoustic hardwood interior, and equipped with all of the latest luxuries, is but one of the many buildings of the Manor. The road ends before the house in a circle, so that malefactors, busy bodies, pests who are not delivering anything useful and guests who have outworn their stay, may be upon their way post haste. There is also additional parking spaces on the circle and in the drive for visiting dignitaries seeking an audience with Oliver or myself. The most common of these being the Great Dame of Servants, the Matron Servant's well-to-do mother, a creature so smitten with Oliver's Regal status that she fawns upon him almost daily despite living a great distance off and is the chief cause of his being spoilt.
As a manor should be, the entire circle of land is built above an ancient walled moat, so old that the walls have been turned into banks of deep green ivy, and the defensive ditch of earlier days now seems like a primal forest. And, like a primal forest, this great stand of watered timber, chiefly maple and oak with willow and mulberry interspersed, which shades the Manor nicely by day, harbors things of old by night. Oh yes, we have a built in pool round back, with a serving station and counter under the great umbrella. This shaded precinct is comfortable on the hottest summer day. But come night torches are lit to keep back things that fear the light.
Other than the Manor House Proper, taking pride of place at the end of the circular terminus of the road, there are four other houses—no lesser in size than the manor house, as these are chiefly built to contain the giant servant staff. The other four houses were strictly servants quarters. These are the servants and suppliants of dedicated Manor House Staff. The two more distant houses lining the road approaching the circular end are the abodes of the gardeners, with whom I have no intercourse, though the giant and giantess who occupy each of these homes do address me by name, attend the annual staff party and do bring Christmas gifts at that time.
Of concern are the two servant houses to left and right.
The house on the right is occupied by a towering drunkard mason, an ungainly creature, who sometimes squabbles with the dedicated staff, though he is otherwise neither a menace, nor of use. Other than drinking to excess and tinkering with the stones of the adjoining wall, he seems to be not only useless but idle. His wife, however—every bit as useless as he—was once very pleasing to gaze upon, that is for a giantess. It is my theory, therefore that the cause of his presence and of the friction between the mason and my personal household staff falls within that realm best left to the tellers of tawdry romances and tall tales. This, being a work of serious scholarship, shall avoid such gossip.
The house on the left is an entirely more serious matter, particularly, as it does occupy the quarter of the falling sun. At this point, I suppose a digression is necessary into the sorcery practiced by the Servant Class. Each servant, save one, carries a personal oracle. These seem to be used chiefly for self hypnosis and the conjuration of dopplegangers or images of their fellows. I do not regard this as black magic or, for the most part, as occupying the place of religious observances, although there are some cases of this. Rather than proper oracles, one might say that the hand held oracle of a servant is something of a siren that one carries about rather than encountering the apparition on some byway or highway.
Within a given household—and this seems a fixed law of theirs—each servant has their own oracle. Madam Misty said that this was not always so, and that once upon a time all of the servants of a given house would gather after the last meal of the day and attend the oracle in a central room. However, by my time, this was not the case.
Matron Servant has her oracle on the kitchen counter. The oracle is the portal of many a priestess, seeress and witch, who advise this woman on her many woes, such as her Dame being difficult when they go to market, her Husband being inattentive and her daughter being disobedient, etc.
The poor woman! For the oracles of her Husband and daughter contradict her own and work to cross purposes.
Her daughter, the Princess Servant who raises her voice in sweet song to Oliver and who he fairly worships as if she were the object of service and he the suppliant, has her own oracle chamber which I am often invited to visit—for she is very darling to us all. She owns a very large oracle provided—as with all things—from her father's barristering business. Upon this oracle cavort the very nymphs of wanton discord, instructing her as to how to dress in a style that will scandalize her great dame, to dance in a way that will affront her father and to sing songs that confound her mother.
And, in his own oracle chamber, quite a large one as you might suppose, where I, as Master of the Manor am fetted with food and drink and seated upon this great beige couch, in what way is the Master of Servants advised by the seers, priests and warlocks in the management of the household?
Not one wit! For all the Master Servant views upon his oracle are epic performances of the great wars of Yore. I share his sorrow. There was a time also when my kind too, waged war and did great deeds. But alas, we are now not dedicated to the conduct of frightful war, but to the fretting over chores.
Yes, but I digress. The dastard house on the left!
These folk alone have small children among the servants and they are of a strange oriental race. There is a Darkling Father and an aloof mother and their three chattering daughters. Their chief duty seems to be entertaining my servants as they cavort in the street with their many toys. Their reason for attending the Master Servant, who is on very mannerly terms with the Darkling Father, is an apprenticeship on manor stewardship. For Master Servant is forever showing this man how to fix this, how to move that, how to install this machine over here, how best to clean the pool, etc.
This is all well and good and I do not begrudge my Master Servant his side rackets, especially in light of his ransoming of myself and Teddy and Madam Misty before me. But these oriental folk, they look upon us of the Regal Class with fear, despite our kind deportment—and they do not bring gifts. So, for this reason, and in light of the dangers creeping up from the quarter of the overgrown moat chiefly from behind their ill-kept house, I do suspect, but cannot prove, that not only is Darkling Father and his foreign brood engaged in edlritch sorcery—that is without recourse to oracles or other mechanical mediums—but that they are regicides!
I have kept this suspicion to myself, as Bailey is, well, daft and a nervous sort and Oliver has his heart murmur to worry about.
To wit, the reprobate at the gate.
The errand I set The Wanderer upon was an introduction to the only neighbor of the Regal Class in these parts, a former prize-fighter, a boxer of the pit-fighting variety, quite a menacing fellow.
The chief duty of the general crowd of servants is to prevent vagabonds and homeless sorts from trespassing upon The Manor. Indeed, it is bad form for any member of the Regal Class to take to his heels for a stroll here about without at least one attending servant. So, seeing the old pugilist out and about on his own, and knowing him to be a neighbor, living five doors down the road on the right, I sent The Wanderer to attend him.
This was done not in ill humor, as I had not seen his dainty attendant skipping up the road behind him, having been picking a flower for her hair from the drunken mason's lawn. I did feel a note of pride sound in my Regal Kind to notice that this old fighter was every bit as large as the little giantess child. I further felt a tug of pride on my heart string, when I noted that The Wanderer, wolfish after his way, though kindly disposed to the pair, caused them to take fright and turn back down to the gatehouse where the old prize-fighter's servants guarded the approaches to Woodbridge Manor.
As my savage attendant shuffled back up the driveway, dragging the entire dumpster behind him with one hand and grinning slightly, I looked over at the Dastard House on the Untrusted Left and thought, with a stately raising of my bearded chin, “Regicide or no, Theodore Lapithe de Paris and Woodbridge Manor, though understaffed, is amply attended!”
It's is not an easy thing to maintain one's dignity before the door of one's own Manor Fief, when one's giant servant scoops you up in one hand and wrenches open the Manor door that would take all three of you to drag open with the other hand as he, in his offish way, growls, “Teddzy.”
But, I take no credit for my good breeding. Its in the blood.
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