Here we are with my third entry to the River of Mnemosyne Challege, The Way of the North:
Walking out of the rather small office building that housed NorthWay Comix, Kirby Lee was feeling more pressure than ever. He had talked the publisher into a small extension after proving that he was in fact working on a concept, something that would hopefully surprise the entire comic publishing field. Now, he just had to deliver.
NorthWay Comix had broken onto the scene after the owner wrote and published his own graphic novel, The Way of the North. The story was a sword and sandal fantasy about a warrior from some far-off southern land traveling to the north to learn their fighting methods and become the greatest warrior that ever lived. The book was well received in both comic and regular fiction circles, won several awards, and brought the creator to the attentions of several investors, giving rise to NorthWay Comix. The new company quickly went to work reprinting The Way of the North and approaching other creators about writing new titles specifically for them.
Kirby Lee had been approached because the owner was a fan of his work, having been inspired to write Way of the North through one of Lee’s own sword and sandal fantasy tales from the ‘70s. While he was always leery about new companies, the owner had practically fallen at his feet during their initial meeting, leaving Kirby both too flattered and embarrassed to say no. So, here he was, in New York City, leaving the starter office for this burgeoning company with a headful of ideas and a deadline. Now, he needed to get back onto his private goddess hunt.
Since he knew he’d be going to New York, he planned his trip accordingly so that he could continue his search for obscure texts with any mention of the Seven Goddesses. He had been in touch with most of the esoteric bookstores he could find numbers for and had a list of addresses for those and a few that didn’t even seem to have phones. Feeling a bit like the character from The Way of the North, Kirby Lee had come from the comforts of his mid-sized Southern town to the sprawling chaos of the North.
The search began at a bookstore named Occult Reads. It had a reputation in the city as a haven for “freaks” and “weirdos,” but Kirby Lee figured they were just people who had been unfortunate enough to be overly passionate about their love of the occult and the supernatural to be labeled as such. Walking through the door of the shop, he started to reassess this. The whole shop was dark, with a musty smell that came from a combination of old books, leaky pipes, and unwashed human. He didn’t know if it was the employees or the patrons, but there was more than one individual in here who refused to shower. The smell was almost palpable. It hit Lee like a wall. He took a moment, resolved himself, and trudged ahead. The search for the Goddesses must continue.
After doing a bit of library research back home, he had come away with the names of one or two authors that had written about early, forgotten ancient powers in the universe, and he hoped that would include his Seven Goddesses. With a deep breath that he immediately realized was a mistake, he began to search the shelves of Occult Reads, hoping to find the next piece of the puzzle in his quest for the hottest new comic book character and mythology.
Surprisingly, this was the hardest Muse for me so far. I already have a few strong ideas for the next ones, but this one took some additional thought to make it work.
William the Bloody Glad That One's Over With Redd