Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Thursday, December 17, 2015


I have fallen woefully behind in my posting. That's a thing which will be getting better in the new year.

Until my life gets back from being absolutely crazy, I'll post a snippet of THE DAY IT RAINED GLASS:

I still couldn’t get over how eerily quiet the city was. No hustle and bustle of scurrying feet. No lurch of bus brakes or people’s voices in a hundred different languages. But this silence lived and breathed like a crouching beast, waiting. After about a block I felt eyes on us from more than a dozen different locations.
“Rocket,” I said.
His eyes darted everywhere. “I know. I see them. One is up there on the ledge. Another guy is hunkered down behind that piece of store front. There are three more there, there and right there.” He went on, pointing out the rest. We would have to be careful of his eyes. If Vagio knew he was our scope, he’d do something about that. So I pointed out several places too.
We found cover on the street while I tried to figure out how to get higher than the snipers. Sitting down here would make me feel like one of those fish in a barrel people were always shooting.
Win ducked into a huge jumble of rubble which had once been the First National Bank. A few minutes later she came out with a rifle and a box of ammunition. She shot me a triumphant grin and ducked into a nook to load her gun. Her resourcefulness never ceased to amaze me.
Still we waited. The silence and the eyes itched at me. Who would blow the starting horn?
Then I saw it. A lone figure swaggered down the street, ownership in every purposeful step. I could tell it was supposed to be Vagio. But it wasn’t him. I could tell even though he wore a mask. He was too tall and stocky.
Rocket lifted an eyebrow at me and shook his head. He’d seen it too.
I skipped a look at Sparky holed up in a doorway. His hands glowed brighter. I shook my head, hoping he’d realize this wasn’t his target. Yet.
Rocket broke cover and skittered to a new spot further up the street.
“What are you doing in my city?” the man thundered. He must have found some kind of voice distorter, because his obviously wasn’t human, probably trying to pretend fire had roughened his voice. I wondered if any of these had been the ones who caught my mother. Had I seen this guy fight over her arm? I shuddered to my core, iced over with dread.
“I wasn’t aware we could own a city,” I said, loud enough for the man to hear. “I think I’ll go for Seattle, then: Great city, good fishing, lovely aquarium, plus the Seahawks. Nice. Thanks for the heads up.”
“So we’re dealing with a joker, is that it?” The man turned in a circle, trying to see where I hid, most likely.
I smirked behind my cover. “Naw. I’m more of the law and order type.”
“Well there’s where you’re wrong. It’s...my law here.”
“So not Vagio’s?” I let the barb sink in. It took a surprisingly long time before he realized I’d blown his cover. I could see it in his stance when he figured it out.
He ignored my question, repeating his own. “I ask again, what do you think you’re doing in my city?”
“I’m here in Chi-Town for a shopping trip and to pick up a friend. You? What are you here for, Nameless Guy?”
“What friend?”
“Just a guy I know. I don’t see that it’s any of your business, really.”
“It’s all my business. This isn’t the Chicago you used to know.”
“Clearly. So anyway, I’ll be off on that shopping spree.” I forced my voice to be light and airy like it used to be when I was a carefree teen.
“Come out and talk to me. I think we can offer you some things you need. Protection. Food. Friends.”
I snorted, pointing my knife at his midsection. “Uh, those aren’t things I’m shopping for. I heard there’s a sale at Nordstrom on really cute T-shirts.”
For a moment the guy made a choking sound that almost sounded like laughter. “Come to the old Sears Tower. We can have a chat.”
“I think we’re having a perfectly good conversation right here. I’ve got to go, though. I have an appointment to meet my friend.”
“If it’s Wilberforce Scroggins, he’s going to be late,” the man said smugly.
“I doubt that. He hasn’t been late for anything for quite some time.” Rocket made slashing motions at his neck. Time to abandon that area of discussion. “Anyway, if you’ll tell him I’m out here waiting for him, that’ll be great.”
“Sorry, little girl. He has decided to join The Red Watch force. He works for us”
“We still have an air force? That’s crazy. Well he must get a break sometimes, especially since I never see planes in the sky.”
Even through the mask I could tell the man had steam shooting out his nostrils, but with herculean effort, he maintained an even temper. A vein pulsed in his neck. “Vagio invites you all to join The Red Watch. In fact it’s less of an offer and more of a firm request.”
© 2015 by Indigo Chase
So that's a teaser chunk. I hope you liked it.

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