For those who don’t know this is Nanowrimo – National Novel Writer’s Month. It’s a time when writer’s, old and new, get together to try to write 50,000 words. Sometimes you accomplish it, sometimes you don’t. This is my third year of Nanowrimo participation, I pretty excited. I’m pushing my boundaries beyond the challenge. So far I’ve written 5,000 words.
Chuck Wendig Challenge is to post your first 1,667 words. Which I have here from my current novel project. Grey Eye Mind, which was inspired by Grey Eye Suicide a flash fiction challenge I did earlier in the year.
What Suit Gave Me
The rich, dark smell of coffee caused me to open my eyes. Carina was setting a coffee cup on the side table next to my head. She left it black, half full. I’d mix in the heavy helping of cream and sugar once I got around to drinking it. “Carina,” I muttered when I realized she was only wearing a think night gown of the sheerest pink silk. Fuck, I’d forgotten how she liked to dress.
She glanced to my face. “Oh, go back to bed. It’s only seven. I’d figured you’d warm up your cup.” Her finger tucked a loose tendril of hair behind her ear. “Since, what you drink could hardly be called coffee.”
Yeah, she drank his as black as the night sky. A woman of simplistic tastes, and a rich soul. Stop thinking about her Mercer. She doesn’t want to deal with your crap anymore. “It’s fine. I wasn’t really awake while that guy was in me. I only needed to recharge.” I got up grabbing the coffee and taking it to the kitchen.
Carina trailed behind me. Her face pinched with worry. “You need to take care of yourself. I’m not so different from you, Mercer Liath.”
I loved how she said my name. Lee-a. She actually pronounced it correctly. What was with me today, I really missed her, more than I had for a last couple of months. “You aren’t a Grey Eye. You are a Channeller. The only thing we have in common is we both are different, and can see spirits. The abilities aren’t remotely the same.”
A roll of those eyes as she poured herself a cup, and took a drink. “You are such a martyr.”
No point in arguing, it was true. I finished with my coffee and drank it while leaning against the counter. “Did you have time to check the Suit’s information?”
“Yes, but I didn’t have time to do any sweeps to see if it lines up.” She gave me a long look. I could see her thinking over something. “Plus, there is something odd about the spell. It doesn’t seem to stack up the way I expected. The spell is too complicated, and too odd for what they’re doing. There are easier ways to do what they’re doing. The problem is I don’t really know if that is true for Bookers or not. They don’t belong in our world. Maybe, they can’t use the same spells, in the same way.”
“That’s true, I don’t know either to be honest. I wonder would Violet know?” Violet actually knew things I should know about the spirit world. Besides, she pointed in the direction of the whole thing to begin with.
“You might…” Carina face tightened up as her glare overtook her whole face. “Have to run the list by Billy-Joe he keeps track of supernatural people in the city. He’d know about what way points there are, and where the spirits are disappearing.”
I couldn’t help it, I laughed. “What do you hate Billy-Joe so much?” They used to work together. That’s all either of them would tell me.
“Doesn’t matter. If he said he’ll help.” A sneer, a very unfamiliar thing on her face, as said. “His word is his bond.”
Right, I shouldn’t ask anymore questions. “Can we print it out as a graph, or map or something.”
“Already did.” She pointed to rolled up tube next the door. “When you’re done drinking my coffee, and borrowing my couch you can run it over to your new friend.”
Apparently, talking to Billy-Joe in a legitimate way was nearly unforgivable. “Thank you, Carina.” I didn’t run out of here as she expected.
She huffed and strode back to her bedroom. I’ll own up to it, I watched her go. It didn’t take long to finish my coffee. The tube in hand, I called Billy-Joe in the elevator. “Billy-Joe how are you?”
“You do realize it’s seven thirty in the morning.” He grumbled. “I worked late last night.”
“Sorry, I didn’t really think about it. What were you working on, anything to do with George?” The cops poking into the guy would only make it more difficult for me to take care of the situation, I’d hope they’d stay out of it.
A sound of clacking pots filled my ears. “No, it doesn’t. A regular murder, I’m a detective, I don’t run around chasing ghosts all day. What is it, Mercer?” The annoyance practically crawled out of the phone to slap me in the face.
How do I explain it? “A spirit offered to find out all the spirits destroyed and where. He complied the list, as of two days ago, and I have printed off of where in the city it happened. Carina said you know about where all the power spots, natural spirits, and so forth might be.”
A grunt, as I could hear the phone being moved around. “Must be painful for her to admit.” A little, smug chuckle, “She hates when she has to admit anything.”
“Yeah, this is cute and everything, but when can you look at it.” The Billy-Joe – Carina feud didn’t involve me, and I didn’t want to have to take sides. I’d take Carina’s, then I’d be out a police detective.
“It’s my day off. Why don’t you come back my house.” Billy-Joe rattled off the address.
“Okay, but I thought someone died.” I figured he’d be working. Catching evil bad guys, and making them pay, maybe with Bad Boys playing on the radio.
“Real life isn’t a cop show. We already have lab techs running stuff. A few suspects who are being interviewed today. The matter will be resolved in a few days, it wasn’t all that mysterious. Why don’t you worry about your little murderer, and you let the SPD worry about the others.” The eye rolling nearly made a sound. Forgive a guy for asking an innocent question.
Since Billy-Joe was clearly in a good mood, I kept any smart retorts to myself. “I’ll be there in a few. You want me to bring something eat?”
“Sure,” Then he paused. “It better not be fucking doughnuts, Mercer. Unless, you want to really piss me off.”
Yeah, he was in a great mood. “Bye, Billy-Joe.” I hung up the phone before stepping out of the elevator and into the lobby. I got a few sandwiches from a coffee shop, and took a cab to his apartment.
A small apartment with brick walls, with a well maintained yard. Nothing fancy, but middle class, I knocked on the door. He opened in stained, ratty sweatpants, a worn T-shirt, and a flannel robe. “Mercer.”
I waved the coffee, and sandwiches back and forth. “You know, I was really craving a donut.”
His eyes narrowed before he pushed the door the rest of the way open. “If you get shot, I’m not going to be surprised.”
The place was clear, organized, but very impersonal. There were no nick knacks, no throws, besides the small laptop next the couch, I’d think it was staged. “Nice place.”
“Set the stuff on the coffee table, I’ll get plates.” He walked through a swing door into what I’ll assume is the kitchen. I set the items down, and settled on the couch. The tube resting on my knees. He flopped down next to me with a huffing sound and pulled out the food setting in on the plates. Billy-Joe lifted my coffee and put a brown leather coaster under it. He did the same for his own. “In this house, we use coasters. Like adults.”
“Yeah.” I sipped my coffee and took a bite out of my sandwich. “I got the map here, whenever you think you’re awake enough for it.”
He nodded. “Let me eat, and drink my coffee.”
I did the same. After we were finished he stacked the plates, and the paper coffee cups on top of them. He took the tube from me, pulling out the map and laid it out to the table. The whole Seattle area filled with dots, dark red ones. “Shit, how many spirits died?”
Billy-Joe ran his finger over the bottom. “Looks about sixty. Not good, a lot of them are around the Space Needle monument too, and according to this they didn’t usually hang around there.”
Didn’t surprise me. The energy there was dark, and twisted. Despair, horror, betrayal, hopelessness, loss, and pain are not happy emotions. The whole place was coated in them. I went there once to look at it, I couldn’t even make it within a mile of it without hearing the wails of spirits. And, I’m far less sensitive to it as I should be as a Grey Eye. I couldn’t imagine would it would sound like the spirits there.
“Carina thinks they are dying in waves, not at a steady pace.” Actually, this combined with what Carina said. But, perversely, I didn’t want Billy-Joe to feel as if he was better than here. As stupid as that is.
Billy-Joe sat back. “The rest died next to some powerful natural magic centers. They are clustered around them.” He pointed to the fact there were only three other areas the seemed to be dying at.”
“Yeah.” This didn’t sound good at all. In fact, it was making me worried. This was sounding like a very complicated, and potentially powerful spell. Why the hell it would occur to a Booker to do, I had not idea. They’d have to have a very good grasp of the supernatural world for them to even conceive of this sort of idea.
Billy-Joe rubbed his chin. “You think this George Hopkins is involved in this.”
“I got the information from a spirit. He seemed to be honest, but he’s a spirit. You know, I don’t trust them except for those I know really well.” They wanted to live. They didn’t care how they did it. And since, I was the only way to really live again, they tended toward lies.