Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Snippet

Since I've been talking about Flow a fair bit lately, here's the opening of another short story in the same setting:

Crouched over his laptop in a dank SleepRite motel somewhere southwest of Cleveland, Mannix Tippet waited for the werewolf to call.

The beast was not expecting Mannix to answer. The room three doors down was temporary residence of the water-witch Tala Blight, who had offered him sanctuary and a cure - as if that could absolve him of the blood he had shed. It had been simplicity to tap the hotel phone system. When the beast called Tala's room to confirm where they would meet tonight, he would not reach her.

Mannix shifted on the bed, starting a minor fugue in the springs, and pulled up his file on Blight. There before him, all the electronic details of her life: her saving habits to her tastes in fiction to how many times she had purchased lavish presents for friends who never reciprocated. Something more precise and useful than magic. Witches relied on it too much; she didn't even own a cellphone.

He knew, without asking questions, that he would kill her. His malice was not for her personally, but it was also immutable. His superiors in the Borderwatch had told him there was informal peace and the supernatural threats both organizations had to face were more important than any difference in methods. The word 'peace' was hollow when a good man like his cousin died on a mission - and the unidentified witch who guided him emerged without a mark on her.

His cousin had drowned.

Mannix had read the official report, which claimed it had been an accident. That meant nothing when a few bytes could erase any truth.

"Take the beast," were his official orders from the Borderwatch. "Use her to find him if you have to, but make sure you can deny it."

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