Averting Crisis Ch. 2

Couldn’t get any worse

Tabitha barely had enough money left for food; she certainly couldn’t afford another place to stay for the night.

“You can do this.” Her stomach grumbled. She grimaced. “You can do this after you get some breakfast.”

She dug through her pockets and came up with just enough to pay for a muffin. The street vendor glanced at the pajamas she still wore and took pity on her in the form of a small black coffee.

Juggling her belongings, she made her way to the park. Tabitha wrangled the box onto a park bench and set her muffin and coffee next to it. Immediately, a feral cat flew through the slats of the bench, knocking hot coffee down Tabitha’s leg. The cat snatched the muffin and took off while Tabitha screeched.

She ran after the cat, limping against the coffee burn on her leg. The animal was too swift to catch. It disappeared into some bushes.

She sighed and walked back along the trail, all dreams of breakfast fully evaporated. Back at the bench, another unpleasant surprise waited: her box of belongings was gone.

“Figures,” she growled. “Today couldn’t possibly get any worse.”

It started to rain.

“I stand corrected.”

Averting Crisis Ch. 1

Freaking Telekinesis

A scream in the middle of the night shocked Tabitha out of a nightmare. In her rush to escape her sheets, she fell out of bad face first. The crunch of cartilage in her nose sent a sharp pain through her sinuses, forcing her fully alert.

Another scream pierced the quiet night. Tabitha rushed out of the bedroom, sliding to a halt in the living room where Emily, her roommate, brandished a chef’s knife against-

“Oh, for the love of-” Tabitha cursed heartily when she realized that Flopsy, her childhood stuffed rabbit, danced with abandon on the counter. Now that she looked around, most of the small objects in the living room were suspended in thin air.

Tabitha coughed into her hand and tried to subtly wave the animated objects back down. Slowly, everything lowered back to the ground and remained there, completely stationary. Unfortunately, she had not been subtle enough.

Emily pointed the knife at Tabitha.

“I can explain,” Tabitha said.

Emily screamed again.

An hour later, Tabitha stood on the front stoop of her apartment building with a small box of her belongings and nowhere to go.

“Freaking telekinesis,” she muttered irritably.

Gnarly P.I.

Writing Exercise

Gnarly cracked open a bottle of Brosia and poured the frothing mixture into a pair of empty glasses. He lifted one up in his grubby, mole bedecked fist to pass to the tall drink of water who’d poured herself into his office. Of course, Gnarly was a gnome, so just about anyone could be a tall drink of water compared to him. Even so, this skyscraper of a human woman could put any of the high elves in Manhattan to shame.

Her eyes were dusky brown under long, curly lashes. Full, pink lips sat perfectly above a small, pointed chin. A cascade of curly black hair framed her heart-shaped face. She was a looker, and she knew it.

“Please,” she begged, blinking down at him through tear-soaked eyes. “You gotta help me, Detective Gnarly. They said you were the only one who could.”

Gnarly pressed the glass of Brosia into the woman’s hands and downed his own glass in one gulp. “I don’t do that no more, sweetheart. Hadn’t you heard? I’m retired.” He gestured with the empty glass toward the framed page of the New York Times that held a position of honor on his wall.

“Little Person Detective Caught Fencing Ancient Artifacts.”

“Little person,” Gnarly muttered. “Pah! If only they knew.” He kicked the leg of his chair, jerking it out from under the desk, and hopped on. He settled in with a disgruntled growl. “This city don’t believe in people like me.”

The woman clutched the glass of Brosia desperately to her chest and got down on her knees in front of him. “I believe in you,” she said, her voice a mere whisper. “I believe. Please, you gotta help me.”

“Help you with what?” Gnarly was nearly at the edge of his patience, which was actually considerably high for a Goblin.

“It’s the Wanderkin,” the woman whispered, her eyes wide like saucers. “The Wanderkin took my sister.”

Gnarly sat bolt upright in his chair. “Don’t you dare say that name out loud,” he said, his voice trembling in terror. “Don’t you dare.”

The woman whimpered. “It’s back. It’s back.”

“No. It’s not. It can’t be.”