Introducing Wanda Snow, the second main character in Mystic Taxi, my steampunk urban fantasy WIP. This picture is close to how she looks, except her hair is blond. Here's an excerpt from chapter 2:
She turned around, her spine stiff and booted legs poised to kick what would hurt the most. She welcomed some trouble if it would warm her up. But the half-breed she faced was a head shorter than her six feet, and his top hat had no top, his gloves had no fingers. The only threat he posed was the stink coming off him in waves strong enough to choke a skunk. "I'm poor as you, mister. You won't hear no coins clinkin' in my pocket."
"I be a pig's uncle. You's a woman, ain't ya?"
"Last I looked."
He chuckled. "You dressed too masculine to be one of Hell's Bells. What you doin' out in Central Park all by your lonesome?"
"Waitin' for someone. How 'bout you?"
His brown-toothed smile spread his mouth wider than normal for a human. He was a spawnster, all right. And a drunk one at that. "Makin' new friends." He took a swig from a bottle wrapped in a paper bag. He held it out for Wanda. "Wanna be my friend?"
She grimaced at the smell of rancid olive oil that intoxicated him. If he had a bottle of wine she might reconsider, but vegetable oil didn't work the same on humans as it did on Hellspawn. From the smell, she guessed a hundred proof. She pushed the bottle away. "Think I'll pass."
He stepped closer, and she angled back.
He frowned, his dark eyes starting to glow. Great. A drunk spawnster with a temper. "I'm sure you're a nice guy and all, but I ain't interested. Share your, uh, oil with a lady who can enjoy it, 'kay?" She turned to the street.
"Fucking human," he said, venom deepening his voice. "You think you're better than me?"
I know I am, she thought, but didn't say so. And her being a hundred percent human was debatable. Looks could be deceiving.
"You ignorin' me?"
She was ignoring him, and only half-expecting him to go away. The other half expected—
Strong fingers gripped her arm above the elbow and tried to spin her around, but she didn't budge. He yanked again and she took her time turning to face him. "You don't wanna do this."
He swung back a fist, aiming his scaly knuckles at her face, but she stopped the blow with an open palm.
"Mister, violence'll get you nowhere." She bitch-slapped him and he staggered, his eyes wide. "Did no one teach you manners?" She slapped him again. "It ain't nice to beat up on a lady." A solid punch delivered to his left temple knocked him face down in the dirt.
"Not that I'm a lady, you understand, but you still shouldn't go 'round beatin' up on people. It ain't polite." She smiled down at the spawnster, whose hat lay in the grass about ten feet away. She picked it up, dusted it off with the sleeve of her coat, and set it on the ground beside him. He didn't move. "Have a nice night."