The following is an excerpt from my steampunk urban fantasy WIP, Mystic Taxi.
The thief raised an eyebrow. "You sure you won't invite me in?" She tossed the box in the air, and he caught it. Her wide smile showed an even line of snowy white teeth. "I thought you wanted your other four boxes back."
He gazed down the hallway one way, then the other. Mr. Harris from 314 stepped out into the hall and gave him a crusty look. The old man never had liked him. Henry was the only Hellspawn in the building, but it was his building. He owned it. "May I help you with something, Mr. Harris?" he asked tightly.
The old man vanished inside his apartment and slammed the door.
"Your neighbors seem like the chatty type." She hadn't stopped smiling.
The word "neighbors" sounded like "naybahs." A southern girl. He sighed and backed his way through the door, sweeping out his hand to welcome her in.
"Thank you," she said as she stepped inside.
The woman had guts, he gave her that, but he questioned her intelligence. He outweighed her by a good hundred pounds or more, though that hadn't stopped her last night. The bruise on the back of his head was gone, but not the memory of how it got there. She obviously wanted something from him and he was curious to know what it was.
"I'd offer you coffee, but I'm fresh out," he lied, inhaling the luscious scent of his morning brew.
"I prefer chicory." She gazed around her, not bothering to take off her coat, meaning she didn't intend to stay. Good. But she did unbutton it and flapped the lapels to fan herself. "You keep it mighty hot in here."
"My kind like the heat."
She nodded as if she understood. "Nice kitchen, though that's the oddest refrigerator I've ever seen."
The robotic arm on the fridge unfurled from its side, two eggs clutched in its steel-clawed hand. It angled as if to throw them like a baseball straight at the woman's head.