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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Mystic Taxi

No news to report. Same old, same old. But at least the sun's out! :)

The following is from my steampunk urban Fantasy, Mystic Taxi. Henry and his nephew are trapping ghosts for Henry's niece, who's a witch. She needs them for an experimental potion she's brewing. All goes well until one miscreant specter shows up and things get dicey.

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The ghost's eyes appeared huge and its brows furled in rage. Henry glanced at the weapon in Alfonso's transparent hand and saw that it was as ghostly as the ghost itself.

"Vernon, the axe isn't even solid. Relax." He stepped up to the ghost that had stopped only a few feet away from them. It held up its axe as if to defend itself, but its expression had turned curious. Henry held out the trap. "Looky here, Alf. Know what's inside? More members of your family. Go on in and hack away, son. Let it all out."

"Uncle Henry!"

"Hush." Henry waggled the trap at the ghost. "Come on. You know you want to."

The thing drew back its arm and swung the axe down on the trap, which shattered into a shower of shimmering pieces.

Henry frowned. "How the hell did that happen?"

Vernon stepped behind the oak tree, using the trunk as a shield. "I don't know, but I say we make a run for it."

If the axe-that-wasn't-there could smash a ghost trap, it could probably do serious damage to skin and bone. Henry held up his hand. "Peace, okay? We'll leave you alone. Just go about your business and have a nice… death." He started down the hill, motioning for Vernon to follow.

The ghost swung its axe again, and the blade sliced right through the sleeve of Henry's coat. It also sliced his arm and the pain seared him like a salt burn. Henry hissed through his teeth. "Vernon, run. Fast!"

Vernon was quick as smoke, kicking up clods of dead grass as he made tracks down the hill toward the cab, the carton of ghost traps in his arms clattering like discordant wind chimes. Mystic's headlamps flicked on and her engine started. She hadn't been sleeping, she'd been watching.

The ghost took another swing and Henry was ready this time. He leaned back, the axe blade missing his neck by inches.

"Look, pal. I never did anything to you. Take a hike." Henry felt his eyes heat up and his will push forward. "I'm warning you."

Alfonso what's-his-name paid no attention and lunged at him again. Henry danced backwards and sideways to evade the blade. He focused on controlling the ghost, but there was no mind inside it to manipulate. It was like Eunice had told Vernon: Angry energy, and powerful. But no match for a hungry demon.

"Mystic!" Henry called. "Come and get it!"

A line of green mist shot out of the cab and flew up the hill toward him. The ghost continued its furious mission to cleave Henry in two, giving no notice to the Vox demon speeding toward it. Within seconds, the snake of demon energy twined around the specter and squeezed. The ghost's eyes widened and its mouth grew round in an O of surprise. It began to shrink and fade as Mystic devoured her meal. Then it was gone.

(author's note: The ghost may be gone, but the trouble it started is just beginning.)

9 comments:

sue laybourn said...

Excellent!
I love your voice and your style.

inkwench said...

Ooh, learning more about Mystic. Awesome! Love Henry's humor amidst all the angry ghost action.

Courtney Allison Moulton said...

Love how the dude's taxi just ate a ghost. Brilliant!

I really love Henry's voice and I have a feeling this a really good book. Definitely keep posting teasers! ^__^

Gretchen said...

Henry is awesome. I'm really loving him.

amybai said...

I want a car like Mystic. She's very cool. :D

And Henry's voice is so distinctive and wry. Awesome!

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm a tiny bit in love with Henry. Is that weird? I have so much fun with his big burly Teddy Bear persona couple with his potential to cause bodily harm. Ha! I really appreciate your kind comments.

JenWriter said...

Nice, Karen! Great suspenseful scene.

ChristaCarol said...

Awesome, Karen, I loved his dialog with the ghost. And I agree with the others, Henry is a great character.

bryngreenwood said...

Uh, oops, guess the axe is solid! Nice turn of events.