Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Mystic Taxi

More from the scene I posted last week. But it's not concluded yet. :)

The following is an excerpt from my steampunk urban fantasy Mystic Taxi:


Wanda followed Henry into the kitchen. When he grabbed the knife off the counter, he turned to stare at her with such hostility he didn't look like himself anymore. He'd gone completely mad.

"Put the knife down, Henry," Wanda said calmly, though she felt anything but calm. Panic swelled inside her like pent up steam in an engine. A scream crawled up her throat but she swallowed it down. "Your arm is still bleeding. Let me help you."

He gave her an exaggerated smile, his mouth spread wide and his sharp canines looking more like fangs than teeth. "I'm fine." He waved the knife back and forth through the air as if in play, but Wanda knew better. Holding out his bleeding arm, he said, "Want to see it, Wanda? Come closer and I'll show it to you now."

Who was this man? Certainly not the same Henry she'd grown to like and admire over the past few weeks. His sudden change in personality reminded her of her great grandmother, who'd also gone crazy, except that she'd killed herself and not someone else. Henry had murder in his eyes.

"I've seen this before," Claire said in a small voice. "In a human, though. A ghost rumored to have stabbed a prostitute to death haunted the hotel room I was in with a client. The ghost cut the man with its ghost knife and he went crazy."

"What happened to him?" Wanda didn't take her eyes off Henry, who continued to stare at her with eerie intensity.

"He threw himself out the window." Claire inhaled deeply before adding, "We were fifteen stories up."

A light seemed to spark in Henry's eyes as if he finally understood something. "It's the sickness the ghost gave me that's making me this way." He turned to face the counter and pushed up his sleeve, laying his scratched and bloody arm on the shiny white surface. He lifted the knife blade.

Horrified, Wanda yelled, "Henry! You can't cut off your arm."

"It's okay," he said. "It'll grow back. Eventually."

Oh, my God. "Stop, Henry. I mean it."

He held the blade higher.

There was only one thing left for her to do. Wanda rushed up behind him and wrapped her arms around his chest, pressing her hand firmly over his heart. Power surged through her, her skunk stripe pulsing against her scalp, and she started to draw out the demon half of his soul.


sue laybourn said...

oooh!!!!!Me like!
Great dialogue, spare but says so much.

Courtney Allison Moulton said...

Noooooot gooooood!! Don't think that arm is actually going to grow back, Henry....haha I just love this story, Karen. So cool, so different. This'll be it for you, I know it!!

Creative A said...

Wow...just as good as the rest of the scene. It makes me so involved! Really good job, Karen :)


Gretchen said...

Really enjoying Wanda's voice, though I caught some repetition (calm and calmly) in her first line.

Erin Richards said...

Nice! Very intriguing with the ghost sickness, the arm and the skunk stripe! It has me hooked! Pacing was well done, and your dialogue is excellent!