22 September 2010

Aspiring Author Spits Something Out

Here is a little teaser from a joint story I'm involved in. The genre is Steampunk.

Before he could gather his wits two figures stepped out from behind the piles that lined the alley. Wreathe didn't have to turn to hear the pair behind him. Four against one? That hardly seemed like fair odds to him.

“Heard you had a bit of trouble with the investigators today,” one of the men in front said. Wreathe could see him clearly. He was short and stocky. Dressed in coveralls the man had a crowbar dangling from one hand. His partner was also short, but wiry. He wore the jumpsuit of an LTA repairman, but the watch gleaming on his wrist told Wreathe that neither of these men were common thugs.

Wreathe glanced over his shoulder. Sure enough, there were two back there. “Just an accident on an LTA. Probably didn't even make the news.” His eyes came back to the men in front.

“Your pretty little face is all over the papers.” The man sneered.
“Is that so?”

The man nodded, slapping his hand with the crowbar.

Today had been a long day. Wreathe was in no mood for unpleasantries. “Do you want my autograph?”

“Hah!” The man laughed and turned to his companion. “He thinks we want his autograph!” The wiry man did not smile, but the two behind Wreathe laughed along.

“No, mate,” the man's voice went serious. “We're not here for your autograph.”

Wreathe heard the men behind him getting closer.

“We're here to check on something.”

“Check on what?” Wreathe shifted his eyes, trying to take in his surroundings.

“Take off your goggles so we can talk like civilized men, face to face.”

“My goggles?” Wreathe forgot he even had them on. He always wore them. Having eyes the color of steel could sometimes be a drawback when you were trying not to be noticed. Besides, enough people wore goggles all the time that hardly anyone asked Wreathe about it.

“Off,” the man said, punctuating the remark with another slap of his crowbar.

Wreathe felt unexpected anger rising inside of him. Whoever these guys were, they were up to no good. Wreathe was almost positive he could get away through the alleys, but something in him was tired of running. Some part of him wanted a fight.

“Why don’t you boys go find someone else to bother?”

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