Excerpt, Steel-Toed Blues (WIP)

Finally sitting down and getting some serious work done on this project. This little excerpt, where my MC describes what it’s like to step across to the Fae world, just nudges me over the 41K line. Next stop–50K!

* * *

“Remember that feeling, going out the gate?” Rose asked. “All at once on full alert. Looking around. Wary. But at the same time … finally free of all that FOBBIT bullshit?”

“Yeah, of course,” Jimmy said. “It’s why I went out every chance I got.”

“It’s the same thing when I … cross over.”

“Over to where?”

“I can’t describe it,” Rose shook her head. “Every time I’m there, it’s like I’ve tripped and somehow fell into a special effect B-roll world. It’s different every time. And every time, he’s waiting there, with some kind of weapons I can’t even describe.”

“How many times has this happened?”

“A couple.” Rose shook her head. “And that doesn’t even count the weird stuff that’s been happening here.”

A cloud passed in front of the sun, and the temperature dipped a few degrees. Rose shivered, both from the sudden chill and the adrenaline going through her.

“Crossing the border—it’s like going out the wire and stepping into the ring all at once,” she said. “And every time I do, I’ve got that freaky French guy in front of me and that crazy hippie standing behind me, whispering.”

Jimmy’s eyes unfocussed briefly.

“What did he say this time?” Rose prodded, recognizing the look. Frank chuffed.

“He said that Magicians have the most power in the Borderlands,” Jimmy said. “And to keep your hands up.”

“That’s helpful.”

Jimmy stood. “We better get on the road. I’ll take the morning shift if you got the afternoon drive. I really need to get some work done on my project.”

“I’ll drive.” Rose held her hand out. “Give me the keys.”

“Don’t worry, I got it.”

“Jimmy. Give me the keys. I need to clear my head and not think right now.”

“Fine.” Jimmy handed her back the keys to the station wagon. “Just could you please lay off the Grateful Dead bootlegs? If I have to sit through the extended concert version of Attics of My Life one more time, I’m going to beg Jared to come take me away.”

Frank chuffed in agreement.


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