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|These are the first two scenes (Chapters) in a fantasy book that I am writing entirely for my own pleasure.||
Time: Full moon night in late December.
It was a cloudy night, and the moon shone sporadically through the clouds. The little that could be seen by the moonlight was a grassy feild with a small cabin built from boards at the edge of it. To the right there was a grove of trees and in front of the house, pacing back and forth, was the cat. The cat was black with silver eyes, like the moon. Back and forth he paced, occasionally scratching the door with a paw. The cat sat on his haunches in front of the lighted window and stared up at it as if willing a face to appear. None did. Disgruntled the cat licked at his rump and stood up to resume his pacing. He scratched at the door agian and yowled softly. This elicited a response. A shadow past by the window, footsteps were heard, and the door opened. In the doorway stood the figure of a man. He wore a long dark nondescript coat and a bright striped blue and silver shirt with brown pants. His attire was illuminated only for a moment, and was lost to the shadows as he closed the door. Smiling he glanced down at the cat who sat looking pointedly away from him as if pretending that he was not there. But when the man bent and extended his arm the cat leapt on to it and settled himself on the man's left shoulder. The man started to walk away from the building. Gradually he quickened his pace until he was running faster and faster. Then he leapt. He leapt rather like a dancer doing a Grand Jete, back leg extended and front leg bent slightly at the knee. As he leapt he appeared to be leaping into an invisible slit in the air. He was swallowed up by the grey sky, first the front leg, then the first half of his body, then the second half with the cat on its shoulder, and finally the pointed toe of his other leg. It was similar to watching an eclipse of the moon, only much faster. Within five seconds the feild and cottage were devoid of both man and cat.
Time: Evening of December 29th
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! The glowering waitress advanced on the table. Still glowering at the three occupants of the table she slammed down the mug of hot chocolate on the table in front of the youngest customer, a slim young man with long, thin, auburn hair. The young man yelped and jumped back as the hot cocoa splashed over his lap. The waitress smiled evilly and stomped off to terrorize some other table. Shaking his head the young man mopped up the spilt drink and sat back down.
"Wonderful service, isn't it?" remarked the second of the occupants of the table, a woman with hair that could use combing.
The third occupant, a man with short dark, disorderly hair, made a witty comment about the spilt cocoa. This elicited a few giggles as it had been intended to. When they had ended the man who had had the misfortune to order the hot chocolate spoke. "I'd be grateful if we could start the job interview, I've promised Emmanuel to be back as soon as possible."
"Yes," replied the woman, who appeared to be in charge, "As soon as Ezra gets here. He sure is taking his time."
The young man brushed back his hair and considered, "Perhaps he objects to the atmosphere in here, most Sorcerers would. I don't blame them. What do you think of it, Sandria?"
The atmosphere was one that some would find intriguing and others objectionable. It was a long low room with a bar counter and kitchen all along on side of it, tables scattered about and, barely enough chairs to go round (Sandria was sitting on an overturned bucket). Sound (it doesn't deserve to be called music) was issuing from a boom box at the end of the room.
"Not great. Not great at all." decided Sandria, adjusting her bucket to glance around at the back of the restaurant where the waitress was interrogating some customers. Suddenly Sandria frowned, "And that makes the third!" she said.
"Third what?" asked the black-haired man.
Sandria turned back to the table and grinned. "Pierced lips. She's the third person I've seen with a ring on either side of their upper lip, it makes them look like they have fangs."
Her companions shuddered.
"Yeah," agreed Sandria standing up, "Crazy what people do these days. Come on, Simeon!" looking at the dark-haired man and jerking her head towards the door, "Al's right. Ezra won't come in here. He's probably waiting for us outside."
Yawning Al stood up, closely followed by Simeon and they all walked out of the restaurant looking straight ahead to avoid the gaze of the "fanged" waitress, who was staring menacingly after them.
Outside it was crispy and the ground was covered with a light snow. On a bench by the side of the building sat a man. He was dressed in a nondescript black coat, a bright blue and silver striped vest, and brown pants. His hands were steepled in font of him and the black cat huddled against his feet.
"Ezra!" Sandria cried when she saw him and ran over to the bench, plopping down beside him, "Hi! Sorry about the wait. Simeon insisted on trying out this restaurant." she dug around in her left pocket and drew out a pencil and two pieces of very crumpled paper.
Simeon walked over to the cat and sat down on the ground next to it. The cat stirred, opened his eyes, licked himself, and climbed into Simeon's lap to get his head scratched. "How was I to know the waitress would be such a troll?" Simeon said, half talking to the cat and half responding to Ezra.
Ezra put his hands down and smiled, "That is quite alright, I do not object to sitting outside on such a beautiful evening."
Al cleared his throat and said, from the wall where he was leaning, "I've said this before, but I need to be back as soon as possible, so if you-"
"Oh! Yes, of course." Sandria slapped her forehead, "Sorry, I forgot. We shall proceed with the business."
Leaning back and crossing her legs Sandria began to talk, "As you know, Al, we (that is Ezra, Simeon, and I) plan to start a rescue team."
"Magical Rescue Team." corrected Simeon.
"Yes, Magical rescue team." continued Sandria, "The 'Magical Mess Management Squad' to be precise."
Al nodded, "Exactly. I saw the advertisement in the newspaper, 'Persons who are aware of the existence of magic, magical animals, and relating topics wanted.' So I called and here I am."
Ezra stopped staring into space and turned abruptly to look at Al, "I thought you came from a family not yet acquainted with magic, is that not so?"
Al smiled and sighed, "We were originally, but there was a personal..er..tragedy which clearly revealed the existence of myth and magic."
Sandria shifted around impatiently in her seat, "Fine. Ok. But, lets get back to business. The Management of Magical Messes is fairly simple. I can-"
"I'll take it." said Al quietly and abruptly, "I'll take the job. I'm in desperate need of a job, a day job that is."
Sandria looked startled if not a little annoyed at having been interrupted. "It would seem so." she remarked, "Well I'll just write up an advertisement for this new business and you shall be employed."
Spreading one of the pieces of paper out on the bench and leaning over it Sandria began to write. As she wrote she read aloud, "Magical Mess Management Squad...Need the help of a professional magical rescue squad? Call us today! Members Ezra...- Ezra, what's your last name?"
"Cantrell," replied Ezra, who was playing with the cat.
"Right! Cantrell. Where was I...Ezra Cantrell: Practiced Sorcerer, Simeon Breckenridge: Financial Support and...and - Simeon, what else do you do besides provide the money?"
Simeon blushed, "Um..Uh..Nothing really..Why? Isn't providing financial support good enough?"
"No. No, it isn't." said Sandria decidedly, "I'll put you down as an able-bodied helper as well...it makes the add look more impressive. Ok. Simeon Breckenridge: Financial support and Able-bodied helper, Sandria Daniels: Certified Magical Nurse, and Al - is it Alfred?" glaring up at Al.
"No, its Alan, Alan Di Stefano." corrected the young gentleman.
Sandria smiled, "Ooh good! I've never like the name Alfred much. Alan Di Stefano:... - what exactly do you do then, Alan?"
Al laughed nervously, "Well, I studied counseling a little in high-school."
"Alan Di Stefano: Consolation and...and - You must do more than just consolation, right?"
Alan looked somewhat miffed and replied that no, he did not.
"Fine! Fine!" said Sandria and continued writing the add, "Consolation and...and...Oh damn! Ah! Consolation and Trainee Nurse!"
Al walked over and peered at the paper, "Since when" he demanded, "Have I been a trainee nurse?!"
With a grin Sandria said, "Since now! Your first lesson with me starts tomorrow, ten o'clock at Simeon's house. Now to continue" and she continued with the add. ".....Will be glad to come to your aid. Among other things we provide help with the following: Injuries (vampire, werewolf, dragon, and otherwise). Missing persons/animals of a magical nature. Cursed objects and/or people. Lifting of curses and casting of spells. Pet-sitting and care for pets of a magical nature. Price is negotiable and the income of the client will be taken into consideration...And then lets have our phone numbers."
Sandria put down her pencil and handed the paper to Ezra to pass around. All parties agreed that the add was suitable. A contract was written up and quickly signed by everyone. Al left soon afterwards saying that it was dark and he needed to get home as soon as possible. But before he left he agreed that he would start lessons with Sandria the next day (New Year's Eve) at ten o'clock at Simeon's house.
Once Al had gone Simeon took a seat on the bench between Sandria and Ezra. Nobody said anything for a while. It was getting dark and they were tired. Eventually Sandria yawned, surveyed the icy ground and, turning to Simeon said, "Could I stay at your house tonight? I'm not looking forward to driving with this snow. And your house is closer."
Simeon smiled warmly at Sandria and said, "Yes, yes of course. I understand." Then standing up he said, "I think we better start out now. We'll pick up your car in the morning."
Simeon and Sandria said goodbye to Ezra and drove off into the night.
It was very dark by this time, and the sky was moonless. Ezra stood, stretched, picked up the cat and started running into the darkness.
|Incidents & Accidents Scenes III & IV|