THE LADY LOST EXCERPT
My new short story has been released into the universe. Read the start, then pick it up at Amazon.
“Mace was missing and The Minotaur was in town. I could smell him; they had that much in common and a little more history behind them than she ever really got around to telling me. Mace had never really been much of a talker. That was the great thing about stopping by to see her — you sit at the counter, you drink your coffee, you watch her knit…occasionally, the amethyst gleam behind her loose hair softened a little and you got the feeling she might like having you sit there, but it was never a regular thing, just an occasional gift. But now, the Minotaur was in town, hat hooked on his horns, attitude caught in the door, warnings on the wind. Mace must have caught the scent early, but I’d never known her to flee. So I checked into it. Nobody was paying me enough not to be curious. As usual, nobody was paying me at all.
I had just wanted coffee when I left my office…and maybe a little bit of friendly chat, a nod in my direction, an acknowledgement of my existence. You’ve had ‘em: nights when even the wind in the alleys cried from loneliness and the streets were so empty and the sky so dark that your footsteps whimpered instead of echoing…nights when you were certain that if someone didn’t nod at you soon, you’d be back at the mirror, making sure there was still some sparkle twinkling back at you, some breath on the glass. You know and I know, even if I hate to admit it, that there are nights when you need people and there are those people you find on those nights. It’s part of the gravity of being human, when the dark and the dire pull at you, there are people who pull you back. And that night, I was staring into a vortex. So I locked up the office, turned off the phone and headed down the street — to a little more warmth, a little less lonely.
Do you make plans? Don’t. I’m telling you. Just don’t. Plans are a bad habit, a crutch, a weak place for the universe to sneak up and kick you. The universe is coming now, quietly, creepingly, about to leap…your plans see it and they’re bolting in the other direction, down that alley with the flickering light at the end of it, leaving us, you and me, here. So we go get coffee — I know a great place, wait’ll you meet the owner, sure, I’ll pay — and then the real trap is sprung. There wasn’t even a closed sign or a ‘be back in ten minutes’ notice on the door…just a chain. No Mace…now, this, this was a new lonely.”