Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

Idea Wrangling- Pixies

One of my favorite books when I was little was The Borrowers. I love the idea of little people coexisting with humans. Living in the walls, crawlspaces, and forgotten attics while they carefully scavenge things while living in secret. In fact, one of my first stories was about being shrunken down and my adventures.

As a parent now I spend a lot of time watching animated movies. While I might be watching cartoons and such without kids the selection would be different. For a good stretch of time one of my goblins loved the Tinkerbell movies that Disney had going. We watched them quite a lot and, as we usually do, my wife and I started to overthink the stories.

The place they live is called Pixie Hollow and they have Pixie Dust, but they are all called Fairies. Not once are any of the characters called Pixies. They did come up with the name ‘sparrowmen’ for the male fairies (which is a cool term) but the Pixie/Fairy thing wasn’t answered. Granted, I didn’t read the attached books. If that is where the information rests then I have yet to disturb its slumber.

Couple with the movies such as Epic (shudder), Strange Magic, and The Secret World of Arrietty  I’ve started to consider an attempt to start a project.

This is the part where I try to organize some of the rambling in my head. You have been warned.

It would be set in a town, or city, where people live unaware of the little world around them. There would be different sorts of people (fairies, pixies, & brownies) as well as small magical creatures. Animals would play a part, but most would lack the ability to speak. Pixies and brownies would not have wings while living in buildings, crawlspaces, and such. The main separation between those two peoples would be nomadic vs a settled way of life. Fairies would have wings and stick to parks and gardens.

Magic is something I’ve considering as well. Each kind of people would have their own sort of magic. It would be tailored for to fit their way of life. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out. Fairies would have magic based around plants. Pixies could have something connected to scavenging, tracking, or maybe even camouflage. Brownies would have magic similar to Pixies, but I was thinking something closer attached to crafting.

Luckily, I’ve got the plot settled. I’m worried about how to get the tone and world settled. Thanks for reading.

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Filed under Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Writing

Animal Control & Rescue

Simon looked at the beast that towered over him and wondered how it had found him. A sharp pain in his right arm reminded him of the bloody gash he had received crashing his car into one of the creatures pack mates. Blood trail, stupid rookie mistake, and possibly his last.

The beast looked like a polar bear mated with a gorilla and then got really angry. He knew what it was, a North-American Yeti, usually they stuck to the wildernesses of Canada and even then they weren’t much of an issue but somehow this one and the three that followed it had found their way into Northern Maine, and that was part of Simon’s territory. Technically, Vermont, Maine, Massacheusets, and New York excluding New York City were his territory but that was just arguing semantics.

Taking down the first two while fully stocked and with use of all his limbs was hard, using his car to smash the third one was a desperate move, now he was down to one arm and his gun nowhere to be found. He always wondered how he was going to die, ever since starting this job he knew it wasn’t going to be in bed surrounded by grandkids. Well, there was a chance he would die surrounded by someone else’s grandchildren but then he would probably be a meal and that was a scenario for another day.

He tried to remember what the manual said about Yeti. Was the plural Yetis or Yetii or just Yeti? No time for that now, his brain was wondering, the pain was making him loose focus.

“Yeti,” he said looking into the black orbs of the creature. “Prefers colder climate and enjoys a diet of small game. You are supposed to be extremely territorial but mostly harmless.”

The Yeti growled as it took another step closer to him. One more step and it would be able to grab him and that would be the end. He tried not to move and then it clicked in his mind.

“Catches game by frightening its prey into stillness,” Simon rushed forward and hopped to the side as a large hand reached out for him. “You’re big and scary but slow and stupid.”

Diving under another swipe of a clawed hand he ran back along the creatures tracks. Yeti were notorious for living in caves or creating natural cover by bending trees, if there were any survivors they would be there. Once he found them he would come up with more of a plan.

Adrenaline kicked in, the pain in his arm dulled and the cool winter air was refreshing and brisk. The tracks were easy to follow and he soon found himself facing the opening of an ice cave. Natural run-off had frozen to create a hollowed out area against a rock face. Somewhere in the back of his mind he noted that it was beautiful.

The Yeti was close behind him, they were slow moving but big and once they sped up all that mass they didn’t stop easily. An idea went formed in his mind and he stood on the other side of the ice wall, waiting for the beast. Just as he found the perfect spot the Yeti came into view, charging straight at him and bellowing a roar that made his teeth rattle. With every step closer the beast picked up speed.

Simon dove to the right, sliding face first like a runner praying to steal home, and the Yeti crashed head first into ice wall and bursting on through.

“Oh crap,” he turned over and looked at the chunk of missing ice.

The ice wall was supposed to stop it. Reaching with his uninjured hand to his right pocket he pulled the large tranquilizer needle and uncapped it. He had to move quickly, it would probably still be stunned.

Closing one eye and walking into the cave he could see the Yeti sprawled across the floor of the cave. One of its arms was bent at an odd angle and he was pretty sure its left foot wasn’t supposed to turn that way. It was still breathing, which he guessed was good.

Unceremoniously he planted the needle in the creature’s hindquarters and depressed the plunger. The thing should be out now for at least a few hours, probably more given its injuries. He sat down, using the Yeti as a seat and reached inside his jacket. He pulled a little black box that almost looked like a garage door opener with a small screen and pressed a button. The screen blinked for a moment then the word ‘received’ scrolled across the three inch display in green blocky letters.

A small whimper brought his attention toward the back of the cave. He really hoped it wasn’t another Yeti, even a little one could be a pain in the ass and he didn’t have any more needles.

“Hello,” a shaky voice called.

“Hello?” He replied standing up. “Who’s there?”

“Oh thank god!” The voice yelled.

A young man, maybe twenty years old rushed from the back of the cave and wrapped his arms around Simon.

“I was so scared,” he sobbed. “It ate Robby and our guide, then it dragged me here. I thought I was going to die.”

“You’re going to be alright now,” Simon patted the young man on his back and tried to ignore the pressure on his injured arm. “Help is coming.”

“Anything you want, I’ll give it to you, anything,” the young man sobbed.

“I could really use some back-up,” he sighed looking at the downed Yeti.

“Done,” the kid nodded. “What’s your name?”

“Simon,” he returned the hug. “Simon Kelevra.”

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Filed under Fantasy, Short Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Writing

Distant Relatives

“Excuses me.” The tall, lithe stranger asked as he walked into the diner.

Talia looked up at the man. Even with his raven black hair he had a European vibe to him; like Dracula, but the accent wasn’t right. His clothes were nice, if a bit generic, almost like he had taken an outfit directly from a magazine. Everything was almost too clean, from his stylist shoes and jeans to the way his shirt had the top button undone. His look was like it had never been worn but the moment he walked into the diner.

“Yes?” She tucked a stray strand of her dirty blonde hair behind her ear.

“I am needing the…” He mimed eating as his English ran out.

“Breakfast?” She offered.

“Yes.”

His smile made her knees weak. That hadn’t happened in a long time. She knew better than to flirt with customers. This was just a pit stop on to bigger things, no one stayed unless they were stuck. Plus the scars on his lips didn’t look like they had a nice story attached to them.

“Just you?”

“More will come.” He nodded certainly.

“How many?”

He wrinkled his brow as he gazed up speculatively in consideration. His head bobbed from side to side as he ticked off a few fingers on his hand. “Trea.”

“Three?” Talia held up three fingers.

He nodded.

She led him to a corner booth in her section. “Would you like to order or wait for your friends?”

“Drink?” He offered.

“Sure.” She couldn’t help but smile. “What would you like?”

“Mjöd?”

“Sorry, I don’t know what that is.”

His face scrunched up as he thought about it. He looked at the menu in her hand and motioned to it. She gave his the plastic sheet, which he examined for a moment, and then flipped over. He studied the menu intently, mostly the pictures, and then set it down on the table.

“Milk.” He pointed to the picture of a tall glass on the menu. “Eggs, bacon, and pancakes.”

“Got it.” Talia smiled and headed back to input the order.

It took her a moment to realize that his accent had practically disappeared by the time he had said the word ‘pancakes’. Maybe she had misjudged him for a tourist; he could just be some bored traveler playing tricks on her. It wouldn’t be the first time. She placed the order, grabbed a clean glass, and the pitcher of milk, and then headed back to the table. The process took less than a minute, but there were two other men at the table when she turned around. One was a larger red haired man with an impressive beard that barely fit into the booth and the other was an older man with a patch over his left eye.

They spoke a foreign language in a rapid speed. The other two had that same ‘too clean’ look to them, plus the one with the eye patch was older, but he had sort of an undeterminable age to him. There were some similar features between the large red head and older man, the same strong jawline and powerful ice blue eyes.

“Ah.” The ravenhaired customer clapped his hands as she approached.

Talia set the glass on the table and poured the milk as the three conversed. The word ‘mjöd’ was thrown around a few times, but she still had no idea what that was.

“Do you want some extra time to order?”

The older man made eye contact with her. There was something there she recognized, the shape of his cheeks, or possibly the bridge of his nose if it hadn’t been broken, looked familiar somehow. He took a deep breath and held her gaze. She jumped as something somehow shocked her tongue and ears at the same time.

“Yes.” The older man spoke now, his English was spot on. “May I have your name?”

She pointed to her nametag. “Talia.”

The raven haired customer laughed. “He means your surname.”

Talia slowly turned her head and looked at him. “You’re accent is gone.”

“Yours is horrible.” He chuckled.

“What?”

“Never you mind him.” The older man interrupted, his tone sounded exactly like her grandfather. “Your surname, please.”

“Lawsen.”

“Talia Lawsen. The first name is something of a mystery, but Lawsen is a bastardization of Lawsson.” He motioned for her to sit.

“Thank you, but I’m working.”

“True.” He leaned back against the booth and sighed. “Miss Lawsen, we are in need of your services.”

“I could tell you the specials.”

The raven haired man chuckled again.

“Maybe later.”

Talia looked at each of the three of them for a moment. “What are you implying?”

“I assure you, nothing uncouth.” The older man waved his hand dismissively. “We are, how would you say, distant relatives of yours, and are in need of your local knowledge.”

“I’m not exactly sure how I could help.” Talia crossed her arms and returned the stare. “My studio apartment isn’t exactly spacious.”

“Then let us shake hands as distant kin and part ways.” The older man extended his hand.

Talia looked at it for a moment, shrugged, and took the proffered hand. Something popped between her ears. She was no longer standing in the diner, but on a great open plain. It was the first true day of spring in what had been a long winter. The gentle breeze carried the welcoming smell of dinner along with the familiar scent of the home fire. She adjusted her shoulders, the axe strapped across her back was new, but well used. The trolls kept her in top form.

Odin let go of her hand. She rocked back on her heels, her breath came in short, ragged bursts. She knew them as she knew the stars. Odin, she looked at the older man. Thor, the large red head. Loki, the raven haired one. She curtseyed.

“Allfather, please excuse my rudeness.” She mumbled, and then realized she was speaking Old Norse.

“Your gift will soothe my injured pride.”

Odin reached over and touched Thor with the same hand he had used to shake hers with. Thor closed his eyes for a moment and then nodded. The process was repeated once more with Loki. There was another shock on her tongue and ears, but this one wasn’t as unexpected.

“What just happened?”

“We’ve been away for a long time.” Odin sighed, he nodded quickly for a moment, the broke his silence with a clap of his hands. “Now, how about some breakfast?”

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Short Fiction: In the Forest

I crept along the forest floor, my fingers and toes propelled me along the roots and smaller plants. The scent was still fresh. This was the part of the hunt I loved. I paused and sniffed the air; the Elk had been by this way less than an hour ago. I stood, silent as a shadow, and titled my right ear up to the night sky.  The small creatures around me had fallen quiet at my passing, their instincts telling them a predator was about.

A soft shuffling of an herbivore chewing caught my attention. I turned toward the sound. The wind shifted, the intoxicating scent hit me full force. My mouth watered as I sprang forward. Hunger propelled me toward my target, my unholy gifts burned through the distance in moments.

The Elk had paused and looked up as I approached. Its eyes settled on the near-blur as I closed in. The mouth full of food forgotten, it tried to run, but I was too fast. I collided with it full force, knocking it flat. My fangs snapped into place as my mouth found the beasts neck. The Elk desperately kicked at me as we wrestled. Somewhere in its animal brain it knew this wasn’t how humans hunted. Warm, rich blood flooded my mouth. I drank three long, greedy gulps before I stood.

I looked down at the creature, it was bigger than I was, its rack was impressive, and it was still alive. One of the benefits from hunting large animals like this was that feeding rarely meant they died in the process. I knelt down and took in those wide, scared eyes.

“Shh.” I stroked the Elks neck as I made eye contact.

The Elk stopped struggling. A couple of drops of blood from my fangs closed the wound at its neck. I had escaped its sight before it was clear headed enough to stand. It shook its massive rack and took a couple of shaky steps away. I wasn’t exactly sure how hypnotism affected animals, but they seemed to recover fast enough.

I looked up at the sky, trying to place where I was in the big forest, and how to best get to my cabin. There were little markers I had placed in my usual hunting grounds, but this Elk had taken me farther than I had expected. It had taken all of the previous night to track it down. I had to sleep through the day to complete the hunt. After a moment I found the North Star and a constellation that I recognized and headed back toward my little shack.

With sunset only an hour prior I had time for the walk back to the cabin to be a leisurely pace.  I had owned this cabin for nearly twenty years now. It was one of the first properties I had ‘acquired’ when I became a vampire. Nice, remote, and with plenty of possibilities. I still hunted humans back then, but the peace was something I enjoyed. I hadn’t quite got the handle on my budding abilities so being surrounded by the living was rather loud.

I tensed as the familiar shape of the cabin came into view. The unmistakable scent of car exhaust and, more importantly, that of a human lingered in the air. I looked down at my blood soaked torso, dirt stained jeans, and bare feet. This wouldn’t end well if my visitor was still around. I circled wide around the back of the cabin, only one other person knew of this place, and she was the vampire that made me. A single dirt road led to my little wooden lodge and it was purposely in disrepair.

I found fresh tire tracks as I came around the front of the house. That and a small white envelope on the doorstep were the only signs of my mysterious visitor. I doubted that a mailman would be so dedicated to drive up a two mile dirt road in the middle of an overgrown forest. This was something special.

Just to be safe I circled the cabin once more, this time from higher up in the trees. Again, aside from the tracks and the envelope everything was the same as when I had left. As I strode up to my doorstep to examine the letter a familiar scent tickled at my memory. I held the letter up to my nose and took a deep breath.

Egyptian Goddess. It was from her. I slid a finger along the edge. A handwritten letter and a small business card fell into my hand:

My Darling Benjamin,

You have been gone too long. I need you here with me. Please, something is wrong.

Love

I read the words again. Then a third time. It was her, I could tell by her script, but it still confused me. Counting my life as a man, I was sixty-one years old, with thirty of those being human. I wasn’t nearly the oldest of her creations, and most likely I wasn’t the youngest either, but she had sent this to me. There was only one way to find out why. I looked at the address on the business card.

It looked like I was going back to civilization.

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Day 12: Short Fiction 2014 – 2013

The Mayan calendar counted down to 2013 and people watched with expectation. What would happen when the time hit zero? When the day hit there was a collection sigh of relief, or derision, as nothing seemed to change. Something did happen, though it was small at first. A willowisp in a swamp here, a tree sprite there, just the the little things that were easily dismissed as a trick of light.

It was the following January when the first goblin attack was reported. No one took it seriously, it was written off as some punks rolling the homeless. The events were still too sporadic for people to realize the same things were happening all over the world. Goblins liked dark dank places and city sewers were the perfect spot for them to settle. They spread like wildfire without an encroaching enemy to keep their numbers down.

People were disappearing all over the world. Unnatural shapes moved in the moonlight.  It was May when the first confirmed sighting was made. A subway platform camera caught a group of goblins carrying unsuspecting passengers into the darkened tunnels beyond. Shortly after that a fishing trawler went missing on calm seas. Once again man learned to fear the dark. The forests of the world began to expand without visibly moving an inch, somehow they grew from within.

Magic had returned to the world in force.

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Free Book! December 5th to December 7th

 

 

Image

Bad Mojo Blues. An Urban Fantasy set in the American Southwest.
US: http://tinyurl.com/ok9cv7d

UK: http://tinyurl.com/nzqelyd

Thursday December 5th through Saturday December 7th the book is free to download via Kindle and Kindle able devices.

Don’t have a Kindle?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000426311

I use it 🙂

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Bad Mojo Blues – Now Available for Kindle

Cover designed by Asure Boone. She’s awesome.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H0LAH50

US: http://tinyurl.com/ok9cv7d

UK: http://tinyurl.com/nzqelyd

 

Summary:
Marcus Roath believes he’s done with his family. Disowned for practicing magic, he settled in Vegas where unsuspecting tourists witness real magic nightly. He’s built a life there, becoming a member of the local Mage community. It’s almost as good as having a family again.

When his sister calls with bad news, he’s on that plane home faster than you can say reconciliation.

Arriving in New Mexico, he runs afoul of some old friends who aren’t so friendly. There’s the high school buddy who now deals drugs to humans, the cousin who’s dealing blood to vampires, not to mention the skinwalker determined to settle an old score. They’re all out to further their own means with Marcus as an ace in the hole.

Can he manage to stay alive long enough to solve the family crisis?

Kindle Length: 101 pages (estimated)

$2.99

– – –

This is my first book and I’m kind of hyper right now. I’m desperately trying not to spam everyone I know with the link. I’m currently working on book 2. By that I mean, I’m staring at these links and smiling like a madman.

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Filed under Rant, Urban Fantasy, Writing