A sample from my urban fantasy novel, I’m new to this site. Thanks!
|It was late, and I was dead tired. Tucking myself into my flannel pajama pants and a red henley, I sighed and realized that although I was physically exhausted, my mind was completely wired. It’s time to stop drinking coffee so late at night, even though work has kept me up past midnight lately.
Propping myself up with a pillow, I glanced around my room as I reached for the book on my nightstand. These moments were rare; usually I was way too exhausted at the end of the day to even attempt to crack a book, but tonight I needed a distraction. Even though I was now under the covers, I found myself still shivering slightly; today was one of those days where in the course of my work I learn some intimate details about a person that I just didn’t want to know. Unfortunately, I knew my target, too, and now that I know she moonlights as prostitute I’ll never look at her the same way again…
Her husband hired me to find out where the extra money was coming from, and unfortunately the news I delivered was not what he expected. I would have never accepted the job if I knew that my client was this woman’s husband, Peter Hardy. I went to high school with this wife, Alison. If he’s not willing to accept the hard truth, then what’s the point of continuing a relationship where you don’t trust your spouse? I overhear clients all the time use the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’; well, is it really? Wouldn’t you want to know if your spouse is cheating on you, or if your tenant is running a drug lab out of his apartment?
Four years ago, I obtained my license to work as a private investigator. My parents were hoping I’d follow in my Dad’s footsteps, but that life; working my way up the totem pole in a department where my boss had a boss whose boss was the mayor, that just made my head spin. After two years, I’ve basically finished my apprenticeship and am now getting my own small (very small) caseload.
Picking the book back up, I ran my fingers across the cover. It seems like, every other day, a new techy gadget is introduced, but I’ll take an old-fashioned hardcover book I can hold with two hands, where I have to actually flip a page anyday. I even have a few leatherbound 1st editions collecting dust on my bookshelf; I should really take better care of those. Don’t get me wrong, I could never be without my phone, especially with its great sleek navy blue cover with a full moon on it.
I flipped over to my side and flipped back a page. This is my problem, I often have to reread paragraphs because my mind starts to wander. For the third time, I read the same page and I make an effort to concentrate. The main character, a tall, broad shouldered, handsome man who is completely unlike any real human being sets his eyes on the petite blonde in the coffee shop, and as soon as she sets eyes on him she is smitten. What I like about this book, though, is it is revealed early on in the story that the main character is actually a serial killer, so the reader knows his true intentions from the start.
I wonder, is there any good, redeeming quality about this main character? There has to be. He’s handsome, wealthy, and by all accounts, a perfect gentleman to the outside world. So, what makes him tick? I read a few more pages, musing about what it would be like if I met this man in person, and what I would do to stop him. My thoughts sway a little bit dark for a moment; smiling to myself I close the book and put it back on the nightstand.
Groaning, I realized then the light switch on my desk lamp was out of my reach, so I left the warm coziness of my comforter for a second to reach up and flip it off. Smiling again to myself, I closed my eyes and snuggled into my pillow.
The next morning, as soon as I climbed out of bed I realized it was freezing in my apartment. I knew I left my bathrobe on the hook behind my bathroom door, I grabbed it and wrapped it around my body, along with my pink slippers from the bathroom floor. I haven’t had my first cup of coffee this morning, so a little laziness on a Saturday morning never hurt anybody. My teeth continued to chatter, so it’s probably a good idea to get my furnace serviced again; it was old, and my landlord knew it.
As soon as I stepped out of my room, I walked into a patch of sunlight streaming across the floor, and stopped for a second to let the warmth find its way into my bones. Days like today, I’m so glad my apartment windows face the east. Walking up to the window, I looked down to the Blue East river, where it was still too cold to see much activity. The sun was comforting though, so I just stood at the window and stared for a few minutes longer.
I’ve lived up on the fifth floor of my building for the past five years, in a modest yet cozy one bedroom with spectacular views. I was lucky with this place; the previous tenant had passed away and I inquired about the place at the right time. According to my research, the previous tenant passed away here in the apartment peacefully of old age while asleep in her bed. People tend to steer away from the idea of moving into a place when they find out a previous tenant died in the residence; not me, I wasn’t afraid of the possibility her spirit still lingered here. If you respect the dead, and I do, they tended to leave you alone in order to focus on whatever unfinished business they had.
Hearing what was surely a phantom sound, I looked over my shoulder towards my living room and whispered “nice old lady, if you’re still here, may you find or do whatever it is you need to do in order to find peace”. There, that should help to pacify her if for some reason she was upset. At least I hope so.
Stomach now growling, I walked into the kitchen to get the coffeepot started. Humming to myself, I scrambled up some eggs, and popped some wheat toast into the toaster oven. Today was going to be a good day, I had an 11am, a 1pm eat-in lunch, and a 4pm just before the end of the day.
Based on my assistant’s notes, her initial impressions of each potential client are that I have the pleasure of meeting with fruitcake at 11am, I’ll be amused by deep pockets at 1pm, and authentic will definitely get my attention at 4pm. I decided to choose the sushi restaurant for 1pm, since deep pockets could afford it. I may just dress myself in a designer suit, as well, to impress deep pockets even more. Hmm, I mused, it wasn’t often that an interesting case walked through our doors, so I was already intrigued by the sound of authentic. I wonder where this one will lead..