I’m sitting on an outdoor patio at a restaurant overlooking St Petersburg with a view of the bay, sail boats and pelicans. Ordering fish tacos for lunch and watching the pigeons waddle between tables hoping for a loose french fry.
Not a bad place to finish off the last 10K words for “Becoming Monsters”!
Here is an excerpt from the beginning:
Darkness hung like an eerie shroud around the Lakeside Cemetery. Black, massive and completely camouflaged in the night stalked predator padding soundless through the memorial markers. His ears perked up as he neared a small marker where two teens huddled. He listened to their whispered conversation; there were no other sounds around.
“We should get going,” he said, breaking the hushed conversation.
Missy and Charlie rose and followed in silence behind the large black dog. Saal, kept his ears trained forward as they moved toward a large wooded area. Once beyond the tree line, they picked up speed, heading toward the highway. Saal almost relaxed when he heard them. A low menacing growl rumbled up his throat and his lips peeled back to reveal razor-sharp canines. Charlie seized Missy’s arm and laid a firm hand on the dog’s raised hackles. Three figures emerged from the foggy haze to stand before them. The largest of them, a dark-skinned man who stood well over six feet stepped forward and bowed.
“Your Highness, we were not aware of your travels to the human realm. We would have made arrangements to meet you.
“I’m surprised you found me so quickly. This is an unplanned trip.” Charlie’s clipped speech rose in irritation. They were good to have tracked them so quickly.
“I shall inform King Atian of your safe arrival,” the man in charge said.
“Delay that order. We have an urgent matter to attend to. My father needn’t know of our arrival just yet. We require you to take us to this location,” Charlie handed the man the name of the museum where Missy’s vision had taken place. The man hesitated, caught between standing orders and a direct one from a lower source. “Now,” Charlie added with the right about of authority and heat. Without another word, the three men lead the way back toward a side street where a black passenger van sat idling. They entered the address of de Young Museum into the GPS and headed toward San Francisco, California.
“The drive should take us around three hours. Will you need our services for the duration of your stay?”
“No, however, we will need a few provisions,” Charlie said as he glanced back toward Missy. She sat behind the driver of the minivan. He looked older than the others and remained silent during their brief encounter. Saul lay stretched out and napping on the back seat, leaving little room for the other man, who looked crammed into the small space and completely uncomfortable.
“We will need an apartment not far from the address you are taking us to. We also need modern clothing, currency and a computer with internet access,” Missy said, ticking off the items on her list.
The driver nodded and finally spoke. “General Hanes, please give her Highness your communication device, ah cell phone, just in case they need to contact us.” General Hanes pulled his cell phone from his breast pocket and handed it to Missy. “Speed dial#1 if you need help.”
“Thank you, and the rest?” She pressed.
“We have an apartment on standby that should suit your needs. It is stocked with the items you requested, but unfortunately we do not have appropriate clothing for you, your Highness. Not many of our women travel to this realm.”
“I think I can manage,” Missy said. Charlie glanced in the rearview mirror and caught the flush filling her cheeks at the General’s use of the royal title to address her. He smiled.
Missy gazed out the window at the city lights as they faded into the background. The sound of ocean waves cresting and traffic hummed like a soft lullaby. Her world seemed different or rather, her eyes saw it differently. If felt foreign, strange, loud and no longer like her home. The monster realm was her home now, the place she belonged. She ticked of the months since she’d been gone. Over a year had passed since she found herself in a world full of monsters, fighting against them, fighting with them, falling in love. She turned her eyes to Charlie, her own personal monster, her only connection between worlds. He’d saved her from dying and had been with her throughout her quests. Charlie caught her gaze and gave her a brilliant smiled. Her tummy fluttered and she turned away blushing, a shy smile on her lips. Their union had grown stronger since the joining ceremony. Their minds in sync to each other, knowing the emotions of the other. Although technically married, they kept their physical relationship to a minimum. A promise both agreed to when she first started her quest to become a monster and although the quests were over, her biggest fight and perhaps most dangerous quest still lay ahead. Missy stared at her hands willing flames to appear. Nothing. Anukhan had stolen her blue light, the thing that made her a monster and gave her the ability to protect herself. Her heart felt sick, not knowing what he planned to do with the power he stole. The horrible possibilities made her anxious. She felt Charlie’s presence in her mind.
“We’ll get it back,” he thought.
“I hope so.”
Last 10K Words - Becoming Monsters