The wind carried the alluring scent of danger the night I appeared above 1157 Westwillow Drive, holding the mystical Escher Cube in both hands. My heart raced with the power of five Blue Donkey energy drinks. I was ready to…
Wait. Above the house?
I yelped, slamming into the roof below with a magnificent bellyflop. Not my most professional entrance, I’ll admit, but at least I’d only warped myself a few feet too…aaaand I was sliding down the roof. I shot over the side like a screaming toboggan before bouncing off the plastic trash can below and crash landing on the driveway.
A moment later, the trash can tipped over to spill a very confused raccoon out on the driveway in front of me. It saw me lying face down on the pavement and hissed, warning me away from its precious garbage…until it saw what I had in my hand. Made of polished gray stone, the Escher Cube reflected the moonlight in a way that made the raccoon’s eyes widen greedily.
“What are you looking at?” I demanded, my head still spinning from the fall. Then it dawned on me. “No, no, don’t even think about it, you little—”
Too slow. It snatched the Cube out of my hand took off into the woods across the street.
“Chicken biscuits!” I cursed, giving chase. McGus was going to skin me alive if I didn’t get it back. The raccoon clambered up a nearby tree, but the weight of the Cube slowed it down. I dove for it…
And missed, doing my best impression of a woodpecker instead.
Feeling like I’d just cracked my skull to make a particularly painful omelet, I stumbled to my feet to see the stupid raccoon looking smugly down at me. Then it raised the Escher Cube, admiring its prize in the moonlight — and then vanished in a flash of light.
“Ohhh, Kentucky fried egg rolls,” I whispered. I was going to be lucky if McGus stopped at skinning me now.
Thoughts of my impending doom were interrupted by a scream of terror from the house behind me. I spun, cursing, and sprinted back the way I’d come. With one hand, I drew my ping pong paddle from where it hung on my belt. A flick of my wrist elongated the handle until it was as tall as I was, and the paddle poomph-ed outwards to become a great big wooden hammer.
Her name is Splatsy.
I swung her, smashing the front door to splinters, and charged inside — where I immediately tripped on something. I hit the floor, rolled, and sprang back to my feet with Splatsy raised, ready to smash anything that thought it could take me out while I was on the ground. Nothing happened.
It was pitch black in here, the dim moonlight shining through the doorway all I had to see by. With it, I could faintly make out whatever I’d tripped on. Cautiously, I reached for the switch and turned the lights on.
It was a corpse.
“Crème brulee,” I hissed.
The owner of the house lay on his back, staring sightlessly up at the ceiling with a horrified expression on his face. What I’d tripped on turned out to be his leg. My guess is that he’d been running for the door when he’d been caught…and the teeth marks around his mouth, like he’d been french kissing a piranha, told me exactly what he’d been caught by.
I gritted my teeth, pushing back the wave of emotion that made me want to scream. I’d been too slow. An innocent human had died. If the council found out about this — and they always did — they would take my head.
Or worse, my job.
It’s not over yet, I reminded myself. The thing that had done this was still here somewhere. The evil it radiated was foul enough to make my blood curdle. Gripping Splatsy with both hands, I turned in a slow circle. I was in the living room, where a big flat screen tv stood surrounded by shelves of football crap. A set of stairs by the front door led to the second floor, and behind me the kitchen was swathed in darkness. So many places for it to hide. It knew I was here too, or else it would have made its escape already. One wrong step, one glance in the wrong direction, was all it would take for it to—
The squeak of a floorboard up above caught my attention, and I spun just in time to see a shadow dash away from the top of the stairs. I sprinted after it, climbing the stairs as fast as I could. As soon as I reached the top, the door at the far end of the hallway slammed shut, followed by a click as the creature locked itself inside. If I’d been thinking clearly — or at all, McGus would probably say — the fact that a maiam had just locked a door might have made me pause. Instead, I charged down the hall, rammed my shoulder into the door to break the lock, and barged in with Splatsy raised to find…
A teenage boy.
I froze, eyes wide and blinking with surprise. The boy, who looked to be around my age, sat huddled against the wall, clearly thinking I was some kind of hammer wielding psychopath.
“Uh, hey,” I said, reaching up to make sure I was wearing my N.O.S.E. “You, uh, seen any monsters around here?”
He didn’t say anything, but his eyes met mine…and then looked behind me.
“Oh, gorgonzola,” I whispered.
I spun around, and found myself face to face with a living nightmare. Nearly ten feet tall, it looked like someone had pulled a very cheesed off gorilla out of a black and white tv, shaved it, and then applied KISS makeup with a shotgun. Its skin was a mixture of black and sickly gray. The only color to be found was the blood oozing down its long pencil-like fangs — leftovers from its first victim.
Then it decked me with a hand the size of my torso.
The rest of the chapter will go up on Saturday, October 2nd, with new chapters going up every other Saturday after that. If you don't feel like waiting, you can purchase the full book on Amazon, both in print and on Kindle. I hope you enjoyed it, and I can't wait for this October!