When Liam took over the body of a railroad worker fifty years ago, he hadn’t realized he’d suffer from caffeine withdrawal every morning. Though, at the time, he wasn’t able to be picky.
Liam was back on his Harley after only five hours of sleep, heading through Davenport, Wyoming to track down the local diner. He promised to meet Sid on his way through town, but that was something he was regretting now.
Rounding the next block, the weather-worn sign for Davenport Diner came into view. Liam headed toward the far right of the parking lot, safely away from the crowd of cars. He’d rather not be forced to do harm to some fool who scratched his bike, even by accident. The altercation in Stewart was still fresh in his mind and he didn’t have the desire for a repeat.
Shutting off the engine, Liam removed his helmet and watched Sid cross the cracked, gray pavement. Unlike himself, Sid looked like his early morning had been filled with sugar or illegal substances. Knowing Sid’s usual activities, it was more likely he hadn’t even been to bed yet.
“I need coffee,” Liam said, his voice deep from lack of use. “Drag me out here way too early and then you’re all hyper. Something’s wrong with your head.”
Sid plastered on a wide grin and gave a shrug. “You always said we’ve got to be crazy in our line of work, boss. I’m just living up to my reputation.”
Liam grunted, walking toward the door and waving his hand, calling for Sid to follow him. Of all the demons who had worked for him over the centuries, Sid had become his favorite. It was mainly because he liked being topside almost as much as Liam did. There weren’t many of their kind who wanted to live among the humans littering the earth, even less who wanted the glorified sales job he offered, so Liam didn’t have a ton lining up for the task. And, not to lay the blame solely on Hell, he would also admit a few personality clashes had gotten in the way of lasting relationships with some of his former subordinates. The pool of potentials was almost empty when Sid was offered up to him, but so far the arrangement had worked out quite well. Sid took his assignments and did what Liam asked of him. He was even starting to arrange more contracts on his own, taking Liam’s guidance when necessary. In return for proving his worth, Liam let Sid have the run of the planet in his off-hours. Granted, most of Sid’s off-hours were spent trying to have sex with as many women as he could find, but they all deserved some perks now and then.
First Page of Sweet Tooth By Cynthia Gail:
Angela rushed into the small employee bathroom, hung up her apron and looked at the reflection in the mirror. After picking a speck of icing from her hair, she wiped the flour off her cheek and swore. Even her splurge for expensive cover up couldn’t conceal the dark circles anymore. And she was fairly certain the lack of shine in her dishwater blonde hair had nothing to do with bad lighting.
After picking up a light sweater, Angela hurried back to the front of the store and grabbed her purse from under the counter. “I’ll do my best to be back by eleven, Juanita.”
“Don’t worry about me. I can handle it. You just need to relax and concentrate on getting this job. Booking the Preston wedding will open the doors you’ve been looking for.”
“Thanks. But I’ll still try –.”
The sound of metal crunching and tires screeching stopped her in mid-sentence and both women turned to look out the shop windows. “Oh, my God! My car!” Angela dropped everything and ran out the front door.
“My car!” she yelled, taking in the scene. A large delivery truck had backed into her Ford Tempo, crumpling the hood and corner panels. Both front tires were flat. She’d just spent the last thousand dollars of her savings having the transmission worked on and couldn’t afford to buy another car. She couldn’t afford to have this one fixed. She couldn’t…
“Are you okay ma’am? You look a little pale. Maybe you should sit down.”
First Page of The Symbol of Infinity by Golda Kvint:
The reek of burning hair squeezed into Kai’s room.Oh, not again. He hurled his Algebra book into his backpack, flipped
the desk light off, and sprung toward the window. Forcing it open, he
cursed his grandmother for collecting her combings and disposing of
them in such a hideous way. Next she’d try to kill the odor with
lily-scented room spray. The perfect smell for a good night’s sleep.
Letting December freshness chase the filthy fumes from his lungs, he
stared at the snowflakes that swirled in front of the rickety fence
and melted before reaching the ground. Suddenly, the gate screeched
open and a tall body glided through the narrow opening.
Keeping his eyes on the trespasser, Kai inched toward the window
frame. His grandma had mumbled someone had tried to break into a house
across the street. If that was a burglar, he’d chosen the wrong house
Kai made a quick plan. He’d have his grandmother run to the neighbors
and call 911 while he kept the intruder at bay. Before darting off to
his grandmother’s room, Kai glanced outside one more time.
As the man turned around to pull something through the crack in the
gate, the moon shone on his ponytail and coveralls. No doubt, that was
Kai jerked away from the glass and ran into the desk corner with his
bony hip. Biting the knuckle of his forefinger to suppress a groan,
Kai flattened himself against the wall, covered with peeling
wallpaper, and peeked outside.
His father skulked toward the front porch carrying a box almost the
size of his six-foot frame.
*Please address your comments for them by referring to their name or ms. title below. Thanks!