The cat’s familiar (2/2)

Part 1

‘The Shack’ was a wholly inaccurate name for the witches’ place. It was a bungalow covered in vines because of course it was, and it didn’t appear as big on the outside, but it was huge on the inside. Labyrinthine, almost— maybe it was my dizziness from the broomstick ride but… oh god, the broomstick ride. 

When I was all dressed up, had locked my apartment’s door and come outside, I’d seen the five women with three vehicles. Stella leaning with her shoes crossed against her light-devouring black, evil-looking motorbike, Isha killing time reading a book balanced on the steering wheel of a pretty car with a blue-and-green gradient finish, Camila riding shotgun with a cigarette between her long carmine nails, Jenny in the back with her elbow resting on the window, absorbed in the few flowers in my building’s small front garden and Magistera Seleni checking her pocket watch, her other hand holding a broomstick, and Catpurrnicus sitting solemnly near her feet.

Stella straight away refused to let me ride her bike. Jenny offered me to sit in the back of the car. Magistera didn’t say anything but her expression indicated the broomstick was open, but not the best choice. 

Of course I picked the broomstick. Continue reading

Marked Difference

(About 1000 words)

“Uber for Mark?” the handsome middle-aged passenger peeked through the front window. The driver took one look at him and almost fainted.

“You’re… you’re Mark Romero, right? Agent Mark Romero?”

Romero sighed. It had been fun at first, but now it was starting to get seriously annoying. Damn that Tina for convincing him to get on TV.

“That’s the one.”

If the driver could’ve jumped, he would have.

“Omigod, sir, big fan, sir, big fan—”

“Thanks, now, I need to—”

“The way you busted that coke ring, sir, saw it on TV sir, heroic, absolutely fantastic.”

“Yes, thank you, flattered; now listen to me—what’s your name?”

“Kevin, sir, at your service.” The man actually saluted.

“Look, Kevin, I have my nephew’s wedding to get to, now, and Juárez’s nearly three hours away. I’m running an hour late already, so I’ll make you a deal– you step on it, and I’ll tell you about that cocaine ring on the way. How does that sound?”

Kevin took a second to take the panicked man’s information in. “Very good, sir, very good. Hop in.”

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Killing the Creator (part 20)

Click here to read the previous parts.

“She knows, Al.”

I closed the door of the motel room behind me. Al was sitting cross-legged on his bed with his eyes closed and his brow slightly furrowed. He looked like he was meditating, but I knew better. He was going through the pictures in his iris-cam.

He opened his eyes to look straight at me. “What?”

“She knows.”

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Killing the Creator (part 19)

Click here to read the previous parts.

Reminder: If you haven’t yet, submit your entry for The Raw Poetry Contest. The deadline’s 14th June 11:59 P.M. IST, so hurry.

It’d been a week since Al almost died. He was back to normal now and seeing how much he’d missed out on the ‘fun’ activity of researching in my absence, I’d convinced him to look up more about the midnight man at the cyber cafe, while I went to play with the girl we’d tried to kill. Correction: were trying to kill.

But the Creator wasn’t playing today. Pragya had gone to visit a relative with her parents, and that left her just me to play with.

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Killing the Creator (part 18)

Click here to read the previous parts.

My thoughts were interrupted by Al’s harsh whispers from the inside.

“Spruce!” He sounded quite tense- like he’d messed up something.

Oh shit. Not again.

I hurried in. The Creator was still asleep, thank god, but Al looked like he’d seen a ghost. He was clutching his left arm, the syringe lying half-empty on the floor at his feet.

My hand automatically clapped over my mouth.

“Did you…”

“Yes. Now hurry.”

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Killing the Creator (part 16)

Click here to read the previous parts.

Katherine Marlow sat down against a cybernetically-enhanced ash tree, clutched her knees and put on her best helpless face. Frankly, she was offended by the fact that in spite of being a silver-badge warrior, she was chosen to do this lowly job. But of course, orders aren’t meant to be questioned.

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Killing the Creator (part 15)

Click here to read the previous parts.

Al gulped. “Tell me you’re just messing with me, Spruce.”

“I wish I could, Al.” I spread my hands. “But that’s what they all said.”

“They could be lying,” he said hopefully.

“I hope for our sakes they were.”

“Isn’t there any way to, like, sever the connection?”

“Not that I know of.” I sighed. “I think our best course of action now would be to poison the Creator and get the hell out of here soon as we can. Maybe the midnight man will abandon us if we travel to a different world altogether.”

“Maybe? We can’t risk our asses on a ‘maybe’, Spruce.”

“I personally prefer ‘maybe we’ll live’ to ‘we will definitely die’.”

Al gave his trademark slight frown which indicated he agreed with me but didn’t want to say so.

“Right then. Let’s see where botox gets us.”

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Killing the Creator (part 14)

Click here to read the previous parts.

A steady breeze rustled the leaves of the trees in Nehru Park and made the clothes hanging out on the railings of the houses surrounding it flutter ghostily. The Park was deserted, the time being 2 A.M., except for three people who were standing in a triangle near the henna bushes.

A tall bespectacled girl with tangled brown hair stood at one end, her usually alert grey eyes heavy and tired. But she still stood upright, never slouching.

“I gave everything for this.” She locked eyes with the denimmed boy at the apex of the triangle. “You have to.”

Before he had a chance to reply, however, the short girl with a long black ponytail at the other end addressed him.

“I know you’re not a bad person,” she said, her soft brown eyes pleading. “What we had was not all fake, you know. We laughed at your name, remember?” She was trying to be strong and not let them see her cry. “I beat you at badminton.” She smiled sorrowfully.

The tall girl was starting to say something, but the boy didn’t hear it. A loud ringing filled his ears and-

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