The sorcerer sits in the brand-new DeSoto, fiddling with the knobs, waiting for something good to come on the radio and for Ronald Feathercane.
He'd seen Feathercane leave the old building with the witch Aulia in tow, smiling, talking. He'd smelled the smoke, the ash, the burn, even from inside the car. He'd wondered if they could taste the water, feel it in the air.
Manhattan is an island; they probably don't even notice it anymore.
He hadn't needed to follow them: Feathercane has to return. His things are here, his asbestos books, his talismans. And it isn't time for them to move, yet, they aren't ready.
There are kids playing on the sidewalk, an uneasy alliance of Irish kids and Italian kids, kids from the same building as Feathercane. They have a hopscotch grid scratched onto the concrete in white chalk and glass bottles of coke with straws stuck in at careless angles.
He wonders if the kids know, have seen, have realized about Feathercane or his witchy redheaded caller. Kids notice things: they haven't learned not to. They haven't been taught to avoid seeing the things it's too uncomfortable to have seen.
There is a bodega across the street that sells him a box of saltines. The North African working there makes him for what he is, but says nothing. People who've lived in the desert respect the power of water.
The sorcerer returns to the car and resumes his stakeout. He keeps watch: there is a rear-view or side mirror reflecting every approach. He eats the crackers. It is a long comfortable afternoon sitting in the parked Desoto. The police drive by twice but don't notice him; there are negro kids to roust from stoops. The police have their priorities.
He finds baseball on the radio. The new play-by-play guy, Scully, isn't bad. Jackie Robinson has learned to hit fast balls. It looks to be a good season.
Eventually Ronald appears: hurrying down the sidewalk, glancing behind him, nervous, harried, doomed. He fumbles with his keys, but eventually makes it through the security door. He doesn't take the stairs; he feels secure now. He pushes the call button and waits for the elevator. He steps in and the doors close with an as-yet-unknown finality. He's making it easy.
It only takes a drop — called down from the rainwater collection tank on the roof, applied judiciously to the right circuit — to stop the old Otis on its track, kill it dead.
He lets Feathercane sweat it for a full minute before calling down the rest of the water, pouring it into the elevator car to slowly rise towards the man's nose. The car isn't airtight, doesn't need to be; there's enough water to fill it thrice over. Poor Ronald will have time to drown before it starts to drain out. He can't flame in the enclosed space, he'll just scald himself to death with steam.
The sorcerer hopes he tries it anyway, out of panic. It'll hurt more.
A little flavor of Dresden here, but different - I like it. You've got me wondering about the other elemental sorcerers in this world. It looks like this is a stand-alone piece? Or are there others set here?ReplyDelete
This one is a sequel to "Agua de beber", the previous post. There aren't any others in this universe: I've done some other 'urban fantasy', but not a lot, and I don't have a coherent framework for any of it.Delete
I love the idea of urban fantasy - mixing the ordinary, the scientific, and the magical - and I've read some, but have yet to figure out how to write it.Delete
I haven't read that much either. I like 'Hellboy', that's about the extent of my familiarity. :-)Delete
Incidentally, if you're looking for new prompts, check out the Trifecta Writing Challenge (assuming you haven't already). http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.comReplyDelete
I've been looking at those, but haven't found one I wanted to do yet. Mostly because of the odd wordcount ranges...Delete
Don't let that deter you - their schtick is built around the number 3, but really, I find that the strict word limits help focus my writing. But you know that, with your drabbles. Trifecta is pretty simple: 33-333 words for the weekday challenge, using the third definition of a given word, and usually 33 words for the weekend one, though they mix it up a bit and do different things for the weekend. Anyhow, it's a great community. Think about it. :)Delete
I will :-) 333 I could definitely do, but 33 just strikes me as too short to do anything meaningful, at least in my style.Delete