Apr 2, 2012

War-N-Wit, Inc. - Contest Entry

War-N-Wit, Inc.
By
Gail Roughton

I’m the cat’s meow.  The star.  I’m all over this series.  Over it, you understand.  As in, “on the covers”, not in the actual story.   Not yet, anyway, you never know what this crazy writer woman’s gonna do.  She’s not really my job, but since my assignments live in her head, well, she kinda goes with the territory.  If she ain’t happy, my assignments ain’t happy.  They’re just sitting there bored.  So I guess I have to take care of her by default. 

I’m Micah, by the way.  The cat.  The black one.  Sort of.  Actually, I’m Micah, Angel of the Divine Plan.  The watcher of spiritual evolution and revealer of the next steps of the path.  The world first met me over at the crazy writer lady’s place.  (http://gailroughton.blogspot.com/)  And you have no idea how long I’ve been watching these two.  ‘Course, they don’t know me from Adam’s housecat.  (Did Adam have a housecat, anyway? Did Adam have a house?)  But I digress.   See, it’s like this…

Ariel Anson thinks she has her life in order.  She’s young, smart, and beautiful, even if she doesn’t believe the beautiful part.  She’s a paralegal with a great career and a fiancé who’s a CPA.  You just can’t get any steadier than that.  Then she meets private investigator, bounty hunter, process server Chad Garrett.  What does War-N-Wit, Inc. stand for anyway?  Warlock and Witch?  For real?  Oh, yes!  For real.  Her life as she knows it is over!  

This Chad Garrett?  Oh, man.  He’s always into something.  It’s a high-risk profession to begin with.  But he took it to the next level even before he found Ariel Anson.  He’s a warlock, after all.  So he was bad enough to begin with.  And then he just had to go and find his witch.  Now my workload’s doubled.  But did he give a minute’s pause to think about that, when he finally convinced her to meet him?  At a Mexican restaurant, of all places?  No, he did not.  Though I guess I have to remember he doesn’t know a thing about me.  Anyhow, sparks started flying the minute those two met.  Like they weren’t flying already in those emails. No, at that point, he didn’t give a leaf of catnip how much extra trouble he was causing.  Not as much as he’s gonna cause, though.  I’m gonna have to watch these two through a whole series. 

Excerpt:

When the waitress asked if we wanted booth or table, I automatically said booth. I needed that table between us. That didn't work out so well, though, as he slid in right next to me.

"Too close?" he asked.

"No," I lied. Worlds too close. To the waitress, I said "Small guacamole salad and a chili rellano, please. And tea."

War-N-Wit, Inc.

He perused the menu briefly and flipped it shut. "Two chicken burritos, please. Unsweetened tea." And under the table, he rested his hand on my knee. An electric bolt of heat shot through me. I knew I should pull my thigh back over. Instead I felt it lean towards him.

I turned to the bowls of salsa and chips as though seeking sanctuary from a church altar. The first bite reminded me with a jolt that even though I loved Rosita's food, her salsa wasn't my favorite as it was made thin and, to my tastes, exceedingly hot. And our tea wasn't even on the table yet. And today, I wasn't even going to love the food because I was going to have a hell of a hard time eating anything. I glanced around. Nobody here that knew me. The attorneys ate at Rosita's occasionally, but almost always on a Friday when they made it a tradition to eat what they termed "funky". And nobody from Scott's accounting firm ever came in here, which had figured highly in the choice of meeting spot.

"Safe?" he asked, amusement in his voice. "Nobody here to run tattling back to the fiancé?" I'd forgotten he had a Floridian non-accent rather than a southern accent.

"So it appears," I said, leaning back. "Good drive up?"

"After I ran out of the rain. Wanta loosen up a little bit before you break?"

"I don't know if I can. And I don't even know what to say or talk about or—"

"Well, you've been just overflowing with questions in the emails lately."

The waitress deposited the plates with the usual warning they were hot, and I picked up my fork, promptly burning the hell out of my mouth on the first bite of rellano. To hell with this. Yes, I'd been overflowing with questions. Questions mostly unanswered.

"Yes, I have, haven't I, and you've studiously avoided answering most of them, too." I turned to face him, but instead of any of my prior questions, I had a new one. "Half-witch, half-bitch?"

He laughed. "For the moment."

"For the moment?"

"Until you figure it out. I'd thought there was no way you didn't know. Or at least have some glimmer of an idea."

"About what?"

"That you're a witch. One of the most powerful ones I've ever run across. And nobody with that much power could possibly not know. At least a little bit. Guess I thought wrong on that one."

Okay, I was in the Twilight Zone.




Gail Roughton
Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia who grew up on the banks of Stone Creek Swamp, immersing herself in imaginary worlds fueled by whichever book was in her hand at the moment including, but definitely not limited to, Edgar Allen Poe,  H. P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker and Ray Bradbury.  She has spent over thirty years in a law office as a paralegal, having decided during the course of her first work experience that while she was as fascinated by the legal world as the imaginary worlds of her childhood, she never wanted to be a lawyer.  Sharpening her technical legal writing abilities all day every day while working full-time and raising her three children, her “spare” time has been devoted to writing because “I couldn’t have this much fun for free doing anything else.”


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