Friday, May 17, 2013

Urban Fantasy Flash Fiction Accident



A couple nights ago, I saw a post on Facebook by Tim Marquitz (http://tmarquitz.com), dark fantasy author and nice guy. I “met” Tim virtually when I was putting together the Triumph Over Tragedy anthology back in December.

Turns out Tim was spearheading an effort for an Urban Fantasy anthology. Here’s the write up for it at Tim’s blog:

The time has come to make a statement, to define a genre. This is our manifesto.

I’m looking for urban fantasy stories that leap from the pages, full of action, snark, and unadulterated badassery. Beyond a contemporary/urban setting, there are no thematic guidelines for this anthology. My goal is to challenge the kings and queens of the genre, to rattle the foundations of the UF world. If you think you have that story, I’d love to see it.

Now, I’ve written exactly zero urban fantasy, but I thought perhaps I might give it a shot. You know, stretch the legs a little. I have two superhero stories coming out in anthologies this summer, so…why not?

Only there’s a problem. The submissions closed that night at midnight. Ah well.

At that moment, I had just wrapped up outlining a new project and didn’t want to start into a chapter on book 3 that I knew I wouldn’t finish, so I challenged myself to write a short flash fiction urban fantasy piece. And as I have no place whatsoever to submit it, I thought I’d put it up here.

Enjoy. Or not.  

There are worse things than being stabbed in the gut with a misfiring charge-blade. For instance, having that happen and then being shoved off the penthouse balcony of a forty-story building.

You see, asphalt is hard. Very hard.

Which is why I’m doing my damnedest to get this ever-loving nightwolf directly between me and Fifth Avenue’s snarled taxis and Gucci-bag-toting snobs before we reach the ground.

However, he—she?—hell, it isn’t cooperating, twisting and turning, snapping at me with teeth that I swear were bequeathed by a Great White. As I have an aversion to having any part of me no longer attached to…well, me, I do my best to avoid the beast’s maw.

Office windows whip by as we plummet. Most are like glossy black mirrors while a few are lit from within, the nighttime cleaning crew inside vacuuming away in blissful ignorance of the danger threatening them all.
 
A jolt from the charge-blade—did I mention the damn thing is misfiring?—and I involuntarily ball my fists, ripping out two handfuls of wiry nightwolf hair in the process. The impromptu trim triggers a bout of hapless yelping from the hellspawn. I have a four-inch blade of corporeal magic—which, again, is misfiring—lodged under my ribs, and this mongrel is whining like kicked puppy?

Wimp.

Taking advantage of the distraction, I flip Rover onto his—sorry—its back with only twenty feet to spare. A quick blast of force magic right before we slam into a taxi’s hood saves me from becoming red mush. The nightwolf, however, crunches into the cab’s yellow metal. The windshield shatters along with most of the beast’s bones.  The front tires pop in quick succession, like two rounds from a pistol.

I pull the charge-blade from my gut and will it off. A quick glance and a shrug at the wide-eyed driver later and I’m sprinting down the street, dodging traffic. Someone calls after me and I ignore their cry. I don’t have time to answer questions.

I glance at my watch. 12:44.

“Hell.”

I don’t have much time at all.