After a brief hiatus, I’m back with an excerpt of The Otherworlders. If you haven’t caught up, below are previous excerpts:
Part 1: What Was That Thing?
Part 2: Meet Andie and Max
Part 3: Poor Jules
Part 4: Two Worlds
Part 5: Meet the Rat King
Part 6: Let’s Go Mole People Hunting!
Part 7: Found: Mole People
Part 8: Shady Shit
Part 9: Home Sweet Home
Part 10: Meet the Parents
Part 11: Not Your Average Blood Suckers
Part 12: A Little Taste
Part 13: Danger Signs
. . .
Andie barreled up the staircase, arriving on her floor within minutes. She walked carefully along the corridor to her apartment. Her senses heightened to detect any movement or whisper. Her door came into view. Andie’s heart dropped into her stomach and a sudden wave of cold spread from her chest as though the blood in her veins turned to ice. Her door was wide open, black blood smeared the floor leading into her living room. Andie warily walked into her apartment. It was chaos; all the furniture had been upturned, books ripped apart and pages strewn across the floor, there were deep gouges in the floor and walls, black fur covered everything.
The ding of the elevator doors opening seemed to echo through the empty hall as Max walked onto Andie’s floor. He clenched his gun in his right arm but kept it down. As he drew closer to Andie’s apartment, he could hear someone shuffling inside, as though they were moving something large.
“Andie?” he called out as he leveled up to the door and peered inside. She was kneeling on the ground surrounded by broken pieces of furniture. Only moments before, she had seen a black paw sticking out from underneath a pile of wood and frantically dug through to extract Layl.
“Andie?” Max whispered this time as he drew closer to hear to see she had her hand on Layl’s side and was murmuring softly. There was a long gash on her side and large patches of fur were missing from her face and paws. Her chest was rising and compressing rapidly as her breath came out ragged and pained. She whimpered at the sight of Max and slowly closed her eyes. “Oh my god,” Max breathed.
Max stepped closer to Andie, “We’ve got to get her help.”
Andie didn’t reply, instead her murmuring became more insistent. Max strained to hear what she was saying but the words were unfamiliar, they didn’t sound like English and he realized she was repeating the same sounds over and over like a chant. Layl’s chest was no longer heaving in pain, her eyes were open and locked onto Andie’s. The gash in her side seemed to have clotted and her eyes were blinking into focus. Andie moved her hand off the wound and stroked Layl’s face.
“Andie . . .” Max moved to put his hand on Andie’s shoulder.
“Goddamn it!” she exploded, pounding her first on the ground, “What is happening?!” she yelled furiously. He moved back a step as Andie took three measured breaths to calm herself, “Sorry,” she murmured, her back still turned to him.
“It’s ok. I’ll go check the rest of the apartment,” Max figured he should leave Andie alone.
“No, I already did. Nothing was taken and the bedrooms look untouched,” Andie turned around but stayed on the floor. She took another set of deep breaths.
“Shouldn’t we call someone?” Max offered but Andie had already taken out her phone.
“Hi Khatt,” there was a pause, “yes, be there in fifteen,” Andie ended the call and picked herself up off the ground. Layl let out a soft meow to which Andie responded, “I’m sorry, we have to go to Khatt. I can’t heal you on my own.” Max resisted the impulse to ask Andie if she was a wizard for the umpteenth time. She grabbed a scarf from her coat closet and wrapped Layl up in it before picking her up and holding her close to her furry head closer to her chest.
“Did it work, whatever you were doing?” Max asked cautiously.
“I think so, but she’s still weak and there might poison,” Andie seemed to sense Max’s next question, “It’s a really simple healing spell they teach you in training.”
Max wasn’t put off, “Right. I still think you’re all wizards.”
“Ugh. Let’s go.”