It’s not often I share large pieces of what I am working on. I may do the odd #1linewed on twitter or share a funny line or two on my fb author page, but this story is taking me ages to write and it may be another year before I’m fucking done with it, so I thought maybe you might be interested. I mean, you might not be, and that would be cool too. (I really just wanted an excuse to open the file, cause then I can say I worked on it today.)
So, it is tentatively titled Grave Robber and is a occult/religious thriller maybe? I’m not so hot at giving genres to my stuff. And here is just a small taste.
Koda held up a fist that I figured meant stop, and we all stood, staring. Aside from the sounds of the woods, the sounds I knew and accepted as part of that area, all I could hear was the shallow breathes of the men that had boxed me in. There was no movement around the platform. There was nothing disturbed as far as I could see. I didn’t figure Koda would trust my judgment though, so I stayed silent. Which was hard. Finally after what seemed like a million years, he made the hand movement that meant move out, and with Astor by my side, Zeke behind me and Koda in front of me, we crossed out of the treeline and over the tracks. As one, we hopped up on the platform, and I marveled at how quickly I fell into the group. Koda signaled stop again, and we did. Waiting as he used a mirror to peek around the corner.
We moved again on his signal, slipping through the side door I had been using for the past year. I took notice of my early warning bells still in place, and we continued on. The farther into the building we went, the less it felt like a lark. My heart rate elevated the deeper in we went. We passed another of my alarms, also untouched, and went down the last set of stairs. Headlamps switched on around me, and I got frustrated I didn’t have my gear. Despite it being morning, we were underground and it was nearly black. The headlamps cast shadows around us, and a lesser woman would have been spooked.
Truthfully, I was nearing spooked status. There was no reason for it, I had lived in these tunnels for a year, on my own. And never before had I been this nervous. A sound in the distance drew me up short, causing me to once again slam into Koda. His hand went up fast, and the others around me stopped.
“Infrared Astor.” Koda barked, but in a low tone. Low enough that I almost didn’t hear him. I hoped whatever was at the end of the tunnel didn’t hear him either.
“Yeah boss.” There was almost no trace of the french in his voice then. I watched as he pulled on a new head gear and lowered it down over his eyes. His movements were efficient and stealthy. If I wasn’t with them, I’d be scared to know men like him were out there, fighting under the sign of the cross.
“Duex men boss, carrying hardcore weapons.” Astor lifted the infrared goggles back up and winked at me, standing closer, his hand on the sword on his belt.
“Close ranks. We keep her safe.” The words came from Koda, but the voice was wrong. Cold. Hard. A shiver ran down my spine, just like when I was young and my sister would say that someone had walked over my grave. If someone had, I would wager that Koda would avenge me, if his new scary voice was anything to judge by. I joked with him. I called him Curly. But damned if he wasn’t a serious badass, one I should probably have more respect for. Maybe less teasing.
With the six of them boxing me in, I resorted to placing my palm on his back, holding me still while my need to run kicked in. Under my palm his muscles bunched and tensed. My hand grew hot, and the intimate way I had touched him became too much for even my bold attitude and I pulled away. The loss of heat was instant, and I almost put my hand back, but then his hand had risen again and we were moving. Silently we walked slowly toward the end of the tunnel. The men had shut off their headlamps, the hope of surprise on our side. Soon enough a sliver of light shot through ahead of us, one of the few windows that shed light far below the lobby of the train station.
Two men who dressed eerily close to my protectors stood by the cracked door to my rooms. There was a emblem on the chest of their uniforms that I couldn’t read from far away, but there was no point in guessing.
“Maalik’s men.” Zeke whispered in my ear, causing me to jump and nearly scream. “Shit, calm down woman.”
“Don’t whisper in my ear when I’m already scared to death.” I shot back in my own hushed voice.
“Why so scared? Worried I won’t keep you safe?” Zeke tried to sound affronted but I heard the laughter, even though he tried to hide it.
“In case you haven’t noticed,” I gestured at the two men, “they have large guns. You have swords.”
“Oh, poor naive Imogen,” he pushed his coat away from his hip, next to the sword scarab was a pistol.
“Do you really think we don’t have enough firepower? I’m pretty sure Astor has a bomb on him.”
a note about the featured image. I found it on pinterest and traced it back to doyoulikevintage.tumblr.com It is the image behind this whole story. I saw it forever ago and decided I needed to write a story that involved the abandoned train station in Hungary and that is how the story of Imogen started.