This is not an original idea. Some of you that have read here and read my books for a while might say that I’ve never had an original idea, but to that I say “bite me.” I swiped this idea from the blogs of a couple of writers I follow, because I think it’s a good one. This is a sneak peek at the beginning of Black Knight Chronicles Vol. 2, Back in Black (and Blue). Lemme know what you think – and don’t forget, the win a Kindle contest is still running!
If you like this piece, buy Volume 1 here!
The foot came at my face almost faster than I could see, and way faster than I could do anything about. I took the shot straight to my jaw, and if I hadn’t seen it coming at the last minute and let my neck go slack, I probably would have been chewing out of the other side of my face for a while. Except for the fact that I’m on a liquid diet. Forever. But I took the kick to the mouth and was able to spin out of the way of the uppercut that followed. I delivered a punch of my own to my opponent’s ribs and had the satisfaction of hearing a “whoof” of exhalation that let me know my shot hit home even through the body armor.
I grabbed an exposed arm and spun my attacker into a hammerlock, but didn’t lock my feet far enough apart. I ended up tossed head over heels as the slippery black-clad figure put some kind of judo hex move on me that left me splayed flat on my back like a retarded box turtle. I lay there helpless as the tip of a wooden stake flashed down at my chest, stopping a hair before it pierced the skin.
“Uncle.” I gasped, and sat up slowly, avoiding the oversized toothpick that was a lot closer than I ever figured a mortal would be able to get without my permission.
“You see, Jimmy. It doesn’t matter the physical advantages an opponent has, if you’re more mentally together and focused, you’re unbeatable. All the super-speed and strength in the world is useless against a determined, well-prepared opponent. If this had been a real fight, you’d have been a little pile of dust and fangs in the middle of the living room floor.” My opponent, the always fetching Sabrina Law, helped me up, wincing a little from the punch I’d landed on her ribs.
“As long as the opponent was wearing body armor. If you were in street clothes, I’d have broken a couple of ribs with that punch.” I limped over to the couch and collapsed a little, propping my feet up on the coffee table. Sabrina took the armchair across from me and starting getting out of her SWAT gear. I thought she looked pretty good in battle gear, but I’ve been known to have a Call of Duty fetish.
“True enough,” she replied, kicking off her combat boots and heading towards the fridge. “But any well-prepared opponent is more than likely going to have some type of body armor. You got anything for me to drink in here?”
“Yeah, good point. If not body armor, then it’ll be some kind of magical shielding or some super-duper force field or something else I can’t punch through. Oh, yeah, there’s beer in the door. And grab me a bag from the crisper?” She brought a bottle of Miller Lite back into the den and tossed me a bag of blood from the fridge. We both took a long drink, and let out a sigh of contentment as our respective drinks made the bruises feel a little less sharp. I looked over at Sabrina, who looked back at me and we both cracked up at the synchronicity of it all.
We had almost gotten over our bout of the giggles when my partner, Greg Knightwood, clumped down the stairs into our apartment. “What’s so damn funny?” He grumbled as he came over to sit next to me on the couch.
“You had to be there.” I said as I snorted a little blood out of one nostril. Gross, I know, but what can I say, it’s an occupational hazard of being a vampire. “Who peed in your Cheerios?”
“It’s this stupid case. I hate divorces.” Oh yeah. I’d forgotten he lost the coin toss and had to do surveillance tonight. Divorces are the worst thing in the world for private investigators, which is how Greg and I pay the bills. It’s a lot of waiting in cars in sleazy parking lots while somebody does something inappropriate with someone they’re not supposed to be doing anything with while the person they’re supposed to be doing things with waits anxiously at home for us to come back to them with proof of what they wished they didn’t already know. I don’t know how Greg managed. Divorce surveillance always made me want to bite somebody. I took a little pity on him and got him a beer.
“Tonight it was the tour of all the Mecklenburg County biker strip clubs with his floozy girlfriend while his wife and mother of five children stayed home and baked four dozen cookies for the PTA bake sale tomorrow.” He killed his beer in one long pull and headed to the fridge for another. Sabrina and I both raised our hands for a refill, and he brought three back to the couch.
“I hope she takes him for everything he’s worth, the pig.” Sabrina muttered.
I nodded, but Greg said “That’s the worst part! She can’t even take him for anything, because he’s been on unemployment for more than a year! She’s the one working overtime to keep their McMansion and helping the kids with their homework and dealing with the bill collectors while he runs around chasing skirts! If I were a weaker man I’d just bite him. If I thought she wouldn’t be a suspect I’d make him disappear. He’s probably worth more dead than alive with life insurance, anyway.”
“Always an option, bro. I’m up for a snack if you are.” I finished my beer and made to put my shoes back on.
“No. I don’t do that anymore. No matter how bad he is, he doesn’t deserve that.” Greg was purely a bag-drinker. He didn’t touch blood from the tap anymore. I admired his resolve but didn’t necessarily share his strength of convictions. Sabrina was well aware of this and shot me a dirty look.
“Okey-dokey. You just say the word, partner, and he’s a spot on my tie.” I leaned back on the couch.
“You don’t own a tie.”
“Oh yeah. Good thing I don’t have a respectable job, then.” That’s when Sabrina’s cell phone rang and our night took a turn for the spectacularly crappy.