Urban Fantasy Noir
Publisher: Ink & Magick
Date Published: March 5, 2019
Human, private detective Anna Caill isnât keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she wonât deny itâs good for business. The coppers couldnât care less about the witchesâ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.
When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesseâs friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.
As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.
People crowded the streets on their routes to work. Huddled in their dark winter coats with their hatted heads tucked in to keep their necks warm, they looked like a waddle of penguins as they shuffled along. The enjoyable crisp air of autumn had given way to the blades of winter wind. It hadnât yet snowed, but I looked hopefully at the clouds overhead.
I loved the first snowfall. Everything was so fresh, and the pure white flakes covered the filthy, scarred face of the city. I knew the grime was still there, but it was nice to pretend. My one vain belief in life was that if you pretended long enough, you could convince even yourself.
Holiday decorations already sparkled in the shop windows though Thanksgiving had only been the week before. Even in light of that, everyone seemed more excited than usual. I stopped at a newsstand.
âWhatâs happening, Mac?â I asked the man next to a shrinking stack of newspapers.
âFord released the new Model A. Want to see the photographs?â He held out a paper to me.
I continued down Huntington Street until I hit Wilbur Avenue. As expected, the squawkers were gathered on the corner. Their leader stood on a soapbox, preaching to anyone whoâd listen.
âThe Devilâs got his claws in you, but you donât have to be a witch. Come toward the light and let Jesus Christ save you. This magic you practice corrupts Godâs plan for you. It tempts you away from his pathâ¦â
The tirade went on as usual, and I tried to pass as quickly as I could. Theyâre born witches, you imbeciles. You already got magic banned for humans. What more could you possibly want?
I knew I shouldnât let them irritate me every time I saw them, but then I thought of how long witches had lived in the shadows and how far weâd thought society had come. Of course, while the revelation that magic exists had delighted many, others quaked in fear and felt the need to squash what they didnât understand and could never possess.
After turning on Wilbur Avenue, I went into a large house with an unimposing sign in the window, which read, âClinic for Internal Medicine.â
The reception area was like any other physicianâs home. There were uncomfortable looking chairs for waiting clients and a commanding nurse, who doubled as a secretary. The white walls were severe against the dark, hardwood floor.
The clinic couldnât have been open for long because there was only one patient waiting, a woman round with child.
My heels clicked on the floor as I ankled to the nurseâs desk.
âIâm here to see Dr. Zodiac.â
Though the nurse had seen me many times, including the day prior, she stared at me hard to determine my purpose. Finally, she nodded. âThe doctor is available at the moment. Go to the door at the end of the hall.â
I thanked her and went through the closed door behind her. I passed a legitimate exam and surgery room before I reached the end. After entering an inconspicuous door, I climbed down a flight of stairs, dimly lit by a naked bulb overhead. A thick carpet muffled the sound of my descent.
When I reached the solid, iron door at the bottom, I knocked in three groups of three. A slot at eye level slid open.
âThe archer can never shoot the flame because itâs within him,â I whispered to the eyes.
Metal scraped, and the door opened. I entered the tunnel of Starlight Avenue. Though the tunnel was raw earth, it was smooth and well-lit by electric lights every few feet. At various points, it branched off into other tunnels, all of which led to different destinations that could fulfill any magical need.
About the Author
D. writes stories she wants to read. Her love of the worlds of fiction led her to earn a Bachelorâs in English from Wright State University.
When she isnât reading or writing, sheâs probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television, Bollywood, or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.
She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cat (Yin).