The BACHELOR and the Psychic
It’s a god damn shame, though Karl Spangler as he watched his partner of three years pace like a hostile beast in a cage, that I’m not Norvita’s type. She is stupidly hot when she’s mad. It makes a man want to do bad things to get that kind of attention from her. Her jewel encrusted hands gripped tightly on her firm sculpted hips just above the belt line of her low rise jeans. He watched enviously as her fingers pressed into warm brown skin. Her full pillowy and liquored lips pursed into a pouted scowl that smeared her blackberry colored lipstick just a little under her lower lip. She threw her head back shaking out her shiny black hair as her arched spine pushing her perfect breasts out making them look larger than they were. However, the sexiest thing about an angry Norvita Patel was her eyes. When she was mad her rich Harrapan eyes danced like Kali in the fire light of a funeral pyre. She can make the blood rush downward when her eyes sparked with malice. No wonder she and Carson fought all the time. Even I want to throw something at her when she’s this angry just to see if she’d rip me apart and…
Oh no, can she hear me think this?
“I don’t understand what is wrong with you idiots!” Yelled Norvita Patel with a distinct New England accent that ripped apart ear drums with piercing staccatos and made your heart beat that much faster. Their perpetrators huddled together in terror of the ninety pound girl.
At least Karl was safe.
Karl ran his weather beaten fingers over the stained, old and dog-eared copy of Mages and Monsters. This series of role play books were very popular in Gaiman Heights. This is largely due to is simplified combat system and it’s compatibility with other books put out by the same publisher which included Forever Midnight and Hymn of the Lesser Gods. It was also published by a local company which was a great source of pride for the geek community. Karl never quite understood the appeal of tabletop role play games. What was so wrong with a simple board game? Why did things have to have to be complicated with math and dice? Did people need to slip out of their human skin and into a shape of imagination? He didn’t see the point in disappearing into another world with wizards and monsters. Real life, he thought, is so weird that disappearing into a fantasy world of monsters and magic didn’t seem like much of an escape. Karl had been thrown into the unseen world against his own devices. If he could escape it, it would not be to the land of ten sided dice.
It’s why he preferred P.D. James to Anne MacCaffery.
Karl and Norvita had worked the domestic unit of the Normalization Enforcement Squad of the Department of the Arcane for the last three years. Before that, Karl had been a detective with the Gaiman Heights Police Department. He came under the employ of the Department of the Arcane after the incident in the West Hills District of Gaiman Heights. The Incident cost Karl his gold shield and almost his life. I’d go into more detail but that’s a story for another time and probably another book.
Norvita didn’t have a colorful back story like Karl’s. Hers was more simple and typical ---she was your average psychic from Gaiman Heights. Norvita was a third generation psychic having inherited the gift from her father. Her father had, in turn, inherited the gift from his father, the Legendary Swami Patel. Norvita put her hands on her temples as her eyes flickered with pain.
“I can feel something that was big, hungry, and super magical escaped from here.” Her legs shifted their weight viciously. “Fess up geniuses.”
Karl looked up from his inspection of the role play tomes to watch Norvita’s ham fisted interrogation of their suspects. She had far too much fun reveling in the terror of her quarry. Karl’s face turned to a sick flat expression as his fingers danced over the oldest book in the pile. The feel of the soft tanned leather was all too familiar to his practiced fingers as he picked up the book.
You know you’ve been doing the job too long when you can recognize human leather by touch.
This situation was getting old fast for Karl to the point of being boring. Every Thursday for the last year the magic sensors at the Department of the Arcane went off. That meant a potential exposure of magic to mundane world could have occurred which is a major problem for the Department of the Arcane. Exposure of magic is the leading cause of unveiling, to become aware of the supernatural world, of a mundane person. Every time this had happened during the meeting of the Seventh Street Guild who were more than likely doing something foolish.
Norvita was getting more agitated the longer they stayed with them. Karl watched her as his jaw went slack. She slowly paced again as her shoulder blades rose and fell like a predatory cat. On days like these Karl felt like he was back in his beat cop days busting up illegal gambling games. Between the psychic partner and the Seventh Street Guild, he almost missed those days. He held up the human leather bound book up to eye level.
“You boys need to explain to me why there is an Assyrian Grimoire among the Mages and Monsters books.” Said Karl in his slow farmer’s draw. He wasn’t from Indiana but he did sound like it.
Karl rubbed his eyes. He felt tired like Richard Decker from Blade Runner. The leader of the Seventh Street Guild lowered the hood of his Guild Cloak. He stared at them through thick glasses that he pushed back onto the bridge of his nose. Norvita cringed at his sheepish grin.
“It’s not a grimoire?” Said the Guild Master.
“Then the book bound in human skin and sown with hair is what?” Karl flashed a steely glare over the rims of his bifocals that could have stopped a bus.
“T-T-Tuesdays with Morrie?” Stuttered the guild member wearing the striped shirt and Viking helmet.
Norvita turned her head to one side resting her chin on her shoulder. She stared at Karl out of the corner of her eye. When Norvita felt frustrated from a situation, she often broadcasted her feelings on a low telepathic level. She was never terribly aware that she was doing it. To people who didn’t spend time with Norvita, like the Guild, this was often dismissed as a mild skin irritation and watery eyes. Karl, on the other hand, having spent more time with Norvita was more perceptible. Paired with his own agitation, her broadcasting left Karl with his skin pricking with irritation. His fingers curled into a tight fist. She turned back to the Guild.
“Karl,” His named rattled around in his brain like a striking diamondback. Her voice dropped three octaves behind a telepathic hiss ripping at Karl’s skin. The room grew darker as a storm rolled into the room. “Let me hurt them.”
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