This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a new WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination, despite a shadow following him home. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway car he’s on is delayed more than an hour–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) pushes him into her office and tells him she can fix his gremlin problem–and sends him to buy an expensive sound system, then wait for her before he enters his apartment. Seth goes in alone.

Previous snippet: 

“I brought you a gift, to apologize for my mistake,” he tapped the boxes, “so I’ll just leave it here for you, and—”

Something fizzed and crackled, and then, with a shower of sparks, the overhead lights in the living room and kitchen burst, a melody of glass sprinkling the linoleum. A few of the sparks settled on a stack of magazines on the living room table, and flames flickered to life.

Seth swore, smacking at the magazines with a towel on the nearby counter, sending sparks everywhere, scorching the table-top and his hand. He yelped, and lunged for the sink.

He wrenched both taps open, and the faucet emitted a rattling groan, but no water.

What could he use? He hauled open the fridge, yanked out a jug of juice, and poured it over the magazines. That got the fire out, finally, but left a sticky mess of orange juice swimming with ash and pieces of scorched paper.

Behind him, he heard a raspy chittering.

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Seized with an almost uncontrollable desire to turn around, Seth clenched his eyes shut, and didn’t realize he’d tightened his jaw, too, until his teeth began to ache from the pressure.

The sound came from behind him, again—no, two sounds. One echoed deeper, louder, more of a growl, and farther to the left.

His skin crawled, but he eased up on his jaw without opening his eyes. “Harry– she works in the basement of my building, I think you know her–she said there was a ritual, but I don’t know the words, and… something happened to keep her from telling them to me.”

The noises were definitely closer now.

“I don’t know the words, but I am sorry, and—”

Stars burst across his closed eyelids, and a spike of pain drove through his skull. Then his knees ached, and somehow he’d fallen to them, hard from how they complained, his palms stinging, too from hitting the floor.

He should have waited for Harry, even if it took hours.

*    *    *

Gremlins have camouflage magic, and a way of making people who catch just a glimpse forget them. This is good for humanity, because they’re powerfully ugly, and react violently to being discovered. But when Seth hits his head and lands on the floor right next to a gremlin, he sees it… and it notices that he’s done so. Things are about to go downhill for Seth.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

22 responses »

  1. You’ve done it again, Caitlin. Scary snippet. My skin has goose-bumps from your story.

  2. Oh, poor Seth can’t catch a break! Entertaining tale you’re spinning. 🙂

  3. nancygideon says:

    Patience IS a virtue . . . and sometimes, a lifesaver. He should have waited. Hind sight is always 20/20.

  4. SueBarr says:

    I’m thinking the gremlins are going to like him – if only to drive him bonkers

  5. Alexis Duran says:

    Definitely should have waited. Now it’s going to cost him a lot more than an expensive sound system, me thinks.

  6. Oh dear, from bad to worse in a hurry! (Note to self: always wait for Harry!). Loving this story and enjoyed the excerpt of course…really a unique tale you’re spinning for us.

  7. Hoo boy- yeah, he should have waited!

  8. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Oh, those don’t sound like gremlins. And if they were, I’m terrified. Great snippet!

  9. Ed Hoornaert says:

    NOW he realizes this. Too late, too late.

  10. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    What is going to happen now? Poor guy.

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