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.
The noises had stopped, but he could hear, faintly, the whoosh of something breathing, right behind him. Small, sharp points pressed into his back, digging into his shoulders into two arcs—claws, he realized, as they just broke the skin.
He could still hear the breathing, and the beginnings of a growl, and behind him, something else, bigger, moving closer.
He clenched his eyes shut. They wanted him to look at them. Why? He didn’t know, but his gut told him he shouldn’t open his eyes.
Through the spike of panic clogging his throat, he forced out, “I’m sorry,”and truly meant it this time.
The louder gremlin giggled, high-pitched and raspy.
This was it. This was how he died.
The heat from the claws digging into his back vanished, and as he knelt there, eyes clamped shut tightly, he heard the faint rustle of something—several somethings moving behind him.
Four, five… he couldn’t tell. Much more than two, which had been terrifying enough.
The door thudded against the wall as someone shoved it open, and a familiar voice shouted something in a language full of liquid syllables.
“Harry,” Seth said, as his frazzled brain provided him with a prosaic piece of information amid the screaming terror of the last few minutes.
“Just stay put, Seth. Keep your eyes closed until I say otherwise,” Harry slid in between the lilting words of that other language.
A rough-edged voice, with an inhumanely deep tone, answered, the burble of sounds still as pretty as a stream, answered, moving away from Seth as it did so.
* * *
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.