It’s been another crazy year so far but so far this hasn’t been as personally hard as last year. See the blog post I wrote about this. There are benefits to living in a rural community. Despite all the insanity and my kids being out of school I’ve actually been making words. I probably let the boys have too much video game time.
I am in the middle of writing the sequel to Interview with a Dead Girl. At this time its called Something Wicked. April is having to solve another murder with another sidekick. It’s somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 done and I’m super excited where it’s going. I’m hoping to have the rough draft done by the end of August. I’ll be wanting beta readers about October so if your interested, sign up to my mailing list on the left.
Here’s chapter 1 completely unedited although Grammarly isn’t complaining too much. I’m certain there might be some minor details that will change in the near future. I won’t know all of them until I reach the end of the story.
“Alarm at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 81 Kilo please respond.” Janet the night dispatch said over the radio.
“81 Kilo responding,” I replied, swallowing a bite of my turkey and cheese submarine sandwich. I raced up the stairs, into the brownstone and pounded on the door to Patrick’s apartment.
“Hey Patrick. We’ve got to go.”
My new partner Patrick Ryan had excused himself to eat dinner with his pregnant wife Heather. They were expecting their fourth child. He invited me to join them but I declined. We’ve only been partners for a few weeks.
My other senses had been tingling all day and had gotten consistently stronger. Every time someone appeared in the Met I felt it.
Patrick gave his wife a quick kiss before closing the door behind him, a chicken leg in his hand and a napkin shoved into his pants pocket.
“You’re driving,” he said.
“Fine. Don’t sit on my sub.”
“It’s a hero. Where are we going?” I rolled my eyes. In the three years, I lived in Nebraska when I was a child I learned the name sub sandwiches. Even though I’ve lived most of my life in Manhattan where everyone calls them heroes. I can’t break the habit.
“The Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
“Why? Central Park Precinct is closer.”
“I know. All of them are closer.” Patrick and are assigned to the first precinct in the financial district at the south end of Manhattan.
“Busy night?” he asked.
“My guess, if you ask me, Jon sent us the call.”
“Sargent Jon Bell, my ex-partner. He got promoted and transferred me to first.” As far away from his precinct as possible.
“Why?” he asked.
Because I fell in love with him. When he was injured a few months back I told him the truth while he recovered in the hospital. I explained to him, while he was sleeping, that I couldn’t be his partner anymore and I couldn’t stand watching when the bad guys pointed guns at him. Before I got to the point where I explained that I loved him he woke up and threw me out.
“I’ve had this call a few times. If it’s like the last few, some random person appears out of thin air in front of Claude Monet’s self-portrait. Usually, they look confused and ask for help.” I keep too many secrets. Jon knew what I was.
Patrick doesn’t know I’m a witch. He also doesn’t know why there were so many break-ins at the Met recently. Some unicorn kid created a portal and her dad kept getting the address wrong when he sent her friends back. I wondered where the portal started and ended. Who or what came through tonight? Most everyone has been a witch but there’s been a kelpie, a dragon, and a gnome. Usually, I get things figured out before the detectives get involved.
There are a few detectives that know about the portal. Hank Morrell and C.J. Corcoran were pretty helpful with the last few but Hayden Graham was difficult, as usual. In his eyes there is no such thing as magic and no magical creatures. The druids are happy with him not knowing. They preferred to keep humanity in the dark. Clint Garey, his partner, is a believer, said his mom had magic but he could only sense it and has no talent for it at all. That seemed odd if you ask me. If you can feel it then why couldn’t you do something with it?
I stepped on the gas pedal a little harder.
“Jesus Tracy, slow down,” Patrick said, blessing himself with the sign of the cross. I had no idea he was catholic until now.
I slid the car around the corner, thankful for my cousin that spent time on the racing circuit and taking me around the track and letting me drive like a maniac when my parents weren’t watching.
“I’ve got a bad feeling.”
“I know you think you have a psychic ability but- Wait a minute, you’re not in condition yellow are you? ”
“Orange and heading rapidly to red.” I slammed on the brakes and slid the sedan to a stop in front of the museum.
“I can’t explain it. There’s something wrong.”
“81 Kilo at address [fix] “ Patrick barked into the radio.
The museum was a large stone building with fluted columns and large arched windows. It was built between 1872 and 1874 on Fifth Avenue. I could almost feel it’s age. I looked up past the columns to the roof. A shadow moved and I raised my flashlight. The shadow was gone. Maybe it was the shadow’s age that I felt because it felt centuries older than the building.
“Did you see something?” He asked, pointing the beam of the spotlight up.
“Hmm.” He rolled his eyes and shut off the light.
We climbed the stone steps. The security guard let us in.
“What happened Jeff?” It wasn’t Jeff’s first time having to play along with the humans and the security system that automatically calls the police. Jeff wasn’t magical either but he’s had to adjust since the unicorn created the portal.
“The building was completely empty. I’ve done rounds three times since we locked the doors thirty minutes ago. Then this woman came out of the broom closet then vanished a minute later.”
“Show me the video,” I said following Jeff to the security booth. He backed up the high-quality digital video. A tall thin woman with long straight red hair stepped through the door. The lights started flashing and she disappeared. She looked like a younger version of my mother.
“They usually just look confused and ask for help,” Jeff said.
“She looks familiar,” Patrick said.
A pounding on the door echoed down the halls. “I got this,” Patrick said. “It’s probably the detective.”
Please be C.J., Hank or Clint I thought to myself. I might be able to tolerate Jon being the detective. Hayden Graham was another story. Patrick refuses to believe that magic exists but laughs it off as superstition. Hayden is adamant that there is no possible way magic could be real.
A moment later Hayden Graham ducked under the doorway. Rumor has it that he had basketball recruiters in junior high but he didn’t have any talent with the ball. I think he didn’t have any desire to play basketball. He doesn’t seem like a team player if you ask me.
“Fill me in,” he said to Patrick and Jeff, deliberately avoiding eye contact with me.
“We only just got here ourselves,” I said.
“So far we’ve reviewed the video,” Patrick said. “Can you get us a decent picture of the woman or a copy of the video?”
“I’ll check for signs of forced entry,” I said ducking out of the room. Thanks to having been on prior calls with the same situation I knew exactly where all the doors were, that there would be no signs of forced entry, and no useful fingerprints on the door. I would be amiss if I didn’t do my due diligence in trying to figure out who came through the door and where she went.
“I’ll come with you,” Patrick said.
We started at the self-portrait of Claude Monet where the camera got several seconds of video. Patrick looked at the door and tried to open it.
“It’s locked from the inside. The only way through that door from this side is if you have a key or a lock pick,” he said after trying the knob. Her clothes were on the floor. I picked them up and looked through the wallet from her pants pocket. Her name was April Matthews and she lived in Astoria. She had a hundred or so in cash, one credit card, a debit card, and a library card from a small town up north called Belmont. She had no insurance cards. I placed the clothes in a small trash can liner from the maintenance closet.
“Where did you get the garbage bag?” he asked.
“In there.” I pointed to the storage room.
“How did you do that?” he asked.
“Magic.” I grinned, wiggling my fingers followed by the a-day stance that stage magicians assistance do.
He rolled his eyes. I produced the key Jeff kept under the chunk of granite from Mount Rushmore beside the door.
“Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want him to lose his job. He’s got enough flack having this happen every few weeks.
“What is it with this place? Why do people keep coming through this door and how do they get in there to begin with?” Patrick rubbed his chin.
“You won’t believe me.”
“A magic portal created by a unicorn.”
“I’m serious Tracy. There are no such things as unicorns.”
“So am I. And unicorns are real.” When I was a kid, my uncle Nate took me on a coach ride at Central Park for my birthday every year. The two white horses were actually unicorns. What were their names? They said they had a daughter and asked if I wanted to babysit sometime. I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms and told her there was no way I could tolerate watching snot nosed brats even if someone paid me to do it. She seemed to laugh at me.
“If you say so,” he sighed.
“Loading dock next?”
Ten minutes later we were back at the security office. “Find anything?” Hayden asked.
“Yes sir,” I said, holding up the clothes we’d found by the door. I dropped them on the other chair and removed my gloves.
“You?” Hayden asked Patrick as if my years of experience and training didn’t matter. I ground my teeth.
“Only the clothes sir,” Patrick said..
“Fine. Return to the precinct and write up the report.” Hayden said shoving a jump drive into his pocket. “Have forensics check out the clothes.”
Patrick shrugged his shoulders and walked out the door. I reached for the clothes and found they were gone.
“What the-” I said. Hayden scowled at me.
I followed Patrick. “Did you grab the bag?”
“No, but you want to know what’s crazy? A big black dog came running through here with that bag of clothes.”
“Are you certain it was a dog and not a wolf?”
He nodded once. “Why a wolf?”
“Werewolves are real.”
“I actually haven’t met one.”
“Well, we can’t tell Hayden that a black dog came in, stole a bag of clothes and ran back out again while we were standing in the same room.
“What direction did the dog go?”
“I’m going to follow it.”
I glared at him from three steps down.
“Fine. Try and keep up,” he said.
I hope you enjoyed the new adventure so far and remember to sign up to my email list!
Stay well my friends!