Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Page Straight From... #apagestraightfrom

The Coven by Gail Roughton
Warn-N-Wit, Inc Series

We walked down the street, taking in the crowd. Black leather, tight denim, feathers, sweatbands, shaved heads, long hair, tattoos, body piercing. Bare butt cheeks peeked out from short short cut-offs. Cleavage overflowed halter tops. Muscle shirts. Lots of muscles. Lots of used-to-be muscle that wasn’t quite anymore. Full mountain man beards, trimmed beards, scraggly beards. Head bandanas. Foot gear ran the gamut from flip-flops to biker boots to six inch platforms and/or spike heels. Pretty much what I’d expected at Biker’s Week. Can’t say as I expected what walked toward us, though, and I wasn’t about to risk accidental contact with that particular fashion accessory. I stepped back towards the shop fronts and pulled Stacy with me.
“What?”
I pointed.
“No. Way.”
“Way.”
A tall biker came down the street toward us. Shoulder muscles rippled as he walked. The long length of the spotted boa constrictor wrapped around his neck rippled, too. The big head raised and lowered as it swayed back and forth, taking in the sights. Its tongue flicked out occasionally, tasting the air and any by-passer brave enough or drunk enough to pass close enough.
Stacy stepped back even further, crowding the shop’s doorway as they passed by, pulling me with her. The duo passed by. Almost. Just when I thought we were in the clear, its massive head swiveled toward us and its long body undulated. It bunched its muscles and lunged straight at us. Its long tongue flicked. I cringed and cowered back. Not far enough, though. It got me square on the cheek, licking rapidly.
Its owner grabbed it close to the head and pulled it back.
“Cyrus! Where yo’ manners, boy?”
Cyrus flicked his tongue harder.
“’Scuse us, pretty ladies, but got to admit, the boy’s got good taste! You two mighty pretty things!” Cyrus lunged toward me again. “Cyrus! I said behave yo’self, now! ‘Course she tastes good, bound to, way she looks, but you just can’t go ‘round tasting all the ladies!” The biker reeled Cyrus in like the line on a fishing rod, waved cheerily, and continued on his way.
I leaned my back against the store wall and slid down slowly all the way to the ground.
“You okay?” Stacy knelt beside me. She grabbed my hands and rubbed them like she was reviving a shock victim. Mostly because I probably looked like one.
“If I can sit a minute. Rubber knees.”
“Guess I’ll let you get by with it this time.”
“Gee, thanks.”
“I’da died. Was it as icky as it looked?”
“Actually, it felt like gettin’ licked by a happy puppy. Real soft tongue, like a human tongue, almost. Thank God, ‘cause I’da had a heart attack for sure if it felt as icky as it sounds.”
Meoooowww.
Micah rubbed against my thighs and paced impatiently back and forth across my lap.
“So now you decide to show up. Where to, big boy?”
He took off down the street, glancing back to make sure we were still behind.
“What’s the deal with the cat, Ari? Give.”
“Wish I knew. I just know he—shows up. When I need him.”
I grabbed the hand Stacy extended to help me up and Micah darted on down the street, looking back to make sure we followed.
We increased speed to keep up. Must be the heat and the press of the crowds. The after-shock from the snake smootch. Maybe I needed to eat. Nausea roiled up from the pit of my stomach and dark spots started dancing in my line of vision.
“Ari!” Stacy’s voice was muffled, hitting my eardrums through some barrier that distorted and slowed the vibration of her voice. “Arrriii!” And then I didn’t hear her anymore. Because I wasn’t there. I was somewhere else.



 

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