& the slipper still fits


“Stop Rodger.”

I froze, rigid this time. My heart stopped and beat twice as fast when it started again. One skinny waffle I could stall, but two Wickeds? I was surprised I was not dead already. Or at least tied up and tossed next to a garbage can, just another leftover piece of trash. The new voice was deep; thunder from the Harrows was not deeper. It caressed my already raw nerves like sandpaper with its sharp intonation of command.

Rodger hesitated, looking back quickly, as though even he did not know we were not alone. My eyes shot back and forth between the two. I certainly had surprise on my side for Rodger, but the new voice was more sinister and sounded like it belonged to a much bigger man. He had stopped the other’s advance. I might have had a martyr complex with skinny before, but I was not stupid – this deeper voice would kill me if it wanted to.
The crowd roared only a street away, firework brusting above us. “Go. Now.” The voice bellowed. It was a warning, but it felt like a command. Somehow, I was still stubbornly stupid enough to want to challenge his authority. No one – other than Gran – told me what to do. Commands were the currency of the Wicked. I loathed them. With the light from the crowd closer, I saw the shadowed features of the larger man raise. I could feel the pain begin eating at the back of my eyes again.

He was saving me; he was giving me a way out, and I was going to stay put stupidly? Nope. Not even close. I did not think about the crowd, I did not look back – I could not – I just started running and I kept running. If there were screams coming from the scene of death behind me, I heard none. I heard nothing. I didn’t take the train home; I just followed the road away from the city till everything turned black as pitch.
Excerpt from Wickeds (working title) Chapter 1
Image: Photographer Unknown