Gah! Sorry this is late kids. I was so caught up in Pitch Madness that I forgot to do a post in advance! So unlike me but….I had pages requested and several agents interested! So excited! Hopefully it leads to things even more exciting.
As a treat I give you the next chapter from Errand Girl of the Undead. Click here to read the first chapter, previously posted.
The late bell was ringing when I finally slid into my seat in room 201. Homeroom. Junior year. I’m not sure how the summer passed so fast and led me back to the classroom, but there I was.
Hearing my full name always made me cringe, not to mention my classmates snicker.
“She goes by Ellie,” a familiar masculine voice corrected. I flashed Jon Mars my best heart stopping smile of appreciation. The resulting blush was adorable. I made a note to sit closer to him tomorrow, should I get to school early enough.
A half-hearted wave that I was in attendance had the teacher nodding in my direction and making notes on her roster. Damn new teachers and them not knowing never to call me by my real name. My guardian had a bit of a twisted sense of humor to go naming me after the Mistress of the Dark. I’ve heard all the jokes and started going by Ellie as soon as I was old enough to realize what a pain in the butt being named Elvira was. Thankfully the honeyed-blonde hair, green eyes and my affinity for bright colors kept most of the ribbing at bay these days. There were still breast comparisons though. Teenaged boys were disgusting. Except maybe Jon Mars. I haven’t caught him trying to take a peek down my shirt. Yet.
The teacher droned on making sure all her charges were there. I fingered the card tucked deep into my pocket. Should I read it? Covertly looking around I saw that my classmates were all involved in vapid conversations not paying me any attention. Should be safe enough.
Laying the folded card on my desk, I looked over the outside. The paper was heavyweight and my name–Ellie that is– was scrawled across the pristine surface in flowing black calligraphy. It was perfectly creased and there were flecks of papery pulp. Obviously it was expensive stationary. That was a clue in itself. No one used the expensive stuff like that to ask me to walk their dogs. The calligraphy was another tip off. In an age of computers and texting, people hate writing, period. Script in any form was kind of a dead art and the only people I found who still used it were dead themselves. Well, undead if you preferred. Then there was the seal. Only some crazy LARPer would go through the trouble of melting a blob of wax and pressing a signet into it and even that’s doubtful. Nope. All clues pointed to this card coming from someone very old and someone very dead.
Sighing, I picked at the wax, trying not to rip the paper as I pried the edges open. Red flakes fell onto the desk top. A sweep of the hand had the specks fluttering to the hideous puke colored carpet below. Checking again that no one dared to read over my shoulder, I opened the card just enough for me to see the beautiful writing inside.
It didn’t say a whole lot: My name, a request to meet with me at the shop after sundown and a signature, Tomas Abbate.
A giggle slipped out and I slapped a hand over my mouth, glancing around to see if anyone heard me. Thankfully they all seemed self-absorbed, as usual.
Abbate, variation on Abbà, meaning priest or abbot in Italian. Funny surname for one of the “damned.”
When the bell signaled us to move on to our first class I shoved the card back into my pocket and followed the flow of students upstream. Why all the theatrics of getting Samson to deliver the card? Why have a card at all? People who desired my services knew where to find me. I didn’t require appointments–although they were always nice–so folks simply stopped by when they could. Something was fishy about the whole thing, but I’d be lying if I said my curiosity wasn’t piqued.