I stow my tablet, and pull an empty shoulder harness out of a drawer. Standing, I slip it on, before going to the nearest bookshelf and pushing it aside to reveal my personal armory. I move the Magpuls out of the way to grab two Beretta special duty pistols. They’re in dire need of replacing, but they’ve seen me through quite a few tight spots over the years, and I hate to fix what isn’t broken.
As I make my way down the stairs, Justine’s stuffing a stack of bills into her desk drawer. Looking up at me, she winks and points out the door. “Your chariot awaits.”
The moment I step out the doors, I wish I hadn’t.
Parked in my driveway has to be the most godawful atrocity ever built on four wheels—a Pepto-Bismol-pink Hummer, with matching cow print seats that are edged in the ugliest blue, fluffy, faux fur fringe I’ve ever seen. It’s like a train wreck—you want to look away, but the horror of it won’t let you. Oh God, are those multicolored rhinestones on the spinners? This is a crime against nature and an abomination to the car gods.
The passenger window slides down, and she yells, “Get in, we’ve got places to go and people to see.”
I wish fervently for nothing more than to pass through the rest of this day unseen, especially if I’m being forced to ride in that…thing.
“You’re kidding, right?” Pointing at the vomit-inducing heap of pink, I say, “Please tell me you didn’t pay actual money for this oversized Barbie go-cart.” Shaking my head, I fold my arms and stand my ground firmly. “Nope, not doing it. I refuse.”
After snapping several photos with her phone, she throws back her head and laughs. “Get in, you big baby, or I’m leaving you here.”
Oh God, the shame. The closer I get, the uglier it becomes. How’s that even possible?
With immense regret, I slip into the seat, mumbling, “Your parents did a bad job raising you.”
She backhands me in the chest and points. “Buckle up, buttercup. I’m not paying a $180 ticket ’cause you’re a whining bitch.”
Grabbing the rhinestone seatbelt, I feel nauseated. “You’re a horrible person. You realize that, don’t you?”
She lifts her phone and snaps several more incriminating photos. “Oh yes, yes I do! The look on your face makes it worth every last cent I paid for it on eBay. You look absolutely ill…my life is finally complete.” She looks up at the sky, closing her eyes in prayer. “Thank you, God. This is the best day ever.” She cackles once more and turns into traffic.
“God can’t hear you when you’re driving such an abomination.”
She steals a glance at me. “Then we should consider ourselves lucky, since neither of us are on his list of favorite people. You because you’re an ass, and I’m guilty by association.” She holds up her phone again. “Smile.”
My name is Viktor Engel Warden, and I’m here to tell you that there’s more to this world than you might suspect.
There are things that slither and pass unseen through the night, and it’s my job to stop them. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Twenty years ago, I ended a nightmare that would’ve brought the world to its knees. I thought it was over…but I was wrong.
The Cult of Fenrir has returned, and they’re stronger than ever. Now I’m in a race to find the survivors of that day so I can stop them again. Permanently. If I get things wrong…which I wont…but if I do…it might just bring about the apocalypse. But, hey, no pain, no gain, and all that BS. Right? Yeah, I’m not buying it either.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3S3C0P
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N3S3C0P
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3S3C0P
Ken Lange is a current resident of the 'Big Easy', along with his partner and evil yet loving cats. Any delay, typo or missed edit can and will be blamed on the latter's interference.
He arrived at this career a little later in life and his work reflects it. Most of his characters won't be in their twenties and they aren't always warm and fuzzy. He is of the opinion, that middle aged adults are woefully underrepresented in fiction and has made it his mission to plug that gap.
Translation, he's middle aged and crotchety.