Lazy again so I am posting the first couple of pages of a recently completed novella, Beyond the Norm. I hope you enjoy it well enough to want to read it when it comes out. FYI, it has not been through the editing processing.
The one drawback of being the owner of Dave’s Bar was having to close it up the six nights it was open.
David Johnson closed and locked the heavy oak door and glanced at his watch in the light of the neon sign of the bar. A little after three in the morning. And pouring rain.
“Shit,” he muttered. Apparently the weather man had been right after all. In the distant horizon lightning flashed. Unusual weather for December in Southern California.
He fingered his suede jacket. With the rain coming down as hard as it was he’d have to run to his truck to avoid getting completely drenched and even then he’d be pretty damn wet. The suede would be ruined.
Grimacing, Dave reopened the bar door, shrugging out of his jacket. He hooked it on the coat hook just inside the door and re-locked the door.
His pickup truck was the only vehicle still left in the strip mall parking lot. He made a run for it and nearly skidded on the wet asphalt. Reaching the truck at last, he slipped his hands into the front right pocket of his jeans and pulled out his truck keys.
A loud crack of thunder startled them right out of his hand.
“Shit,” he said again. He squinted down at the ground and spotted them under the truck next to the front driver side wheel. He crouched down. His red muscle t-shirt had already soaked through and stuck to his skin. Any minute his teeth would start chattering, Dave figured.
He dropped to a crouch to reach for the keys and lightning flashed overhead. Under his truck he spied three shadowed figures across the parking lot. He couldn’t see very clearly but he thought they were men. One lay prone and another knelt beside him dealing blow after blow to the man’s head. The third man stood and directed repeated kicks to the man lying on the asphalt.
“Hey!” Dave yelled, but if they heard him they ignored him. He stood and went to the other side of his truck, stopping by the bed of the truck to grab a crowbar. He hurried to them. “Hey, stop.”
The man standing froze in the act of kicking the man. “This isn’t your business, mister.”
“Yeah? Well, I’m making it my business. I’ve already called the cops,” Dave lied. He should have, of course. Would have even, maybe, if he’d actually had a cell phone. It was one of those stupid parts of modern life he had yet to adapt to. He only had land lines. He’d get one some day, Dave always promised. It would have come in handy just then. He waved the crowbar.
The man crouched next to the one on the ground pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up around his head and scrambled up. “Let’s go.”
“We can take this guy,” the kicker said with an ugly snarl on his face. Dave hadn’t gotten close enough to make out their features very well but he thought they were both Caucasians in their mid-twenties.
“I’m out of here,” his accomplice said, and ran away.
Dave took a step forward, brandishing his weapon.
“Dickhead,” the assailant swore, then followed after his buddy.
Dave watched them for a moment to make sure they were really leaving. When they didn’t come back, he hurried to the man lying on the ground.
“Hey, pal, you okay?”
The man lay face down, so Dave turned him around and cradled him in his arms. His breath caught in his throat.
Holy shit, the guy was beautiful. Just a kid, really. Pale white, long, dark lashes. Black eyeliner. A tiny diamond stud on the right side of his nose. A little silver cross in his right ear. Thick shoulder length black hair was plastered to his skull.
Dave frowned, glancing briefly at his attire. He had on black pants and a t-shirt, combat boots and black trench coat. Even his nail polish was black. Nail polish?
Oh right. Dave nodded. The kid was Goth.
The kid groaned and opened his eyes, blinking rapidly. Dave strained to see what color eyes he had. Would they be blue or brown?
Gray. Deep gorgeous pewter gray. Dave’s chest constricted. For a moment his world tilted.
“Hold on, I’ll get you to the hospital,” Dave assured him.