Talien's Tower
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Monday, November 6

National Novel Writing Month: Dun

I've shifted gears this year and had some time to work on my novel while I was the World Fantasy Convention. This year I'm writing a modern horror. Yes, that's right. And it's got mature themes (violence and a lot of foul language, certainly). So get ready!

"You know that guy's a terrorist, right?"

Billy looked over at his older partner in dismay. Phil wasn't prone to hyperbole. Or rather, he was, but usually the hyperbole was well earned.

He asked the obvious question. "How do you know?"

"Oh I know," said Phil. He imperceptibly nodded towards an unsavory looking type with long, stringy black hair. "I can tell by looking at them."


"It's just a sixth sense you develop."

They were security guards hired to step in where the TSA had failed. After a disastrous report came out about the ineffectiveness of the dead-eyed, underpaid screeners, airports had begun to outsource their own security. Without official notice, of course. Official notice brought regulation, and nobody wanted that.

"Bullshit," said Billy. "Since when do you have a sixth sense?"

"It's more an art.” Phil tended to shift gears in mid-sentence. "I learned from the best."

"An art, huh?" Billy looked over at the subject without looking like he was looking at him. That too, was an art.

"Yeah. I was trained by the master of criminal profiling, Larry Loskovitz." Phil puffed up just a little bit. "With the TSA, the screenings don't work anymore because they're dealing with the physical symptoms of a bigger problem. Terrorists try to put bombs in shoes and they scan shoes; the put bombs in bottles and they ban bottles. They're always one step behind."

"And you're always one step ahead?"


The man was with a bunch of other people, similarly dressed. They were a band, judging by the pieces of oddly shaped luggage they were checking in.

"See, a man who's up to no good has signs. Signs that give him away. Larry trained me to look for them."

Billy got a little bolder and peered at the man. There was nothing out of the ordinary about him, other than that he was trying very hard to be out of extraordinary. They had seen band members all the time and they were always too flashy, too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

"I know what you're thinking."

Billy looked sideways at Phil. "You're psychic now?"

"No, I know what you're going to say, I mean. What is about this guy? I'll tell you what it is. It's the way he looks. He looks nervous."

"Maybe he's got flight jitters. People get 'em."

"Sure. Maybe. But this is a guy who's pretty fearless. Look at him. He's dressed to get attention. Too much, I think."

"Hiding in plain sight, huh?"

'Yeah," said Phil. "Wanna place your bet?"

Billy let out a long sigh. Phil was always betting.

"You're that certain huh?"

Phil nodded.

"Okay, a fifty if your magical hunch turns out to be legit. But it's got to be something good, not some immigrant missing his papers shit."

"You're on." Phil patted Billy on the back. "Watch and learn bucko."

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,501 / 50,000


posted by Michael Tresca at 8:32 PM

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