This week’s word for Tuesday Tales is Hardy. Since I’ve now got my Regency story out on submission, I’ve started a new paranormal story and….wait for it…I already have a title! That’s a big deal since they are so hard for me usually. It’s called A Brush with Death. The hero is a vampire hunter named Declan. This is pre-WWII and he’s on a quest to stop Hitler from amassing an army of vampires to aid in his invasion plans. We start in Venice, Italy where Declan is on the trail of a vampire named Ambrose Schumacher. Declan has found the vamp’s caregiver and is hoping to be led to the lair of his quarry.
Deciding the gnome wouldn’t have led him directly to Schumacher, Declan made the decision to find a seat at one of the cafés and keep watch for a while. He ordered an espresso and, keeping an eye on the building, sipped it as he thought over the last few days. Shuddering a bit as the first swallow went down, Declan tried not to laugh at himself. A caffeine jolt always helped him but the taste of espresso wasn’t really his favorite. A good Irish lad loves his tea.
And according to his dearly departed mum, he was a good lad. At least that’s what he kept telling himself as well as why he kept doing this job.
At the thought of his mother, her voice whispered in his ear, “Do you think ye should be lally-gagging here when there’s work to be done, Declan?”
One of the problems with having a faery as a mother was that, if they were strong, even when they died and went to the land of Si, they could still communicate and be heard.
“Yes, Mother. I know. I’ve a coming war to try to stop, but I sometimes must stop for food, sleep or even an espresso.” He whispered the words into his cup he held up to his mouth. The waiter would probably think he was insane talking to himself at the table.
“I bet Padriac isn’t resting.”
Declan bet his brother wasn’t resting either. The man was a paragon. Hardy, brave, and daring. Exhaustion wasn’t in his vocabulary. Being born into a family of vampire hunters with a dose of faery blood made both sons strong and gifted but Padriac seemed to have received a double dose of everything good and a quarter portion of all the bad traits. Declan had given up competing with Padriac many years before but their mother insisted on comparing the two at every opportunity. Declan always seemed to fall short even though he was successful in his own right. Nothing he ever did measured up to the standards set by the elder brother.
“I’m sure he isn’t, Mother. I, on the other hand, am wet through and through and since my quarry is at the top of a tower I can’t reach, I thought I’d wait him out down here.”
“It would help if you would pay attention then as the man seems to be on the run.”
Declan glanced up in time to see the gnome-like man skedaddle down the side of the tower that was just out of his line of sight. Lucky for Declan that he has his mother on the lookout and that the little man seemed to not have control of his jutting elbow since that was all Declan could see from where he was seated.
Tossing some lira onto the table to pay for his drink, Declan heaved himself out of the chair and resumed his chase. He regretted the lapse in attention that his conversation with his mother caused. She, of course, would say it was his fault for almost losing the man and wouldn’t see at all the role she’d played in distracting him from his goal. Score one more for Padriac.