TITLE: The Magic Withheld
GENRE: Contemporary fantasy
The mugger tripped and sprawled on the sidewalk, his face breaking the fall. Viscous curses oozed from between his fingers as he sat up. It was at that moment Justus Aubre lost the inner battle he had waged after tripping the mugger. He exploded in laughter.
The mugger, glaring over sausage thick fingers, was about the funniest thing he'd seen in a while. Strange that it was laughing that earned him such a savage look and not the cause of the face plant, the rope of conjured Air.
Under the streetlights in the dark parking lot, people from the concert shifted, the individuals eyeing the scene then moving away. The elderly victim rubbed his bare wrist with gnarled fingers leaving Justus to grind his teeth. All this fuss over an old man's flashy gold watch made for complications tried to avoid.
Like drawing attention to his abilities. Not good. He must not lose control again.
He stood slack-hipped, smiled at the mugger, and gripped his emotions in a mental fist, holding the squirming elements. He must not lose control…
Calm. Stay calm, stay focused.
“Whatcha think you're laughin' at,” the thug said.
“It doesn't take rocket surgery to figure that out,” Justus said.
Damn. Laughing and talking too much, what a combination.
The mugger sucked in a breath then scrunched his face into a crooked mass, as if the cool night air had razored past those broken teeth like sharp glass.