TITLE: Handmaiden of the Alahim
GENRE: Contemporary Fantasy
In a city that never sleeps, everything is open, almost all the time. That’s what bugged Brielle MacAvoy most when she and her new partner, Callum, arrived at the front door of Goldstadt’s Pyramid Antiquities: the shop was closed and dark during business hours, on an otherwise-normal Thursday morning.
Brielle stood in the shade of a spindly maple tree, contemplating the gold-lettered sign in the front window. It read: ‘It is Folly for a Man to Pray to the Gods for That Which He has the Power to Obtain.’ How was obtaining anything possible, when the shop wasn’t open?
She rubbed her temples to soothe the jet-lag headache that pounded behind her eyes. As the yellow cab sped away, Callum tried the glass door.
"Locked." He cupped his hands around his eyes to peer into the large front window, his breath fogging the glass. "I don't see anyone inside, either. It's dark, and looks fairly cleaned out."
"I don't understand. Aaron knew we were coming.” Brielle tucked a stray hair behind her ear, and tried to quell the hollow feeling in her stomach.
Two pedestrians walked toward them down the tree-lined street. A woman pushed a stroller across the next block. The area appeared primarily residential, with only a few small stores, including a laundromat and a Korean market, occupying the corner lots. Even the upper floors of the semi-attached, red-brick building in which Goldstadt's Pyramid was situated appeared to be apartments.
She leaned close to Callum’s ear. "Something’s wrong.