TITLE: First the Dark
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Before the blood tap-tapped in black beads to the floor, before the bones shone so white beneath the flayed flesh, there was music. Everything started with the music, and it was beautiful.
The melody was like nothing I’d heard before. Harmonies unearthly and strange lapped against the corners of my mind. Vaporous tendrils reached out; they tested the resonance within me. My blood hummed in reply. The song swelled, teasing me to pick out the notes as the autumn leaves fluttered to the quad beyond the plate glass doors of Lesley Library. I strained to listen, leaning unconsciously forward across the circulation desk, but the chords retreated. They hovered just out of reach.
I jumped. The music abruptly contracted, then vanished.
“How’s my favorite bit of jailbait? Eh?”
I turned toward the voice, and my eyes refocused on a lopsided grin I knew well. Wolfgang Moser. Wainward College DJ. Double major: shamelessness and Spanish. I exhaled.
“Hi, Wolfie.” I rolled my eyes, suppressing a small smile. “Why are you in the library?”
“Gotta check on you, of course. Make sure no undergrads get any ideas I have copyright on already.” He turned away, then leaned backwards across the wide desk and grinned up at me. For real? I pushed him upright by the shoulder and got a sharp whiff of something unmistakable.
“Are you drunk?”
“Me? Do I look drunk to you?” he asked, turning around and standing up straight in mock-offense.
“You mean right now or in general?” I felt like being difficult.