John Hindmarsh vs. the 15-Day Story Challenge

My partner in crime John shared his latest WIP from the 15-Day Story Challenge. You can find out more about John at johnhindmarsh.com.

John says: “The protagonist is a mage, trying to repair parallel universes that are no longer parallel. He is responsible for three girls – triplets, born three years apart, whom he rescued when the universes collided. The oldest one is 24, and he’s crazy for her. In the preceding chapter, 500 pixies turn up for a free breakfast because he wants assistance to find a soul stealer hatchery. He set off a stink spell to demonstrate to the pixies what the hatchery will smell like. The soul stealers have been genetically modified – by unknown nemesis – to track him down… Oh, Leopold is an alien mage/warrior who exists in multiple universes at the same time as a result of the collision. He’s guarding our mage as repayment for his rescue when the universes collided. He’s only about 2 feet tall because his body is spread around.”


Of course I had to wait for my breakfast. Angel was busy cleaning her overworked kitchen and wouldn’t allow any of her helpers, all of whom volunteered, to cook my breakfast. I think this was in revenge for me stinking up her kitchen with the soul stealer hatchery example odor. The three girls, who had eaten earlier, were highly entertained. While negotiations were failing, I received a call from Detective Inspector Jones, or Jonesie, as my friend Sergeant Mowers called him.
“Yes, Inspector?”
“I’ve cleared time this morning for a meeting, if you’re available.”
Hmm. Intriguing. I suspected Jonesie wanted or needed something. “Certainly. What time?”
“Ten a.m. Use the entrance in Great Scotland Yard. Security will have a pass for you.” The call disconnected. He was nothing if not abrupt. Either busy or creating an illusion of such. I checked the time and realized breakfast might be a a non-event. I sighed. Angel was not surrendering. The girls increased their mirth levels.
I had my parting shots lined up. “Dena, aren’t you supposed to be at Finders? Morwen, you too? Victoria, you have nothing to do? Nothing? Is your apartment tidy? Where’s Hunter? Is he sleeping in again? Why isn’t this household up and running?” Exhausted, I headed upstairs to change; gym pants and a tee would not impress the inspector. I notified Leopold on the way up the stairs.
He was waiting when I returned, ready to go, as was my vehicle with its pilot, Mabel. The direction finder took a moment to select a route to Great Scotland Yard. We weren’t that far away, although the traffic in Londin was crazy during the commuting hours, both morning and evening, and I suspected it would take twenty-five, perhaps thirty, minutes to reach our destination. These city streets certainly needed traffic control lights of some kind.
When we reached our destination I told Mabel to head back home. I’d either call her or catch a taxi when we were ready to return. I planned at least to find a taxi drivers’ cafe and have my missing breakfast, first. The security passes were available as promised and we were escorted up a number of flights of stairs and along a linoleum-floored corridor by a nervous and young trainee constable. Her hand had trembled when she handed me my pass.
“Surely we’re not that fearsome,” I said, attempting to lighten the moment.
“Sir, if half of what I’ve heard is true, you are. Definitely to be feared. Your method for capturing the escaped hydra last year is now part of our training manual. Who new sugar was a soporific?”
I shook my head. The capture was incidental to my survival. The sugar part was a guess and the cubes were all there were in my pocket. I let the trainee lead the way. Leopold followed, on guard as usual.
We reached Jonesie’s office at precisely ten a.m. The constable knocked on the door and at his shouted response opened it and signaled for us to enter. I shook hands with the DI and sat. Leopold stood, alert, in a corner next to a filing cabinet, battleship grey and battered—it probably had come off HMS Bagshot when she was decommissioned—what, a hundred years or more earlier.
Jonesie thought he had piercing steel blue eyes and tried to use his stare. His eyes watered after a second or two and he used a folded handkerchief to repair the damage. “Zed, we’ve got problems.”
“We?”
“Humph. A general purpose we, of course.”
I was reluctant to inquire what other types of we might exist. Instead I asked, “Please explain.”
“These missing gals. Of doubtful virtue, of course. Although from information provided, perhaps not so doubtful. Hmm.” He sucked at his cigar, long since extinguished. “You’re looking for them, too?”
“No, I’m attempting to determine why they’re missing.”


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