Thursday Teaser: Snake’s Alive (Yo-Yo Files #2)

The middle of June is coming up fast! And that means the release date for Snake’s Alive is coming up just as fast. The series is urban fantasy, with a humorous slant. Here’s the short description of the series in general:

The Yo-Yo Files

Johnny is a demon-chaser, one of a select group of humans entrusted with keeping the rest of humanity safe from the realms of demons and devils. His partner, Cerise, a half-human, can see the traces of energy, called daemonflash, that mark the presence of an otherworldly creature, even when that creature is hidden from human eyes. Together, they track down the imps, sprites, demons, and occasional devil that attempt to make human lives miserable. Armed with his trusty silver yo-yo and snarky attitude, Johnny’s the one to call when the demons come out to play.

It’s been fun writing these first two stories, and I have a good idea what the next one is going to be.

Just a reminder, the first story in the series, Five and Daemon, is available free on Smashwords and many other e-book stores until the second one is released. It is not currently available on Amazon, but will be in future. You don’t have to read the first to enjoy the second as they are independent stories, but if you want to start off from the beginning, more information is here:

Five and Daemon

And here’s another little teaser for Snake’s Alive:

Snake’s Alive

Chapter Three

“Now, what?” They were back at Johnny’s, and Cerise stood just inside the door, arms crossed. “Invocation? Satanic ritual? Sacrifice a virgin? Or do you have a yo-yo trick to summon the Devil?” Johnny opened his mouth to say something, but before he could, Lucifer’s voice came from the air around the chair in the living room.

“No need. I am here.” A small whirlwind of black smoke spun on the chair seat for a moment, then cleared to reveal Lucifer sitting there, with a glass of wine in his hand. “Invocations can be tricky. Get a word or two wrong, and you never know what you might get. As for satanic rituals, those things are mostly show, and no substance. And I can think of far better things to do with a virgin than sacrifice.” He sipped the wine. “However, that yo-yo thing might be an idea. Sort of a shortcut summoning, hmm?” He raised the glass. “I hope you don’t mind? I found the open bottle in the kitchen, and I was a bit thirsty. It’s not bad, for an ordinary vintage.”

“I am sure I don’t have your palate for wine, but I do my best,” Johnny said. “How long have you been here? And why the invisible stuff?”

“And why can’t I see your daemonflash?” Cerise added. She stepped into the room. Lucifer waved the wine glass.

“So many questions! Ah, let’s see. I have been here for only a short time. Perhaps an hour, as you count time. I wasn’t sure it was you coming in just now, so I thought discretion the better part of valor. As to the daemonflash. My dear Cerise, I am hardly your ordinary class demon. Well, to be honest, I am not really a demon, so my presence is not perceived as other demons. It seems your gift doesn’t cover fallen angels.”

“But we knew in Carroll Fork?”

“True. My fault, actually. I disguised my appearance, not my essence. I didn’t expect you, honestly. And you are a perceptive pair, in more ways than one.”

He sipped the wine again, watching them over the rim of the glass. Small lines of amusement crinkled around his pale eyes. He finished the wine and set the glass on the table in front of him, then sat back in the chair.

“Now, why did you want to talk to me?”

“We need more information, Luc. You left a little abruptly earlier, you know. It was pretty obvious that what Trip said made an impact, but you really didn’t give us much to go on. If you want our help, you’re going to have to be a bit more forthcoming.”

“Ah, yes, sorry. I suppose I did dash off rather quickly. And yes, Triptonius’ information was unsettling. Have you found anything more?”

“Have you?” Cerise shot back. Johnny held up a hand.

“Not really. We went to the Archives, but there isn’t enough to put together any sort of decent query. The Archivist thinks it might be good if you came with us. Fill her in a bit more, and maybe she can come up with something.”

Lucifer nodded, a slow movement of his head over steepled hands. “The Archives? Now, why didn’t I think of that? Excellent idea, John. If the answer is anywhere, it will be there.”

“Maybe you didn’t think of it because you always assume you have all the answers.” Lucifer put up a hand to stop Johnny from snapping at Cerise.

“She is not far from wrong, I’m afraid. And, more often than not, I do have the answer. Oh, maybe not the answer everyone wants, I do admit. However, in this case, even I am at a loss. So, to the Archives, then?”

They walked out to Johnny’s car, parked in the driveway. Lucifer took in the rust patches and dents with raised eyebrows.

“I don’t suppose you would consider letting me call a car?”

“Not a chance,” Cerise said, opening the door and climbing into the back seat. “She’s got character, I’m told. Get in.” Lucifer sighed loudly, and slid into the passenger seat.

“Oh, come on!” Johnny put on his sunglasses and turned the key. The car sputtered and shook. “She’s not the latest model, but she works and gets me where I need to go. What more do you need?”

“Perhaps feeling a bit more as if we will get there in one piece?” Lucifer said.

“She’s never let me down before.” Johnny drove back to the old library building and the three walked to the end of the lower level corridor. Lucifer studied the rock wall in front of them for a moment. When Johnny pulled out his yo-yo, Lucifer held up a hand.

“Allow me.” He stepped up to the wall and held both hands up, palms facing forward. He placed them against the wall. A moment later, the head of a gargoyle, with curved horns that reminded Johnny and Cerise of a mountain goat, appeared on the wall.

“What do you seek?” the gargoyle asked, eyes glowing with an intense amber light.

“The answer, of course,” replied Lucifer. “Because I can find any number of answers, but here, I will find the right one.” The gargoyle’s mouth opened wide, revealing long, stone teeth. He receded into the stone again. They heard a grinding sound, stone on stone, and the glass doors opened in front of them.

“How did you know that would happen? And what the answer was?” Johnny asked as they walked into the Archive lobby.

“I didn’t. But if you want to enter something, you ask. As for the answer, well, isn’t that what we are here for?” They walked up to the counter, and a moment later, Marion came through from one of the stacks. Johnny glanced at Lucifer.

“Marion, Lucifer. Lucifer, Marion.”

“Madam Librarian,” Lucifer said, with a short bow of his head. Marion smiled.

“Archivist,” she corrected. “There is a difference.”

“Of course.” Lucifer looked at the four doors leading into the Archives proper. “So it was never really lost, was it?”

————————————————————–

Snake’s Alive, The Yo-Yo Files #2  is an urban fantasy novelette. It will be available for purchase from most e-book stores in mid-June.

(Image from youtube)

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