“Shh. I’ll be back in ten minutes.” Flori wasn’t much better off, but at least her transformation from human to gryphon and back again had gone smoothly. She wasn’t shaking violently, and her body didn’t have a sheen of sweat.
She hooked a basket she’d found in one corner of the attic and stepped out onto the stairs. At the last second, she turned around and plucked a phial out of Cal’s jacket. “No lartë.”
His mewl of protest bespoke the depth of his addiction. She reached back and cradled his head against hers for a moment, then kissed him tenderly as she reached behind him and pulled two more phials out of his pants. “Is that all of it?” He didn’t answer. “Do I need to … never mind. I do.” She pinned him against the wall between her thighs and kissed him rampantly while she ransacked his body. In the end, she had collected seven of the little containers of drug.
But that cost her half the time she figured they had before the gang caught up to them. She hurried downstairs to raid the fridge and returned quickly. “Now eat.” She jammed slices of lunchmeat into Cal’s mouth as she dragged him out the door.
“Flori, I don’t even know where I am!”He slopped salami down his front, opting to speak rather than to chew and swallow.
“The last place they’ll look for us.” She poked more meat into his open mouth.
He stopped walking and looked at her stupidly, but he did at least close his mouth around the food.
She blew a mouthful of air, but stopped short of actually rolling her eyes. “I came home. Now eat.” She drew him down the stairs behind her.
He asked her something, and she pretended not to hear him over his mouthful of food. But when he swallowed and repeated the question, she heard, “What are we going to do here?”
Cal tripped. He snagged his foot on a step and crashed forward into Flori. He was easily two feet taller, so they tumbled together down the stairs, landing at the bottom in a glittering mess of glass, lartë, and milk. Cal flipped over, off Flori and started lapping the milk like a cat.
“No you don’t.” She caught him from underneath and rolled him away from the place where all of the little phials had smashed with the milk jug and gotten mixed in with the bread. “We’re going to steal your ride and get as far from here as we can before daybreak.”
Outside, the distant roar of motorcycle engines caught even Cal’s attention. “They’re coming,” he said. “And I just broke…”
“They’re going to kill you anyway for taking it. Giving it back won’t make a bit of difference.”
“Let’s go.” Suddenly, his body lost its uncoordinated jerky gait. Flori had to wonder if he had gotten some of the drug in his rapid slurping. Or maybe it was just adrenaline. Now he took her arm and hauled her, sopping, away from the site of the spill.
As they made their way through the house, she used her own magic, the kind that came to her without the drug, to crowd the furniture together. If they could get clear before the others arrived, they might think Flori and Cal were holed up in the house before they noticed the missing bike. Not a probable scenario, but she had to hope. She had to try.
They ran out of the house and across the yard, dripping milk and lartë all the way to the garage. Cal punched in the garage code fluidly, but Flori stopped him short of mounting his chopper. She took the key and pushed him back to the passenger pad. “I don’t care what it is that’s gotten rid of your shakes, they’ll come back soon enough. I’m driving. You’re riding bitch.”
She swung her leg over, turned the key, and revved the throttle. She felt, rather than saw, Cal get on behind her. “OK,” he said. “You can drive if you want to. But this isn’t going to wear off for a long time.”
“What do you mean?”
“You missed two grams when you were frisking me up there.”
“Oh for the… Yeah, but you didn’t take them. You didn’t transform. They’re probably broken all to hell in your pockets.”
He laughed as he settled his warm body in behind her. “Of course I did. I used them to turn into a human being this time. We’re just another kind of animal after all.”
Flori groaned, but she didn’t argue. Instead, she put all her energy into steering the motorcycle out of the garage. She stopped long enough for Cal to get off and shut the door. When he came back, she traded him seats willingly. She wasn’t used to driving his custom machine, and she wished her own wasn’t stashed half a city away, behind the boarding house where she’d rescued Cal when the stolen lartë nearly killed him. She slid in behind Cal now, and they roared away from the house, back in towards town and away from the gang.
“We’re in some kind of trouble baby,” she murmured into his back.
“Yeah, but trouble’s so much fun!” he shouted in return.
July, as I learned about an hour ago, is flash fiction month. It’s like NaNoWriMo only shorter. Up to a thousand words a day in flash fiction. Today’s challenge is to write urban fantasy with a comedic theme. I thought it might be good to hear from Flori again.
And that gets us to “Flori Rides A Bike”
I wrote this in under an hour, and I will be revising it. I don’t plan to use serial characters for these challenges, but Flori seemed to fit this prompt so perfectly. Still. Like the play from a couple of weeks ago, this one is still quite rough around the edges. Not my usual fiction, but I wanted to dive into the challenges.
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.