July 2 2016

Quick note: Just about everything I’m writing during July is for Camp NaNoWriMo. That means this is all first draft level stuff and hasn’t been edited except for grammar and spelling. Also I’m going for word count here so I tend to use a lot of words that’ll probably get cut out later. Just a warning. 

From Riley Adams vs the 1950s

It was a typical day in H City, which is, of course, to say that the city had spent a good portion of the morning trying to destroy itself. This time, with zombies. Paranormal investigator and H City’s first and last line of defense Riley Adams stomped through the front door of her office, looking annoyed. Her secretary, a slender woman with mousy brown hair and Buddy Holly glasses, looked up just in time to see Riley run an exasperated hand through her shoulder length red hair. She was followed by four of her closest friends: Alice “AJ” Mitchell, wearing her short hair in a sort of faux hawk these days along with one of her trademark plaid shirts and an amused expression; Betty Harker, Riley’s bubbly seventeen year old intern, decked out, as usual, in a matching pleated skirt and sweater combination, her blond hair pulled back into a ponytail; Ritsuko Yagami, a katana slung across her back, looking as calm and collected as always; and Artemis Bly, interdimensional adventurer, in her scuffed boots and suspenders, newsboy cap holding back her bobbed light brown hair and the ever present leather cuff that took up most of her left forearm that functioned as everything from time machine to super computer to cell phone.

Riley opened the door to her inner office and her motley crew stepped inside after her. “How many times,” she said, taking off her black suit jacket and hanging it on the back of her desk chair before collapsing into it herself, “do I have to tell Doc Pratchett and Dr Berry not to create more than two zombies at a time? I mean, I would prefer they didn’t create them at all but I gave up that hope a long time ago. They could at least limit themselves to two at a time. Then maybe they wouldn’t get out and take over the train station.”

“Well, they are mad scientists,” AJ said with shrug. “Emphasis on the ‘mad’.”

Riley sighed. “Yeah, but you’d think they’d have learned by now.”

“It wasn’t so bad,” AJ said.

“Eighteen zombies wasn’t bad?”

“At least they were all human this time.”

“True!” Riley agreed. “I still have nightmares about that zombie mountain lion from a couple of years ago.”

Artemis’s eyebrows shot up. “Zombie mountain lion?!” She had only been in H City a few months and always amazed at tales of Riley and company’s past adventures. 

AJ nodded. “Yup, you missed a good one, Marty. Doc Pratchett decided to get creative and the result was…not pretty.”

“That thing would not go down!” Ritsuko added. “Took a bullet to the eye and still kept coming.”

“I almost thought I wasn’t going to make it out of that one,” Riley said. “It took an axe to the neck to kill it finally. But enough about past annoyances, now that we’ve taken care of our current annoyance, how about we get some lunch? I could use a burger and a cold beer right about now.”

AJ was about to suggest something when there was a knock at the door. Everyone turned to see a woman with curly blond hair and a friendly face standing in the doorway.

“Carol,” Riley said, getting up to greet her. “What are you doing here? Katie’s not in trouble is she?”

Carol Davids was a longtime ally of Riley’s. She was a powerful witch who was Riley’s go-to consultant on all things magic. Riley, as a rule, didn’t like magic. It was unpredictable, intangible and, most importantly, you couldn’t shoot it.

Carol shook her head. “No, Katie’s fine,” she said, referring to her apprentice, a young woman Riley had rescued after an unfortunate episode with a magic book. “This is something much worse, I’m afraid.”

“Those are not words I like to hear coming from you, Carol. How bad are we talking?”

“Well…take over the city bad?”

“That’s definitely up there on the bad scale,” Riley said. “What exactly is trying to take over the city this time?”


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