Rogue Magic Sample

Chapter 1 

“Two billion dollars in your bank account and you're crying over a couple of million? You robbed the Rosent boys blind, then ratted them out to the police. They're going to kill you. You know that, right? If you don't leave town, you'll be dead by this time tomorrow. What are you going to do, Larry?”

Instead of answering me, his eyes roamed around my small home, taking in the modest furniture and simple design. I wasn’t really one for coordination, so whenever I saw something I liked, I just bought it. I didn’t care much about it matching or fitting in. Which was why my living room held a large deep-seated brown couch, a blue loveseat, and a chocolate recliner. 

The walls were a mauve color and the carpet a flush beige. Most didn’t understand or like my decorating sense, but to me, it felt like home.

Larry still hadn’t answered and I wasn’t sure how much longer I would wait. It was his life hanging in the balance, I was only trying to help.

See, no one else could do what I did and we both knew that. I didn’t just hide people in a different city or state. No, I took my clients, most on the run from the law, to alternate universes, and they paid me well to do so.

I’d built my business from the ground up, but it was always people like this Larry that were the tough ones. He pushed black-rimmed glasses up his nose, his expression sour and calculating.

He was a tall, medium-built man, with black hair cut close to his head. He looked like the type who’d stick a knife in your back whilst smiling in your face and telling you how sweet you smelled.

He was a hustler, and he’d just been caught in his own trap. The Rosent brothers were going to kill him if he didn’t get out of dodge, so I wasn’t sure what the stall was.

He looked down at my desk, which happened to be in the middle of my living room, because, that’s where my office was. “Look, lady…”

“You can call me Rekia.” Lady, woman, girl, those had never been my name.

He swallowed hard, still not telling me if he wanted my help or not.

“What do you want to do?” I needed to get this over with so that I could get on with the rest of my night. I hadn’t eaten since this morning and for the last two hours my stomach had been screaming in protest.

I looked at Larry and waited.

When he started to sweat and fumble with the paper in his hand I went ahead and called it. “Look, if you don't want to do this, or if you're having second thoughts...” I let the rest trail off hoping he'd get the point.

He pushed his glasses up his nose again, then ran a hand down the front of his suit coat as if straightening out wrinkles. “Are you sure you can do it?” he asked, as if scared to believe.

I was used to this question, as I’d heard it many times before. I’d found the simplest answer was the best. “Yes,” I said, offering nothing more. 

He swallowed hard, and I could tell he wanted to believe me but was too afraid to hope. I couldn’t help him there. He had to make this decision on his own. I wouldn’t take him otherwise.

His eyes darted around the room for a second, then he looked at the paper in his hand again, his fingers crinkling the edges just a bit. “Twenty-five million dollars is a lot of money.”

My mouth went dry. The greedy ones always tried this. Especially the ones who'd messed up so bad in their current lives that they really didn't have anywhere else to go.

I could help them, yet the thought of throwing a few million my way bothered them so much that they were willing to risk possible death just to keep from paying me.

It boggled the mind to be honest, because I never broke them. My fee wasn't half their income, nowhere near really, yet they still acted as if I'd robbed them blind when it came time to pay.

Larry’s case hadn’t been an easy one, as he’d demanded certain things of the alternate universe I was to deliver him to, and I’d had to search to make sure all his specifications were met. I was tired now and just wanted to get myself something to eat and rest.

He stood, staring from me to the paper, not saying a word.

I let out a sigh. This wasn’t going any faster and by this point I felt the need to assert myself a bit. “A million dollars extra for every minute you stand here. That's one million. In fifty-nine seconds, we'll add another million so...” I waved my hand through the air letting him know that I would continue until he stopped me.

His eyes popped, as he balled up the paper in his hand. I could see a vein pulsating on the side of his neck as the barely concealed rage he’d kept so carefully hidden under the surface floated to the top.

I’d seen it when we’d first met. Larry was the type who figured everybody around him owed him something. That type of thinking had led to him stealing from the Rosents in the first place. He’d thought himself entitled to whatever he wanted. Except now it was time to pay, and the fee was his life.  

Not saying a word, I braced myself for the tirade that was sure to come. I hated this part and was grateful not many of my clients went this route. The ones like Larry always did, though. Somehow, they thought if they yelled loud enough they could make me dance to their tune. I shook my head, because I’d had to prove more than a few wrong.

Larry took a few steps forward, his fist clenched at his side. “You're no different than the Rosents. You all want to shake somebody down, take all their money. Well, I squealed on them, and I’ll do the same to you unless you give me all your money right now. Come on, lady, hand it over, because if you think I'm paying you all that money, you obviously don't know me very well.”

See, this is where I questioned their intelligence, because the one thing they never seemed to ask themselves is, if I can hide them in an alternate universe, then what else can I do? My eyes stayed on him, as he took another step forward, and I knew what he was about to do.

I took a deep breath and tried to prepare myself. When I’d first started this, my heart would beat out of my chest when this time came. It still sped up some, because I knew what was ready to happen and I didn’t like it one bit. 

Then, as predictable as a bird who shits, he came at me. Or tried to anyway. By now his face was red, and his eyes held a deep-seated childish rage that was probably the norm when he didn’t get his way.

He made it a few inches from my desk before I flicked my wrist and used my telekinesis to send him spiraling across the room. He hit with a loud thump and crumpled against the wall by my living room window.

Plaster fell into his hair and all around him. Dammit. I hadn’t meant to hit him that hard, just enough to slow him down and show that I meant business.

He looked around as if trying to figure out how he’d landed where he had, then came shakily to his feet, his eyes searching the room as if there were anyone here, but me.

I kept my focus on him, because from the murderous look on his face, I knew he wasn’t done yet. His hair was in disarray, and he’d lost his glasses in the fall.

He stood agape, is if not sure anything he’d witnessed in the last few seconds was real. “I’m going… I’m going to…” He lunged again, and I never even moved from my spot.

I held up my hand and stopped him mid-stride. He tried to move forward, his eyes going wide with panic when he couldn’t. He looked at me with that same wild expression as before, and I knew that he still didn’t get it, not really. I held him there a little longer, waiting for it to sink in. 

I let out a frustrated sigh, because sometimes I wished we could just get on with it, and not have to go through this unnecessary hassle. They always underestimated me, and I thought I knew why.

To some I just looked non-threatening. I was about five feet six, small framed, and my black hair was cut short, only a bit of it falling in my face, which made me look more twenty-three, than twenty-nine. They thought me an inexperienced little girl and I had to prove them wrong every time. I’d hoped to skip that lesson with Larry, but such was not the case.

I could tell the exact moment it all fell into place, because then came the real panic. He licked his lips, and true terror crossed his face. His eyes bored into mine, showing defeat and just enough regret to make me let him go. For now, anyway.

I dropped my hand, and he felt around his chest as if making sure all of him was still there, then he took a tentative step forward.

I braced myself, knowing this could go only one of two ways. Either he’d accept it and move on, or he’d hit back with even more threats.

He picked his glasses up off the floor, then raised a shaky finger at me. “How... how did you do that?” His voice quivered when he spoke, and I steeled myself, because I now knew where this was going.

He swallowed hard and backed up a few steps, still pointing his finger. “It's not natural what you just did. No one should be able to do that.” His voice rose to hysteria. “Witch, you’re a witch, and you’re trying to send me to hell.” He shrunk back, holding his hands up as if to protect himself from my voodoo magic.

I shook my head. It had been his greed that caused this situation in the first place, nothing more.

He took a few more steps back, fear the only emotion I saw on him now. I sat up a little straighter in my chair, knowing that this would all soon be over.

He wouldn’t try anything else, and he wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened here today. Scared men kept their mouths shut, and right now, Larry was as scared as they came. Now I just needed to clinch the deal.

“You can go now,” I said, rubbing my temples as a small headache started to form. “Nothing really left for us to discuss.” I busied myself at my desk, going over invoices, and thinking about what I wanted for supper.

I watched him out of the corner of my eye pick up the paper he’d dropped. He fumbled with it a bit, then handed it over, refusing to meet my eyes.

I took it from him and looked it over. It was blank except for that one string of bank numbers that would transfer the twenty-five million from his bank account to mine. “Thank you.”

 He seemed to have calmed down, and I wanted to soothe the tension between us as much as I could. 

Flashing him an easy smile, I picked up the phone, called my contact, told him what he needed to know, and waited until he confirmed that the money was safely in my account.

I’d let Larry slide on the extra million I'd demanded, now that we both seemed to be on the same page. At least I hoped we were anyway. 

He stood in the same spot, watching me anxiously until I hung up the phone. “Everything okay?”

I looked up from my desk. “Everything's fine. Come back tonight, and we'll go from there.”

He put his glasses back on and hurried out the door as if scared I'd change my mind at the last second.

I couldn't help shaking my head as I watched him go. He was a thief and a coward, but I knew he’d be back tonight revving to end this. 

I took another sip of water and started to mentally prepare myself for later. It may have seemed like I charged a lot, but, well yeah, there was really no way for me to justify it. It was a lot of money, but I didn’t keep it all for myself. I gave a significant amount to my parents, plus my two nieces and three nephews.

I only had three siblings, two older brothers, and one older sister. Kevin, the oldest, was married and had two boys. Chanel, the next to oldest, was divorced and had a daughter. My last brother, Greg, who was a year older than me, was single and had a boy and a girl.

I’d set up trust funds for the kids, much to the chagrin of my brothers and sister. They didn’t like how I made my money and didn’t mind telling me so every chance they got. They each made a decent living but understood that providing for my nieces and nephews was important to me, so they didn’t stand in the way of that.

Sitting up in the chair, I scooted under my desk and pulled up my calendar. I didn’t have anyone else for at least two weeks. Which meant I could take care of some of the follow-up duties that came with the job of relocating people to parallel worlds. 

My headache still forming, I massaged my temples again, thinking about the man who’d just left. He’d called me a witch. I wasn’t a witch, but that hadn’t been the first time I’d been called one. What I could do wasn’t natural to my home world. I’d inherited a lot from my father, me along with all my siblings.

I went to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea, hoping that would help settle the ache in my head. My brother Greg could probably just move the headache away but I didn’t have that ability.

My father came from a place a little more advanced than our world. He and all the people of his world had the power to form portals and travel from dimension to dimension. My father’s world wasn’t the only one that could do this, but the numbers were far in between.

My water boiled and I poured it into a small mug, teabag already in place. I took a seat at my kitchen table and dropped two sugar cubes into my cup.

Only a select few knew what I could do. They didn’t know how, but they knew I was the person to come to when you no longer had the option of going home. 

I stirred the tea and took a small sip. The liquid was bitter and burned my tongue a little, making me ease back in my chair and sigh contently.

Over the years, I’d made quite a name for myself, and I was good at my job. I could hide you where you’d never be found. I figured that was worth a few million. I took another sip of tea, pleased with the taste.

It may have seemed like a dream job, to some, but it was not without its dangers. I never knew what I’d run into, and there was always the possibility of something or someone slipping back through with me. I had to be careful.

I only took people to alternate worlds advanced enough that the people who lived there knew other realities existed and wouldn’t look at them strangely when they showed up. I only took them to places where their money could be changed and converted into the money of their new world.

I also, only took them to places, where the dialect was the same as our own, and the worlds similar enough that they didn’t feel they were too far removed from all they knew and loved. 

They all came with millions, and I always picked a place where the money differences would still allow for them to live a decent life.

Not that they deserved it, but because they’d paid me to, and I tried hard to never go back on my word. It was bad for business and bad for my reputation in general. But Larry? He’d been asking for it. Still, if he came back ready to leave, I’d take him where he needed to go.

It was after eight when he finally showed up. He looked a little more confident and self-assured this time, something that hadn’t been there before.

I smiled. He was finally ready. I asked him to take a seat on the couch while I grabbed my things.

I live in a very modest, three-bedroom house. If not for my nieces and nephews, it would have been a one bedroom, but I needed a place for them to sleep when they stayed over. Others might not have thought it was much, but they loved it, which was all that mattered. 

I was halfway down the hall when I turned to look back toward the living room. Larry stood in the same spot I’d left him, hands in his pocket, shoulders hunched as if he couldn’t believe what was about to happen. Satisfied that he was ok, I walked on.

The smell of lilac hit me as soon as I opened my bedroom door, and I inhaled deeply, enjoying the scent. My room consisted of three-year-old furniture that I’d gotten from the furniture store down the street. My queen-sized bed was in disarray, as I’d gotten up in a rush and hadn’t had time to make it. That was often the case, I was starting to suspect I just didn’t like making the darn thing.

I had two oak dressers set up on each side of the room that matched the brown headboard of my bed. The carpet was a deep blue and I’d painted the walls orange and yellow, just for the fun of it.

My closet was a huge walk-in and knowing that Larry was waiting, I opened it, and tried to hurry. Tonight, we would be going into uncharted territory. It wasn’t often that I took people to a world that I hadn’t already visited and set up contacts. I had many associates, in many different dimensions, because it just made my job easier.

But Larry being the greedy little man that he was, had requested a world where his billions would double or even triple. I’d found the place, but I’d never been there, so I knew nothing about it or its people.

It would have been smart of me to do a little run through before now, but I simply hadn’t had the time.

Anyway, I was usually able to handle myself pretty well, so while I felt a little apprehension, it was more because I would have to stay for a while, setting him up and making sure he found somewhere to live. Something I didn’t normally have to do on worlds where I already had trusted contacts.

I looked in my closet and decided to change into a simple pair of black jeans and a brown sweater. Simple was best when walking into a situation unknown. Usually, I dressed in accordance with the world I was going to, but since I’d never been there, I had no idea how they dressed.

 I'd already loaded my backpack when Larry had left earlier, so at least that was done. I’d learned long ago that it was always wise to prepare for, well anything, really. Especially when entering into a world unknown.

I’d had crisis with three of my clients and hadn’t had a moment to breathe until now, much less check out a new world.

I pulled my sweater over my head and slipped on my jeans. I never really dropped my clients cold. I always kept an eye on them. I usually gave it about three days, then I’d check to see how they were doing, and make sure they were getting on okay.

 After that, I’d wait another two weeks, then another few weeks after that. Then it was only once a year, until I felt safe enough to leave them alone completely. They could always get in touch with me if they needed to though.

I made sure of that, if they couldn’t reach me personally, for whatever reason, then one of my contacts, in whatever world they were in, would be able to find me.

Shoes on, and bag ready, it was finally time to go. I walked back into the living room to see Larry in the same spot, waiting. “I’m ready,” I said, anxious to get this over with.

Larry jumped upon hearing my voice, and I noticed a few nervous blinks before he could talk. “So how do we do this? Do you just wave your hand or…?”

I fastened on my backpack and made sure the straps were tight. “No. There are certain spots we have to leave from,” I lied.

He rubbed sweat-soaked hands down the front of his pants and nodded.

Feeling just a little sorry for him, I walked to the front door and opened it. “After you.”

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