The little old man behind the counter started at us as we walked in. He looked like just any other older man, bent over on his stool and smoking a cigarette. If it weren’t for the tiny horns sticking out from under his hair no one would have been the wiser. His tongue flicked out like a snake, tasting the air for what exactly we were.
“You two ladies are not quite what you seem are you?” His voice sounded like gravel under a truck tire.
“I could say the same about you, old timer.” I winked at him and leaned on the counter.
“I think we’re both getting up there,” he smiled at me. His teeth were sharp and pointy, and his gums were black with rot. He cackled hoarsely at his insult and kicked his stubby legs back and forth. I knew I should have been offended but the sight of this pointy, wiggly little man made me laugh.
“I like you; hopefully I can continue liking you. What can you tell me about the Night Touched that was taken recently?” I didn’t want to turn into all business but I knew we needed to find out what we could as quickly as we could.
His face turned solemn and a sickly green, “You are not Slayers; you have no business asking about Night Touched.”
“It’s alright, dear one, we are just trying to find our friend,” Lily cooed at him. She really would have been a wonderful mother if she had been given the chance.
“I should not be talking to you,” he slid off of his stool and disappeared behind the counter. I had to lean over it to make sure he was still there. He waddled around to us, pointing his cane in our faced. “You should leave now.”
He rushed us out, waiving his cane like a sword and hitting our calves. We stumbled out of the shop and he shut his door. The blinking “Open” sign turned off, shortly followed by the rest of the lights. Lily and I exchanged glances and headed toward the next shop.
Sneak preview of Chapter 6 “The Deceit in the Bodega”