Tanya: Seen waiting for the Red Line to 95th at about 8:30 a.m., April 6th, 2012
The high heels were the final flourish on Tanya’s impeccable outfit. Every aspect of her clothing emphasized her best features; the shoes showed off her manicured toes, they made her ass look better when she walked (she’d spent ten minutes pacing in front of the mirror just to make sure), and, most importantly, they launched her high above his ugly head. It was all strategically designed to make him regret dumping her.
That day he held her hand and literally said, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Who says that? What kind of an asshole says that? Eight months of soup-cooking competitions, bar trivia, Portlandia marathons, tango lessons, and bed sharing, all down the fucking drain. Well, after today he’d learn how regret feels, all sticky and heavy in his stomach. And as for Tanya? She’d never have to feel his traitorous hands around her waist or his lying lips on her mouth ever again.
Her ankles wobbled with uncertainty. She stumbled.
Lane: Seen on the Brown Line to the Loop at about 1:20 p.m., April 7th, 2012
Lane wore his Gryffindor shirt with pride. That night he was going to an emergency meeting with the other Believers at Moody’s, and he felt like he had earned the distinction. During his vacation he had displayed all the qualities of a Gryffindor—daring, nerve, chivalry—and it had paid off. He was the first member of their group to obtain solid evidence that the books were true, and that evidence was currently tucked safely in his messenger back in a little glass bottle.
His trip to the U.K. would have been well worth it even if he hadn’t found the proof. In London he went to King’s Cross Station and posed with the Platform 9 ¾ sign they had installed there. In Oxford he visited Christ Church’s Great Hall—the model for Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the films. And in Edinburgh he made that holiest of pilgrimages to The Elephant House, the café where J.K. Rowling originally sipped tea and chronicled Harry’s life. But the crowning moment of his journey occurred at a seedy little pub in Liverpool.
It was called The Dragon’s Tooth. Lane ventured into its shadowy depths thanks to an advertisement for Sunday roasts, but apparently the sign had been there for years, lying to pedestrians, soaking up the grime of the city. The bartender confided that the owner kept the sign up because it was one of the few things that might tempt anyone besides the regulars to come inside.
An Arctic Monkeys song was blaring at an obnoxiously high level so that nobody had to talk to each other; most of the patrons sat along in their dirty chairs, looking lost, their noses constantly dipping into their pint glasses. So Lane was surprised when a man approached him and started to say something.
“I’m sorry. What was that?”
The man pointed at Lane’s snakebite piercing. “You look like a man who can be trusted.”
His piercings usually had the opposite effect. “Uh, I like to think so.”
“Good. Come outside with me, mate. I’ve got something to show you.”
Soon they were in a thin cobblestone alley behind the pub. It smelled strongly of rotting fish. The man’s head was shaved, and he wore a heavy leather coat. Lane started was beginning to feel uneasy when the man reached inside his pocket and pulled out a small vial.
“You’re not from around here, are you?”
“Well, I can promise you they don’t have anything like this in America. We call it ‘Lucky.’ One swig of this and everything goes your way. You can get any girl, any job, anything you want. And the high lasts for a whole day, twenty-four glorious hours. Life’s a song with this stuff, my friend, a right song. When I’m on it I feel like I’m flying.”
Lane’s heart dropped into his stomach, then immediately bounced back up and began to thump rapidly. He felt lightheaded. He snatched the bottle away from the man and examined the golden liquid inside. It couldn’t be. And yet it was, right there in his hand: Felix Felicis.
“How much do you want for it?”
Lane nestled back into his L seat, the sounds of Draco & the Malfoys, his favorite Wizard Rock band, buzzing in his ears. Was he tempted to try the stuff? Sure. But he knew the risks, and he knew it was more important to get it back to the Believers fully intact. This was going to change everything for them. Besides, just finding the Felix Felicis made him feel like a damn lucky man already.
Two stories to make up for the lack of posts on Friday & Monday. Friday was just insanely busy, and yesterday I was working from home. If you haven't read my other stories about the Believers, just click the tag below.
There are lots of exciting things happening! First of all I've been so busy lately that I missed THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THIS BLOG! It all started April 1st, 2011. Here's a link to that first entry. I just want to say thank you so much to everybody who reads PTKY. It means a lot to me.
Did you see the brand new PTKY story that I left as a comment on this recent post from Lovelorn Poets? Did you see that a PTKY story found its way onto the Velvet Blory blog? Proceeds from their Blue Books go to a literacy charity, and they post awesome stories all the time. You should follow them if you don't already.
Finally--two of my stories are going to be published in a horror flash fiction anthology later this year! I am absolutely thrilled. However, it doesn't come out for a while, so I'll post the details later. Keep reading for updates. I love all of you. Fact.