Excerpt from Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle

What follows is an excerpt from the upcoming urban fantasy novel, Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle by Robert J. S. T. McCartney and Albert J. Debusschere III.


10♠ 13♠ J J

She glided into the empty class room, flipping on the lights and sighing in disappointment almost at once. Her jet-black hair brushed long down her back, same with her dress and skirt, with frills of ebony lace ensconced along the edges. Charcoal lipstick and eyeliner marked her face. In essence, the typical goth girl in class.

That she had even shown up was still a surprise to the two, and despite her obvious presence in the room, they could hardly believe it. It had taken them all month to convince her that she had a secret admirer, and that he wanted to meet her after school. Unfortunately, for the poor girl, they had been amassing silly string and water balloons in the normally abandoned classroom for over a week now. The only thing they wanted her to be greeted with was disappointment, as was befitting for a silly goth kid. However, this simple excitement was too much, and their giggling immediately gave away their position.

She clenched her eyes shut and spun around hissing “I know you’re there” at the office door. With no other means of escape, and the element of surprise now lost. The two solemnly filed out into the classroom, their eyes downcast, hoping she didn’t recognize them, preparing for a harsh tongue lashing. Her deathly gaze shifted from one to the other, as if to burn the images of their faces into her memory. After a dragged out second, she cleared her throat to address the miscreants. “You think it’s funny to toy with people’s lives?”

“Look, Lilah, it was just a joke.” the boy on the right croaked out.

“I’ll show you what it’s like to play with people’s lives!” she snapped back.

The dirty brown haired boy felt the hairs on his neck stand up. Unsure that if what he heard and was now feeling from the girl was real or just his imagination, but he definitely thought he noticed something, or sensed something amiss. A small touch of something seriously wrong hiding underneath the innocent girl persona, a vague hint of a malicious duality. Her right hand reached into the small purse that slung low on her side. Once it had found what it was looking for, it shot out causing the boys to jerk in fear simultaneously and then relief when they realized it was a deck of cards.

“Ooh, are you going to tell us our future with your fairy cards?” the dirty brown haired boy’s clearly oblivious friend now chided, his face lit up in a stupid grin.

“Yup. However, these are no fairy cards as you put it, these are the real deal.” Her hands began to dance, shuffling the cards rhythmically as if in an intricately rehearsed ballet. Once they were satisfied, her hand rested on the top card, and she rapidly drew four cards. “Let’s see, the first card, a king of diamonds.”

“Playing cards? What, are you gonna poker us to death?” he shot back at her.

Henry. . .” The dirty brown haired kid attempted to silence his loud mouthed friend before he could cause more trouble for both of them.

The girl they knew as Lilah allowed a smirk at the stray comment. “Next, we have the two of clubs, but that’s nothing special.” She showed the third card, “Next, a king of clubs, not too important.” She then revealed the fourth card, “Three of clubs, but that’s not important either. You see it’s always the last card that is key!”

“Look, Gary, she’s lost it. The goth girls finally gone loony. She’s. . .” His voice was cut short, what was happening now was beginning to make him question his own sanity.

The top card of the deck was moving, but not by her hand, all by itself rather. It slid up until it was standing upright on the deck, its back to the two boys. Slowly, it began to turn towards them. As this spectacle occurred, neither bothered to notice the girl’s blank face was turning into a sadistic grin, her eyes beginning to glow a dull green. As it hit halfway, the boys found they could no longer move, sense of touch had almost wholly left their bodies. The card was nearly completely facing them now and sparks of electricity arced from its corners. This card was wrong, in the corners was the number thirteen, and across the center was a series of spades.

“Black thirteen! Boys, this is where we part!”


 

Look for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle, coming soon!

Note: Excerpts are not of the final rendition. Check out the final release!

Author: Sincados

Writer, gamer, foodie, brew enthusiast, and awesome dad. Also likes to make explosions...but not in any particular order.

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