On the weekends, I'm working on something new. I think it's going to be an urban fantasy. Think, you say? Don't you know? Heh. It started out to be a straight fantasy, but it morphed into this. The dialogue was too modern, for starters...and Mia just feels right in the here and now.
As always, first draft, please don't quote or repost.
The man had been beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die in the middle of the road.
Mia Jacob switched off her motorcycle. The rumble of the engine faded to nothing. After a few seconds, the sound of summer cicadas took up the refrain, almost as noisy as the machine.
The trees lining this part of the road brought early darkness, and she couldn't make out his features. Human? Or some clever facsimile meant to make her let down her guard?
Only one way to find out.
She carefully let down her shield, testing for any sign of magic. Dark shadows with glowing red eyes slid into her field of vision. Revulsion biled her throat.
Ilsatch. He was human, then.
Mia engaged the kickstand and dismounted. She grabbed a flashlight from her saddlebag and waded through the shadows to the man's side, fighting her revulsion, knowing the Ilsatch would feed off that emotion just as readily as murder lust. The sooner they were gone, the better.
The flashlight illuminated more than she wanted to see. Someone had beaten the man, then carved on him with a very big knife. She leaned over and placed careful fingers on his neck, looking for the pulse she knew she wouldn't find.
"Useless vermin," Colin said in a dispassionate voice.
Mia gave a grunt and jerked, adrenaline coursing unpleasantly through her body. "Damn it, Colin!"
"Sorry, love. Didn't mean to scare you."
She looked around to see the wizard's shade hovering nearby, faintly glowing in the darkness. He looked as he had looked to her the moment of his death, five years before, and as he looked every time he appeared to her---eyes dark holes in a white face, black hair pulled back in a casual ponytail, hole in his chest big enough to put a fist through.
Attracted by the strength of her sudden emotion, an Ilsatch floated closer. Mia tamped a lid on her feelings.
"Is he dead, then?" Colin asked.
"You know, coming from a dead man, that question's pretty ironic," Mia said.