This story has an interesting background, being a combination of two different things. Originally, it was about a modern world with magic, where magicians can create and control reptiles, rodents, insects, and arachnids. The plot was pretty sketchy; I only knew that the main character could control spiders, came from Vancouver (but then went to Europe to travel about), and the villain controlled snakes.
A few days later, I was itching to write a story that involved magic and guns. I didn’t have much of an idea for it other than that, though, and eventually I superimposed it over my old plot; animal magic became aura magic, and my world became much more interesting. My plot came into focus (though only the first act), and everything was a lot better.
So, with that rambling out of the way, here’s the beginning:
The street was dark and narrow, covered in water from that afternoon’s rain; dark clouds above promised more. In the gloom I hoped my figure, clad all in black, would be unseen as I hurried to a small bar—Arlo’s Pub. Its dimly lit sign was still bright enough to taunt me as I trudged through the tall grass next to the road (I didn’t dare walk on it). Squelch, squelch, squelch went my boots as I walked, irritating me to no end.
It felt like ages, but I finally reached the bar. It was small and dingy looking, like everything else on the road, made of dark stone bricks. Nondescript and boring, just as it should be. Putting on a nonchalant face, I stepped inside.
It was quiet in the bar, rather unfortunately. It was quite uncrowded, too, with only a few men nursing drinks at the counter, which was tended by a weary-looking man. I strode leisurely through the gloom to the barman, dropping a quick “‘ello” to a man standing by the door.
I sat down at one of the stools (a quite uncomfortable one) by the counter and stared at the barman.
“You can see my aura, yes? And I can see yours—it’s a nice shade of rust red.” I spoke softly and ignored the code words as I had learned to do long ago.
“Back room to my left,” he replied, his voice as tired as he looked. “And you can drop the accent.”
I frowned—I’d have to work on that.
“Before I go, can I get a shot of whiskey?”
“Just a Coke, thanks.”
Coke in hand, I walked past the counter and to the door to the back room. I opened it slowly, trying to avoid making noise—I hoped to slip in. It wasn’t to be, however, as the room inside was small and relatively uncrowded, and the people inside—with auras of brilliant reds, garish yellows, beautiful purples, among others—noticed me immediately.
“Hello,” I said, this time without the accent.
“What’s your business?” said an older blue man (trust it to a blue to be so blunt, eh?) immediately as the others scrutinized me.
“Just passing through. I need a job, though.” I moved towards an empty chair as I spoke and sat down.
“Got a waitress job over at the restaurant,” said an orange man with a thick Welsh accent. “Just as long as you don’t go beatin’ on anyone.”
I ignored the last sentence and smiled, but before I could speak the blue cut in.
“It’s getting late and we need to get a move on—I’m afraid your job hunt will have to wait. Now, we only have a few things left to discuss…”
My mind wandered as she droned on; I had never had much of an attention span. I examined the people around the table, though I kept my eyes on whoever was speaking at the moment. After a few minutes I caught a thirty-something magenta looking at me and flashed what I hoped to be a manic grin at her. She stifled a giggle—I had apparently failed—and a blue boy of about my age next to her pantomimed a heavy sigh.
“…Finally, I’ve noticed an aura runoff by the riverbank.” The words caught my attention for a reason I couldn’t gander and so I listened, intrigued.
“It belongs to no one here, being pink, and I can’t find trace of the aura elsewhere, so everyone keep a look out for pink, aura traces or otherwise.
“That is all—meet back here in… a week seems appropriate. And come to me if you see any trace of the aura.”
As everyone alternatively left or mingled, I stood up and walked over to the man who had offered me a job.
“That sounds great, thanks—the job, that is. If you’ll have me, I’ll start work any time.”
“Oh, of course!” The man smiled at me. “Always willing to help. The restaurant’s just down the road, no uniform necessary—you can start tomorrow?”
I nodded and smiled before walking off. I exited the back room and found an empty corner of the bar before pulling out my wallet. I didn’t have much money yet, but if I earned about minimum wage I’d be able to afford a hotel room. But right now, I was hungry, and I strained my eyes to see the menu on the wall behind the bar counter. Unable to make out the words, I sighed and walked over to the counter and sat down on a stool. The barman looked my way, but stayed silent for a minute before coming over to let me decide.
“See anything you like?”
“Yeah, I’ll just have a burger, thanks.”
I ate in silence—until the blue boy from earlier sat down next to me.
“That was quite the smile,” he said casually, though I could see a hinted smile on his face.
“Yes.” I didn’t want to be bothered, and hoped my curtness would drive him away.
He nodded. “I like that accent of yours—where do you come from?”
“Nice. Always wanted to visit Canada.” And with that, he walked away.
Puzzled by his actions, I returned to my food. I ate quickly, not wanting to be bothered by anyone else, and left the bar. It was fully dark outside, and I walked slowly and carefully to keep myself from tripping. I wasn’t sure where I was going—I didn’t think to ask if there was a place to stay nearby, and there very well could be nothing. But I continued along that dark, damp, empty street and eventually found a small motel.
I stepped inside, and was immediately struck by one word: musty. The air, the look, the feel… the whole place was dingy and musty—certainly not a place I’d want to hang about. Keeping my face still, I walked up to a small counter tended by a timid looking man; no aura from him.
“How much for a week’s stay?”
“— ((Sorry, I have next to no knowledge of how much a motel would cost in America, let alone Britain.))”
“Sounds good.” I took the offered key and left.
I found my room with ease and, not bothering to look around, I flopped down on the bed and slept.
There were two major things I wanted to do in writing this: first, to avoid exposition as much as possible, and second, to avoid speech tags; instead, I implied who was speaking and added actions at the end.
Now, if anyone seeing this lives in Britain or otherwise knows how much a motel in a small town would cost, I would be very happy if you’d help me out. Similarly, if there’s missing or incorrect slang, please tell me!
ALSO, this is still a rough draft (NekoShogun says I should say that, so I am saying it as I say and say speak), and ALSO ALSO I may continue it.