Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

Excerpt: “Hero Material”

“I’m in need of a hero,” a silky voice whispered inside Carmen Rhames’ head.  “Would that be you?”

Here Be Dragons: Tales of DragonCon

Here Be Dragons: Tales of DragonCon

The skin on the back of Cam’s neck crawled under her hair.  She stood in one of the few bubbles of empty space in the Dragon*Con Dealers Room.  There wasn’t anybody around close enough to whisper.  Her sister Isobel was at the other end of the Elphame Jewels counter, trying not to drool while she haggled over a silver skull pendant she couldn’t afford.  Cam’s best friend Megan skulked in the DVD booth across the aisle, pretending she was interested in slasher flicks so she could keep an eye on Cam and her sister.

Megs flat out refused to come any closer.  At first Cam thought she was creeped out by the case of fetish gear or the freaky little silver critters skulking around the jewelry in the front counter.  But Megs said that was only part of it.  What really set off her psychic spidey sense was the tall woman in green who ran the booth.

Reluctantly, Cam dragged her gaze to the woman’s face.  The woman winked.  Cam could’ve sworn she heard the little bells dangling over the wooden and glass counters jingle like they were laughing at her.  Only the bells weren’t jingling.  They weren’t moving at all.

Okay, that did it.  Cam was officially spooked.  If it had just been her, she would’ve bolted.  But she couldn’t leave Isobel.  At eighteen, Isobel might be the “adult” of the group, but she was also the Queen of Oblivious.  She might as well have a big red “O” painted in the middle of her forehead.  And a target on her back. 

“Neither foolish nor foolishly fearful–that’s good.  The middle road is always best,” the woman said.  She sounded exactly like the voice in Cam’s head…

(To read the rest of the story, check out Here Be Dragons: Tales of DragonCon.)