From The Lamanai Codex, Chapter 6

Nothing like a little bickering in the dog days of summer. We’re all doing it anyway, right? No, just me? Oh well.

Kristen at Take It As It Comes is graciously hosting the Bickering Blogfest so we can all get some nastiness out of our systems. This excerpt is from my last NaNoWriMo novel, which continues to be in progress. The main character is Dr. Katherine Lancaster, a literature professor trying to recover a stolen occult book that can bring about the end of the world. Eliza is her TA and Phillips is a psychic and old friend.

Note: Phillips has a bit of a potty mouth, so if the occasional naughty word offends, please do not continue reading.

* * * * *

“Go away,” Phillips shouted from somewhere inside the building. “I’m closed.”

“It’s me, Phillips,” Katherine shouted back. “I need your assistance again.”

“Tomorrow!” he yelled. “Need sleep.”

Katherine rapped firmly on the glass door and continued rapping until Phillips opened it, frowning and rubbing his eyes.

“Are you still able to read?” he said, gesturing at the door.

“Read what?” Eliza asked.

“The sign that clearly states that I am, to use the French parlance, not fucking open.”

“There is no sign,” Katherine said. “Stop being cheeky, I need your help.”

Phillips looked at the front of the door and sighed heavily. “No sign, damn, where is that blasted sign…” He released the door to rummage around behind a curtain, and Katherine pushed it open and shouldered her way inside, Eliza fast on her heels.

Triumphantly, Phillips held up an ornate metal sign that read “CLOSED” and waved it in Katherine’s face. “See, look, closed. Unavailable. Absolutely exhausted. Now make like a tree and go away.”

“I need you to find someone,” she said. “The person who stole my book.”

“If you know who stole it, then call the police,” he grumbled. “I have a full marching band playing Souza in my head and I have no interest in dowsing until it stops.”

“The police won’t be any help and you know it.”

“Yeah,” Eliza interjected. “I got rear ended a year ago and they still haven’t caught the jerk who did it. I gave them his license plate number and everything.”

“My heart bleeds,” Phillips replied. “Unless you’ve discovered the cure for a psychic hangover, make yourself scarce so I can get back to my appointment with Club Bed.”

“I’ll pay double your hourly rate,” Katherine said. “Time is of the essence.”

Now she had his attention. “Triple plus expenses, which will include a nice steak dinner at Christy’s.”

“Double and I won’t tell your boyfriend about that night in Vegas.”

Phillips paled. “That’s blackmail, you bitch!”

“Oh, fine, double and lunch at Morton’s.”

“I just don’t know,” Phillips said, closing his eyes and posing dramatically with the back of his hand against his forehead. “I am so overtired already…”

“Take it or leave it,” Katherine said. “I don’t have time to waste. I’m sure there are plenty of other well-rested psychics looking for work.”

“Fine, fine, slave driver. Do you have an object I can use to hone in on this person? Hmm? Or am I supposed to just wave a magic wand and–”

“I have something,” Katherine said. “A photograph.”

“That should do nicely. Let’s get into my reading room. I’ve got dowsing stuff set up in there.”

As they walked down the hall, Eliza leaned over to her and whispered, “How did you get a picture of Hernandez so fast?”

“That’s not important,” Katherine replied. “What matters is finding him as quickly as possible.”

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9 Responses to “From The Lamanai Codex, Chapter 6”

  1. @lil_monmon says:

    *L* I love Phillips. I know a lot of Phillipses, you’ve captured that persona nicely along with a charming penchant for puns and isms.

  2. Gracie says:

    I love Phillips’ voice, too. Nice pace as well. Enjoyed it very much.

    …Keep us posted about this novel’s progress. Would love to read the whole thing. 🙂

  3. Kristen Yard says:

    Loved this! Phillips was hysterical, I loved the bickering back and forth between these two! Thank you for participating!

  4. Iapetus999 says:

    What happens in Vegas, stays with Katherine.
    Nice bickering. I have a feeling she could have got him for half the price…

  5. stu says:

    I like the strong back and forth of the argument, though I think it could be stronger still if you break up the stream of dialogue a little more with some description, thoughts etc.

  6. Denise says:

    Great characterisation and sustained dialogue. Nice bickering…:)

  7. Donna Hole says:

    Very interesting. Love Phillips; he’s such a cad. Very dramatic. This had a nice, steady pace and consistent flow. The banter built the tension nicely.

    ……..dhole

  8. Amalia T says:

    Phillips is AWESOME! He lends himself perfectly for this blogfest, too. This dialogue is really great– the back and forth is perfect and quick-witted. Well done!

  9. Valerie says:

    Thanks, everyone, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Stu, it’s a delicate balancing act between too much and not enough description; I’ll see what I can do to tip the scales in the right direction. I had actually thought there were too many little asides… oops!

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