Right, so Chuck Wendig did his challenge thingy again here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/05/24/flash-fiction-challenge-must-contain-psychic-powers/
It's good timing for me because I need to get in fiction-head and these are a really good way to get there.
The Psychic Power I picked was Cryomancy and my offering is below, but here's the thing - it's a continuation of last week's flash fiction challenge. Does it still count?
809 words, baby. Read it and weep for poor, foolish Monty.
Montague's Folly Continued
“What do you mean, not again? I have never gotten romantically involved with a demon queen before this,” Monty said.
The barista rolled his eyes and backed away from the counter, muttering under his breath.
Monty settled into one of the booths for a little rest and relaxation. He’d just gotten comfortable enough to drowse when he felt an uncomfortable chill wake him.
He sat up and looked toward the front door. It was still closed, but was covered in ice crystals that stretched across the glass like a latticework of shattered bones. He looked toward the counter. The barista stood there in a bulky fur lined coat, mittens and a winter hat with the ear flaps deployed.
Monty felt his lips turning blue and lethargically tapped his foot against a table leg. The barista bustled over with a wool blanket.
“I guess Princess is here?” Monty asked.
The barista nodded. “Time to make the iced coffee. Nothing does a better job than cryomantic hands at work, you know.”
“I know,” Monty said. He’d heard the line before.
“That’s right. You were here the last time.”
Monty remembered it all too well. There had been a pyromancer at Café Mud. Apparently, Firenze was Princess’ cousin and felt cheated out of the café. He thought he was going to inherit the business from Uncle Dirt, but it had gone to Princess instead.
Princess was a large burly man, not someone Monty would ever want to upset under any circumstances. The ability to send any living creature the way of the mammoth was just the cherry on top of the intimidation sundae.
Monty had been stalking the much smaller Firenze with the intent of stealing his fire. An angry fairy had hired him to do this, equipping Monty with a clamshell made of rubies and petrified wood. All Monty had to do was slip the thing into Firenze’s left side pocket. The second Firenze touched it, the object was supposed to capture the fire. Basically, all Monty had to do was a little reverse pick-pocketing.
He’d followed his mark to Café Mud and “bumped” into Firenze just before he tried to burn all the cash in the register. While Monty still had to pay for services rendered, Princess was more indulgent with Monty than he might be otherwise.
Princess did not take his eyes off of his batch of iced coffee as he cleared his throat.
“Monty. What is this I hear about you and a date with the Demon Queen?”
“I felt like we really connected,” Monty said. “I could be wrong, but hell, I gotta follow the road where it goes, right? I mean, you can’t deny Belinda is beautiful.”
“That face worn by those caterwauling demons outside my window? Didn’t look so good to me,” Princess said. “It looked borrowed. Maybe it’s the face the queen wears, but I’m pretty sure that it, and the name, both belonged to a pheremonally enhanced secret agent who disappeared some years back.”
“Really?” Monty was surprised. “Huh. Maybe that’s the woman I’m supposed to find.”
“Even if that were true, which it isn’t, it’s too late. You made a date with a demon queen. You can’t back out now.”
Monty rubbed his forehead. Crystals of ice poked at his hands, protruding from his prodigious eyebrows. “I’m confused. I thought you were trying to talk me out of this?”
Princess turned around and stared at Monty with his unnaturally light blue eyes. “I’m not letting you go without protection. Barista! Hand me my hula hoop!”
The barista, surprisingly agile for someone swaddled as he was with winter-wear, reached behind the counter and threw a purple and glittery hula hoop toward Princess. He caught it with his left hand, pulled it over his head and began to hula.
Monty’s mouth fell open.
Princess arched an eyebrow. “You better mind your face, Monty. In my presence, it could very well freeze that way.”
As Princess continued to hula, Monty noticed ice forming on the hoop, which radiated outward in a thick layer which tapered off to thin points at varying intervals.
It dawned on Monty that Princess was going to make him wear that thing on his date with the demon queen.
Princess stopped his dance and very carefully lifted the hoop above his head.
“Oh, hell no,” Monty said, and tried to lift a foot, but his boot were frozen to the floor.
And the hoop was on him. It was surprisingly warm inside the circle.
“Now, you can go see your demon queen. I doubt she’ll be able to penetrate that.”
“But what does it do, exactly?” Monty asked.
Princess graced him with a smug grin. “Don’t you worry about that.”
Monty wondered if he’d been set up to carry out some onerous task for Princess that he didn’t know about.