This is Episode 1-7 of a serial urban fantasy & paranormal story.

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Part 1-7: Taxi

I woke up, and there was a face.

I spun and slapped out at it, then my head hit the ground as someone yelled.

I sat up, aware of many things at once. I was sprawled on the sidewalk. People spilled out of the bar. I had just thwacked Fergus’ glasses off his face. The shawl lay beside me, and the crowd, Deluxe, Fergus, and Dack had a fantastic view of my chest.

I hugged myself and scuttled towards the wall of the place, trying to make sense of what was going on, trying to get away. I was terrified that Willy may be somewhere in the crowd, but relieved that there were at least some witnesses now.

Dack scooped up the shawl, Deluxe grabbed it and came to me, wrapping it and herself around me.

“What happened?” I asked, hugging her.

“You exited, we were hesitant to follow immediately.” Deluxe uncurled herself so she could look me in the eye. “My instinct was that your innards had rebelled.”

I shook my head.

“It was him,” I whispered.

“You’re sure?”

Something in my face must have convinced her, because she stood and pointed at our companions. “You and you, listen up. Fergus, you’re on sampling duty. I’d like an inconspicuous fragment or three of that lamppost please. Dack, kindly find us a taxi one street south, swing by and collect us fifty meters east of here. We’re going back to my place.”

Dack looked at Fergus, who had recovered his glasses and rubbed his cheek. They did not look particularly enthused. I couldn’t blame them.

“And it’s not for sex!” Deluxe clarified. “Go!”

They split off, and some of the other patrons—those who had not fanned out to investigate the ruins of the lamppost—filled their wake. Questions piled in, and I felt a creeping déjà vu:

“Is she okay?”

“Should we ring the sheriff’s?”

“What was that noise?”

“Did you see anything, lady?”

Deluxe created a barrier with her little body and ran the press conference. “She’s okay, feel free to contact the authorities, it was a yet unexplained lamppost disintegration event, and what she did or didn’t see is privy to official investigation only! Now back off!”

Normally such antics might cheer me up, but I was wrestling with the idea of needing to live the rest of my life with someone always by my side. I was convinced the minute I was alone, Willy would materialize again. His face, so close to mine, already had the quality of a dream, but all I had to do was glance up to see people picking up the very real pieces of the lamppost.

Deluxe got me to my feet and led me down the street, Fergus in tow with some shards in his hands. I tried to protest, not wanting to leave the relative safety of the crowd, but pain from my faceplant and cinching from my bladder reduced my conversation skills to loud nasal breathing.

A taxi appeared a moment later. Fergus got in the front, so we piled in back with the fireman and rode back to the condo. Deluxe stroked my hair as I cried a little, and the boys probably wondered how in the blue hell they’d wound up in this situation.

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Continued in Part 1-8

This story was originally published on the Hive blockchain & ecosystem, as part of the Scholar & Scribe community. See info on the latest Polygon NFTs and story parts here.