It was a typical day in the secluded La Fortunata area in Eureka, California—the sun beating down as if to smite all the evil that permeates every corner of the land, sirens constantly wailing in their pursuit of an endless supply of criminals, and the usual plateau of sounds as everyday civilians carried on with their daily routines.
I fall under the latter category.
My name is Erik Ashendale and people stared at me as I strode toward the elementary school some twenty blocks from my office.
Maybe it was the black trench coat. Maybe it was the sword handle that poked out now and then from under the side of the coat, placed horizontally across my lower back after all, for quick reach. Maybe it was the clank of metal as people noticed my twin pistols with the fear usually reserved for notorious gang members.
But mostly it was my reputation: Erik the Wizard, Erik the Creep, Erik who gets rid of supernatural nasties while everybody else prays to whatever deity they believe in. They all knew what I did for a living. They all poked their heads into my office window, hoping to catch a glimpse of me performing some ritual which summoned forth some ancient demonic entity. All they saw was my extensive collection of trinkets and, occasionally, my cat licking itself.
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