Day 24: Koi Skeletons

Day 24: Koi Skeletons

James had sort of expected the Feng clan to resemble their Italian counterparts. He had sort of been completely wrong.

Fallavollita was an occultish hive of rowdy teenagers, lingering cigarette smoke, and archaic staircways. Feng headquarters was about half laboratory and half art museum. It was white, wide-open, and full of quiet, orderly adults, with a texture of “asylum” James wanted to get away from as quickly as possible.

The people could have been running a business firm—clipboards, dead eyes, hand sanitizer. The scene was rife with expensive wristwatches, modernist paintings, and hideous ties. One woman in a sensible blouse sent him a bored look from beside the coffee machine.

Had James warped into the wrong place? He peered further around the closet door. But, the more he paid attention, the more weird started to filter in.

Black koi skeletons swam like they were still alive inside glass walls too thin to hold them. A plain-looking, straight-cut blazer on the floor was cordoned by chains, and smoked occasionally with black magic. Disembodied whispers leaked from vents, and the number of individuals wearing sunglasses indoors was simply too high.

The woman watching James, meanwhile, was still watching him. She’d begun to fidget with the seam of her pencil skirt. The habit almost reminded James of—

Titian. Oh, hell no.

In a second, the woman had produced a switch knife. A man passing the cursed jacket suddenly had a revolver pointing James’ way. Someone swung out of their office brandishing a dead, ectoplasm-drooling porcupine on a stick.

Oh. Hell. No.

James swung back inside the broom closet. These were the Fengs, all right.

-Black Dragon

The concept environment for the Feng clan, based in Erqi, China and counterpart to the Fallavollita crime family in Naples. I wondered what magic crime would look like, and had a lot of fun with the results. I’ll probably have to do a lot of setting surgery to make this scene less top-heavy, but I really enjoyed coming up with it.

My wi-fi’s been hit-or-miss lately, but I only have five more posts from my April Camp Nano drafting bonanza, so hallelujah! (Just in time to start preparing for the July Nano, oops. Guess we’re pantsing this round.)

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