Saturday, 31 March 2012

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - Excerpt

Hehe, I've been looking forward to giving you this excerpt! I'm sure you'll see what I mean about the rapier wit and constant hilarity!

Oh, Bite Me

"Wait— did you— You just yawned!" The vampire's arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides. He pulled his exaggerated white fangs back behind his lips. "What, imminent death isn't exciting enough for you?"

"Oh, stop pouting. But, really, the widow's peak? The pale skin? The black cape? Where did you even get that thing, a costume store?"

He raised himself to his full height and glared icily down at me. "I'm going to suck the life from your pretty white neck."

I sighed. I hate the vamp jobs. They think they're so suave. It's not enough for them to slaughter and eat you like a zombie would. No, they want it to be all sexy, too. And, trust me: vampires? Not. Sexy. I mean, sure, their glamours can be pretty hot, but the dry-as-bone corpse bodies shimmering underneath? Nothing attractive there. Not that anyone else can see them, though.

He hissed. Just as he reached for my neck, I tased him. I was there to bag and tag, not to kill. Besides, if I had to carry separate weapons for every paranormal I took out, I'd be dragging around a full luggage set. Tasers are a one size-fits-all paranormal butt-kicking option. Mine's pink with rhinestones. Tasey and I have had a lot of good times together.

The vamp twitched on the ground, unconscious. He looked kind of pathetic now; I almost felt bad for him. Imagine your grandpa. Now imagine your grandpa minus fifty pounds plus two hundred years. That's who I'd just electrified.

Tasey's work done, I reholstered her and pulled out the vamp-specific ankle bracelet. Bracelet being a loose definition of a fairly complicated and bulky device.

I placed my index finger in the middle of the smooth black surface. After a few seconds it glowed green. Grabbing the vamp's ankle, I pulled his pants leg up to reveal the skin. I hated looking at these guys and seeing their pure white, smooth skin at the same time as their shriveled corpse bodies.

I clamped the tracker on, and it adjusted to the circumference of his ankle. Two soft hisses sounded as the sensors activated and shot into his flesh. His eyes flew open.

"Ouch!" He grabbed at his ankle, and I backed up a few steps. "What is this?"

"You're under arrest under statute three point seven of the International Paranormal Containment Agreement, Vampire Protocol. You are required to report to the nearest processing facility in Bucharest. If you fail to report within the next twelve hours, you will be—"

He lunged for me. Sidestepping, I let him trip over a low gravestone. "I'll kill you!" he hissed, trying to pick himself up off the ground.

"Yeah, you really don't want to do that. That shiny new piece of jewelry I gave you? It's got two little sensors—think of them as needles—jammed into your ankle. And if your body temperature were to suddenly rise, say by the addition of human blood, the sensors would inject you with holy water."

His eyes widened in horror, as he tried to pull the bracelet off, scraping against its sides.

"Don't do that, either. If the seal is broken, holy water, poof. Got it? And I activated the timer and beacon. So not only do they know exactly where you are, they also know your time limit to get to Bucharest. Miss it, and—do I really need to tell you?"

His shoulders slumped. "I could just snap your neck," he said, but I could tell it was halfhearted.

"You could try. And I could tase you again so hard you wouldn't wake up for six hours, giving you even less time to make it to Romania. So, can I keep reading you your rights?" He didn't say anything, and I picked up where I left off. "If you fail to report within the next twelve hours, you will be terminated. If you attack any humans, you will be terminated. If you attempt to remove the tracking device, you will be terminated. We look forward to working with you."

I always thought that last line was a nice touch.

The vamp looked dejected, sitting there on the ground and facing the end of his freedom. I held out a hand. "Need help up?" I asked. After a moment he reached out and took it. I pulled him up; vamps are surprisingly light. Having no internal fluids'll do that to you. "I'm Evie."

"Steve." Thank heavens he wasn't another Vlad. He looked uncomfortable. "Um, so, Bucharest? You wouldn't happen to have money for a train ticket?"

Paranormals, honestly. I reached into my bag and handed him a bunch of euros. Getting from Italy to Romania wouldn't be easy, and he needed to book it. "You'll want a map and directions," I called as he started to slink off through the graves. Poor guy. He was really embarrassed. I handed him the sheet of directions to the Bucharest Processing and Assignment building. "It's okay to use mind-control tricks to get through borders." I smiled encouragingly.

He nodded, still morose, and left.

Finding Steve hadn't taken as long as I had worried it would. Excellent. It was dark, I was freezing, and my vamp-luring outfit of a wide-necked white blouse wasn't exactly helping. Plus I stuck out like a sore thumb in Latin countries, with my platinum blond hair in a braid trailing halfway down my back. I wanted out of here. I punched in the number of the Center on my communicator. (Think cell phone, without a camera. And they only come in white. Lame.) "Done. I need a ride home."

"Processing your request," a monotone voice said on the other end. I waited, sitting on the nearest gravestone. The communicator flashed five minutes later. "Sending transport now."


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