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PsyCop Short: Striking Sparks

Hue, Tint and Shade cover

Striking Sparks by Jordan Castillo Price

Series: PsyCop Short (#2.1)
Length: Novelette - 11,190 words - 29 page PDF
Cover artist: Jordan Castillo Price - see larger cover
ISBN: 978-0-9818752-2-4

Single ebook - $2.99
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Summary

Andrew’s life is spinning out of control, and he’s desperate for some guidance. He’s heard there’s a palm reader in Wicker Park who’s the real deal: a certified, honest-to-God psychic. He’s confident that she’ll tell him exactly what he needs to hear. Too bad he didn’t account for how long it would take him to find parking.

The psychic’s gone, but one of the other shopkeepers in the building has a sympathetic ear. He’s pretty easy on the eyes, too. Striking Sparks is set in the PsyCop storyverse, but it stands alone. Newcomers can hop right in and try it. Veteran PsyCop fans will be treated a nice, long look at Crash.

 

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PsyCop Bundle

$46.70 $39.70

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All the novels plus all the shorts at a whopping 15% off: Among the Living • Body & Soul • Camp Hell • Criss Cross • GhosTV • In the Dark • Inside Out • JCP Cover Art Gallery PDF • Many Happy Returns • Mind Reader • Secrets • Spook Squad • Striking Sparks • Stroke of Midnight • Thaw

 

Excerpt

Andrew circled the block for the fourth time. He hadn’t realized parking would be so horrible downtown. He thought he would get there in plenty of time if he left work at three, but he’d had no idea he should have given himself half an hour to find a parking space.

He went one block deeper into the side streets and spotted a gap in the parked cars. He was halfway in before he saw the fire hydrant beside the curb. He stared at the hydrant in disbelief, as if it had just appeared there to make his life miserable. Didn’t it know how important today was? Didn’t it realize that by this time next week, Andrew would be married?

Didn’t it realize that he was scared to death?

The blast of a horn snapped Andrew back to attention. He glanced in his rearview mirror. The guy behind him was Mexican, or Hispanic, or whatever the correct term was. He looked tough. And not very happy to be waiting around while Andrew tried to park his car.

Andrew circled for eighteen more minutes before he found a spot. He walked as fast as he could. Even so, when he got to the storefront he’d been circling and circling, by the time he reached the front door, the rectangular fluorescent sign that said “open” had been unplugged.

The Tarot Card Palm Reader sign was off, too. “This can’t be happening.” Andrew pressed his face to the plate glass window and cupped his hands beside his eyes. There! There were candles burning inside. That meant the psychic wasn’t gone yet. Because nobody just left candles burning, not with the possibility that they’d start a fire and burn down the whole building. Right?

Though this psychic, from what he’d heard, was real. Why shouldn’t she leave candles burning if she knew the building would be safe?

Something moved inside the storefront, maybe—or maybe people passing him on the sidewalk were casting reflections that he mistook for motion inside. Andrew pressed his face into the glass harder, ignoring the gritty feel of the grime-coated glass against his forehead. “Hello?” he tapped on the glass to see if maybe the palm reader was still there, and maybe he could get her attention. Nothing moved. No lights came on. Andrew knocked harder, with his knuckles now, rather than his fingertips. “Hello?”

“It’s closed.”

Andrew jumped and spun around to face whoever had snuck up on him. His hand went to his wallet, patted it to make sure it was still where it was supposed to be, in his pocket.

The man who’d scared Andrew half to death wasn’t even looking at him. He had a hand cupped around a cigarette and was busy attempting to light it despite the wind. He wore a leather biker jacket covered in safety pins and small, round badges with band names on them Andrew might have heard of, might not, and his bleached blond hair was spiked out stiff like dozens of sharp nails.

He stopped flicking his lighter and glanced at Andrew. “What?”

Andrew had been staring at his silver nosering. “Someone might still be in there.”

“Nope. Saw her leave.” The unlit cigarette bobbed as he spoke. “Lydia hates to miss the 5:07. You’d need to shove a big wad of money into her hand by five to keep her off that bus.” He cupped his hand around the end of the cigarette and started flicking his lighter again.

“Damn it.” Andrew kicked the building’s concrete foundation.

The smoker stopped flicking the lighter for a moment, raised his eyebrow, and then went back to trying to light his cigarette. “What’re you so stressed about? Having your palm read is usually something people do for fun, you know.”

“It’s just…I drove all the way here from Arlington Heights. I had to get time off to leave early and everything. And now this.”

“What’s the big deal? Just come back tomorrow. You don’t work Saturdays, do you?”

“Oh, Forget it.” Andrew turned toward the sidestreet that led to the other sidestreet where he’d eventually parked his car. Obviously, he wasn’t going to get a reading.

“Hold on,” said the smoker. “Help me get this thing lit.” He handed the lighter to Andrew and shielded both sides of his unlit cigarette from the wind. Andrew flicked the lighter; the metal wheel was already warm from striking sparks. He managed to get a small flame. The wind blew it out.

“C’mon, I won’t bite. Block the wind.”

Andrew repositioned himself and flicked the lighter a few more times. Cigarette met flame, and the edge crackled as the smoker inhaled. He blew a stream of smoke over Andrew’s shoulder. “Want one?”

“No, I don’t sm…I never really picked up the habit.”

“It’s never too late to learn. How about a drag?”

Andrew stared at the glowing cherry of the cigarette. The fingers of the other man’s hand were stacked with silver rings. Some had esoteric-looking symbols etched into them, and others were set with stones. There was a gigantic hunk of jade on his forefinger, pale green, the color of the sugared almonds that Meredith had been bundling into tiny mesh bags all week. Two green, two blue, and a white, tied with a pale green bow and a pair of fake plastic wedding rings. There was even a poem that went with them:

Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat.
To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet
Five wishes for the new husband and wife
Health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life!

Andrew took the cigarette, placed it to his lips, and inhaled. His fingertips smelled like butane.

 

PsyCop Ebooks

#1: Among the Living
What good is being a psychic detective if your murder victims aren't talking?

#2: Criss Cross
Mysterious messages from Lisa lead Vic on a wild ride.

#2.1 Striking Sparks
Andrew's got cold feet about his upcoming wedding. He figures a palm reading is just the ticket.

#2.2 Many Happy Returns
It's the holiday season at SaverPlus, and customers have become incredibly demanding.

#3: Body & Soul
Three missing people. No bodies. No ghosts. At least the case gets Vic out of an awkward family dinner.

#3.1: Stroke of Midnight
For a PsyCop, missing out on festivities to process a crime scene is all in a day's (or night's) work.

#4: Secrets
Is someone watching Vic's every move, or is he imagining things? Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

#5: Camp Hell
Vic delves into his repressed memories of Camp Hell and dredges up more than he bargained for.

#6: GhosTV
Lisa's gone missing, and Vic and Jacob head to PsyTrain for some answers.

#7: Spook Squad
Victor has been avoiding the exorcism he owes the FPMP. Now it's time to pay up.

#0.1: Inside Out
(Takes place before Among the Living, but best to read it later) The first time Jacob saw Vic, he was covered in red.

#6.1: In the Dark
Halloween is supposed to be fun.

 

PsyCop Paperbacks

PsyCop:Partners (contains Among the Living and Criss Cross) Amazon - Book Depository
PsyCop: Property (contains Body & Soul and Secrets) Amazon - Book Depository
Camp Hell Amazon - Book Depository
GhosTV Amazon - Book Depository
Spook Squad - Coming Soon

 

Buy the Bundle and Save

PsyCop Bundle

$46.70 $39.70

Place PDF in Cart Place Mobi In Cart Place epub in cart View Cart
All the novels plus all the shorts at a whopping 15% off: Among the Living • Body & Soul • Camp Hell • Criss Cross • GhosTV • In the Dark • Inside Out • JCP Cover Art Gallery PDF • Many Happy Returns • Mind Reader • Secrets • Spook Squad • Striking Sparks • Stroke of Midnight • Thaw

 

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