I See Me, Oracle 1 – an excerpt and a giveaway
“There’s that guy again.” Sprawled facedown over the black vinyl chair, I had a perfect view of West Broadway through the storefront window of Get Inked.
“What guy?” Tyler muttered as he hunched over my bare shoulder with his two-coil tattoo machine. Someone had to come up with a better name for that, other than ‘tattoo gun.’ Most ink artists hated calling it that.
“That guy … from the pizza place two days ago. The guy who tried to buy me a slice of pepperoni, like I eat meat.” I didn’t point. I wasn’t stupid enough to move my shoulder and risk ruining the ink.
All Tyler had to do was look up and he’d see the guy drinking a venti Starbucks and leaning against the pockmarked concrete wall of the convenience store across the street. A tall, skinny guy wearing black jeans and a knit hat in an attempt to look like a hipster, but really just hiding stringy, dirty blond hair. I was serious about the ‘dirty’ part, as in actual dirt. If the guy let his teeth yellow any worse, they’d match his hair. At least he hadn’t actually smelled when he sidled up to me a couple of days ago.
“The daisy would look so much cooler with some color,” Tyler muttered. He wasn’t easy to distract once he had the two-coil in hand. Normally I liked that about him.
“Red … pink?”
“It’s a peony.”
“A peony. And daisies aren’t red.”
“Fine. I’ll stick with the boring black, as usual.” Tyler snapped a used cartridge out of his tattoo machine and plugged in a new one. Then he started filling in the edges of my newest design.
I’d copied my peony sketch onto transfer paper about two hours ago, and Tyler and I had argued over its placement for another hour. It had taken me three months to get the flower design exactly right — as perfect as I’d seen it in my head — and ready for its permanent place on my shoulder.
I had a tattoo of barbed wire with various things snagged in the spikes running up my left arm. The ‘things’ were eclectic — keys, spiders … even a black-and-white Canadian flag. With the addition of the peony, I was getting Tyler to extend the tattoo over my shoulder now. Eventually, it would meet and intermingle about two-thirds of the way across my back with the ivy leaf pattern that ran up my right arm.
“I don’t like him,” I said. The guy across the street was playing with something, rolling something silver around in his hand. Pedestrians were steadily passing by him in either direction, but he hadn’t once bothered to glance up from his phone.
West Broadway was a major artery through this part of the city. It ran all the way from Burnaby up to the University of British Columbia, which was pretty much as west as it got without running into the Pacific Ocean. As was typical for January in Vancouver, the day was gray.
Despite the cloud cover, I kept catching flashes of silver when the light hit whatever the guy was fooling around with. It was probably some creepy magic trick with coins or something.
“He tried to talk to me.”
“He must be insane then. Who would want to talk to you?” Tyler was joking, but it wasn’t that far from the truth. I could count my friends on one hand. If I included my social-worker-of-the-day, I’d have to use my thumb.
– I See Me (Oracle 1), Chapter 1
(tentative) Release Day: Thursday, November 6, 2014 – but only if I have it available everywhere
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First person to answer the following question correctly wins an advanced ebook copy of I See Me (Oracle 1). Leave me your answer in the comments below (and make sure to fill in your email address, so I can contact you).
Warning: this is probably only winnable by people who have read the Dowser books fairly recently or someone with a wicked memory.
Who is the creepy guy that Rochelle sees across the street?
Answer (supplied by Becky first): HOYT