Oracle 2: Excerpt 3 of 3
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR I SEE ME, ORACLE 1
CHAPTER ONE CONTINUES (2):
I glanced over at the cash counter. Sid and Lina were still wrapped up in their electronic devices. The laundromat was otherwise empty.
I looked back. The butterfly was gone.
No. It had flitted away to dance over top of the grubby glass entrance.
“Ah, geez.” Sid spoke from behind me.
My stomach bottomed out as I turned to look back at the counter. Could Sid see the butterfly? How the hell was I going to explain my tattoo flitting around the storefront windows?
“That old guy is back,” he said.
“What guy?” Lina didn’t look up from her iPad.
“The Chinese guy who just wanted to watch the dryers last week and kept asking for Oreos.”
I snapped my head back to the front door, actually hurting my neck with the sudden movement.
An ancient-looking Asian man was grinning at me from the sidewalk beyond the door of the laundromat.
Chi Wen, the far seer of the guardian dragons and my old-as-ass mentor, had apparently decided that his typical gold-embroidered white robes and sandals would stand out too much in Yachats. So he was now clothed in a baby blue, oversized short-sleeved T-shirt emblazoned with a fuchsia pink Cake in a Cup — Taste the Magic logo. The shirt hung almost to his knees, his cargo pants ended at his lower calves, and he was wearing black combat boots to complete the ensemble.
“Don’t call him Chinese like that,” Lina snapped as she stood to cross back to the dryers she was manning. “You don’t like people calling us Indian.”
“How does that make any difference?”
Chi Wen opened the glass door, triggering the bell as well as allowing a warm gust of the sunny day inside.
The chime of the bell mystified him, and he paused — still grinning madly — as he looked around for the source of the sound. Instead, he saw my butterfly tattoo fluttering over his head. He lifted his hand and the butterfly landed in his palm.
“No, no!” Sid called out from behind the counter. “No sit here. No watch. Go. Go!” For some reason, his previously perfectly-articulate-though-accented English broke down as he confronted one of the nine most powerful beings in the world.
“Wait,” I said. “That’s my … grandfather.”
Sid eyed me distrustfully. He was wearing a canary-yellow turban today. I was fairly certain it had been tangerine orange last week. I wondered if there was a religious significance to the color. I’d been coming to the laundromat for a few weeks now, and Sid and Lina accepted my business but didn’t particularly like me. It might have been my full arm-sleeve tattoos, or the weird white streak that wouldn’t take the jet-black dye with which I colored my hair, or maybe they didn’t trust anyone under twenty-five. Which was cool, because remove ‘under twenty-five’ from that misgiving and neither did I.
To be continued …
I SEE YOU (ORACLE 2) IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER.
RELEASING DECEMBER 17, 2015