Original Post

Title: Varuna Kannon and the Caluminar’s Cave

Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure (99.5K words)

“Hey, get OFF ME!”  Meaty hands yanked Charlie from the bathroom window that led out to the back alley behind Wimpy’s Tavern.  He landed hard on the damp ground.

“Great,” Charlie muttered as he fingered a fresh tear in his already threadbare jacket.  The Madame couldn’t pay him enough to put up with this kind of abuse.  Okay, maybe she could, but he wouldn’t see a dime until he found out the information she was after.

“I told you not to come round here, you broke bum.  Next time I’ll break your neck.”  The balding muscleman wiped a fat hand down the front of his shirt.

“I’m here on business,” Charlie said.

“You ain’t got no business here.  I catch you-”  A bubbly ringtone interrupted the bouncer’s threat and he pulled a silver cell phone from his pocket.  He flipped the phone open.  “Hey, hun, hold on.”  He covered the mouth piece and gave Charlie the stink eye.  “Beat it!”

Charlie scuttled backwards a few feet before he stood up.  He glared back at mister friendly.  “Calling me a bum?  Why don’t you look in a mirror!”

“Whadya say?”  The goon lowered the phone from his ear.

“Nothin’.”  Charlie turned and scurried down the road’s paved shoulder, muttering under his breath.  That dive used to be respectable before it got rebuilt after the Big Hurricane.

Dejected, shoulders hunched, he thought about his next move.  It was a desperate thought, but he hadn’t gone to see the Creepers yet.