Burned

Burned by J.A. Cipriano

Book: Burned by J.A. Cipriano Read Free Book Online
Authors: J.A. Cipriano
Tags: Fantasy
gremlins to help us again now? It’s not like I can just send them a fruit basket.”
    “Is that because they can’t eat it after midnight?” I asked without thinking, and as the words left my mouth, I could have sworn a cold stare settled on the back of my neck.
    “Keep it up, and you’ll be dead really soon,” Danton replied, gunning the engine as we sped toward the neighborhood’s exit. “Then I can just mail them your body as penance.”
    “You know, if you keep saying things like that, I’m going to start thinking we aren’t friends.” I smiled at him, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in my gut. “And I tend to shoot people who lead me into confrontations with homicidal maniacs if they aren’t my friend.”
    “Well, it’s a good thing you used all your bullets on the harbinger then,” Danton replied moments before the manhole cover in front of us burst out of the street and came flying right through the windshield.
     

Chapter 15
    The heavy manhole cover tore through the center of the windshield and sliced through the hooptie’s ceiling like a buzz saw. As glass and debris turned the air around us into a razor-sharp cyclone, the metal cover slammed into the back window with enough force to damned near tear the top off of the car. Danton, undeterred by the attack, slammed down on the gas, evidently going with the tried and true method of just running his problems over.
    The four-foot-tall scaly green creature wearing painter’s overalls in front of us grinned, revealing a mouth full of razorblades before leaping into the air. As flesh sloughed off its body, thin membranous wings spread out between its under arms and torso, reminding me of a flying squirrel only less cuddly. Buffeted by the air beneath its wings, the creature cleared the hundred-foot distance in an instant and slammed down on our hood. The front of the car bowed with a shriek of metal as the thing clambered forward like a homicidal gecko hell-bent on selling us car insurance. As Danton jerked the wheel hard to the left and slammed on the break, it reared back and swiped at us.
    The creature’s yellowed claws swept by me as it tumbled sideways. Its toes and fingers dug huge gouts into the car as it tried to steady itself against the vehicle’s sudden change in momentum. Before it could, Danton pushed the gas pedal to the floor and sent the car lurching forward in a squeal of burning rubber.
    “Get it off the car before other gremlins come!” Danton cried while trying to pull the car out of its horrible swerve. It didn’t work. We collided with an ornamental mailbox covered in ceramic ducks. The mailbox exploded in a cloud of porcelain fragments as one of our wheels came up onto the sidewalk.
    A green fist punched straight through the passenger window, missing my head by inches and peppering my face with shards of safety glass. The gremlin reached in, grabbing onto my seatbelt as the rest of its body clung to the metal like the aforementioned gecko.
    “I don’t want any damned car insurance!” I cried, elbowing it in its crocodile-toothed maw. It squawked angrily, locking its yellow eyes onto me as I shoved my palm between its eyes. “Ignis!”
    Its reptilian eyes narrowed in anger moments before my fireball caught it full in the face, and for a second, time seemed to stop. I could almost feel the rage and anger coming off of the gremlin before it was blown off the car in a shriek of tortured steel that left huge claw marks on the side of the vehicle. Maybe we’d be needing that car insurance after all.
    The gremlin hit the ground and tumbled away as Danton righted the car and aimed us toward the neighborhood’s exit once again. We hurtled forward, coming off the curb with a heavy thump that threw a cascade of sparks into the air. The exit was only about fifty feet from us now, but at least forty more of the reptilian gremlins stood between us and it.
    More swarmed from every which way, all dressed in a weird assortment of

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