Author’s Note – Forward: So, this is the first couple chapters of a story I started writing back in 2011 or maybe early 2012, back when Civero was still my main setting, and the Sex Mage World was still new. I’ve gone back and touched it up once or twice in the years since, but never was able to figure out a good way to make it work out, and eventually, I just decided I didn’t really like where it was going. I figure after about five years, I may as well call it dead. But you know me, I hate letting effort go to waste, so here’s another incomplete story from the Scraps Folder. I’ll have more notes after it ends.
The dark-haired young man came in close to 3 a.m., just an hour before Casey Brightwell’s shift ended. He looked nervous and a little confused, but seemed also relieved as he stepped through the door. He was a bit underdressed for the weather, only a tee-shirt, jeans, and a flannel overshirt, despite the fact that there was at least a heavy jacket’s worth of chill outside. He took a seat at the end of the counter, and let out a long breath.
Casey smiled warmly at him. “Howdy, stranger,” she said with a wink. “You look like you’ve got yourself a little turned around.”
“Really?” he said.
Casey shrugged. “Well, you know, only diner around for miles, we get some folks who get lost in the middle of the night. Would you like a coffee?”
“That would be great, thanks,” he said. He spoke fluent English, but there was an odd accent to his voice that Casey couldn’t place.
“I didn’t see you pull up,” said Casey, fetching the pot and a mug. “Did you break down out there?”
The man opened his mouth to say something, then closed it, hesitating. “Where am I?” he finally said.