New York City is seen by the world to be a pinnacle of the success of the modern life, a place where reason and logic has created a new utopia, where the only faith is in the Great God that is Science. Huge skyscrapers pierce the sky, their collective majesty like altars to this new religion. As the years march on the ancient ways begin to wane, with each new generation applying more and more cynicism and contempt to the old traditions.
Yet an underground rebellion against this new world existed, people who were not afraid to embrace the truth and mystique of the Old Secrets. Once you penetrate the great hustle and bustle of New York, the trained eye could see them. The Witches, Wizards, Fairies, Vampires, Werewolves and countless other creatures of magic that not only lived there but thrived in their urban environment.
Elizabeth Summers was one such person, as anyone with even a little magical skill could see that as she walked down the busy Manhattan Street. Her azure eyes carried with them the underlying spark of magic that seemed to fill her entire gaze, she walked confidently with the air of a serene grace that only those with complete knowledge of themselves posses, her vivacious red hair tumbled down her back and shone with that tell tale glisten of an enchantment.
Elizabeth knew this of course, she like to see the stares of people as the gaped at her, even those with no magic could sense in some primal level that she was not one of their kind. Her eyes scanned the crowds as she walked, searching for any potential trackers that might follow her, she didn’t need any distraction when she met this client.
Nigel Sinclair was one of the most influential men in the magical world. An advertising giant and successful businessman to the ordinary world, he was also perhaps one of the most powerful wizards in the Sate, and his fifteen bedroom mansion was home to some of the most powerful artefacts in the country. When he contacted Elizabeth, she had been blown away that he had even heard of her never mind wanted her for a job.
He had arranged rather unsurprisingly to meet her at the Tea tree café, a hotspot for the magical community, and despite having been there countless times before, she could not help but feel a pang of nervousness as she opened the café’s door.
She stepped inside the hectic café and could instantly fee the prickle of built up magic hit her skin, causing the hair on her arm to stand up. There Tea tree never got much non-magical clientele, due to the large amounts of background magic making them feel uneasy. She spotted Nigel instantly, despite the café being full to the brim he occupied a table to himself, sitting in a full business suit and sipping only a glass of water. He was a man nearing the end of middle age, but still carried a powerful and strong frame, made all the more apparent with the forceful look his eyes cast out.
Clearing her throat Elizabeth walked over to the table and sat down opposite to Nigel, who raised an eyebrow as she sat down.
“Hi Mr. Sinclair, my names Eliza-“ she began but was interrupted by Nigel.
“I know who you are Miss Summers, by the mere fact you have sat down in front of me means you know you would be welcome. However, unless you are in any doubt that you can trick me let me tell you who you are. Born in Texas you were raised by Methodist minister and his wife until you where thirteen, around the time you discovered you’re powers and were subsequently disowned by them. Moving up north you arrived eventually at New York where you began to meet other like your own. A Mr. John Bellows took you under his wing to teach you the craft, which you excelled at, and for the last ten years you have been working as a freelance witch to any who wish for some assistance.” Nigel said, and after giving the brief biography of Elizabeth’s life he calmly proceeded to drink his water, waiting for her response.
“You-you do your homework” She said weakly, feeling slightly uneasy as she stared at the man before her.
“In my position Miss Summers you can hardly afford not to. Nor can you waste time, so let me cut to the chase. I’ve called you here because you’re one of the best investigators in the city, well ones of the magical nature anyway.”
“Oh, why thank you-” Elizabeth began, but was interrupted by Nigel waving his hand.
“It wasn’t a compliment Miss Summers; I’m merely stating what I know. There has been a rather, shall we say, unusual murder in the Bronx, of Mr Edward Carthy. Police are baffled and have no leads. Needless to say someone with your . . .talents might have a better chance of finding out why. I have arranged for the crime scene to be left alone for the next twelve hours or so, ample time for you to begin your investigation. Miss Summers, I want whoever did this found and brought to me, and successful completion of this task will result in you obtaining $25,000, a rather enviable sum I’m sure you will agree.” Nigel finished, handing over a slip of paper containing the address she was to visit.
Beth hesitated, she was unsure of this Nigel Sinclair, he seemed rather too confident for her liking. There was also some thing she didn’t understand about this whole thing;
“Sir, why do you care, I take it you’re not just paying this money just to be a good Samaritan, what do you want with this murderer?”
Nigel gazed at her coldly, “Miss Summers I’m the one that pays the money, so whatever I want with this man is none of your business, okay?”
“Look” Elizabeth snarled, “I don’t give a fuck who you think you are, but I’m not doing anything if I don’t know the reasons behind them. You either tell me, or I walk, got it?”
Sinclair stared at her, and then after much time passed gave a little half smile. “I like your attitude Miss Summers, you remind me of myself when I was younger. Shall we say that the method this man was murdered is eerily similar to how my son was killed last year. If it transpires that whoever murdered my son is the same as who killed Edward Carthy, I shall be quite eager to have a little chat with him.”
Elizabeth stuttered at this revelation, “I-I’m so sorry . . .”
“Don’t be Miss Summers, just find him. Find this bastard so I can make him pay.” Nigel replied, and it was to Elizabeth’s horror that he spoke with no emotion whatsoever. She knew that tone, it was the tone of someone whose white hot fury had frozen into the diamond hard shard of pure vengeance. Whoever killed Sinclair’s son, she would not like to him when he found them.
After she had agreed, Nigel tossed her his card with his contact information and left quickly. She had sat there for a while, simply contemplating this new turn of events. Eventually she stood, took a deep breath and walked out the café, towards the Bronx and God knows what else.