Wednesday, January 29, 2020

#Excerpt: THE LAST ATLANTIAN by Mikki Noble

The Last Atlantian
Mikki Noble
Publication date: December 13th 2019
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Spencer did not plan to work on her birthday. She didn’t plan a lot of things, but they happened anyway. Like, when she touched a guy and he turned into a gold statue, or when some stranger appeared to tell her she was in danger. She didn’t plan to see her life forever changed by one simple act, and it still happened anyway.
What Spencer doesn’t know is why. Why is all this happening to her? Why does she have the power to turn people into gold all of a sudden.
Who is she really?
And why is this cute guy calling her the last Atlantian?


Spencer opened her eyes and looked around the busy coffee shop. Almost every table was full, and Cia had a very frantic look on her face. There was a line-up to the front door and almost all the tables were full of chatty people.
“Cia?” Spencer shouted, running over to her friend. “You’re here. And you’re okay.”
“You’re late,” Cia answered as she handed a customer their change.
“Um…” What? Cia knew very well that Spencer wasn’t late and why was she acting like that? Normal? After everything that had happened, why wasn’t she just as freaked out as Spencer was?
Cia walked over to the fridge and pulled out the soy milk. “Don’t just stand there. Get to work. I need your help.”
“But nothing. I’ve been slammed for over an hour. I know it’s your birthday but you need to help me.”  
Spencer sighed and decided not to argue with her friend. It would be utterly pointless anyway. Maybe she could use a little normal after her morning, although she had a hard time letting it all go. Who was to say those evil, gold robed people wouldn’t come back again, or that creepy guy?
No, the shop was full of people. And… Spencer realized that the gold statue was gone.
Yes, a normal day of work might actually get her mind of the crazy of the day. 
This location was home to a local writer, who came in for her morning coffee and would write for a couple hours. She was seated at her usual table in the corner, not looking up once at the crowd. She was here every day, so it didn’t get more normal than that. Spencer figured she would just take the rest of the day one moment at a time and pray that nothing else weird happened. “Where do you want me, boss?”
“Take the next order. I’ve got this one,” Cia answered in a clipped tone. 
Even though she didn’t want to, Spencer went around the counter to help with coffee orders. Just because it was her birthday and a bunch of weird things had been happening, didn’t mean that she would leave her best friend alone with a crowd and a line-up. More normal for Spencer to concentrate on.   
Cia glared at her as Spencer grabbed a mug—noticing right away that the burnt spot, the one where that guy had thrown a fire ball, only narrowly missing her head, was gone. “Hurry up. What’s wrong with you today?”
It was Spencer’s turn to glare. “I’m going.”
Maybe she could convince herself that it was all some strange, elaborate dream and make it through the day that way. That’s what Spencer decided to do. Apparently, that was how Cia had decided to cope. So why not?
Over the next few hours, Spencer had finally been able to convince herself that it was a dream. It had to be. Although it wasn’t like her to have crazy dreams like that, she liked that idea better and just tried to forget it. It only took a couple cappuccino’s, a lot of repetitive thought, and a busy coffee shop to convince her.
Jeremy never came in, though; that was strange. He came into the coffee house every single day, rain or shine, but she didn’t worry too much about it. She didn’t want to freak out. Maybe he was just away or got stuck at work. Whatever. She didn’t care to see him anyway. 
“Wow. That was one heck of a day,” Cia said several hours later, while turning off the open sign.
Spencer looked up at her from the dishwasher and said, “Yeah. Maybe they shouldn’t have left us alone on Friday the 13th. Apparently, people need their coffee today of all days.”
Cia laughed. “Yeah, that must be it.”
“At least it went by fast, right?” After all, she’d only been there a few hours when it was time to close the shop. At least, it felt that way.
Spencer pulled the garbage bag that smelled of coffee grounds and stale milk from the trash can and tied it closed, then tossed it in front of the back door before putting her jacket on and heading outside. It was cooler now that the sun was lowering, but not too bad. As she tossed the garbage bag into the bin, Spencer got a terrible chill along her spine and the hairs on her neck stood up. She was overcome with a need to run for the coffee shop. The moment she was inside, Spencer locked the door behind her and rushed to check on Cia.
Cia was standing at the till, counting money. Spencer let out a huge breath and pressed a palm to her heart, as if that would ease the beat. “I’m almost done here,” Cia said. “Why don’t you head home and try to salvage the rest of your birthday? Maybe you can do something fun.” 
That was all Spencer had wanted all day, was to go home, but for some reason, she didn’t feel like leaving Cia alone. “Aren’t you coming over anyway?”
“Yeah, I was planning on it, but it might be a while and I have to pick up my little brother from his friend’s and drop him off at home. I don’t want you stuck here for another hour.”
“I wouldn’t feel right. Maybe there’s something I can help with.”
“Go,” Cia demanded. “You’ve worked hard enough. Everything will be great. I’ll see you around six, I think.”
Spencer almost protested but her phone rang. Since it was so quiet in the coffee shop, she could hear it all the way from the locker. It had been in there all day, which was unlike her. She normally carried her phone around, but it had been so busy, she’d forgotten to grab it earlier. She walked through the kitchen area and continued down the back hallway where a set of lockers were bolted to the wall. The phone continued to ring the entire time. Spencer grabbed the lock, spun the combo and opened the door just as the ringing stopped.
She pulled it from her purse, noticed it was her mother, and decided to call her back on the way home. She untied her apron and tossed it inside, grabbed her purse and her sweater before slamming the door.
Her phone started to ring again.
This time she answered it on the second ring. If she didn’t, her mom would just keep calling. “Hello?”
“How’s my birthday girl? How was your shift?”
“It was fine, Mom. What’s up?”
“Oh, nothing.”
Spencer rolled her eyes. Her mother never called for ‘nothing.’ “Right. Now, what’s the real reason?”
“I really hate to ask you this, but can you pick up some milk on the way home? I’m sorry. I need it for dinner. Otherwise, I wouldn’t ask. Oh, and some parmesan, and some oregano, while you’re there.”
Spencer groaned. Luckily, her mom didn’t ask for much, so she just said yes and hung up the phone. She made her way back to the front where Cia was still standing at the till counting. She was a quick counter, but she was so noisy with the coins. Spencer didn’t know how she did it, but she slammed those coins down like a sledgehammer on a gong.
When Cia finished with the dollar coins, Spencer stepped in. “My mom called. I have to pick up some groceries on the way home.”
“I see. Go get the milk and I’ll meet you at your place a little bit after.”
“You sure?”
Cia nodded. Already ignoring Spencer, she moved on to the quarters. Spencer left, not saying anything else, except, “Make sure to lock this door behind me.”
It would be dark in about an hour and it would take her almost half that to get milk and walk home. She wished her parents weren’t so busy and they could at least pick her up.
So far, if she was being honest, it was a sucky birthday.
Oh, well. Spencer made a vow then. Next year will be great. Next year, she’d be surrounded by her friends, she wouldn’t have to work, and hopefully she’d have her car by then. How much could a car cost? A year’s coffee money, plus tips should get her something at least.
She hoped.
She’d been working at the coffee shop for almost three months and she’d saved every penny so far, except for what it cost to rent the uniform. Spencer was just happy her best friend’s parents owned the coffee shop and hired her, no questions asked. If Spencer had to go out and get a job, go for interviews and make a resume, she wasn’t sure she’d have gotten hired.
The streets were quiet for a Friday. It could have been peoples’ superstitions keeping them inside. Spencer had never cared about those things. Not that she didn’t believe. She just didn’t concentrate on them very much.
Did she have exceptionally bad luck on Friday the 13th? She didn’t think so.
Although, with the way today was going, maybe she did.
Her birthday didn’t land on Friday very often anyway. She shouldn’t read too much into it. Today was just not her day.
It took her ten minutes to reach the store. Spencer reached for the cool metal handle of the cooler and yanked the door open. She grabbed the jug and the other items on the list and made it all the way to the counter before realizing she had no money on her. She’d forgotten to grab her tip money off the counter. She checked every pocket in her jacket and found nothing. Then she reached into her jeans pocket and found a set of keys that weren’t hers.
She gasped and swore as an icy cool feeling sunk in and reached straight to her core.
Creepy guy’s keys. The ones he’d dropped on the floor. 
It had definitely not been a dream.

Author Bio:
As far back as she can remember, Mikki was creating characters and stories in her head. It wasn’t until fate brushed the tip of its wings over her eyes that she began to see that writing was what she was born to do.
She loves animals, reading, everything supernatural related, and enjoys spending her free time on social media whenever she can.

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