Chapter 1

Andie smirked at the monster in front of her, stilling her breath as she waited for it to make the first move. “You know, you show up often enough that I might need to give you a name.” She leapt out of the way of the creature’s fist as it swung through the brick below her, or was it next to her? Prepositions got complicated when gravity stopped playing by the rules. “How about Slick? No, too masculine.” Andie landed on top of a window. A window that would have been just strong enough to support her weight if she held still.
Falling was not holding still.
“Valerie? Nah, that’s stretching it.” Andie fell through the window into one of the building’s many generic offices. The force of her landing wasn’t quite enough to break open the door, but a swift kick fixed that, letting her shift into a fall-breaking roll as gravity switched again – this time toward the roof. “Shell? Nope. Shell sells gasoline not petroleum.” She glanced toward the cubicles above… below? She glanced toward the cubicles abelow her as she sprinted across the ceiling.
“Look, maybe I’m just being crude here…” Andie broke out through one of the windows opposite where she’d entered, taking an impractical but stylish pose as she did so. Well, she thought the pose was stylish. “…but there has got to be an amazing oil pun name for youuuhhhello!
One of the monster’s unpleasantly textured black hands swung down and grabbed Andie. Slowly, it pulled her up toward the creature’s face.
“You know, you were a lot slower last time…”
For five terrifying seconds, the beast did nothing but glare at Andie.
“If this is a staring competition, then I must warn you: nobody has ever beaten me in one of those. Well, my cat has, but he fights dirty.”
Andie was now hurtling through the air – and several buildings. She assumed it was because the monster threw her, but was too distracted by the copious pain to come to any sort of definitive conclusion. Well, aside from the discovery that hitting a brick wall at high speeds was quite a lot more painful than certain fictional vigilantes had led her to believe.
After a second or two of excruciating flight, Andie skidded to a halt. It took a second more for her wits to return to her. “…and here I thought getting scratched across the eyelid was the worst staring contest related injury I’d ever get…” She glanced over toward a golden orange substance floating out of her chest. It flickered like fire but rippled like a liquid – and it leaked out like blood in water. It was her Will to Live. When it ran low, she ended up losing a week of her life crying in bed and consuming unwise quantities of microwave lasagna and pistachio ice cream. As for what happened when her Will to Live ran out completely…
Well, Andie didn’t know – but she had a hunch she wouldn’t survive it.


A note from the author ninja:

Yeah… Andie is a bit of a dork.

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  1. I haven’t gotten an email about this chapter, but that might change. I’ll comment again to confirm if it does work.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I did some quick checking, and that *should* be a one off thing. Let me know if it happens again.

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