I’ve been working on my novel this week. I played with the world and how hate can be easily directed/manipulated against groups of people. So, I dropped Kathryn and her older brother, Trent, into a posh estate wedding with people who hate others like them. Here it is:
“Werewolves are unpredictable people,” Kass said.
Her pearls shimmered under the string lights. Her voice flittered like the silverware against the dinner china. Kass surveyed the party guests.
“Some of them drop in like Middle Eastern suicide bombers. Mutts make my skin crawl.”
My hands squeezed my dress as I looked for Trent. The woman’s hawk-like gaze ensnared me in my spot.
“You know what some people would pay for a mounted werewolf head?”
“No,” I said.
The whisper in my voice lured Kass in.
“Hundreds of thousands. Maybe half a million to the right buyer and breed.”
“These are people,” I replied.
I felt suffocated as we stood over the whole wedding reception. Surely Trent listened in somewhere.
Kass’s lip twitched then she raised her champagne glass until the bubbly drink disappeared.
“Half-people, my dear,” Kass said, hand her glass flute to a passing waiter. “They’re half-human.”
I stewed in her hatred. I felt awful, coated in tainted thoughts and words.
“What about witches?”
The second course arrived to tables. I watched my now-cold soup be taken from the center plate and left empty while the rest of the table received their main courses. The small orchestra quartet switched from a slower Mozart aria to a Brahm waltz.
“Follow me,” Kass said, entering the patio doors into the estate. Formally dressed servers bustled in and out from the other French door. Once we entered the lofty, lavish den, Kass faced me and stopped. “Witches are hunted. I get it, but they’re different. If they didn’t pose such a threat, maybe I’d see..”
“We’re not a threat.”
My throat went cold. Kass cocked her head and leaned in toward me.
“Say that again?”
I backed away.
“What did you say?”
“Trent,” I called. His name traveled through the house.
“Witch,” Kass whispered, starting for me. “Witch!”
I ran outside, knocking a tray of wine glasses out of a server’s hand. I reached for the cascading glass and Merlot. The spilling collision levitated back to the tray, resetting.
Nearby tables stopped eating and turned their heads toward the commotion.
“Kassandra?” he called from the wedding party table.
I rushed through the light-speckled lawn.
Kass leapt onto the porch from the patio doors.
People sprung from their seats. My escape aisles narrowed as chairs and bodies pushed into my path.
A horrendous roar washed over the reception from behind the wedding party’s cloth backdrop. Trent’s monstrous form swelled as a shadow against the fabric. People poured over the wedding party’s table; glass clattered and crunched under them.
Trent’s snarled muzzle burst through the fabric wall.