Crimson Overcoat Versus Christmas
By Luke Monroe
Copywright 2011 Luke Monroe
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Grey skies and cold rain made for an unpleasant December commute. Alexander Valtam grumbled to himself as he dismounted his motorcycle in the parking lot of the low slung brown office building where he worked. He pulled on the door of the building only to find it locked. He fumbled in his pocket for the key card and swiped his way into the lobby.
The building was full of small tech firms and consulting agencies. Most were staffed by only a few people. That left the building empty as Christmas approached, with the independent firms taking time off for the holidays. Alexander walked down the hallway passing various small logos and nameplates of neighboring firms until he reached his office. The door sign read “Fortunato Thaumaturgical and Transhuman Consulting” in bold letters, with “G. Fortunato, Th. D.” below it. The “G” stood for Gretchen, his boss, who was currently out of town attending a professional convention. For magicians that meant it would be high on the hoity-toit and posturing with at least two magical duels to the death.
Alexander was the only member of the four person staff that was going to be in the office for the next two weeks. The secretary was only part time, and the intern had gone home for the holidays. That left him to check up on their few regular clients. Most were basic magical security jobs. Some of the work was local geomantic forecasting for the farm bureau. The rest were one-off information requests sent in by the DNR or local government. Alexander was no wizard, but he knew more than enough to handle the small stuff.