About Oklahoma Rain
Author: Kiernan Kelly
Word Count: 25000
Page Count (pdf): 87
Series: Midnight Rodeo book 2
Genre: Paranormal /Western
Date Published: January 30 2017 – 3rd ed
Publisher: Evil Plot Bunny
Blaze offers Zack a home, but is love enough to keep him?
Psychic Blaze scouts locations for the rodeo company, Darque and Knight. While checking out a possible venue he finds another psychic talent, Zack, who’s hot as the Fourth of July. Zack is complicated, though, thanks to his sidekick, Mikey, a damaged kid. Blaze invites the pair back to the rodeo, but not everyone is as happy as Blaze to have them there.
Blaze glanced up at the moon, bloated and fish-belly white, a hazy ring of red circling it like a noose, before turning his attention toward the thick, heavy storm clouds pushing in from the southwest. Bright lightning knifed through the darkness at the leading edge of the storm, briefly illuminating the fairgrounds, where the crew was loading equipment and livestock into trailers.
He gave a low whistle, and tugged the brim of his hat lower over his forehead. “Best get a move on, boys. Gonna be a gully washer for sure.”
“Fuck off, Blaze. We know what we’re doing. Ain’t you supposed to be at the next stop on this tour, getting the place ready for us?” The gruff voice belonged to Hitch, a roustabout with a foul mouth and even fouler temper. Hitch was trying to encourage a massive bull to head up a ramp. Tucking a hulking shoulder under the bull’s rump, he gave a push that actually succeeded in moving the stubborn beast an inch or two, not to mention smearing a streak of brownish-green bull shit on Hitch’s t-shirt.
Blaze should have known better than to try to make friendly small talk with a troll like Hitch. One might have wondered why the owners of Darque and Knight, the world’s premiere paranormal rodeo, would tolerate such a hateful bastard being on payroll for as long as they had, but the answer was clear. Hitch’s employment was due solely to the size of his muscles. They bulged like wart-covered boulders when he flexed. Blaze had no doubt Hitch could pick the bull up and piggyback it into the trailer if necessary, but troll-that-he-was, Hitch had absolutely no social skills whatsoever. None. Nada. Zip. He wondered if Hitch thought ever saying “please” or “thank you,” might result in some horrible catastrophe, like spontaneous combustion. Yeah, if only.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m on my way now. I was just being neighborly. That storm is coming in quick, and you know what they say about a red ring around the moon. Gonna be a whopper. You’d better get that animal inside before the thunder lets loose, or you’ll have two tons of pissed off prime rib on your hands.” Especially since these bulls had demons trapped inside their hides. Nobody did “pissed off” like demon-possessed cattle.
Hitch curled his lip, exposing his square, yellowed teeth. “Mind your own damn business, norm. The bosses ought to keep you people away from the rest of us supernaturals. It ain’t right we gotta be around freaks like you all the time.”
Blaze curled his lip at the insult. “Mundanes” were what most of the folks around the Darque and Knight Rodeo called the outsiders, those humans who weren’t gifted in some way with supernatural abilities, but being called a “mundane” was just an outright insult, and Blaze resented it with every fiber in his being. His powers might not be as visually apparent as the troll’s ugly appearance and substantial strength, or a werewolf’s ability to shift, or vampire’s gift of whatever-the-fuck vampires did besides suck blood, but he was every bit as supernatural as the rest of the staff who worked for the rodeo.
In fact, it was his ordinary looks and his hidden psychic talent that allowed him to function as well as he did as the rodeo’s patch. It was Blaze’s job to drive ahead to the next stop on their rodeo tour and scout out a good location. He was the one who made sure the spells cast by the rodeo warlocks and witches to hide the supernatural natures of the performers and workers from the mundanes while the rodeo was in town were in place and functioning, and had no thin spots or holes. The spells were of the utmost importance because they ensured safety and secrecy of the Supes of the Darque and Knight Rodeo. If the mundanes ever learned about it, it might mean catastrophe for them all. The last couple of times mundanes thought supernatural beings lived among them resulted first in the Great Burning in Europe, and then in the Salem Witch Trials here in North America. Neither was a great time to be a supernatural.