Normally when I write two-character mash ups I try to incorporate a couple of extra elements, but when I started off with Lester and Snowiks the scene just seemed too perfect to add anything else.
Snowiks is from my new project, A Book Without Dragons, and he’s an old and somewhat jaded police officer. Lester is from The World That Forgot How to Dance and is the sort of person who has frequent run-ins with the Law.
So, consider this an alternate timeline of Lester’s earlier dancing days, if Snowiks had been born into Lester’s world. Let the fun commence.
While Lester waited, he flipped the pencil through his fingers, tapped a waltz-style rhythm on the desk, and repeated the exercise. He had a feeling he was probably going to end up in prison again, and an even stronger feeling that someone was watching him at this moment.
As long as he was bound for another lock-up, he might as well give them something to think about; make them think he was tapping a code or something. Perhaps they’d even call in a math specialist. Given the rest of Lester’s day, the prospect of the government spending useless money on him was the only thing he had left to look forward to.
Finally the door to the holding room opened and a tired-looking cop make his way in. He frowned at a clipboard for several long moments before acknowledging that there was another person in the room. “Lester LastName, my name is Officer Snowiks. It says here that you were arrested for dancing.”
“All a misunderstanding, Officer,” Lester said, though his heart just wasn’t in the performance this time. “See, I have this medical condition causing my arms and legs to spasm around like that. I’m sure the kind gentleman who arrested me just made a mistake.”
He didn’t expect the old cop to buy it for a second, but opening up a warped door like that usually meant a string of obligatory questions; doctors’ notes and the like. Not with this cop, apparently. “Does that excuse ever actually work, Son?”
“You’d be surprised.”
“I’d assume that explaining to you the dangers of dancing and its related magic would be wasting your time and mine. You probably know. And since my extremely talented admin hasn’t been able to confirm your provided identity yet, I’m going to assume that you’re on the run from something.”
“Odd,” Lester said. “I’m sure I sent in my driver’s license renewal on time. It should be there.”
“Don’t bother with that,” Snowiks said. “Like I said, I’m not interested in wasting time. I’m sure you’re aware that the laws regarding dancing are rigid. There were three eye-witnesses and a video, no evidence of magic preformed, and we won’t be able to confirm any previous offenses because your identity is conveniently lost. That adds up to three weeks jail time.”
Lester decided that it really wasn’t worth the effort to act surprised at this. The cop only looked tired, apparently. “So, are we done here, then?”
“Almost.” Officer Snowiks leaned across the table. “The jail time won’t fix you. I’d bet my badge on it. Three weeks? It’s a wrist slap. You’ll try again when you get out, probably in new town with a shiny new identity. Maybe another three weeks in jail, but you’ll be used to it by then. Or maybe you’re already used to it. Maybe it’s already just a pattern for you.”
Here Snowiks stopped to flip a pen through his fingers and tap out the same waltz rhythm that Lester had been using before. “I’ll tell you what will fix you, though,” he continued, slapping the pen flat against the desk. “Eventually you’ll get that dancing and magic thing all figured out, and you’ll be happy with yourself. Then you’ll make a mistake. The magic will get away from you. Problem is, Son, by that point there might not be much left of you to fix.”
Lester knew it was his turn for some kind of a witty reply. The cop was wrong about dancing and magic, and he was most certainly wrong about him. But for now, all Lester could do was sit and stare at him.
Snowiks shrugged and tucked the pen carefully back in his pocket. “But then again, what do I know?”