Hello Internet! Please welcome Rory Coileáin to Flash Fiction Friday with “Hell Freezes Over”! In today’s saucy piece, we learn just what happens when a killer ice storm hits DC. But for club owner Tiernan Guaire, the show must go on!
Hell Freezes Over
by Rory Coileáin
Tiernan Guaire glared at the phone in his hand, wanting nothing more in that moment than to curse until the air around him turned a vivid shade of blue. That wouldn’t help his current situation any, though.
And if I’m thinking like that, I’ve been playing grownup human for much too long. Grimacing, he put the phone back to his ear. “Any guess as to when power’s going to be back? I have a club to open in an hour.”
“Sorry, sir, no ETA. All our trucks are out, but they can’t get anywhere. Not in this.”
Tiernan plowed a hand through his hair. What he really, really wanted to do was hit something, but there was nothing handy to hit. Just before dawn, Washington, D.C. had been hit with an ice storm, the worst anyone had ever seen. Even worse, apparently, than the one Kevin had driven through with him the night the two of them first fought the Marfach together. Power lines were down everywhere. Not a problem for Tiernan at the moment, the wan daylight making its way down the stairs was more than enough for a Fae to see by, and he could channel light after a fashion if he had to. But the heat was out as well, and while Purgatory held heat reasonably well, being underground, that wasn’t going to go on much longer either, not with the door up to street level open to let in what light there was.
“I don’t suppose you can be bribed,” he muttered to the faceless Pepco functionary on the other end of the phone.
“Sir, if I could, I’d be retiring tomorrow.” The woman sounded exhausted. “I’m sorry.”
She sounded like she actually was. Tiernan couldn’t make himself be pissed off at her. At the weather, sure, but not at her. “Not your fault. Thanks for trying.”
He touched off the phone, then turned on his heel and looked around the dimly-lit room, growling under his breath and wishing he couldn’t see said breath. Maybe he should have had Mac or Lucien try to get hold of Rhoann… but no, the half-water elemental had already made it clear he didn’t do weather. Shit.
“Is there a reason you’re standing around in the dark?”
Tiernan turned to face Conall, who had apparently just taken form behind him. “I glow with the light of a thousand suns because my heart is pure. And Pepco says they don’t know when they’ll be able to get a crew out here to get the lights back on, and the heat’s anyone’s guess.” He sighed. “But I suppose it’s not really a problem, because no one’s going to be driving anywhere in this shit anyway.”
“True, but the Metro’s still running. And it’s drag night. The humans will be here.” Conall scratched an ear. ‘I think I can help you out. Josh and I have light and heat upstairs, at least in the bedroom.”
“I’ll just bet you do.”
“Har har.” Conall made a kissy face at Tiernan, who mostly ignored it. “I could manage that much of a channeling on my own. But down here, with the power of the nexus to tie into, I’ll bet I could have this whole place ready to open on schedule.”
For the first time since he’d spent almost 45 minutes on hold with the power company, Tiernan let himself feel a little glimmer of hope. “You do that for me, and I’ll let you and Josh have the dungeon tonight for a shibari demo.”
Conall didn’t bother to hide his delighted shiver. “Let me go get Josh. I’ll need his help for this one, I think.”
Josh had a coil of rope over each arm, and the look of anticipation in the dark-haired human’s eyes was one Tiernan knew well, having seen it in his own husband’s eyes on many occasions.
“I’m a little surprised. It’s not like I could put anything on the Web site or social media to let our patrons know we’re open.”
Josh laughed. “Conall didn’t tell you about the sign?”
Tiernan blinked. “Sign?”
“Come on upstairs, take a look.”
Bemused, Tiernan followed Josh past Lucien at the door, then up the stairs to the sidewalk. A sandwich board stood on the sidewalk, perfectly positioned to catch the gaze of anyone coming up out of the Metro station on the corner.
to the Great Washington, D.C. Ice Storm
HELL HAS OFFICIALLY FROZEN OVER
PURGATORY IS STILL SMOKING HOT!