Excerpt: Gun Magus
By N.R. LaPoint
This Gun Magus excerpt is shared with the permission of the author.
Gun Magus Synopsis
Low on luck, but not ammo
The last thing Kenneth Jericho needed was a gunfight and car chase with human traffickers. What started as a bad morning only got worse.
A flash of light sends Ken to a strange world filled with magic, hideous monsters, beautiful women, and seemingly unlimited ammo.
With pistol in hand, Ken is thrown into a race against time to stop a local ganglord’s reign of terror. But is the thug the brains behind the violence, or is someone – or something – else pulling his strings?
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Our Hero Kenneth Jericho Is under attack in a Strange New world. But Ken is no coward and readily engages evil in battle.
He and the bunyun mage Rolfwin have already taken care of the fish people, but the giant plant monster is giving them trouble…
Tentacles slammed around him, shaking the ground. Ken lost his footing and tumbled. He fell into a roll as an arboreal appendage struck the stone path right where he had been a moment ago. The tumble had likely saved his life.
On his back, Ken watched as the plant monster collapsed in on itself, becoming an enormous green ball. It rolled toward him, an avatar of death. The monster stopped short of Ken and unfurled itself once more. Tendrils slapped the air and the beast bellowed.
Ken could not miss at this range. He yelled as he pushed himself to his knees and fired again and again. He could see clearly into the beast’s cavernous maw. The blue tongue licked at the air and Ken made it his prime target.
“Eat magic lead!” Ken shouted.
A figure struck from above like a lightning bolt. The entirety of the plant monster shuddered. The figure rebounded, turning in an elaborate spin. Rolfwin landed next to Ken, brandishing his candlestick.
“That did not kill the beast,” the bunyun observed.
“I see that!” Ken said, struggling to his feet as the monster reeled from Rolfwin’s powerful attack. “Now if we only had some blue cheese dressing and some bacon bits.”
“We are most likely dead now,” Rolfwin said. “I will not have time to charge another Leap. Do you have anything that might be helpful? Any hidden knowledge or talents from your world?”
“I can shoot gangsters in the groin quite well and I’m not so bad at landscaping.”
The monster collected itself and its tendrils began to wave as it contemplated its next attack. It was so close Ken could smell its moldy breath. One attack and it would be over. Ken raised his gun again.
“Ice!” A feminine voice squeaked. Ken and Rolfwin glanced around, but did not see the source of the shout.
Particles of shining, frozen water surrounded the monstrosity, appearing out of the air like shimmering ghosts. With a delicate chime the ice crystals pelted the beast from every angle. It roared as green chunks were torn from its body. Every tentacle wavered, pulsed red, turned black, then disintegrated. The assault left only the huge green, toothy maw in place.
Ken fired into the creature’s mouth, shattering teeth, and Rolfwin rushed forward, stabbing with his improvised spear. The monster shrieked and another rain of ice slammed into it. Once more the beast rolled into an enormous ball and sped forward. Ken threw himself to the side, landing off the stone path. Rolfwin leaped, narrowly dodging the rampaging thing.
The plant monster hit the tower with a loud thwump and turned, opening its deadly limbs to the air once again. Newly grown tentacles flared from the beast. They lashed for Ken and Rolfwin, striking them both and sending them tumbling across the the grass. Another attack smashed a marble statue.
In the tumble, Ken lost his pistol. He scrambled for it. A tendril whipped outward for him. With a diving roll, he avoided the deadly strike and the tendril dug into the ground with enough force that the dirt shot upward like a geyser. Ken landed in a kneeling position, grasping his pistol. Again and again he squeezed the trigger, pelting the monster with his nearly unlimited ammo.
Reload was wearing out, however. Ken could somehow feel that his skill was once more draining his innate pool of magical energy. The beast cried out, obviously wounded, but it refused to die.
Ken checked the pistol’s magazine. Nearly empty. The green glow surrounding the bullets was faint now. He took a step backwards.
“Hi!” a young voice chirped near Ken’s ear. He started and turned to face a beautiful young woman.
Her black vest-like coat was open in the middle, showing plenty of her pale midriff. The light material of the coat flowed down to her hips. The top covered and held up her breasts, but left her shoulders bare but for the twin straps that ended in a small open collar at her neck. Unconnected to the vest coat were long sleeves that flared at the wrist like lily petals, revealing the white inside stitched with crosses of gold.
Around her hips was a short black skirt. She wore soft black ankle-high boots trimmed with white and gold. In one hand she held a plain wooden staff taller than she was, that curled like a snail shell up the last fifteen inches. In its center was a dull blue crystal. In her other hand danced a pair of dazzling blue ice crystals.
Her head was a cloud of short black hair accented by a black band trimmed with white frills. Her smile reached her large amber eyes.
“Hi,” Ken said. “Thanks for the help!”
“You’re welcome!” The girl chimed, closing her eyes and giving a bright smile. “Oh! I have an idea!”