*This post was accidentally posted yesterday for a brief time.*
Today’s Spooky Legend introduces us to a new character from a familiar author and guarantees you won’t be eating chili tonight. Kelly Meding’s Teresa West, from the first book in the new MetaWars urban fantasy series, TRANCE (available on October 25, 2011 from Pocket) is taking over the blog. If you missed my review of this new superhero infused series, I said, “there is a real X-Men/The Incredibles vibe to this story that really worked.“
Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways
Teresa West on Finger-lickin’ Chili
So raise your hand if you haven’t heard the one about the woman who said she found a human finger in her bowl of fast food chili? Raise your hand if, when police discovered it was all a setup, you laughed and said "I knew it," even though you actually believed it at the time?
I’ve worked in food service since I was a teenager. In this post-War economy, it’s one of the few growing industries. I don’t know if people are just too lazy to cook for themselves, or if dining out is the new Family Fun Night, but people still eat out. Which means they need waitresses, and that’s good because it’s something I don’t suck at. And us waitresses talk. A lot.
I could tell you all kinds of stories, some of them funny, some of them embarrassing (not for me). But it’s almost Halloween, and this about urban legends, so let’s go for something gross. Something chili related. It didn’t happen to me, but it was told to me by a friend of a friend and…yeah, you get the idea.
A few years ago, this little hot dog place in Portland was starting to go under. You’d think a hot dog place wouldn’t have a problem keeping business, because hot dogs are hard to screw up. But the owner (we’ll call him Mick) was losing business, and he soon realized it was because of a dog cart set up a few blocks away (we’ll call this place The Stand). This cart owner was offering what people called the "Best Chili Dog in Portland," and it was booming, while Mick’s little hot dog restaurant was flat-lining.
Mick decided the only thing to do was to improve his own chili dog and compete. He brought in a guy from the east coast to teach him proper Coney sauce. He brought in a guy from Texas to learn about good Texas chili. He tried all kinds of different recipes, but none of them were as good as The Stand’s chili. Mick was still losing money, and he was desperate. This was his livelihood, and he wasn’t going to lose it because of some upstart hot dog cart vendor. He decided the only way to compete was to steal The Stand owner’s chili recipe.
So one night, Mick staked out The Stand, and when the cart owner closed up for the evening, Mick followed him home. He discovered where the owner stored his cart and where he lived, so he made a plan to break in the next day while The Stand was in operation. Only the next day, during Mick’s break-in, The Stand owner came home early because of a terrible cold, and he caught Mick in the act. The two men had a violent fight, and in his rage, Mick killed the other man. Terrified of being caught, Mick knew he had to get rid of the body, but how?
Well, I’ll leave you to guess the answer. As the story goes, two days later Mick debuted a new dog on his menu. He called it the Back Street Chili Dog, and advertised it as a limited edition chili. It was a hit, and even when the Back Street chili ran out, his customer base remained, and Mick’s is still going strong today.
And he even has a Missing Persons sign in his front window, for the disappeared owner of The Stand hot dog cart.
About the author:
TRANCE by Kelly Meding
Available on October 25, 2011 from Pocket Books
Kelly Meding’s war-ravaged Los Angeles is ground zero for the ultimate Meta human showdown in this sexy, action-packed new series.
Fifteen years ago, Teresa “Trance” West was a skilled telepath and a proud member of the Ranger Corps. But ever since the Rangers were inexplicably rendered powerless at the climax of the devastating Meta War, she’s bounced from one dead-end job to another. Now her powers have reappeared just as mysteriously as they vanished— only they’re completely transformed and more potent than ever. And they’re threatening to destroy her.
Trance heads to Los Angeles to track down the surviving Rangers and discover who restored her powers—and why—but a phantom enemy is determined to kill them before they can reassemble. As they dodge his deadly attacks and come to terms with their new role as heroes, Trance and the rest of the team set out to annihilate the sinister madman . . . only to discover their own powers are his greatest weapons.
**Don’t forget to visit Dark Faerie Tales today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Rosalie Lario author of BLOOD OF THE DEMON**