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When last we left him, our hero Tom had arrived at the Poisson d’Or to meet a client. Having entrusted his beloved rustbucket to part-time valet and full-time illicit pursuit artist Eddie, he goes inside:
I pegged the maître d as human, because I’d never heard of a wereflamingo.
He looked at me down a large, curved nose. “Mr. Mahon?” he inquired, through a long throat that sounded like it had been oiled recently.
I wondered how he knew I was me; I doubted my reputation had preceded me this far uptown. If Mrs. Featherton had someone on staff who’d been able to locate an image of me, she didn’t need a private detective.
But I just nodded and let him examine my tie, jacket, and shoes.
“This way,” he decided.
He raised each knee just a little too high as he stepped, placing each foot just so as we processed our way through the main dining room; I was betting he had some strong waterbird genes in his ancestry—or maybe a couple of performance artists.
To be fair, no one in Talbot City has ever heard of a wereduck, either . . . but Tom’s not the type to go waddling around to prove a point.
This guy may be a tad stereotypical, but he’s very good at his job. And he also plants the idea that weres and humans can be cross-fertile.
I’ve tried to establish some fairly straightforward rules of genetic inheritance for this world—mostly because I couldn’t figure out how a duck bite would do anything but make the reader snerk, which isn’t always the reaction I want (no, really).
Happy Middle of Hanukkah, Merry Impending Christmas, and Heri za Forthcoming Kwanzaa!