Pixie Rebels Book 1: The Rogue Regiment
A pixie crime family that has made robbery their day job, and nothing can stop them.
The Rogue Regiment snippet –
The Key Bank was as dark and empty and securely shut down for the night as every other building at 11:27 p.m. in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Just not securely enough.
If anyone had bothered to take a closer look, they would have seen flickering lights inside the bank lobby that didn’t look like the normal blinking lights from security cameras and silent alarm systems. They would have seen a flash of movement here, a streak of color there, and the doors to the cash and safe deposit vaults slowly opening on their own.
If anyone had bothered to take a closer look, they wouldn’t have been able to make sense of what they saw happening inside this Key Bank branch. But no one bothered to look because half an hour before midnight, there was no reason for anyone to think anything was wrong.
This was just another night for the gang of pixies that was pulling off one hell of a bank heist.
“How’s the security system looking, Marv?”
“A freakin’ joke, just like the last one.”
“Bill! These humans are idiots! Look at all these bags they left us. Like they’ve just been waiting for someone to come along and rob the crap outta them.”
“What’re you waiting for, Kilder? Use the bags and fill ’em up.”
“Hasher, what did I tell you about tagging the walls like that when we’re on a job?”
“Aw, come on, Calinda. I was just—”
“What did I say?”
“That humans freak out when they see it.”
“Because they panic and think it’s blood and don’t know any better.”
“So, quit tagging the walls and get back to work.”
“Aw, man. I was almost done with this one!”
“Okay, everybody, hurry up. Ten minutes to take whatever you want and trash the rest. Then we’re outta here.”
A cash drawer at one of the teller windows pinged open, and a lime-green flash of light darted down from the ceiling and hit the open drawer with a jingle. A squeaking grunt of frustration rose from behind the counter. “Seriously? I finally get the thing open, and all they put in here are rubber bands and paperclips!”
“The bank’s closed, Syd. They keep all the money over there by the… Well, look at that. Vernon got into the tellers’ cash safe.”
“Guys. Hey, guys!” Loose bills shot up from the open safe under the drive-through teller window, then fluttered all over the place in a rain of rustling green. “Look, it’s snowing!”
“That can be your cut, Vernon.”
“What? She said to trash the rest.”
“Whatever you want, man. It’s your cut.”
“Has anyone seen the triplets?”
Snorts and high-pitched snickers filled the bank’s lobby.
“I saw ’em headed for the safe deposit vault, so they’re probably wings-deep in another crazy haul like last time.”
“Yeah, they’re good at that, aren’t they? Let’s get a move on, pixies. We don’t have all—” A high-pitched bark of laughter echoed across the bank lobby. “What am I saying? Of course, we have all night! There’s nobody here!”
The other pixies flittering back and forth across the lobby and behind the teller windows erupted in laughter, holding themselves around the middle and falling all over each other as they cracked up and kept trying to shove cash into bags at the same time.
Three pixies in Calinda’s gang—affectionately called “the triplets” by the others—were too far away to have heard everyone in the front of the bank laughing. It was hard for Z Thornbrook to hear much of anything beyond the click and scrape of the cylinder in the lock housing moving with agonizing slowness as she pushed it with both hands—from inside the lock.
“They sound like they’re wasted,” her cousin Domino muttered. “Think we should wrap it up pretty soon?”
Z grunted and doubled down on her efforts to push the mechanism’s tiny pieces into place without having the key. “After I get this one open first. I have a real good feeling about what’s in here.”
Domino, who was standing in front of the vault’s single long table, didn’t flinch when a box beside Z’s popped open with a metallic clang. A flash the color of dull steel darted out of the box, zipped over, and stopped beside Domino with a soft pop.
The next second, his sister Echo stood next to him in front of the table. She’d taken on the larger human size occasionally needed for bigger jobs when a pixie’s natural tiny stature wouldn’t cut it.
As she folded her glittering black wings against her back, Echo leaned toward her younger brother. Her straight black hair fell over half her face like a thick curtain as she whispered in his ear.
Domino relayed, “She says that’s what you said about the last three boxes. On the last three jobs.”
“Well, Echo, you’re not wrong.” Sighing, Z double-checked how far she had left to push. “And technically, I didn’t not find really good stuff inside all of them.”
Domino snorted and folded his arms, and his golden-brown wings twitched against his back. “At this point, I honestly care more about getting out of here before Bill and Hasher start kicking each other’s asses again. Still not sure why you’re into all the useless crap humans think is so special they have to lock it up in a building they can’t even get into whenever they want.”
“It’s not just humans,” Z retorted with another grunt of effort. “Probably. I mean, yeah, any smart magical would hide their super valuable stuff where they can get to it easily, like, in a safe inside their house or an enchanted drawer or something. A genius would keep their important stuff hidden in plain sight.”
“Oh, right. In a human bank without wards or protective spells, so any magical can break right in and take whatever they want.”
Z leaned sideways against the cylinder and smirked. “Not just any magical, Dom. Us.”
Echo leaned toward her brother again to whisper in his ear.
Domino playfully rolled his eyes. “She says if you don’t use magic to open that lock, she will.”
“That’s against the point.”
“She says you’re wasting—”
“Yeah, yeah. I get it.” Pushing away from the cylinder, Z stood up inside the lock, glared at the mechanism that shouldn’t have been so difficult to push into place, and flicked her finger at it.
A bolt of bright blue light burst from her fingertip and clanged against the metal cylinder. The last millimeter of metal slid into place the way she wanted, and the deposit box’s lid sprang open. Z looked through the keyhole at her human-sized cousins, giants compared to their natural pixie dimensions. “I pushed it most of the way there.”
“Uh-huh. What was that?” Domino looked at his wrist and the nonexistent watch on it. “A whole five minutes? Woohoo!”
“Hey, I’m trying to be a little more disciplined.” Z jumped off the box, and her shimmering blue wings, which were the same hue as her short hair, carried her up and over the table toward her cousins. With a soft pop, she grew to human size as well and appeared on the other side of Domino.
All three pixies stared at the open box.
After studying Z for several seconds, Echo whispered in her brother’s ear again.
Domino snickered. “She says forget five minutes. Do you have any idea what a zap could’ve done in five seconds?”
Z leaned forward to peer past him at his sister. “We’re the only ones in here, Echo. You don’t have to keep—”
“Yeah, but the others could walk in here at any second,” Domino interrupted. “She’s not gonna talk.”
Z glanced at the open door of the vault and shrugged. “I do know what a fun little zap can do, by the way. I’m just trying to spice things up. You know, add a challenge every once in a while.”
Her cousins choked back their laughter with poorly muffled snorts.
She fixed them with a deadpan stare. “You think that’s funny.”
“You don’t need a challenge, Z.” Domino’s voice trembled in his attempt not to laugh at her. “You need a life.”
“I have a life. I spend it keeping you two ingrates alive and out of Trevilson.”
Echo whispered in her brother’s ear again, and his attempt to keep a straight face failed. “She says you need a hobby, so add that to the list.”
“Oh, yeah. Thanks. Screw you too.” Smirking while her cousins snickered, Z nodded at the deposit box Echo had opened. “Find something useful in that, huh? Domino, you doing another one?”
“Nah.” With a grimace of distaste, he adjusted his hands on the large duffel bag he’d been holding open for the women the whole time. “I like it right here where it’s easy. You don’t want me crawling into any more locks anyway. I’d just end up showing you how it’s really done.”
“Uh-huh. Keep talking.” Shaking her head, Z stepped toward the deposit box she’d opened. Echo rounded the table to sort through hers. Z rubbed her hands together before holding them over the open box, fingers twitching. “Gimme something good.”
After she’d pulled the lid of the box back and let it ping against the table, she was disappointed. “Another watch? Seriously?”
“Think it’s real?” Domino asked.
“That’s not my area of expertise, dude.”
“Well, toss it in the bag. If it’s junk, I’ll wear it.”
The jingling and clinking of gemstones and metal filled the vault as Echo pulled a gaudy necklace dripping what looked like diamonds and rubies from her box. She shook the thing and grinned.
Domino barked a laugh. “Sure hope those are real.”
Echo tossed the ridiculously valuable necklace into the duffel bag with everything else they’d scored in this room. Z tossed the possibly fake Rolex over her shoulder, and Domino jerked the duffel bag forward to catch it.
“Personal documents,” she muttered, pulling papers out of the box and tossing them across the table in a scattered mess. “More personal documents. Who does this guy think he is, huh? The King of the Humans?”
Domino cleared his throat. “Echo says there’s no such thing—”
“It’s a figure of speech.”
The siblings shared a confused look, then Domino wrinkled his nose. “Says who?”
What could go wrong for Z and the gang? Find out on February 16, 2023, when Pixie Rebels Book 1: The Rogue Regiment is released. Until then head over to Amazon and pre-order today.