The Hacker Pushes Her Luck (Moonchuckle Bay 6)(14)

By: Heather Horrocks


She said, “I don’t have a phone.”

“Ahh, that’s right.” He picked his own up and dialed, then said, “Heidi, Ms. Monroe will need a cell phone.” He turned to her and said, “We’ll have one for you within an hour.”

“Thanks.”

“I’ll be in my office,” he spoke to everyone in the room, but his eyes were on her. “If you need anything at all, just knock. I understand you may get tired easily today and need to go home. In fact, I’m amazed you’ve done as well as you have. Usually, concussion victims suffer for days, at least, sometimes weeks and months.”

“I guess I’m a fast healer,” she said.

“I guess.”

She walked to the lobby. The offices weren’t open yet, but a young woman was setting up what looked like the receptionist’s desk. She glanced up at Sugar and nodded. Sugar nodded back. “I’m just stretching my legs.”

The other woman nodded again, but didn’t say anything, and her attention was already back on her task.

“Are the front doors unlocked?”

Without looking up, the woman said, “They’re unlocked, but warded. You can go out and come back in, but normal people can’t get in. Tourists and such. They don’t even see the building.”

Normal people. She used to be one of those normal people. Now she was caught up in what felt like another person’s life. Her head was beginning to ache a little again, and she felt more stir-crazy than she’d ever felt in her life.

That almost made her laugh. How on earth would she know that when she couldn’t remember anything?

She moved closer to the front door. Through the large pane of glass, she could see across the road to a large, peaceful-looking park that called to her.

So she pushed through the door. Glancing back, she saw that the other woman still hadn’t looked up.

Relieved that she had a few moments to herself, she drew in a deep breath and wandered off.





Walking had revived her spirits. This town was amazing!

She’d wandered around the entire square, passing City Hall to find monster-themed streets and cute shops.

Blue Moon Sports Bar, Cake and Scream, the Monster Mash dance hall.

She’d wandered into Frankenstein’s 2nd-Hand Shop and then into the Witch’s Closet and the Fashion BOO-tique.

And she’d looked down at herself in the sweet sundress that belonged to another woman and realized she needed some new clothes.

Hacker clothes. She was a hardcore ethical hacker, right? That meant she was the hero of the story, riding in and cleaning up the cybertown, right?

Her clothes needed to reflect that.

She pulled out her wallet and counted out nine hundred-dollar bills. Wow. Saving the digital day paid well, apparently. More than enough to buy herself an outfit or two.

She chose bold colors — blacks, whites, and reds. She wondered if this was her normal wear, because she was drawn to the pastel colors, too, maybe even more. But she was determined to at least look like a competent ethical hacker even if she couldn’t remember how to be one.

And then she’d found the aprons. A vivid red apron covered with white polka dots and festooned with script spelling out Serendipity Happens. That struck her funny bone, so she added it to the stack.

She ended up spending over three hundred dollars altogether, but at least she had a workable wardrobe.

The cashier said goodbye with a big smile, and Sugar headed back outside, swinging her Witch’s Closet bag merrily.

She crossed Mane Street and passed a couple of eateries/bars — Fangs and A Bite To Eat Café, which proclaimed that the food was “as good as mummy makes.”

Rounding the corner of Unicorn Trail and Monster Stroll, she passed the Black Lagoon Saloon, then made her way down to Beans & Boos Coffee and Count Baklava’s. She slipped inside and chose a dessert from a decadent selection. Eat dessert first, right?

Then she crossed Wolfman Walk to find the Woo-Woo Revue — advertising an old classic monster movie — and Dorian Gray Photography — where you could take a picture of yourself starring in an old classic monster movie.

She rounded the corner at Wild Things Gift Shop, heading toward the local newspaper named Carpe Noctem News, and a restaurant called Elvis Sightings.