The Augury

This piece is 2 or 3 chapters into an urban fantasy I am writing, and it's only the first page and a half of the chapter. I haven't written any of the rest yet, I wanted to start here to try to get a feeling for how the whole thing would work but picking a critical moment for the main character and expanding on that. This is very much a first rough draft (I've barely re-read it myself), so I'm not looking for syntax corrections, I'm just curious whether it feels right. Does the story draw you in? Does it need more or less description? That sort of thing. I'd very much appreciate that feedback (and anything else you'd care to offer). Many thanks.

The Augury

The Harvard T stop was was full of the usual rush-hour crowd; students streaming out of their last classes, business people headed home, and a strong cross-current of people inbound for dinner and entertainment. A train had just unloaded a crowd of early supper seekers, and Megan had trouble keeping up with Patrick. He passed through the turnstile while she was still fumbling for her pass, and he seemed to flow through the crowd as though no one was there. She jogged the few last yards to catch up with him at the edge of the platform.

“Tell me again where we’re going?”

“To visit the Augury.” His quiet Irish burr was oddly clear through the noise of the crowd and the screech of a full train disappearing into the tunnel.

“What stop are we getting off at?”

“The Augury doesn’t live at a stop. Sei is the anima of the trains. That is why sei knows everything that goes on in the city; sees everywhere and hears everything. All the business of the city eventually travels through these tunnels.” Patrick laughed to himself, “I suppose that’s why sei is such a sexual being. You know what people say about the symbolism of tunnels and the trains that pass through them?” he raised a sly eyebrow. “Well, the Augury spends all day thrusting in and out of tunnels,” he laughed again. “It’s like sexual static electricity, sie builds up a great deal of tension! That is why sei only takes payment in sexual favors.”

Patrick’s smile was infectious, and Megan couldn’t help laughing with him, but the talk of sex made her nervous. “What kind of favors is Augury going to want? You said, it wouldn’t be anything I would mind…”

“Of course not! Sexual energy is an exchange. You can’t take it by force.” Patrick looked a little horrified at the thought.

“So are we just talking a kiss here, or something? Or is Augury going to want something more?” She grimaced at the thought of getting felt up by some guy who spent all day riding the subway.

Patrick saw the look on her face and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry! If a kiss is all you are comfortable with, then that is all that will happen. I rather doubt it though! I wish I were in your place.” He had the wistful look of someone who had been alone too long, and it reminded Megan why she was here; trying to find out where the kidnappers had taken Lilly.

“You didn’t strike me as the type who went for guys.” Patrick had that strong sensitive, male Irish face, but he’d seemed very much the lady’s man, never mind his obvious feelings for Lilly.

“Oh, sei is not a ‘guy’! Sei is sei. But the Augury seldom plays with other anima. Sei wants the energy of the natural born.”

This conversation was getting too weird for Megan, she decided to let it drop. Patrick had seemed perfectly sane when she’d first met him, and she knew he was serious in his concern for Lilly. He said he’d seen her being kidnapped, and she believed him, but all this talk about animas and guys who weren’t guys was starting to freak her out. Never mind his claim that Lilly had been kidnapped by people who lived in the ATM machines. She’d wasn’t sure why she’d followed him this far, but she might as well see if he actually knew someone who’d seen where Lilly had been taken. She figured she wasn’t at too much risk in a subway car full of people.

The crowd built up around them, and down the tunnel she could hear the screech of metal on metal as another train rounded the corner towards the station. Now why didn’t they ever put rubber tires on the things? It seemed so inefficient; metal on metal. The train pulled all the way in and slid to a stop. A car door opened in front of Patrick. He stepped inside and she followed.

And blinked in surprise.

The car looked nothing like any subway car she’d been in before. The floor was carpeted, there were small chandeliers mounted along the walls, the benches were padded with long velvet cushions, and one end of the car was hidden behind layers of cloth hangings. It looked like a cross between the T and a club car on the Orient Express.

She wondered for moment if she’d lost track of time, and now she was in some private club, but when she turned around, there was the T door, and outside was a crowd of students and commuters trying to get home, shuffling into the doorways of the cars on either side of theirs. Nobody looked inside their car. Nobody even seemed to see the open door. She watched in shock as the crowd dispersed, and then she started as the doors firmly slid shut before she could think to change her mind.

“Have a seat.” Behind her, Patrick was lounging on one of the benches. He patted the cushion, and Megan blindly dropped beside him.

“Wha. What is this?”

“This is the T! This is the Augury’s car. Don’t worry, sei will be along soon.”

That was definitely not what Megan was worrying about. Her own sanity seemed a far more pressing concern.