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Warding Off The Inspector: A Stella Diablo Monster Hunter Urban Fantasy Prequel Short Story

Warding Off The Inspector: A Stella Diablo Monster Hunter Urban Fantasy Prequel Short Story

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Marsha is the new girl at the local veterinarian clinic. Today, OSHA's in town and they want to visit her clinic. Except this clinic is for magical creatures!


Main Tropes

  • Magical Creatures
  • New Girl
  • Physical Comedy


Marsha is the new girl at the local veterinarian clinic. Today, OSHA's in town and they want to visit her clinic. Except this clinic is for magical creatures!

While her boss is out in the field caring for a downed dragon, Marsha's tasked with giving the OSHA inspector a tour of the facility and making sure he doesn't meet any of its special... guests. That's not so easy when hundreds of baby spiders get loose and a certain feisty kitsune decides to take things into their own hands!

Can Marsha get through this inspection without the clinic burning down, or pulling the inspector into her secret magical world?

Intro Into Chapter 1

“What?” Marsha sank into her seat and ran a hand through her short salt and pepper hair. “The mage said OSHA would be here today—in fifteen minutes, to be specific. What if the inspector sees all your magical creatures?”

“I’m sorry. I’m stuck on I-93 with a stubborn Orange Horn-Tailed dragon. I’m moving as fast as I can. Walter and Stacia are there. They can help you.”

“Can’t we turn the inspector away?”

“We could, but I’ve worked hard to have everything in order. Plus, there’s no guarantee Mr. Kalzukey will get another vision, warning us of another inspection. Let’s bite the bullet and try to make this happen. I can’t afford another massive OSHA fine.”

Dr. Duboi’s voice rang with urgency. In the background, the dragon roared followed by a whooshing sound. Dr. Dubois gasped “Sorrygottago.”


Marcia stared wide-eyed at the receiver of her phone, her mouth gaping. She glanced at the clock over the threshold of the veterinary office. Twelve minutes until the inspector would arrive.

She cleared her throat, replaced the receiver on the telephone, and straightened her dark green button-down shirt everyone said accentuated her hazel eyes.

She glanced at the front door one more time before hurrying down the polished linoleum hallway, the rubber from her sensible dress shoes squeaking as she walked. She leaned into the swinging door and poked her head into the overly-bright examination room that smelled of bleach and lavender. It had matching linoleum, several stainless-steel tables for examining creatures, and two washing stations. It looked nearly empty compared to other days where the room was teeming with magical creatures, and all the mixes and brews needed to mend them strewn over the counters for easy access.

“Bad news. Dr. Dubois won’t be here for the inspection. We have to cover for her,” Marsha said.

At the washing basin, Stacia Bruffey’s normally spikey pixie-cut hair glistened with water as an albino three-tailed fox splashed her in the face with one of his tails, howling with displeasure. Stacia paused mid-gasp and turned to Marsha. Stacia’s eyes were wide as saucers. “What d’ya mean Dubois won’t be here? She has to be here! It’s a full moon today. The animals will be twice as crazy as usual.”

Marsha wrung her plump, wrinkled hands. “Dr. Dubois is out on a call with some sort of dragon. She can’t make it.”

Stacia bit her lip and mumbled something under her breath before lifting her chin and bellowing, “Walter Doodle! Will you hurry up with the towel and harness? This Kitsune is drowning me!”

The Kitsune splashed Stacia again and she sputtered before calling it a foul name. It barked back at her and she bared her teeth in response. “Bring it, little fox! I’m not afraid of you.”

A tall, gangly guy in his mid-thirties hurried down the hall. He was wearing faded jeans and a T-shirt with an American flag on the front. An iridescent silk cloth billowed behind him in one hand, a leather cage-type harness the size of a small dog tucked under the other arm, and an ornately carved stick stuck out from between his teeth. He dropped the strappy leather contraption near Stacia’s feet. “Sahwy ah coodnt fahnd da tahwah.”

Stacia glanced back at him and shook her head. “Huh? Spit the wand out so I can understand you.”

Walter dropped the wand on the table next to the sink where Stacia was losing her battle with the Kitsune. “I said sorry. I couldn’t find the towel. Someone moved it.” He shoved the iridescent material at her. “Here.”

Stacia grabbed it with her teeth and lunged for the animal. It barked, kicked several times, and drenched her from head-to-toe with suds and water before leaping out of the sink. A trail of soapy water trailed behind the animal as it skittered down the hall where Walter had come from.

“No—No!” Stacia slipped and slid down the hall after the Kitsune.

Walter’s brows rose and he slowly turned to stare at Marcia. “I hope she can catch that thing. They’re crazy fast.”

Marsha nodded. “I guess that leaves you to deal with the inspector.”

Walter held up his hands in front of his chest and shook his head, taking a step back. “No way. I’ve… I’ve gotta…” He looked left then right, running his hands through his curly black hair. “I’ve gotta hide all the animals and keep them quiet while you deal with the inspector.”

“Me? I’ve been working here a week! I barely know where the bathroom is.” Marsha shook her head, backing out of the room. “I answer phone calls and do intakes for the customers. Dr. Dubois swore I’d never have to do anything else.”

“C’mon, Marsha.” Walter grabbed her hand and squeezed. “Help a guy out. If they find out we house magical creatures instead of caring for dogs and cats, it’ll be a disaster. You only need to keep the inspector busy until Dr. Dubois gets back and then you can hand the inspector off to her.”

Marsha shook her head again. “No—” Her stomach dropped, her face paled, and her lips began to tremble. She pointed over Walter’s shoulder. “W-What’s that?”

Walter glanced over his shoulder and flinched, holding both hands in front of his chest as he slowly backed away from a fuzzy black spider with purple polka dots standing nearly as tall as Walter’s 6’2” frame. “Woah. How’d you get out?”

The spider made clicking noises with its fangs and Walter’s brows furrowed. “You’ve lost your babies? How did you lose a hundred and forty babies?”

Something tickled Marsha’s ankle. She looked down and shrieked. Furry red and black polka-dotted spiders the size of her fist covered the shiny linoleum floor.

Walter’s hands shot out and he shuffled to Marsha. “Stay calm. You don’t want to agitate them, and you certainly don’t want to accidentally step on one.” He glanced at the giant spider and jerked his head toward it. “Luciana wouldn’t like it.”

Marsha froze. Her hands and lips trembled, and she stared with bulging eyes at the spiders covering the floor. “G-Get me out of here.”

Walter grabbed her elbows and slowly turned her to face the door to the front office. “Don’t look down. They’re not going to hurt you. Shuffle your feet along the floor… atta girl. Almost there.”

When they reached the swinging door, he leaned down and shooed the tiny spiders near the door away with his hands. Then he cracked the door open wide enough to shove Marsha through the opening to the hallway and closed the door.

She turned and stared at him through a window in the door. “Now what are we going to do? We can’t have the inspector poking around with all those animals loose.”

Walter shrugged. “I’ll round them up and hide them. You keep the inspector busy for as long as you can.”

Behind her, the front door beeped as it opened. Her breathing caught and she looked over her shoulder. A stern-looking man with a crescent of short white hair covering the back of his head held a tablet against his chest and stood near the front desk. He looked up and their eyes locked.

“Hello. I’m from OSHA. I’m here to inspect the facility,” he said.

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