Epilogue: 8 Months Later…
She felt whole for the first time in hours, and tired enough that she could sleep—not that she really could. Even if she hadn’t been fighting aliens for the last three hours, leaving her dead tired, but at the same time too full of energy to sit, she was in an airplane hangar. There wasn’t any place to sit down but the concrete floor. Even if she’d wanted to try napping, she was sharing the hangar with nearly one hundred people, all of them veterans of the same fight.
She looked better than most, if only because her body physically changed, and instead of being in her armor, she was now in her clothes, the jeans and white, wool sweater she’d been wearing back when they all thought they were about to go home. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 21
Harcourt blinked. “It was effective, wasn’t it?”
Reliquary nodded. “Remarkably so. It’s a pity that the magical establishment is too stuck in their ways to appreciate the options that new approaches offer us. Am I right in guessing that you’re not from this universe?”
Harcourt froze for a moment. Amy could see well enough in the darkness to know that his eyes widened. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 20
Ignoring how tired she felt, Amy walked toward the front door, spear in hand. The door stood open and she stopped just short of walking through, waiting off to the side. In the background of her mind, the voices murmured about different ways to strengthen herself. She didn’t have time for any of them.
Phil lay on the porch, neck at a strange angle, but beginning to push himself off the concrete. William Harcourt stood over him, seemingly unafraid, possibly unaware of how powerful these creatures could be.
Phil’s head twisted, his neck straightening, teeth out, ready to attack. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 19
Along with the hunger came memories.
The woman (Sheila Schettler) had been a waitress at a Waffle House restaurant. She’d left her second shift job one night and seen a child alone in the alley behind the restaurant. When she’d gotten close, he’d looked into her eyes, and she’d found herself unable to do anything but come closer.
He’d commanded her to bend over, and when she did, she’d seen his teeth—long, sharp canines that would have been the stuff of nightmares.
They would have been if she’d been able to have nightmares after that. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 18
Amy said a few words that Harcourt had taught her. She couldn’t fault his knowledge or even his teaching. He knew magic, and he could explain it. That helped make up for the fact that he was the only master of blood magic she knew, and maybe a little bit for the fact that he was deliberately sabotaging her progress.
Magical energies became visible before her eyes, a slight reddish tinge where there wasn’t much power behind it, brighter red where the magic was stronger.
At least, that’s the way it normally worked. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 17
After a period of time, she walked back into the house, going straight to the kitchen where she heated water in the microwave and dipped a tea bag into it.
She’d heard of tea bags back home, but not good things.
Sipping the tea, she didn’t think it was so bad, and they certainly had more flavors here. It was strange, though, to make her own tea, but they didn’t have servants. So far as she could tell, no one had servants. The cleaning woman, the men who cared for the lawn, and the security guards were all employees.
That wasn’t the end of the odd little differences about this place–their need to combine rooms for example. This house combined the dining room, kitchen and room for entertaining guests into one big room. They had many other rooms besides, most with no obvious purpose.
That didn’t even touch the big differences–horseless carriages everywhere, airplanes (no airships), and the constant notifications from her phone. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 16
As the bright light faded, the first men entered the room, pistols drawn. They were dressed in black suits, none of them unusual, but seen all together, they were obviously the same design.
She didn’t see them for long.
A bolt of reddish tinged lightning surged forward from Giles Hardwick’s hands, and the men fell forward, unconscious, or dead.
“Careful with that,” Joe turned away from the dimensional gateway’s control panel to give Giles a look. “They’re not going anywhere if you short out the system.”
The next man stepped over the bodies, pistol in hand, and a web of red floating in front of him. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 15
Moments later, three more people came through the door. The first two were teenagers—a boy and a girl, holding hands. The boy wore a sporty blue jacket made of wyvern leather in a style that had been popular at Court last year. He was short—only a little taller than the girl who came in with him—and his brown hair went down to his shoulders, a style that was still popular.
His eyes darted from one spot to another in the room, and he grinned as he took it all in.
A low murmuring came from the voices in her head when she saw the girl. Blonde, blue eyed and pale skinned, the girl wore a brown leather coat and pants—the kind Amy had seen in illustrations of colonists and frontiersmen. From her clothes alone, it was obvious to Amy that this person didn’t care about fashion at all, but that was the least of it.
The girl’s ears had a slight point, and her walk hinted at a physical strength that didn’t fit with her slim frame. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 14
Amy gave a small smile. “I’ll see you and your grandfather both then. Maybe I’ll send your greetings.”
Nick grinned. “Yeah, that would be neat. ‘Another you told me to say hello?’ I’d want to know how much he was like me, and how. Of course, whoever that Nick is, he wouldn’t be me. It’s anyone’s guess what he’d think.”
She raised an eyebrow. “How different could he be?” Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 13
Amy turned toward the door, leaving the suitcase open on her bed. “I’m dressed. You may come in.”
The closet door opened, and Nick walked out, brushing against her coats where they hung in the back, and shutting the door.
Amy considered stepping around him and opening the door, but didn’t. “How did you get in there? I looked in that closet.”
Nick glanced back at the door and then back to her. “The wall on the left side opens into a hidden passageway. You press on a panel a third of the way up the wall. It’s no big deal.”
“Wait,” she said. “Can you spy on people in their rooms?” Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 12