‘I am the Destroyer of Worlds’
The words my stepmother said echoed in my head, over and over, as I stared at the ‘call ended’ message on my cell. What the hell did that even mean? It was a famous quote or something, wasn’t it? Or, maybe, it was something from scripture? More importantly, given all the magic in my life, was my stepmother being metaphorical when she said that… or literal?
Because: that didn’t sound good.
Sirens wailed, startling me out of my reverie. Shoving my phone into my pocket, I blinked away my thoughts and tried to get my bearings. Even though I was shielded from the main road by a large dumpster, I hadn’t made it more than a half a block from the Precinct headquarters.
When my phone rang, I nearly jumped. Frantically, I fished it out of my pocket only to see that it was Spenser calling. Ah, shit. I was the worst fugitive ever. I needed to dump this phone, and—
A bird-banded magpie swooped on to the lid of the dumpster. As it flapped around for balance, its wings nearly brushed my head. Finally finding a good perch, it gave me a beady glare.
My phone continued to ring.
The magpie nodded at the phone.
I glanced at my cell and then at the bird. “You want me to give you my phone?”
It bobbed its whole body in a fair approximation of ‘yes.’ Right, because probably the cops could use the little tracker thing-y inside to trace me. A bird could take the phone anywhere, and make it look like I was on the move.
“You’re smart,” I told the magpie. Clearly, this was one of Sarah Jane’s gang; possibly even the ringleader who’d helped me out of the golden, gem-encrusted jail. For good measure, I added, “Thank you. I think I owe you some cracked corn or something.”
The bird preened and nodded again.
Not sure how this was going to work I held my cell out to the magpie. Deftly, it snatched it out of my hand as it took to flight. Off it went down the alley, laughing, “Ha, ha, ha!” as it disappeared from sight
Of course, there went my communication to the outside world, too. I sure hoped I wasn’t just conned by some random thief-of-a-bird looking to score the latest Android technology.
I needed to figure out where I should go. Once again, I wished Valentine hadn’t flown off. I really needed the comfort of his fiercely protective presence. Plus, I was sure he was the kind of guy who knew all the secret hideouts and ways to avoid being caught by the cops.
Except when he didn’t. My stepmonster had found a way to corner him, after all.
Trusting that maybe somehow I was still ‘invisible,’ I started down the alley in the direction of ‘away’ from the precinct. I walked without hurrying, which was hard because I felt a thousand eyes on my back. The sun was hot, but I felt a cold sweat prickling under my arms. Unfortunately, there were no huge crowds to blend into, no el to hop on, no bridges to hide under, so I walked along the streets of Pierre trying to project a sense of confidence and belonging while feeling like what I really wanted to do was bolt and run like a rabbit.
I knew I couldn’t go home. If Spenser was calling my cell phone, he already had Robert’s house surrounded.
With a grim chuckle, I imagined that was going to be the last straw. Robert was probably chucking our stuff out into the street even now.
Well, that was the least of my worries. Right now, I needed to figure out where I could go that would be a safe place to regroup and plan my next move.
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Alex Connor thought that being the South Dakota Hughes County Coroner was going to be a boring cushy job. She didn't count on the fact that her first case would leave her with a magical, living tattoo and awaken her latent magical powers. Now she'...