Lage’s Game: Chapter Twelve, Part One

I caught Rebella by surprise. There was a smear of blood on the Grandmother’s lips, but it was tiny. Rebella spun with a yell, but I had the dagger.

I stabbed blindly – but she caught my arm.

And we were stuck. Me bearing down on her with all my strength, her sitting, half falling backwards, bracing up against me and the dagger. The dagger which was so, so, close to her eye that it was maddening.

Fury pumped through me. I willed this with all my might. To murder her.

“Guards!” Rebella yelled as her hands slipped ever so slightly. The tip of the dagger grazed her cheek, cutting a slim line.

It was not enough! I wanted her dead!

The door behind us burst open. Hands seized me and I was flung back, the dagger wrenched from my hand.

“What on earth are you doing?” yelled a voice. As my mind spun, I came to on the floor at the foot of a guard. Before me was the tall figure of the other princess, who was holding Rebella by a blood-spattered wrist. “What are you doing?” she screamed.

Rebella wrenched free. “What needs to be done!” and she turned to her grandmother.

The moment seemed to stand still. Rebella gasped. Her dagger clattered to the floor, splattering my blood across the planks.

“No!” gasped Rebella, shaking the elderly woman, who now bore a slight smile on her face. But the woman was limp. “No!” Rebella screamed, shaking her some more. Desperately, she smeared blood on the grandmother’s lips – only to be wrenched back by the sister.

“Don’t do that! You can’t!”

“I can and I will!” screamed Rebella, wrestling free from her sister. “I don’t care! She can’t die! We need her!”

“Stop being so selfish!” screamed the sister, grabbing at Rebella again. “It’s not about you! Let her rest!”

“No!” Rebella screamed, stamping a foot. “We need her! I don’t care if it curses us all! We need her!”

I staggered to my feet, determined to try again. The sister turned, our eyes meeting. Her eyes swept me up and down – and she nodded to herself. “Guards! Take this one to the healing ward! And this one-” she gestured to Rebella. “To her room! And keep her in there!”

“No!” Rebella yelled, but the sister yanked her forward and away from the Grandmother. A squabble began, but the guards quickly seized Rebella. With a slam Rebella bodily shoved one aside, punched the other in the visor, and stamped past me out of the room.

“See to it that she stays in her room!” called out the sister at the guards who rushed after Rebella.

I was left in the custody of one guard. They picked me up in their arms, limp and head spinning. The last thing I remembered was watching the ceiling twirl above me – and then nothing.

Time passed in lurches. I saw darkness, then I was beside Lage, watching him fish in the ice.

“You’re here?” he asked. “So soon?”

Then, the world lurched. Ekundayo was beside me, humming as he drummed happily with a stick on a rock. “Child, child,” he said, shaking his head with that strange grin.

Then, I spun downwards.

With a gasp, I sat up. My chest was seizing with pain. Two pairs of arms belonging to robed people were stretched above me. They were chanting incoherently. A sense of panic was crashing over me. I had to get out of here. They were going to pullt he card out of me!

I lurched to the side, falling clean off the bed and before a pair of feet. I grabbed onto a hand and helped myself up – and was faced with a sneering Rebella.

“Well,” she said.

Hatred swelled in me- but I was pushed backwards onto the bed.

“You should sit,” said Rebella nastily.

I breathed, heart hammering in my chest. Rebella. How I hated her. The monks, healers, whatever they were, lowered their arms. A sense of static electricity left the air, and my panic left me. Cool calm came over me. I focused on Rebella, wonderign how I could kill her.

But Rebella wasn’t herself. She was fidgeting, looking from me to the door beyond the curtains that framed the bed. “They won’t think of coming here,” she murmured. Then, to the healers, she snapped “Get out!”

The healers bowed, scraped their feet back, and shuffled away without another word. Rebella followed them. Once the door was shut, she latched it shut. Then she pressed her back to the door nad glared at me.

It dawned on me then that this wasn’t an infirmary. The room was small from what I could see, but – it was a personal room.

Rebella marched towards me. “Who are you? Why do they want you? Hmh?”

She was now at my side, drawing out a dagger from her belt with a hiss of metal. She held it between us, eyes flashing.

“They?” I asked. “They’re here?” Could there be more than one ‘they’?

“They want you,” said Rebella angrily. “They are saying they will kill the new Queen if we do not hand you over.”

Her hand was trembling. Her eyes flicked over me like a spider darting all over.

“Who are they?” I asked, feeling a sense of control. A sense I could finally get some answers.

“They?” she hissed. “You know them! They are the Associates. They rule your world, or so they say.”

I made a face. “They do not,” or so I hoped.

“Why do they want you?” she hissed, prodding the dagger at me. But I knew she wouldn’t hurt me this time. She was too uneasy. Or maybe that was the danger.

“Where am I?” I asked, drawing back the curtains from the other side of the bed. My fingers barely grazed the fabric before my shoulder was seized by Rebella. She shook me, making sharp daggers of pain burst in my chest.

“What do they want?” she hissed rabidly. “You- who are you?”

She had dropped the dagger in my lap. In a flash I knew I could take it and slash her throat- but somehow I chose not to. I grabbed her wrists and pried them off me.

“I am no one!” I answered coolly, shoving her back so I could stand. “I-”

“They wouldn’t threaten my sister for just anyone!” and the dagger was back between us. Then, with a flick, she slid it back into her belt. “Tell me – or I will bring you to them!”

That stilled my heart. That meant … “If I tell you?” I asked cautiously.

“I will keep you safe from them,” she said too swiftly. Nodding to herself,she held out her palm. “Word of honor.”

There was a catch. Obviously. But I didn’t want to be turned over to ‘them’, did I?

I looked around the room, hoping for some escape. I gripped at my robe, a strange flimsy white thing. I was barefoot, too. I wouldn’t get far.

“Five,” declared Rebella. “Four,”

I scowled at her. What a stinker she was.

“Three,” she said, challenging me.

“I ate Lage’s card,” I snapped.

Her jaw fell. A choking sound came out of her throat – then she turned to disbelief and started laughing. “You did what now?” But then she tipped her head back and laughed.

Humiliation burned over me, but she seemed relieved when she was done with her laughter.

“You idiot,” she said happily. Then she clapped a hand on my shoulder and squeezed. “You are stupid, you know that?”

I fueled all my anger at her through my eyes, choking up on words. How I wanted to tell her that I hated her right then. Maybe I should try and kill her again.

“Don’t worry,” she clapped my shoulder. “I will keep you safe. Now,” she pressed a finger to her lips and looked me up and down. A smirk drew itself on her lips. She looked smug. “We need to find you some clothes. Come.” She snapped her fingers at me and motioned me to follow her.

We drew to a large chest, from which she drew out some old clothes. They were worn through in their colors, but still solid looking. Several shirts were held up to me until she found one that she found suitable. From there she gave me a tunic to put over, a sort of bra to wear under, and pants. Boots – she gave me some soft slipper-like things in leather.

“They will have to do,” she muttered, cluckign her teeth. Then, she gave me a belt. It was set with a snake biting its tail worked into the metal ring. She set a dagger on it and set it about my waist. “Here,” she said. Then, stepping back, she looked me over. “Good,” she declared.

I had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. Something about the satisfied gleam in her eyes. I felt like a pig being dressed for slaughter.

She took a gray cloak trimmed in white fur from the chest. It was old as well, but fitted me a little largely. It occurred to me that I must look like a younger version of her – was I to be some decoy?

“Now,” she took a white globe from down her shirt, fishing it out with some difficulty. “Hide this in your shirt. Don’t eat it,” she added with a chuckle.

It was cold like ice, so much so that I almost dropped it. It was marble perhaps, smooth white with shoots of glimmering gray woven through it.

“When you are ready to escape, call out the name-”


“Of course, I’m going to hand you over to them. Then you will escape.”

There it was. The betrayal. “But you had promised-”

She held up a finger between us. “I can’t hide you. If I do, they will sack the city. No, I will hand you over. You have my dagger, and my spirit-weapon.” she closed my fingers over the white ball. “Call their name when you are ready to kill them, and they will appear and fight with you.”

“Kill them?” I gawked. I’d never killed before!

“You must strike the killing blow,” she said softly, “and don’t leave it to the spirit to do.” Then, sensing my dismay, she added “You must kill them. If you don’t, they will follow you back to the city. Killing them will buy us time. Take it,” she pushed my hand to my chest. “Kill them. Then come back to me.”

On remote, I put the ball down my shirt. Then, numb, I felt myself turning to ice. This couldn’t be. It was too awful to be true.

But it was. Rebella whispered a name to me, then nodded. “Come back to me, and I will take care of you,” she announced.

Like hell I would.

Lage’s Game: Chapter Eleven, Part Two

The trees were coated in soft fluffy white snow. The flakes sifted slowly down through the air. A slow breeze slid through the trees, biting through me. I huddled under the cloak, stumbling ever forward through the forest.

It had been what felt like hours that I was walking. The only change in time was the shift of the weather. Sometimes warmer, sometimes colder, and now the snow.

I knew I had to find Lage. Lage, or someone who could bring me back to my world. Somewhere, somehow. I’d be safe there, I told myself. I knew I wouldn’t, but I told myself I would. I told myself that at least there wouldn’t be a stupid princess throwing me in a dungeon with … an assassin? Who rescued me?

I plodded on, gritting my teeth at the complexity of this newfound world. The princess, the dying Queen, the gun, it was all piling together in my head. I knew I wouldn’t be safe in my own world – and stumbled over a branch. My arms flung out to break my fall – and I landed in something white.

Not the snow. A pair of arms.

Slowly, I looked up. Red eyes looked down from a white-as-snow face with icicles for hair.

I gaped. The creature grinned, revealing a fanged set of teeth.

I screamed, jumping back and flailing. The creature was a disembodied thing, a torso with just a whispy tail-like bottoming out. It had hands like claws that were tipped in blue talons.

Spinning, I darted straight back the way I came, floundering through the snow.

A high-pitched chuckle echoed in my ears as I ran, and the ‘thing’ rushed along behind me, in the corner of my eyes, clacking its teeth and snagging at me with its claws.

Breathless, I crested a small hill- and tripped over a root. I tumbled straight down the hill in a blundering blurr of white that bit at me and roots and stones that jabbed into my sides.

When I floundered to a stop, there was a horses’ nose before me. A soft brown horse nose that snorted at me. I scrambled to my feet, thinking that I was lucky – when I saw that there was a guard atop this horse. And on the horse beside it. And on that horse, beside it? Another guard.

A clacking sound from behind made me spin. The strange ‘thing’ was rushing towards me, eyes glowing, jaws open, and blue finger-talons out.

“Enough!” barked a voice. The thing reeled to a halt just before me, its talons a mere foot from my face. It looked to my right, where another horse was stepping forward. On this horse, dappled gray, sat Rebella with her white cloak. “Come,” she ordered, holding out her arm.

With a squeal, the creature turned into a snowy white owl and flapped its way to her arm. There, she gave it a small bit of meat. It looked suspiciously like a dead mouse. Rebella turned her cold glare to me. “It looks like we found it,” she sneered.

My blood boiled. “Me,” I declared. “You found me. Not an ‘it’. I’m a person.”

“Oh, well, person,” sneered Rebella. “There I was thinking you had rocks for brains.”

My fury bubbled over, but I was speechless once more, silent in my white-hot fury. Rebella nodded to a guard. “Take it,” she ordered before wheeling her horse around.

The guard reached down, seizing me by the shoulder. I wrenched free.

I wished for a knife. Some dagger, magic maybe, to help me overcome all of them. Maybe even a gun – which I normally hated.

Between two guards I was lifted up, kicking and biting, up onto one of their horses, before the rider. Then, with an armored arm around my waist, we wheeled around to follow Rebella.

I gave up on fighting as we trudged back through the forest. I turned limp, glaring viciously at Rebella’s back.

I hated her. I wanted to utterly destroy her. She was quickly enlarging in my mind, becoming synonymous with ‘them’. Those hated unknowns now had a face and persona in Rebella.

When we trudged back within the cities’ walls, I had decided that I was going to kill her. No matter what. It was my chance to hit back at ‘them’.

We plodded through the grubby city, the horses’ rhythms suspiciously lulling, annoyingly slow-paced compared to a car. Houses that were mere shacks passed on and on. People covered in filth stared, mouths agape, pointing at me but never at Rebella. She must be a villain they were used to.

What struck me was the silence, though. The people whispered but voices never rose into spoken words with clarity or force. They merely whispered, mumbling from mouth to ear behind hands. Definitely no one shouted.

My chance came when we entered the castle’s walls. There, the guards visibly relaxed. They began laughing among themselves, cracking jokes I didn’t listen to and laughing rowdily. Rebella, however, had her back to us and rode on ahead. That is, until we dismounted.

I was dropped to the ground, aching all over and numb from the cold. But I sensed a window of opportunity. A tingling came over me. Rebella had her back to us still, throwing her reins to a servant. The guards were dismounting around me, trading jokes.

I spun, seizing the sword from the hip of the guard behind me. With a hiss of metal the sword drew clear. I stumbled, but swung it with the momentum, lurching forward at Rebella.

In slow motion, I saw Rebella turn. I saw her eyes widen, her lips part slightly in surprise.

With a shriek, the owl burst at me, wings flapping at my face. I stumbled back.

Time jolted back to full speed. Rebella was before me, the bird tossed aside. She grabbed my arms, wrenching the sword from my grasp. I kicked at her, but she deflected it with a swipe of the leg that sent me falling face-first into the muddy snow.

“You are all so useful,” Rebella sneered at her guards as she turned her back on me once more, dropping the sword to the snow mere feet away from me.

The guards murmured apologies. I staggered up, but was dwarfed by hands. No more freedom for me. As Rebella marched on ahead I was bodily dragged after her, arms held out like a scarecrow. My feet dragged, catching in the stones and earth as we marched into the castle.

This time, we did not enter the huge gardens within that dome. Instead we marched up a flight of stairs, turned left, and found ourselves in a dark corridor. At the end of it, servants lined a room. These guards were adorned in purple with large feathers atop their helmets. The servants exchanged nervous looks, but bowed their heads as Rebella approached them.

“What are you all doing out here?” Rebella demanded, half-yelling. “Why have you left her alone?”

“She ordered-” murmured one servant who was standing before a door. She didn’t finish her sentence, as Rebella took her by the shoulders and threw her out of the way, crushing into the other servants.

“Bring the thing!” shouted Rebella, yanking the door open and barging in.

The guards yanked me forward. I was shoved into the room seconds after Rebella entered it. It was almost a touching scene. Almost.

The grandmother Queen was laying on a giant red four-poster bed with the curtains drawn shut. Rebella had opened one side and was now clasping the grandmother’s hand in both of hers. The grandmother’s good eye was open, but it too was now turning milky white. The decay had almost taken over her entire face.

“Child,” said the grandmother, breath heaving.

“It’s not your time. We need you,” whispered Rebella, clutching the withered hand to her chest.

The grandmother smiled mysteriously. “That’s not how the world works.”

Determination came over Rebella. She lowered the grandmother’s hand. “Get out,” she ordered, backing away from the bed. “All of you. Leave the thing here. I have something to do.”

The guards backed away, shuffling nervously out the door. It shut behind them with a creak and a clap, and I was alone with Rebella and her dying Grandmother.

Rebella wasted no time. With a yank she drew a dagger from her belt. With a toss her cloak fell to the ground and she marched towards me, head held high.

I just wasn’t expecting it.

With a flash of the arm, she stabbed me in the chest. I gasped, the sharp pain slicing through me. I found myself gripping at her arm as she yanked the dagger out of me.

I staggered as Rebella yanked away. The world swam as her back walked away, back to the bedside. My knees struck the floor. I was clutching at my chest, watching the blood seep out from between my fingers. I knew enough to know that this was severe. I was going to die.

And Rebella was still alive.

“Blood of the heart, lift this curse,” I heard Rebella whisper as she was lifting a bloody finger – full of my blood – to her Grandmother’s lips.

“Child, no,” whispered the fading Grandmother. The good eye fluttered closed.

I was taking that bitch down with me, I thought. I saw the dagger set beside her on the bed. I launched myself.

Author’s Update (Spoilers)

Well, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted or had much interaction with anyone here. But how have I been? What have I been up to?

Well, lately, I’ve been surprisingly well. In the past week or so I’ve had an upstreak in mood and energy. I’ve finished the birdie’s activity book, and am set to publish the next Farfadel novel quite soon. The only catch is that I want to do a giveaway of both of them, and want to order them together to save on shipping. So, the birdie giveaway must wait for the Farfadelian novel to be done and published as well.

It isn’t really intense spoilers, but this certain Farfadelian novel does end with death. And oh my, everytime I finish reading through the novel to edit it, I get upset. In real life, I don’t mourn deaths that hard. I have luckily not lost anyone that close to me, but death doesn’t seem to affect me as hard as it does others. Except when it comes to my characters… oof. I almost always want to cry when I finish this novel. Remember that time I killed off Kuryo and mourned for several days straight? Yeah, well, it’s a thing with me. I mourn my characters.

On the upside, I’ve become more and more charmed by this novel. When I had written it, I thought of it as a dumb and rather foolish novel. So I abandoned it for a few years. But now… it’s actually a nice novel. I like it. I’m pretty proud of it. I really hope y’all are going to want to read it as well, and that you’ll all enter into my (soon to be) giveaway.

While I’m writing, I do have to say that I’m sorry I haven’t been posting more stories here for everyone to write. I just have been so busy editing! By the time I’m done editing, I’m usually so sick of sitting in front of my computer for three to four hours that I just up and run away to do something else. Also, I’m very sorry to everyone who wants me to keep writing about mental illness.

The sad truth is that, I don’t feel like I have it in me to write about mental illness anymore, or at least not these days. It just doesn’t feel like the time is right. So, for everyone who wants me to keep writing about that particular topic, I ask for your patience. I do have plans and topics for that, but it’s just not the time right now.

I will end this post with a final wail/humorous story. I had dug up an old picture of the main characters of this novel, and was going to use it as a book cover. It was only after setting it as the book cover and doing all the editing (roughly a few hours of work) that I realized that one of the characters description had changed… Now I’m redoing the painting in watercolor, and desperately hoping it’ll all come out alright!

Anyways, much love to you all! Take care everyone!

Unhappy Author’s Rant (SPOILERS)

AUGHHHH. I want to smash my head into something.

If you’ve read the latest in Chaos & Kuryo, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Kuryo just got murdered. At least I think he’s murdered. He’s definitely stabbitty stabbed.

Ugh. So where does this leave me, the author? Already when I was writing this today, I felt blocked. Now I feel mega-blocked. I’m downright frustrated, but also sort of laughing at myself. I who wanted to avoid the great undoing of everything, maybe that’s exactly what the god-killer wants? Maybe? Or does she just want Kuryo’s powers?

Where does this leave the story? All in the hands of Chaos and Aaliyah, apparently. Chaos, who is stuck to nun version of themselves, and Aaliyah who is dead. Great.

As an author, I like it when my characters can do things, not when they’re stuck within rigid frameworks. It just makes writing them so much more difficult.

All that to say, unfortunately, that I may lay off Chaos & Kuryo’s story for a bit. I’m stuck in it, and frankly, not inspired for it one bit. I feel like it’s one giant knot and I don’t know what to do with it. I’m really tempted to go back and rewrite it from the perspective of all the Kuryo’s dying and everything being undone. Maybe I screwed that part up.

On the other side, I have several other stories that I could entertain y’all with. I have the fantasy story I’ve recently gotten into that I could share, as well as ranger’s story, several other Farfadel stories, and the gay romance novel I’ve recently started. But I’m not sure about sharing any of them except for the gay one, as I don’t feel for sharing them for some reason. They sort of… feel too precious? Unfinished? They’re like diamonds in the raw for me, and I really want them to be perfect when I release them to y’all.

Anyways, I’m sorry for my silence lately. I’ll try and sort out something to share with y’all. I don’t want to leave you hanging without anything to read 🙂

Wishing you all the best! Take care of yourself! Lots of love ❤

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 16 part 2

Kuryo POV

I woke up in a dingy, marsh-like feeling. The world around me was dirt brown and squishy. I was in human form, tied very tightly to a chair.

Okay, no panic. I tried to pull myself together. For the first time in what felt like ever, I was truly alone. No Suzy hovering somewhere within me. It was strangely liberating and frightening at the same time.

Except- was I really alone? I took another look around, throwing out my senses. Where was I? Still within that strange weirdo, or was I somewhere else?

I couldn’t feel anything. There was no energy here. Even these ropes, they were… nothing.

I jumped my chair, looking around and around. Nothing but brown nothingness.

“Help?” I called out. “Anyone? Someone?”

Far away, a bird cawed in answer. I squinted and looked around again. “Help!” I called out. “Over here!”

I felt it with my tingly senses before my sight. It was a giant stork, flying over.

I watched it, feeling it and exploring it mentally before it landed before me. In the back of my mind, I was hoping it hadn’t come to peck my eyes out. There was something icky about this bird, a dark and vengeful ick.

As it landed, it transformed into the weirdo who had trapped me in the first place. “Hello,” they sneered, orange eyes glinting beyond the weird headdress they wore.

Oh, now it talks, I thought snarkily.

It didn’t seem to be able to read into my mind, cocking its head to the side. “Nothing to say? Just a minute ago you were yelling your fool head off-”

“What do you want?” I asked, interrupting them. I didn’t feel like listening to some villain’s gloating monologue. “Why am I here? And where am I?”

“You’re still within me,” they sneered.

So that’s why this place looks like crap.

“And I thought you were paying attention last time. Did you miss the part where we nearly had the worlds undone?”

Did they miss the part where that wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t been kidnappers?

“Also, you should know what I want.”

Oh, good grief. Who had time for these kind of games? “And what’s that?” I asked, feeling tired from all this already.

“I want your powers,” they hissed excitedly. “I want to be able to weave the worlds.”

“It’s not as fun as it sounds, trust me,” I said lamely.

They tilted their head and glared at me, their lips set in a definite unhappy spot.

“Look,” I said. “Untie me. I can’t go far from your body or I’ll die. That would undo the worlds and we don’t want that, right? So just let me go, and I won’t go far. How’s that for starters?”

They frowned. They glared. I could feel their mind churning, but knew that a sparkle of curiosity and excitement would win out. I was their latest toy and they wanted to play with me.

“Fine,” they said eventually. “Be free.”

The ropes vanished -and so did the chair. I landed butt first in squishy mud. They laughed like it was the best of jokes. Asshole.

I stood up gingerly, shaking mud from my hands. “Alright, asshole,” oops! I said that out loud?

They sneered, crossing their arms. “Asshole? You’re my guest. You’d be dead now if it wasn’t for me-”

Yeah, yeah, shut up. Wiping my hands on my jeans, I looked around. “How do we get out of here?” I asked.

“You don’t,” they said smugly. “One must fly out of here. Which you can’t do.” And they laughed, again.

I suddenly wished I had Chaos’ butt kicking powers. If I punched them as I was, I’d probably hurt myself more than them.

“Show me your powers!” they gloated. “Do something.”

I scowled and looked around again. I sensed a great, vast, nothing. How could I get out of here?

“Show me your bird form, and I’ll show you a trick,” I said with an exasperated sigh.

Without thinking twice, they did. A giant stork stood before me, tall as I was. Great. Excellent.

“Here’s the trick,” I said, stretching out my powers and seizing control of said stork.

The stork squawked and fought back, but I was stronger. Great! Like a second, er, third arm, I stretched out their wings and jumped on its back.

It was a good thing I knew how to fly, for they were struggling so much that I couldn’t tap into their motor skills. I just slid myself over their body and moved it the way I knew how to for myself. Clumsily, awkwardly, we hopped up and took off. Yeah!

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 15 part 1

Chaos POV

I sat there, face burning. Lucifer hadn’t been joking, not even teasing too much, when he’d said we were to discuss ‘things’.

“I’m waiting,” he cooed from across the table, an ornate feather pen in hand and sheet of paper at the ready.

I had my arms crossed and was regretting every decision that had brought me to this part of life. Why, why, whyyyy?

The worst part was that it was kind of fun. All of Lucifer’s attention was on me, just me, and there was a fun to the embarrassment. Guilty pleasure.

I squirmed in my seat, looking grudgingly at the white box that was now beside the blank sheet of paper. If only that collar wasn’t so pretty, I might just walk out.

“Why don’t you go first?” I blurted, finally looking up at Lucifer.

His smirk grew more sinister. “I come first?” he purred. “Alright.” He twiddled the pen, looked once down at the empty page, then back to me. There was just a faint glow to his eyes, a sign of godly happiness. “I like watching you squirm.”

And by like he meant…oh geez. I blushed harder and did my best not to squirm any more. I cleared my throat, willing my voice to come out super bored sounding. “Okay,” I squeaked.

Lucifer chuckled. He set aside the paper and pen. Shifting his chair so that he was a bit away from the table, he patted his thighs. “Come here.”

Oh. All my nerves froze. I stared at him, the proverbial deer before the biggest headlights ever. I mean, I wanted to go but – something inside me hesitated, squirming and … embarrassed? Afraid?

Another chuckle, a twisted smile and Lucifer leaned onto the table, chin in palm. What a lecherous grin as he watched me. “Or you could stay there. It’s not an order.”

I put on my pokerface scowl. I was badass. I was not intimidated. I was –

Really? Part of me scorned. You’re a screw-up.

I deflated somewhat. Picking my gaze up from the table, I saw Lucifer watching me expectantly.

Scowling, I forced myself up. I refused to be a chicken. With a huff as if this was all his fault and I was being punished, I stalked around the table and presented myself before him with my hands in my pockets and chin lifted in a silent challenge.

He shifted his chair again and patted his leg before holding his arms out at his side in silent invitation. With such a devilish smirk.

Another huff and I climbed onto him, straddling his lap. Then, one hand on the armrest I huffed and scowled at him. “Like that?” I scoffed, mockingly.

“Perfect,” he cooed, leaning forward. My heart jumped in my chest. His fingers slid over my face, caressing so lightly as they slid to the back of my head. A tremble of excitement ran through me, expecting him to pull me forward into a kiss.

Instead his fingers slid up to massage my scalp and play in my hair.

“So what do you like to do with your hair?” he murmured, so close I could feel his words on my lips. A gentle tug on my hair made his point. “Do you like it pulled?”

I blushed and glared. I’d been tricked, hadn’t I? It was somehow harder to keep quiet when he was so close. “Weren’t we changing topic?” I croaked.

“Not at all,” he purred, leaning so his cheek grazed past mine, his lips so close to my ear. “So answer me. Do you like your hair pulled?”

I gulped, trying to get my voice stable. “Yes,” I said, a tremble in that word.

“Good,” he crooned, breath hot and moist against my ear as he nuzzled. “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

He shifted to lean back against his chair, drawing me with him. We shifted, and I now sat sideways across him, my shoulder nestled against him, my chin cupped in his hand and his other hand traveling up and down my spine.

“So what about your ears?” he asked softly.

I tried to frown, but felt myself melting against him. I closed my eyes and pressed my cheek to his chest. Quietly, I mumbled an answer.

“Good,” he whispered, caresses rewarding me. I melted some more.

Things progressed from there. Question after question came, traveling down my body. Caresses soothed me and I felt myself relax more and more. I didn’t even notice when the hand shifted from cupping my chin to resting over my eyes, blotting out the light.

And, somehow, that helped. Topics shifted to more and more intimate topics that had less and less to do with sex and more to do with submission. His arms tightened around me and I nestled more. My hands found their way to wrap around his arm, holding him tightly.

Then, he asked about Bella. I moved my head, twisting free of his hands’ blindfold. Instantly I regretted it. It was like waking up too fast. The light hurt my eyes and I just wanted to go back into that cozy half-asleep trance I’d unwittingly been in.

But when I looked up Lucifer was patiently waiting. A thumb caressed my cheek as I blinked like a sleepy owl. “She wasn’t very good to you, was she?” he murmured.

That was it. I planted my face in his chest, not wanting to answer and wanting to blot it all out. Bella made me feel like a failure. She was where I’d failed, where the world had come apart. It was all my fault-

My face was picked up, cradled in palms, and lifted. Lucifer peered at me with a frown. “You know she was bad for you?”

Kuryo had said the same thing. But I didn’t believe it. I knew it, but couldn’t believe it. It all just felt like my fault.

Lucifer frowned and drew me back against his chest. I nestled against him, feeling so stupid and useless.

“I’m sorry,” he said, his words reverberating through his chest into my ears. “I knew but I never tried to talk to her. I’m sorry.”

Wow, I thought bitterly. An apology from the god of lies. Snarkily, I told myself it wasn’t worth much yet I knew for a fact that he rarely said those words.

“I’m going to make it up to you,” he said in a more cheerful, even playful, tone.

I looked up, smirking. “Oh really?”

“Wipe that smirk off your face,” he scolded playfully. He reached into his shirt and drew something out.

My jaw dropped as I recognized the black box and my crucifix. He’d had it all along. The fucker. I reached for it but he drew it back to himself.

“Ah-ah,” he said. “You don’t just get it back.”

“You stole it from me!” I squawked, anger bristling. “And you blamed me for losing it! You-”

“And now I’m giving it back to you, as a token,” he said sweetly, but there was darkness in his eyes. “I want you to have it, because I want us to have a clean start. No lies.”

“Oh, really?” I hissed.

“Really,” he said snarkily. But he drew out the two necklaces and passed them over my head and let them rest against my chest. “I want you -” he paused, looking from the necklaces up to my eyes. “You are not well. Go visit your friends’ graves. Go get closure. Go try and find the Sephira.” His fingers trailed over the black box, then down my chest, his eyes lowering as well. “But when you’re done, I want you to come back to me.” He looked back up, and his eyes were serious. “Promise me you’ll come back to me.”

My stomach twisted. I felt the solemnity of the moment, and I felt like I was about to screw up spectacularly. “I’m shit with promises,” I blurted.

“Well, it’s time to get better, isn’t it?” he asked crisply. “Promise it. Come back to me when you’re done.”

I gulped. Did I even want to? I could probably find a happy life in some other world. Kuryo might want to go somewhere else. And worse – this could all just be a game to use me. He’d done it before, hadn’t he?

But these past moments, this quiet time in his lap, had been one of the happiest moments I’d had since my world had fallen apart. So I nodded, wanting to hold onto that and cursing him for having given me a taste of it. “I’ll come back,” I croaked.

“Thank you,” he whispered, stooping to kiss me.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 14 part 2

Chaos POV

I couldn’t sleep. My drunk ass just lay there, staring at the ceiling. Time passed, and eventually I wasn’t drunk anymore, just very thirsty. I refused to get up any more though, deciding that I would just get into more trouble.

My mind drifted in nothingness and I didn’t so much sleep as I dozed. Then, for real, I fell asleep.

I knew the moment I was asleep because I felt someone breathing next to me. Someone who’s presence I knew now.

“Sephira?” I turned, looking around on myself (in the dream). I was in a nowhere zone that slowly took the shape of a cathedral-esque setting. There were glorious statues, pews, but no lights save for lamps.

The heavy breathing drew closer. I turned around again – and there was Sephira!

“Sephira!” I lurched and grabbed her by the shoulders. Her eyes were still blindfolded, her walking sticktapping along the ground, and se was in a white robe full of bloody hand prints at the hem, but she smiled.

“Hey you,” she said happily, prying my fingers from her shoulders. “You’re not who I was expecting to see.”

Ouch. I was even screwing up on an astral level. Wow, Chaos. Good job.

Sephira patted me on the shoulder. “Go home, Chaos,”

Wham! I sat up in bed. The bed, Lucifer’s bed. The bed that Lucifer lent me.

I looked around. My throat was parched. The sheets were rumpled around me and I was drenched in sweat.

Go home, Chaos. The words rang in my ears. I wasn’t needed there. I wasn’t needed anywhere.

Furious, I stormed out of the bed and marched into the shower. I wasn’t needed. That’s how bad of a screw up I was. The deity that I was supposed to help was all ‘nope, I’d rather not, thanks’

Go home!

I showered like I was covered in demon juice, scraping myself raw with an exfoliator and scrubbing so intensely I just about ran out of soap.

Finally, I stepped out of the shower and dressed in some of the clothes that Lucifer had provided (plain, black, blah). When I stepped out of the bathroom, I was face to face with a very grumpy fallen angel.

“Lucifer wants to meet with you,” they said, checkign their watch. “Fifteen minutes ago.”

I rolled my eyes. Great! I couldn’t even shower without screwing something up. Watch – I’ll have clogged the drain or something like that by the time I turn around.

I stormed downstairs, determined to glare and glower at Lucifer the whole time he gave me a talking to. But somehow, the more I walked, the less stomp I had. Pretty soon, by the time I was escorted into a sort of dining room, I felt sheepish. I had forced my way into Lucifer’s bedroom – but he had let me! And…

I found my mind crowded with all sorts of feelings as I looked at Lucifer. He was sitting at the table (all carved with ugly faces in it and leaves and stuff like that), and wearing a silky black robe that cinched at the waist and flared out into a massive skirt. Half his chest was showing (as usual?) and his headdress sparkled with fine chains and studs around his horns.

As I just stood there, thinking but not really managing to sort through my thoughts, he crooked a finger at me. “Come here,” he ordered silkily.

I took two steps forward, then stopped. The door shut behind me pointedly. I crossed my arms and scowled impatiently, like I had something better to do.

Lucifer’s lips curled into a half-sneer. “Chaos, you’ve grown up a lot since you left. You’re an adult now, am I right?”

I shrugged. “I’m nineteen.” In human years, that was. In actual years, I was much older, but you could say my age was nineteen, mentally.

Lucifer’s eyebrows rose then descended in a sour expression. “Did I use an expression that’s too old for you?” He drummed his fingers on a white box beneath his hands, on the table. It was wide and flat and – what was in it?

Curiosity piqued, I tried not to fixate. So I dragged my gaze back to Lucifer – and found him waiting. He’d said something. Oh crap.

I shrugged, hoping that was a proper answer. After all, you never heard of someone selling their soul with a shrug, right? You had to actually sign something.

Lucifer closed his eyes. Sighed. Opened his eyes and gestured to a seat across the table from him. “Sit down.”

I walked to the chair, pulled it out, and thunked down. Lucifer glimmered across from me, piercing eyes latched on me. But the box – something about it was drawing my attention. Probably because it was something I hadn’t screwed up yet.

With a sigh I looked at Lucifer and told myself to focus. He was either about to throw me out or – ask me for something. Which (spoiler!) I’d probably screw up.

I found myself slouching down miserably.

Lucifer drummed his long nails once, then made a face. “Do you know what it usually means when someone – especially not a relative – says things like ‘oh how you’ve grown’? Especially when it’s about you being an adult now?”

Oh gawd. A history lesson? Really? I shook my head.

Lucifer leaned across the table, hands perched like dangerous vipers on the box. “It means they want to get into your pants now.”

Oh- OH. I blinked, then stared at Lucifer. But he’d said that. Why did he say that?

“I have a proposal,” he said, leaning back. With both hands, he pushed the box towards me in a slide.

My heart jumped. The white box called to me from the middle of the table. O-kay. It couldn’t hurt to just… take a look?

Gingerly, I drew the box to myself. It was a fancy thing, with a fabric lining to it, like those engagement ring boxes have.

I lifted the lid.

The inside was all white plush, and the thing was deep black, glinting with silver chains. A collar. A beautiful, ornate, collar.

A collar.

I looked up at Lucifer, jaw agape. The guy liked me.

He glared at me, but there was a hint of a blush on those pale cheeks. “If you don’t like it, you can give it back,” he said harshly. “And we can both forget about it.”

I looked down at it. It was such a pretty collar. There was a star in the middle, with chains draping out to the sides and small studs sparkling here and there.

I liked it. Greedily, I wanted it.

But – I looked up at Lucifer. Was he really offering – ? My throat went dry as I remembered everything that had happened with Bella. Oh, how much worse it could be with a god on the scale of Lucifer. The god who had already played games with me.

Such a bad idea. Such a, such such such a bad idea.

I looked up at Lucifer. Our eyes met, and his lips quirked into a satisfied smirk. He knew.

Serpent-like, he reached across the table and drew the box back to himself. Settled back in his chair, he was as smug as could be. My face was burning. “Let’s discuss the terms then, shall we?” he said silkily.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 14 part 1

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Photo by Min An on

Kuryo POV

Suzy was crying. Again. My head was pounding from ‘why not’ essence. Because why wouldn’t I still have a headache?

“Suzy, suzy, it’s okay,” I murmured to myself, only half-asleep. I’d slept, brainstormed and slept and now had just given up on some brainstorming. Because, really, how could I stop an invasion into the gods’ realm? I mean, yes, I had certain powers. But let’s face the reality → my wings were cut. I was stuck here. Really, really, stuck.

Was that an excuse to not do anything? Really, maybe, probably? I wanted to go home now. I just wanted to grow my wings back, zap home, and flake on the couch with Aaliyah and Jade. Charr would talk endlessly about her homework. Chaos would brew coffee.

That’s it, I thought as I tucked my beak under my wing. Maybe I should just stop poking my nose everywhere. Maybe I should just go home.

Suzy wailed loudly in the back of my mind. She wouldn’t admit why she was terrified, just that she was. And frankly, I wasn’t ready to go poking about inside her mind to try and figure it out.

“But we’re supposed to go back to the Academy!” she cried out, shaking me within myself.

I closed my eyes and tried to shut her out. I want to go home, to my home, I thought as loudly as I could.

Apparently, Suzy could scream louder than I could, mentally.

My head split with pain as she screamed “But the Academy! It needs us!”

Oh, good gods. Jesus on a stick, as Chaos would say. Please, Suzy. I’m trying to rest here.

Then, just as I wanted to mope and curl up miserably in myself, I felt a shift in the aether, in the weaving of this world.

My head popped up on its own and I eyeballed around me. And right there in the living room, wobbling on unsteady legs, was me, version two point oh.

Oh, hello jerk, I thought angrily. I sat up – but this wasn’t the dude who had sold me to the Academy. This was the one who had previously tried to kill me, a few years ago. Or at least I was guessing by the fact that there was shorter hair and something shifty to his eyes. I remembered those eyes.

Squawk! I sat up, beating my wings at the cage before me. Just to say hi, in an angry sort of way. Or maybe a ‘fuck off’. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be rescued or to tackle him down.

He walked over, looked me up and down with a pause, then picked up the whole cage, me included. I squawked, pecking at him. It had zero result. He picked up the cage and put it under his arm, holding a strange black object in his hand.

He was looking at this object when the being came out of the other room and running over, hair flying about and surprisingly not naked. What? He always seemed naked these days.

Me two point oh jammed at the device, and frowned. The being/my other captor exclaimed something. Me two point oh answered and I squawked, beating my wings at the cage door. Let me out! Let me the fuck out, I’ve had it!

“Kuryo! Kuryo!” a voice shouted.

I spun this way and that – and then Aaliyah was there, crouchign down before the cage. “Kuryo! It’s me! Can you see me?”

“Aaliyah!” What was she doing here? I threw myself, my soul, forward and out of the cage to hug her. We embraced, soul to soul and happy.

Soul to soul? I looked her over. This was her, in soul. No body. “What are you doing here?” I asked, leaning back to look at her.

“I’m dead I,” she pointed to the other version of me. “He killed us. Me and Jade, and Chaos is missing -”


She shook me. “You need to run! He’s going to hand you over to the these people – I stalled his machine but you’ve got to run!”

As she said that I felt a flicker. The machine was nearly working again.

“Move!” Aaliyah shouted.

I jumped back into my body, shunting Suzy out of control. In a flash I seized the energy, the matter of this cage, and I wrenched it apart. As I fell I switched forms, landing on my human feet.

There was a shriek from the being, and a yell from the other me. I bolted for the door, knowing that if he caught me I didn’t stand a chance.

“This way!” Aaliyah was running beside me, switching into her dragon form. We darted around the apartment, yanked the door open, and were out in the hall.

I was so happy I’d followed the being out the other day. Now I knew the way out of this building, into an elevator-esque thing that sent you several flights down at a time, like a portal.

Nothing seemed to be working fast enough. The portals felt interminable as I heard the footsteps of other me just a flight above us, just one button click away.

Finally we burst out into the lobby. There there was a yelp from a surprised attendant, we raced the several feet across the carpeting, and we banged out through the steel doors.

The crowd stalled me for a moment. Where to run? There was peasants everywhere and I stood out like a clown at a funeral.

“Hey!” a hand clapped down on my shoulder. I squirmed, spinning and coming face to face with this other me. I grabbed his soul and twisted. His eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed, soul and body out of sync and disorganized.

I spun and bolted. No aim, no direction. I just went left.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 13 part 2

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Chaos POV

Alright, snooping could wait a little bit. I woke up, slept, and woke up in no particular order. On the third day or time waking up, I decided that something had to change.

Like most citizens in the otherworld (and maybe souls in general), I had a voice that told me to get busy and help out washing dishes or something. The other voice was like “Let’s go find out Lucifer’s deep dark secrets”.

Which one do you think I decided to do?

It was three am, if you’ll fucking excuse me. No one makes wise decisions at that time of morning, not after having starved and drank very little for the past few days.

First off, I pretended that I was actually going to help the servants out. I told myself that ‘nahh, I’m not like that, I’m not a snooper’, so I took myself to the kitchen. There I uncorked a bottle of hard stuff and took a few shots out of the bottle. Great.

I toasted to Aaliyah and Jade (another shot or two) and decided not to cry. Bugger it all, I wasn’t crying any more.

Shelfing the bottle exactly where it had just been, I strolled on out and decided to use my spidey-senses and get to work. Lucifer wasn’t the only one with juju powers, after all, and mine weren’t only for fighting.

Alright, most of mine were for fighting because that’s how I had trained myself. But – I knew a few nifty tricks or two.

Drawing a necklace that had been returned to me from my neck, I dangled the crucifix before me.

Now, what was I searching for? Hey, why not – that friggin’ black box. If I could find it, I could go on my searches and find – Kuryo first, then the Sephira. Then we could both fuck off to some corner of the world and let everything else burn. That’s it. We’d be happy and safe together.

Plunking down on the floor, I set all my magic into the crucifix and willed it to help me find that black box. I even asked it politely to make it easy and plain for me.

This crucifix had been a gift from God when I was born, and yeah, it was an irony that I still wore it. But what drunken me didn’t realize right then was that without God’s presence somewhere powering up his sacraments, this crucifix was as good as a toy doll. Drunk me, however, wasn’t thinking of that. The alcohol had probably started hitting and I wasn’t thinking things through too much.

When I opened my eyes, I released the crucifix turned pendulum. It swung immediately, and I gloated. There we were! I was going to find it!

I followed the swings, not at all surprised when I found myself directed towards the large doors. When I crossed past the doors, I was shocked. Wasn’t my black box somewhere outside?

But no, apparently not. I was led upstairs. Across a dark corridor. Up another flight of stairs. I began to wonder how big this friggin’ house/mansion/castle/thing was when the crucifix began bouncing towards a door to my right. I tried it, but it was locked. Curses!

Crouching down, I peered at the lock. I sensed a weak spell. Good, I thought, let’s bust this fucker open.

Drawing out my daggers, I basically butchered that lock and spell, stabbing it ruthlessly then twisting gracelessly. A real lockpick would have laughed at me and said ‘good luck kid’. Somehow, as if someone was letting me in, the lock and spell gave way.

I grinned to myself. Sliding my daggers away, I picked back up my crucifix and slid into the room.

The room was pitch dark. The door that I’d left open cast in the slightest hue of nightlight from the hallway. My crucifix glinted before me and I advanced, following the glimmer before my eyes got used to the dark.

It was when my legs bumped into something that an alarm went off in my head. It was something – knee height, solid but with a layer of fluff on it. Mind dinging away about danger, I ignored it and reached out, lightly tapping the air until I felt – blankets.

I froze. Blankets?

Then, like a bad feeling creeping over me, my eyes adjusted to the lighting and my brain was finally still enough to listen to the silence.

I heard breathing. And I saw a bed.

Oh god, oh fucking god. I was in someone’s bedroom.

Alright. After a moment of panic, I decided that this had to be some guest’s room- no, probably more a servant’s room with that piddly lock on it. Which – if it was a servant who had stolen my black box, then Lucifer would be glad I found it again, right?

So I looked down at the crucifix. It was swinging so fast it was almost bobbing on the spot. I was close.

Okay, okay. I stretched my arm slowly out, left then right and forward. The crucifix swung – then stilled like a pin. I’d found it.

I looked down. There was the shape of a head, barely there. It must be under the pillow.

Holding my breath, I reached out. And out. Then- my hands touched the pillow ever so lightly. Slowly, so slowly, I began to slide under the pillow.

I held my breath as I pushed so slightly against the weight of the head. I felt – nothing? I pushed a little farther.

“What are you looking for?” Lucifer’s cool voice drawled out.

I shrieked and jumped back, spinning around – and around again to see the figure on the bed sitting up. Blue eyes reflected the light like a cats’.

I wished to faint. I wanted it so bad. A strangled sound came out of my throat.

The shape of Lucifer – still so tall without the heels – stepped to me. The crucifix was snatched from my hand. He wrapped the chain around his hand and closed his fist around the crucifix. Then he stepped towards me.

I spun and bolted. I may be stupid, but I knew when I’d overstayed my welcome.

Except the door shut in my face. I yanked – and nope, no budging it.

I froze, mind whirling. It wasn’t just locked now – it was bound shut. Lucifer must have let me in earlier on, and been watching me the whole time. Oh god.

A hand took my shoulder and turned me around. I thudded my back against the door, crushing myself up against it as my eyes stared forward into darkness. There was absolutely no light. None whatsoever.

His voice spoke, low and sensual. “Did you find what you were looking for?”

“I’m sorry,” I squeaked.

He chuckled. I jumped a mile high when fingers brushed my cheek.

“Shhh,” he shushed me, tipping my chin up. Caresses explored my face, my lips. I heard a sniff. “You’re drunk.” And he laughed. “How disappointing.” The touches vanished from my face.

“Disappointing?” I echoed, mind not processing any of this at all.

A gentle light popped on, shining beside Lucifer’s shoulder. I couldn’t see his face, but uh, his torso was like, right there…

“Go to bed,” he said coolly. “You’re drunk.” The doorknob clicked open at my side.

Something niggled at me to stay. What did he mean – and why had my crucifix drawn me here? But I was terrified. I yanked on that door and fled.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 13 part 1

Kuryo POV

I was frustrated. Day two? Three? in this annoying cage and I wanted to peck someone’s brains out. Literally. I missed everyone. I was restless and physically agitated. Worse, I was curious. I was craving to know what was happening in this world, just beyond the realm of my cage.

Suzy shared none of that. Curiosity? “Why do you care?” she whined endlessly. “We just have to get out of here. Go home.”

I stifled my thought that we might not be able to travel home so easily. What if we were caught again?

Instead, I focused. Today, I was going out. No, not physically. Spiritually, that is, I was escaping. The being here obviously had some sort of link, job, what have you, to have been given all of those charts. So I was going to piggyback off of him and do my best to figure out what I could.

But first, apparently, sex had to be had. The short and portly man from the day I arrived was here again, and all sorts of noises were coming from the bedroom. I rolled my eyes at the ceiling. Suzy was listening intently, too shy to mention leaving the body to go observe, but definitely soaking in all she could. And she said I was the only curious one. Hah!

“We’ll do that one day?” Suzy asked from the back of my mind.

I poked my head under my wing. “I doubt it,” I said honestly.

Suzy was disappointed. She blocked herself off from me as much as she could, practically crossing her arms and turning her back on me.

I closed my eyes and willed this all to be over. All those sounds were reminding me of better days, to say the least. I missed Chaos, Jade, Aaliyah, and especially Charr. Charr… I would get her out of there. She would be fine, eventually. There must be some way to separate her from the Academy.

“Hey!” the man was right beside the cage. I must have dozed off. Now he was watching me, wiggling a wide finger towards the cage. “It’s still alive!”

And you’re still half naked, I thought bitterly. What hasn’t changed?

The slender being swept over, completely naked. “Yes, it’s quite unique, isn’t it? The feathers are so blue! I’ve never seen a crow like that before.”

The man looked the being over with a greedy eye. “There’s better things to look at.”

Barf! I made a hacking sound.

“Oh!” the being stooped over the cage, peering at me. I stopped the hacking noise, glaring at him. He fairly pressed his nose against the cage. “What was that? An egg?”

“A hairball maybe,” yawned the shorter man. “Hey, so you going to the council meeting this afternoon or what? Do I have to be there?”

“As the elected of the people, you do not,” said the being, straightening with a sweep of the long hair. Hair. I focused on the head hair to avoid looking elsewhere (where Suzy was gawking at right now, flooding my mind with very in-depth pictures). But genitals aside, there were more important things present.

I focused on the council meeting. Meeting for what?

The being was easily influenced right then, it seemed. “The meeting to discuss the next dimension,” he prattled off happily. “The one we’ve been aiming at. It might be ground zero, you know.”

The man frowned. “I knew that.”

“Oh,” the being paused. “I thought you’d asked.”

“No,” the man shook his balding head. “I couldn’t give less of a damn about this whole ground zero nonsense. A whole lot of crockery if you ask me.”

Because? I prodded some more, but didn’t have to. The being got fired right up. “I don’t believe you. If we can harness that power – we can redefine reality!”

“And what good will that do us? Hmm?” The human shrugged, scratched his belly, then stretched. “It’s all going to be bollocks anyways.”

“It isn’t! We’ve found a sample-”

“You caught a kid with blue hair. Big deal.”

Normally, I sensed they would let this topic slide between them. But I egged them both on, prodding and poking at their pride to keep them going.

“We caught a version of the triggering element!”

“It has no big powers,” yawned the human exaggeratedly, as if in challenge. “It could have been anyone.”


“And besides, what good is it going to do us to control other worlds? Huh? Ours is still going to be a shit-show.”

The being rolled his eyes and tossed his head. “The point, is to control reality! No more pesky gods in the way. We will have no one but ourselves to account to. Wouldn’t that be great?”

“Say that to the masses,” snorted the man, gesturing towards the porch.

Both looked towards it, and images of squat churches filled their minds. Foolish, they both thought. Praying to dead gods.

Dead? I tried to pull at the strings in their minds. I was filled with images of shattered temples, ruins, and of one sole surviving cult.

“That Sephira,” sighed the being, hand on hip. “I don’t get why they think that god is still alive.”

The man shrugged, all anger now gone. “The idiots need something to cling to.”

The tall being shook out its hair and combed it back from their face. “It’ll be gone soon enough. Once we execute the last of the gods, they will see that they are praying to nothing. No one can stop us.”

The portly man hummed in agreement, scratching his stomach again. Then, with a lecherous grin, he stepped towards the other being.

To summarize: they ended up back in the bedroom. Yark. I put my head back beneath my wing and decided to ignore that noise some more.

Suzy, however, was ecstatic. “If only they could really destroy all the gods! That would be so good!” she squealed. “Then they would be out of the Academy’s way!”

I ignored her as best I could. For some reason, I didn’t think the death of the gods was any sort of good thing. Even if gods were pesky, they were part of the universe. They kept things in order in their own (annoying) way.

After much ado about fucking each other, the two resurfaced from the bedroom, dressed and happy. They completely ignored me, going about getting ready to leave. They snatched up some crusts of that medieval bread and butter, took a sip of wine together, then were strolling on out. It was my chance.

“Watch my body, Suzy,” I said, having already briefed her on this part. As in: to NOT leave my body.

She nodded, and I was off. In human form I darted across the floor and – whoosh- slipped into winged version and landed on his shoulder.

The being didn’t even notice me. He merely rolled his shoulder at the extra weight, then went on locking his door.

Then, we were off.