“Just More Chaos”: Chapter Six, Part One

I stood to one side of the hallway, waiting. Not because I wanted to, but because I had been asked to. Charr had stomped into my tiny room and said “He wants to see you,” and had marched out, with her hand attached to my collar. In other words, she hauled my sorry ass all the way into the medic ward, and left me here to wait. Now my neck hurt, and I felt clutzy. It wasn’t FoxFace (she wasn’t a he), but rather Conan who supposedly wanted to see me.

So I crossed my arms and waited. If I hadn’t almost killed the guy I wouldn’t still be here. But – I guess I owed it to him?

Anyways, I was there when Charr walked him out, half supporting him and half trying to murder me with her eyes.

“Hey,” I said, holding up a hand.

He managed to lift a hand, the other arm wrapped around his stomach, which was bandaged. He was wearing jeans, but no shirt. How did he still look good despite looking so sickish? I hated him more.

Charr planted him on the wall beside me, where he leaned on it with a grimace. Then she walked away with a scowl at me.

The minute the door to the stairs closed, Conan turned his attention to me. “So,” he said.

I raised my eyebrows. He continued “We’re doing this. Right here, right now. Why do you hate me?”

“I don’t,” I mumbled unconvincingly.

He shook his head. “There was five other vampires but you attacked me. Why? What have I done to you?”

I looked away, down the hall. Then I shook my head. “I don’t have to explain to you. First of all, there was three vampires, not five. Second, you were in the way. Happy? I’m done.” and I picked myself off the wall and began walkign away.

A hand on my shoulder – but I shrugged it off and kept going without looking back.

“Hey!” he called after me.

But that was it. I didn’t owe him anything else. Nope, no, his so-good-looking ass could manage fine without me.

I had a hand on the stairwell’s door when he grabbed me with his powers. It was like a giant vice over my entire body. Slowly, I began sliding backwards.

“You asshole!” I shouted, whirling around. He had one hand lifted and a smug look on his face. I stomped over to him, lifting a fist to his face. “Want me to try again?” I yelled.

He was nonplussed. As always. Where did he get that nerve from? Especially for someone who couldn’t fight! “You don’t like me,” he said. “But why?”

I shook my hands over his shoulders, resisting rattling him but that might hurt his stitches. “I don’t like you!” I said stupidly, but that was all I could manage that would make sense.

“Keep going,” he said too calmly. I wanted to punch him. Just to get a rise out of him.

“You’re so friggin’ irritating!” I snapped, shaking my hands in the air beside my shoulders, feeling ready to snap. “Just stay out of my face!”

That smug look turned smugger. “You like me,” he said nastily. I realized in a flash that he already knew it, and was just choosing now to wave it around.

So I punched him. So he fell. Big deal.

Uhm, well, I kind of felt guilty as he groaned on the floor. I stepped to his side and crouched down.

“You’re annoying,” I said half-heartedly.

He looked up at me, propped up on an elbow with the side of his face all red. “You’re such a jerk,” he said.

I snorted. “You’re the one who pulled me on, saying all ‘oh you like me’.” I quoted him in the most annoying pitch I could manage.

“You do,” he said sharply. “I can read it in you.”

I blanked. Oh, shit. “You can read minds?” It was my feeble attempt at changing topic.

“I control energy,” he said with a grimace as he sat up. “So I can read a few general signs. Like,” He brushed his hair from his face. “You like me. A lot.”

I looked away with a huff. “Alright. Now you’re just begging to be punched,” I said but there was no (hah!) punch to it.

His hand gripped my shoulder. “Help me up.”

I scowled at him. He looked back, unflinching. Rolling my eyes and cursing under my breath, I did actually help him up. He hissed, held his stomach, but got up.

“You know, you almost cut me in half,” he said.

“Still not sorry,” I said snarkily. “You talk too much.”

He laughed. His hand stayed on my shoulder. I looked at him. “You’ve got a girlfriend,” I said, not exactly un-jealous but certainly not, well, I was upset.

“We’re open,” he said in the way people do when they’re trying not to laugh at you. I gawked at him. He chuckled and patted me on the shoulder. Then he began making his way down the hallway, a hand on the wall.

I was rooted to the spot, brain trying to digest that. If he and her- did that mean -? I whirled around. “Hey!” I shouted at his retreating back. “What do want? I mean – what’s your point? Why did you?”

He stopped and glanced over his shoulder. “Don’t I talk too much?”

I cursed and stalked over to him. He smirked at me. I reached to rattle him, but stopped myself at the last moment. I pocketed my hands. “Why are you messing with me?” I snapped, putting on my best glare.

“I’m not,” he said. “But you’re the one throwing a tantrum.”

I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. “Get over yourself,” I muttered.

“Or you could do that,” he said cheekily.

I flushed, angry and embarrassed all at the same time. “Okay, you – what do you want? You want to get me mad? Fine! I’m mad!”

“I actually didn’t want you mad; but that’s like, your default setting?”

I snorted and looked aside. Yeah, I was always upset these days. So what? Life wasn’t a cakewalk.

He patted me on the shoulder. I scowled at him. “Be less of a jerk,” he said sweetly. “And then maybe we can date. Okay?”

My jaw fell. He looked ready to laugh at me again. I fled, turning and darting away as fast as I could walk without running.

“Just More Chaos”; Chapter Four, Part One

The next morning I woke to someone shaking my shoulders. I jolted, but it was Conan. Conan with a very dark look on his face. At my side, Bella was fast asleep and not noticing a thing.

Conan jerked his head. “Get up,” he whispered.

I did. And I put a shirt on. Always good. Then, when they were shoved at me, my boots as well. Conan was already dressed to go outside, jacket and all. I copied him, wondering what was going on.

He held the door open and we slipped outside, Bella still asleep in the bed. I felt guilty – but reasoned with myself that we weren’t doing anything wrong. Yet.

Besides, I told myself, I was his boss. If something went wrong, I could stop him, which uh, meant that I’d be held responsible…

That thought struck me as we stepped out of the staircase into the living room. There, to my surprise, was a whole herd, flock, murder, whatever you call a group of vampires. They didn’t seem to have slept one bit.

And they didn’t say anythign either. They just stared at us. Conan marched past them without a word and made for outside. I followed, trying to act as if it was my idea and I wasn’t following my… slave? Charge? Whatever.

Outside, it was cold. Not ‘ho ho ho, merry whatever’ kind of cold. No, this was january weather. It stuck inside your nostrils and made the lungs squeeze tight. Fucking freezing.

“So what?” I snapped as I hugged myself against the cold. My words misted out between us.

Conan stepped pointedly away from the door. “I wanted to talk to you. Alone.”

I scowled. Not at all fishy.

Conan let out a breath, looking out across the cityscape. There wasn’t much to see. The snow was turning grey, the sky was grey, the buildings were grey. Ech.

“Help me escape,” conan said bluntly. “I can guarantee that whatever you want here, you’re not going to find it. Plus, I’ll pull whatever strings I can to help you with your goals. And I have some good friends.”

“I’m the Grim Reaper’s child,” I bragged. “I don’t need strings pulled for me.”

Conan looked at me, and I realized that there was no Grim Reaper in his dimension. That much was obvious from how little he cared (I hoped). That and – I was in for a speech.

“Lookit,” he started, but I cut it short.

“No,” I snapped loudly. “You listen. Shut up and do what she tells you. You’re lucky Bella chose you. So stop being an idiot-”

“Lucky?” he hissed. “You don’t mean that! You’re just jealous. Come on, you’re not an idiot. You-”

On one hand, I meant to smack him. On the other hand… I did smack him.

Maybe I really am jealous, I thought as he staggered back, clutching at his cheek. Also, he had no reflexes. Was he even a fighter?

“Mind your own business,” I hissed as he straightened, scowling at me. “And stay away from Bella.”

He looked like he had another smart comment but he held his silence now. I stepped to the door, pulled it open, and nodded at him to get inside. He did, and if looks could kill I’d be dead. Pity, but I didn’t care.

We marched back inside – and Bella was there, sitting with her adoring vampires. “Had fun?” She asked coyly over a cup of tea.

I wasn’t sure what to say. I shrugged out of my coat, hooked it up, and padded to her side. “Good morning,” I said at her side, unsure of what to do. All eyes were on me except for hers. It made me feel both heavy yet craving. I wanted her to look at me.

“The team from yesterday is waiting for their punishment,” she announced. Her eyes flicked up, then turned to me. She was smiling cruelly. “You should do it.”

I was happy – then I hit that brick wall. “Uh?” I said dumbly.

Bella’s smile was twisting like she was trying so hard not to laugh. “As my second in command, you should. They shouldn’t have let me get wounded. They need to be punished. And you’re going to do it.”

I felt like this was meaningful, very meaningful. A sort of threshold was being pushed towards me. I wasn’t sure I understood it.

Bella smiled at me expectantly. Was I supposed to say something? I hummed, then nodded. “Okay,” I said quietly.

Was it the wrong thing to say? The whole room was glaring at me. The vampires seemed – to be remembering the time they almost ate me? But Bella had this light to her eyes. She was very happy.

“They will be here soon,” one vampire intoned as Bella smugly sipped her tea.

“Okay,” I said lamely.

Silence settled. The vampires sipped what I guess was warm mugs of blood, and Bella her tea. After a moment Bella looked towards the door, where Conan was lurking with crossed arms and a scowl.

“You’ll catch a cold staying there,” she drawled.

Conan didn’t answer. Instead he leaned against the doorframe and seemed to plant himself there. Bella smirked and returned to her tea.

Time ticked by. I wished for my own cup of hot something, but no one offered to get me one and I wasn’t sure about brewing one myself. So I just stood miserably by Bella’s side.

A whole five minutes of agonizing silence later, the door swung open. Being vampires (who liked to be all ‘I am a creature of the night’ and sneak around) we didn’t hear them arrive.

There were two groups. One huddled miserably in the middle, being escorted by the second group. I felt a pang of pity for them.

Really, I almost argued on their behalf. Charr had been fast! Smart! She- But then I caught Bella’s eye. She was furious. Yep, these guys were getting punished.

Bella tapped me on the arm and motioned me to bend closer to her. I did, and she whispered in my ear. I felt her hot breath tickling my skin, but heard no words. Instead, I felt a strange almost-emptiness within myself. It was like a phantom pain, there but not tangible.

“There you go,” and Bella patted me on the arm. She was pleased. “Now,” she nodded to the group that was hanging their heads in misery. “Do it.”

Oh. I wasn’t supposed to lay a finger on them. I was supposed to use the words. Uh, okay.

Pushing aside my wonders at why Bella was doing this, I tried to focus. TO repeat those words.

Instantly, there was a shudder in the room. Vampires lurched, holding their stomachs. Others grimaced.

I repeated what I thought the words were, focusing and repeating and repeating harder and harder –

Bella’s hands slid over my shoulders, startling me out of my focus. She was now standing by my side. The vampires, all of them, were sweating and looking puky. Also very angry. Oh, so angry.

Bella whispered to me. “Focus, Chaos,” and her words sent a shiver up my spine. “Send it to only the ones who deserve it. Just them.”

She placed a hand over my heart. I felt her work through me, sending my powers out at just the one group. The words began to flow from me.

And then, like I was plunged under water, I was in the hive mind. Yet this time, it was like a web and I the spider. I could pluck strings, send messages, and shake what I wanted. Better yet, like phantom limbs, I felt the results in the vampires I was touching. I felt their agonizing pain at the punishment. I felt their insides gnawing at them with regret, revulsion, and all consuming grief.

It was sadistically euphoric. I pushed, shook them harder through the words, and their souls gave way. They were soft like butter, molding to my command and grieving ever more.

It was like I was filling them with darkness, with pain. I loved it, watching their souls weep and squirm feebly, all the power and momentum coming into me.

I felt so powerful. I drank at their pain, wishing more and more onto them.

One by one, they collapsed into their misery. I wrung them until their souls began to break apart in misery, sheer grief and pain cutting them apart.

There was a shriek, a gurgling cry of despair as one shattered. It sent a rush of euphoria through me. I was powerful. I was in command over their very souls! I-

Bella’s touch left my chest but it was a faint sensation. I felt completely engrossed by my high, by this power. I began reaching for other souls to wring, to command. I wanted to flex my power, to feel it even stronger.

I gripped several new souls – then was slapped hard across the face.

I staggered back, mind reeling at the sudden mind-body connection. I bumped into a chair, and my body was numb. Bella was before me though, patting my shoulders.

“Good job, Chaos,” she was crooning. Her fingers caressed my shoulders and seemed to pull me together. “You’ve done well.”

And she stepped aside. Behind her was a circle of terrified vampires. The ones in the middle had collapsed. They lay on the floor, lifeless.

My mind yanked to a halt. Did I- no. no no no. I wasn’t a monster. I wouldn’t have-

“You punished them,” Bella said sweetly. “Very well done, perfect.”

The others were too terrified to say a word against that. My mind reeled, casting around for someone, anyone, to anchor me. Someone to snap me back to reality.

I landed mentally on Conan. Our gazes met, and he reminded me of my father for a split second. He was disapproving. Very, very, disapproving. Also not one bit afraid.

“You should rest,” Bella crooned, smoothing her palms over my shoulders. “Have some breakfast.”

Lickety split, three vampires went to make me food.

Meet Lenda & Mars ~ Ranger (Chapter One, Part Two)

Hey peoples! You may have noticed that yesterday I said Allegra ties in for second place with a character named Mars… well you get to meet him today! But first -> Lenda.

Sweet, adorable, and Naive with the uppercase ‘N’ Lenda. Lenda is fun, and, as my wife puts it, probably the most ‘normal’ of all the characters in Ranger’s story.  Normal as in, she thinks along healthy thought-patterns and isn’t basically warped in some way. However, Lenda is a major character in the story. One of the (oh, say) about dozen times I tried re-writing Ranger’s story, I had split it into five major POV’s to switch between, and Lenda was one of those major POV’s. She’s a MASSIVELY important character, as much as Ranger and Allegra and Mars and basically anyone else. She’s not so much important in what she does, as much as that she’s there. Ooo, mysterious? That’s as much as I can tell you without it being spoilers!

Now Mars. He’s a character I love (vying for second place with Allegra, you will recall), particularly because he’s complex and fun in his evil-ness. It can be argued that Ranger’s story is essentially a story about a bunch of bad guys (the ‘Bats were originally villains in my first draft/version, and they very much still aren’t the real heroes). If this is the case, and we were to rank everyone by their evil index, Mars would probably be the direct runner-up for main villain status. He’s certainly not THE main villain, but he’s giving it a good running for. That being said, whereas I want to give Allegra everything she wants, Mars doesn’t have that pleasure. I like to make this guy suffer. You’ll hopefully see what I mean during the story. Oh, and for all of you wondering why I gave a thin guy the name of the god of war… the mythical Roman Mars could sometimes be represented as a young man. So that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Now on with the story!


But we shall now leave those unfortunates. We travel with Allegra, across space and through the channels of the sacred to reappear at an abandoned shrine to Ursula.

The shrine was shambled, red, and keeling to the left. Weeds overgrew hedges and the broken driveway was filled with bad-ass motorcycles. After all, Allegra was expected.

There was exactly five people and five motorcycles – someone was riding double home. But who were these five people, impatiently standing around and keeping an eye on the dusty road for signs of police?

Well, first and foremost was Alex. The Alex. Allegra’s right hand, she was dark of skin, Allegra’s senior by several years, and had long box braids that swung to her hips. She had a black trenchcoat and my, looked so serious.

Next in the heirarchy was Mel. She was hard to take seriously at first, what with her platinum blonde hair, false lashes, and large lips. But once she’s punched you a few times you’ll learn to show some respect. Also, don’t make fun of her crush on Allegra. Everyone knows about it.

Next is Zack, Mel’s hopeless boyfriend who knows he’ll never be good enough to replace Allegra, no matter what punk color he dies his hair. Today it looks rather like a blue skunk.

Then there was Elfernon, an angel-faced blondie who seemed rather forgettable.

And finally, not quite forgettable and definitely the lowest in the heirarchy, was Lenda. Ah, sweet Lenda. Trying so desperately to fit in with her leather jacket and sides of her head already shaved – just waiting for that branding tattoo! She’d joined the ‘Bats two years ago, meaning she’d never actually met Allegra before. Today was her initiation into the personality cult of Allegra.

I’m just kidding. She was already a huge fan of Allegra’s general charisma, having been carefully preened by the other ‘Bats.

And so there you have it, the five of them are just standing around, nervous and twitchy. A rustle of grass, and none of them lift their heads. Allegra steps out from behind the shrine. Now she is dressed in her own clothes, jeans and leather jacket. She smirks at her luckless followers. They were out of shape, she notices.

Not physically, no. But a ‘Bat’s magical senses are supposed to be so highly attuned so as to know whenever a change in the atmosphere happens. And none of these unfortunates noticed Allegra’s appearance behind the shed, or even heard her step out.

Oh but- Lenda looks up. “Eh!” she cries out, happily seeing Allegra in the real.

All heads turn. Cries go up, sighs of relief are heard. Allegra steps forward, holding out a hand to Alex.

Alex knows better than to think this is for a hug.

“Sunglasses,” Allegra says. She is not the hugging type.

Alex whips the quasi-sacred sunglasses from their case in her breastpocket. Allegra puts them on. They, being rather large aviator sunglasses, perfectly hide the scars on her face. She smirks, looking over her rag-tag team.

So many years of being cooped up may have turned her a little bat (hah!) crazy. Because she doesn’t speak at all. She just smirks, seeing the potential in the moment. Seeing the power, the skill, and the improvement necessary to be prepared for Ursula’s grand return.

“Let’s go,” she says dryly.

And off they went.

Now I shan’t bore you with the who what when where how and why of the driving. The roads were dusty and long, the wind freeing and the sun setting. Bladibla.

Instead, let’s follow an invisible current, a powerful line of horror and thrill that was running through the nation! Or specifically, through the nation’s most powerful decision makers.

Following this thread, we land in Mars Bacorago’s office.

Ah, what an office. Strict, spartan, organized. Being housed in Bellerable’s tallest skyscraper, it has a view of the entire city through a glass wall. A fairytale view that is most splendid.

Mars was not looking at the view right then. He had his back to it and was watching his phone ring on his desk while pouring himself a cup of tea. The teapot was a frilly antique and so was the cup. The tea was cold.

Counting the rings, Mars set down the tea pot and took up the cup. On the second to last ring, that was when he picked up.

Ah, Mars. What would he do without power and a way to abuse it? Probably go mad. But let us continue.

He puts the phone to his ear, not bothering to answer more than a humm. Everyone who calls him has learned to deal with this.

But apparently not the president himself. He, a wiry and balding old man full of vitriol and rage, avoids calling Mars as much as possible. But this was a call he intended to do by himself.

“Are you there?” barks the president.

Mars’ lips twist into a wry smile. He sips his tea next to the phone’s receiver. Then, he speaks. “Well of course I am,” he says in that cold, heartless, and eternally poised voice of his.

Mars was always like that. From the jet black liner around his eyes to the cut of his clothes, everything was graceful and pristine. Let me give you a picture.

He has dark reddish brown hair that falls into his eyes, brilliant green eyes that seem to shine. A skin that is one hue too dark to be of the southern invaders’, but not dark enough to be from the islands. His cheekbones are high and his eyes are slightly tilted, but with the makeup so expertly applied no one is ever sure what lineage he bears from.

Of average height, Mars is slim for a man and perhaps a tad on the short end, but not noticeably so. Really, set him in a crowd and he would blend in, if not for the dark lines around his eyes and his wardrobe. Because that wardrobe!

It starts with pants that fit just right. A shirt that appears casual, but also fits far too well to be of casual pricing. And above it all, nearly impervious to weather, is a coat of sorts. It may be light, woolen, or whatever but it is always a shade of greyish blue. Sometimes, on a rare occasion, greyish red. It is almost always ankle length like a dress and styled just so.

Many people have wondered where Mars gets his coats. Are they tailor-made on demand by some secret designer?

I know the answer to that! The secret is this: Mars has only one coat, and he makes it himself.

Oh, trust me, it makes sense! You see, every magician has an object that they imbue with power, an object that acts as a storehouse that they can shift their soul into or out of for protection. Mars’ was his coat – rather large for a magician’s object but very well disguised. On the hottest of days he could turn it into a shirt, on the coldest it would be his winter coat. But always, always, enveloping and protecting him.

And so the fashion question is solved. The coat is pure magic, shifting with his whim and will of the day’s look. Let us return to the conversation at hand. The president was raging, furious, and embarrassed. And we all know what arrogant people do when they are humiliated. They lash out.

Mars held the phone away from his ear as the president yelled that this was a catastrophe! A disaster! Why, this was certainly the doing of those pesky rebels. Those Bellerabliens! “You must declare a state of emergency! She most certainly is headed there!”

Mars set the phone back to his ear. “Oh, sorry, what was that you said?” he said, completely indifferent. The president squawked, perhaps about to have a coronary.

“I think you said that you lost, on federal grounds, your most wanted criminal. What a federal problem,” he hummed. “Can’t see what this has to do with me. I’m just provincial.”

“She is headed for Bellerable!”

Mars’ smirk took on cruel proportions. “But unless she magicks her way across the country, she must still be in Winstonia. Put them on emergency call. I’ll be on high alert.”

Which, by the way, was a Bellerablien’s version of trying to give a damn when none was really there to give. Having been the heart-center of Ursula’s rebellion, Bellerabliens were used to war and damage. They really had little cares to give for one pesky criminal.

The president breathed like a walrus. Mars sipped his tea.

And then something very peculiar happened. Mars coolly exhaled, his breath misting cold like winter into the phone. The president inhaled. The president paused, realizing that it was very stupid to argue with Mars. He realized that, indeed, Allegra must be in Wistonia. No reason to extend federal jurisdiction and force Bellerable into emergency status.

The president exhaled loudly, feeling more relaxed than he should have been. “Be on high alert. I want roadblocks and investigations happening.”

Mars raised his eyebrows. Roadblocks and, eh, ‘investigations’. Well, sure. He could blow some money on ‘investigating’ cold cases.

“As you wish,” he fairly purred to the phone, his voice misting so slightly.

The president nodded, puffing up on his end. He felt powerful, downright macho for having ‘stuck it’ to Mars, that little pipsqueak. Hah! He was the one in charge!

Mars smirked as he sipped his tea. The president curtly babbled off some minor rules, reminded Mars of some regulations, and hung up.

Mars set the phone and his teacup down on his desk without making a sound. One look to the window, and it was sunset. For those who followed the old ways, that meant it was time to pray so that the Void’s darkness would not engulf the world.

And so Mars knelt before his window, facing the setting sun. Prayer is quite a private affair, especially for a magician. So we shall leave him to that, won’t we? Let us hop back on over to Allegra’s part of the world.

More Ranger…

Hey everyone! It’s super late over here and I’m more tired than usual after spending the day setting up a car shelter for winter, but I just had to share this sketch with y’all. I’m feeling super inspired thanks to the lovely feedback on my last post and on instagram (special thanks to Amber for commenting <3). Finally, yes, I will probably be sharing Ranger’s story with you all 🙂 I just really think, like one person commented on instagram, that sometimes we have to learn to let go. So maybe it’s time I let go of hoarding my characters and just set them loose upon the world? Anyways, I will be sharing them. Which means more editing, haha, because the beginning is not quite right yet! So it might take some time before you get to read the story, but trust me I’ll be working on it!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a lovely evening/day 🙂 many blessings on you all.

“Just More Chaos”; Chapter Three Part Two

The center was in an uproar. Vampires filled the hallways, and scraps broke out between factions who hissed at each other. Everyone seemed to be blaming the vampires that had been on the expedition for Bella being wounded. Werewolves (Munch included) arrived in the already crowded hall, pretending to be the peacekeepers. The situation was tense, and I was just trying to stay out of it.

That meant I was squished up against the wall, Conan on one side and a gang of vampires hissing on the other.

“So who are you?” Conan asked calmly, as if he really couldn’t care less about the fight brewing right before us.

“Chaos,” I muttered viciously, watching as one vampire from the team was being shoved by others. This was bad.

“I’m Kuryo,” Conan said. He pronounced it like Charr had, ‘ gor-ye-o’. I ignored him, eyes on the fight.

“You’re Conan now,” I snapped viciously. Was there a way I could stop this fight? Surely all this wasn’t good for Bella. She was right on the other side of this hallway, beyond those surgery doors…

Two vampires from the team came to the rescue of their comrade, but they got shoved by Munch. Three other vampires added in, ganging up on their blodosucking friends. A howl went up, and even I, disconnected from the hivemind, could feel that someone was about to be punished for what had happened to Bella.

But Bella wouldn’t want this – but what could I do.

Just as I was overthinking that, I saw Munch draw a knife.

“No!” I shouted, lurching out of my huddle against the wall. In two blinks I found myself in the middle of it all, pointing down Munch. “Put that away!” I ordered.

There was that half-second of pure silence where everyone was just as shocked as I was. Munch blinked, then recovered from his shock. “Oh yeah? Says who?” he sneered, lifting the knife in the air.

“Bella wouldn’t want you all to be fighting,” I snapped. “She-”

“You don’t know her!” a vampire shrieked from behind me. “You were here for what – two days?”

I flicked my eyes up to the ceiling to curse, then took a deep breath. “Bella was very clear -”

“You’re not one of us!” shouted the vampire who Munch had been threatening. They pushed me away from them. Hands grabbed me from behind. I wrenched free, only to stumble back into the middle of the blame circle.

A sense of calm filled me. A fight was coming, and I just knew it. Cool, I could make it out alive. Instinctively I drew my dice – and saw that this was the one that Amitabha had given me. And it was 20 side up.

I pocketed it, closing my eyes. “Listen to me-” and an idea struck me. Could I remember Bella’s words?

Could I…

I spoke the words, and they made no noise. Silence fell, the impact sudden and forceful. It was like the sound being turned off on a film.

The air quivered as I spoke, repeating the few words I knew over and over. Bodies slumped, resting against each other. Groans rose. I could feel the artificial peace forcing itself onto their minds, stilling them. Forcing them into docility.

Except one. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Conan watching the scene with a detached interest. He alone wasn’t experiencing the artificial nirvana.

That jolted me out of it. I stumbled my words, and forget them. My last sound was a clearing of the throat, pretending it had been intentional.

The mood shattered. Heads were lifted and eyes blinked as if everyone was just waking from a dream. I clapped my hands.

“Okay, Bella wants us to work together, I’m sure. Who wants to go get the one who shot her? You should be able to hunt her down.”

At this, Conan visibly paled. Not indifferent any more? Well, sucks to be him.

“Bring her back here,” I ordered. “As unharmed as possible, so that Bella can deal with her. How about that?”

There were hisses and shrieks of agreement. Werewolves howled, and the order had been reestablished. The hunters were dispatched and the others let them go. Vampires returned to their duties, clearing the hall.

I let out a deep breath and turned. Conan was still watching, a frown on his face. “What?” I asked, feeling pretty smug. I wanted to rub my victory in his face. See? See? I’m better than you.

“Didn’t know there were two of you,” he said, shrugging as if he didn’t care.

I took that as a compliment. Me and Bella, a team! But I played it calm, pretending to be as disinterested as he was. “I suppose,” was all I said. Secretly, I was hoping this would convince Bella to keep me around.


I don’t know how long surgeries normally take on magical beings, but Bella was not out as the sun set and the hunting teams came back, tail between their legs. Charr had reached a major road and her scent had vanished, they mumbled to me as if reporting for duty. I nodded, then instructed them all to get some rest.

They bowed at me, then left. At my side, I knew Conan had noticed all this. I still felt pretty proud, but somehow guilty as well. Surely Bella would keep me on (I hoped!) and find some way to counter FoxFace’s spells but… Did I really want that?

I shook myself mentally. I had come back from the Pure Lands for Bella. I would save her from herself. I would stay by her side.

Out through the windows, the sun set on beautiful ribbons of pink and purple over the treetops. Conan was still here, and I nastily decided not to send him home. Let him suffer here with me. No comfy chairs for him.

I found myself sitting on the floor, back against the wall. Conan was standing on one leg against the wall for what seemed like hours. What, was he half bird? Stupid guy.

The night stretched on, and on, and on. I rubbed my burning eyes and wished for the comfy bed in the house. I wished for Bella to be okay, by my side, and for us to be together again…

I woke from my sleep by the sudden feeling of Bella. My eyes snapped open and I jumped – and she was right before me, crouching down so we were eye level. Her blue eye was glowing and a large grin was on her face.

“Hey,” she crooned, her hands smoothing over mine. “You stayed here?”

“Of course,” I mumbled, reaching to hug her. She slid into my arms and I nestled against her, overflowing with happiness. Her heartbeat thumped from her chest to mine, strong and healthy now. I squeezed her tightly – and saw Conan watching us from not far away enough. He was standing on his other leg now and watched shamelessly.

Bella drew back to hold me at arms’ length. She ran her fingers over my hair. “Your hair is too short,” she murmured and a guilty thrill went through me.

“Yeah,” I agreed, smiling stupidly.

She rose to her feet. “Come on, let’s go home.”

Hand in hand, we walked down the hall together. Butterflies filled me and I couldn’t stop grinning. Even the knowledge that Conan lurked behind us, tailing like a sulking shadow, didn’t down me. Let him be there. I was the one Bella wanted.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Twenty One, Part Two

I opened my eyes to see a beautiful apparition. A lovely woman stood beside Lucifer, robed in deep red. She had such a smile on.

“Amitabha,” said Lucifer as the goddess took me in her arms. I was nothing. Weightless. Just a little thought of existence.

The goddess nodded to Lucifer with a warm smile. Then, with respect and dignity, she turned around and walked through a small portal.

Most portals are crackling full of energy of the kind akin to the world they transfer to. This one was soft, and peaceful. As we slipped through it I felt blissful in a pure and healthy way. Calm. Complete.

We entered a world of light, lotuses by lakes, and sprawling fields. I knew the world as we stepped foot on the earth and she set me down. I floated from her. Stretching, I unfolded from myself.

All around me was beauty and peacce. It felt amazing.

I turned to thank Amitabha- and saw the portal behind her. A hand was clawing through, a shoulder following. It was like an awful anti-birth. It was forceful, disgusting, and burning with callous irreverence.

Bella burst through with a roaring yell, burnt and bloodied by the energy of the portal. Her blue eye sparkled rabidly and she stumbled on her first steps on the earth.

Amitabha turned calmly to face her. She did not seem in the slightest bit surprised. “So you are here.”

Bella laughed. “I’ve made it!” Her eyes rolled around her head to take it all in, but I knew she couldn’t see enough. Her breath was ragged from anger and exertion. She laughed again, and it was frenzied.

Amitabha was nonplussed. I looked from one to the other, and it dawned on me as Bella drew a sword from her hip that she’d lied to me about one more thing.

“I’m finally going to kill you all!” she hissed. Dramatically, she pointed her sword at Amitabha. “I, Daughter of Mara, will destroy you stupid Buddhas!”

Amitabha watched with serene disaffection. I stepped forward. “But Bella, you can’t-”

I knew this place was too peaceful. Too serene. Too precious to be allowed to be destroyed.

Bella knocked me aside. “I have defeated the supposed ‘god of gods’. I have Lucifer as my minion, and-” she flicked a sneering wrist at me. “I’ve tamed Chaos. So,” she took a deep breath then screamed to Amitabha “I’m going to kill you all!”

“No!” I said. “Bella, you said you wanted to save everyone! You can’t do that if-”

“Snapshot! I lied! Now move aside, or rather -” and Bella’s crazed gaze landed on me. “Help me, Chaos. Kill Amitabha for me.”


“Do it!” she screamed in my face. “Do it, and I will let you be my slave again! I will give you infinite pleasure, Chaos!”

Amitabha stepped forward. Serenely, she placed a hand on each our shoulders. She looked first at me, then at Bella. We both held our breaths.

With her exhale, a sense of peace infused through me. It soaked into me gently, destroying anger and hurt. I felt pure and true to myself. Connected to Amitabha, to Bella, to this land and all that dwelled in it-

With a groan Bella collapsed. Her sword fell to the ground. She clutched at her head, moaning. “It hurts, it hurts,” she whimpered.

Of course, I realized. The destruction of ignorance and anger can be painful.

“It hurts!” Bella screamed. She staggered up to her feet, fingers having dug red marks down her cheeks. Eyes rolling, she took one terrified look at Amitabha before lurching for the portal.

With a shriek, Bella fell into it as if all the hounds of hell were at her heels. Then there was silence.

For a moment, Amitabha and I stood still. The wind blew around us, the grass swayed. I felt at peace. My mind, my spirit, felt on the brink of achieving something new. Enlightenment was only a grasp away, and I felt it.

But when I looked down, there was Bella’s sword. I stooped down and picked it up.

“Pleasure is a blade,” said Amitabha clearly. “It is fleeting, yet leaves marks of desire upon the soul.”

I closed my eyes tightly. What did I want? Of course I wanted to stay here. But I also pitied Bella. She was pathetic, really. Lost. Helpless in her own way.

I opened my eyes, mind focused and clear. “I’m going to go get Bella,” I said to Amitabha. “I’m going to heal her.”

A pleased smile drew itself on her face. “To heal a demon and bring them to the Pure Lands is quite the challenge. Good luck, Chaos.”

I smiled. “Thanks.”

Amitabha reached into a pocket of her robe. “I have a gift for you. A welcoming of sorts.” And she held out a D20 dice to me. It rippled in swirls of red and gold. When it touched my palm I felt warmth within me, a little bit of Buddha-essence within myself.

As I held it up to the light, Amitabha spoke. “This dice is different from the one you had before. This one will not tell you whether you will defeat an enemy in battle, but your chances of healing their souls. Be prepared, your life is about to change.”

I smiled as I pocketed it. “Thank you.”

Amitabha bowed her head respectfully. “Best of luck. And beware of the sword you now carry with you. Pleasure is a double edged blade.”

I looked down at Bella’s sword. The weight of it was massive for its size. I felt it like a scorpion, deadly and latently poised to strike. To hold it was to perch on the edge of a blade. But I was ready to do just that.

“Dreaming of Lights” ~ Introduction

“Dreaming of Lights” is a story that requires introduction, in my mind.  Just like “My Name is Chaos”, “Dreaming of Lights” is inspired by dreams, several of them, that I mashed together in a strange way. I tried to make sense of captivating confusion, if you will. That being said, there is some things to point out.

Kuryo, the main character, is a name that came to me in one of these dreams. I searched on the all-knowing internet, and it’s basically ‘Goryeo’ (that’s how it should be pronounced too), which is the old name for feudal Korea. If I’m wrong, someone fact-check me with sources, but that’s what I found. So yes, Kuryo is probably ethnically Korean in the story (which is in another world with unnamed continents because it doesn’t matter to the story). But for all of you who are like ‘wait, in the first chapter Kuryo refers to themselves as being ‘dirt colored” – but Koreans are pale?!

Uh, skin whitening creams are a big deal in that part of the world (and many other ‘Asian’ countries as well), and pop stars are really no reference. There are dark-skinned Asians, but you probably won’t be seeing them on TV due to internalized racism and ‘white-washing’.

Speaking of racism, I did try and keep racist slurs and junk like that out of this story, but I felt it was important for Kuryo to reflect a bit of internalized racism, as they would have been exposed to so much of it, and the class structure of the story is kind of important, at least to me.

You will also notice that I keep referring to Kuryo (one of the two main characters) as ‘they’. That’s because of the characters’ gender is … particular throughout the story and I find it simpler and spoiler-free to say ‘they’.

So what else do you need to know before reading about “Dreaming of Lights”? Well, it’s my little brain baby. It’s a story I whipped up within a year (all 100,00+ words of it!) and churned out with quite some intensity. It fascinated me. I love it, and sincerely hope you will too.

As I mentioned, I have my whole rough draft all written down. Now I need to edit it, which I will be doing slowly. As I edit I will post it here, and once it is completely finished I will publish it on Smashwords or Amazon and maybe even AO3.

So please, read along and do comment plenty! Let me know what you think, what you like and don’t like, and get involved! I love interacting and talking about my novels, so please drop a comment or two!

“My Name is Chaos”: Chapter Seven, Part One

Not to be a pain buuuut – I’m really loving this story now! It’s super interesting to me, and I just want to keep writing it and writing! I’m so excited to explore Bella and what she’s up to! I’d love to hear some feedback on her, and especially what happens in the chapel here. Let me know what y’all think! I hope you’re having a nice day 🙂


Speaking of cold, it was cold. Very cold. Icy cold. Freeze-in-your-nostrils kind of cold. Mist up and freeze on your face cold. And there Bella was, wearing a bomber jacket styled winter coat, jeans (with zippers and chains on the side!) and a black wool hat. She had a large smile on, as if she just couldn’t get enough of this white crap everywhere as we walked down the road. Ugh. Also, she was wearing an eye patch to cover her red eye. I was wondering why she was wearing the stupid eye patch when she began talking.

“Your friend Mark tried to run away last night,” she said so happily that I almost didn’t understand the meaning of her words.

“He what?”

She turned that simple smile to me. It looked so pure. It felt pure, like she didn’t have a bone of malice in her body. “Oh, he’s been restrained so he won’t hurt himself,” she said sweetly. “Don’t worry.”

“Hurt himself?” I echoed, almost stopping in my tracks. What was that evil-person code for? Were they torturing him?

“Oh, he was very distraught,” she said before heaving a sigh. “It’s unfortunate.”

“What’s unfortunate? What have you done with him?” I tried to run up before her but she held out an arm, winding me in the face as I tried to pass here. I doubled over, clutching at my poor nose. There were snorts of derision from the troupe of vampires around us. When I looked up, Bella had come to a stop next to some funny looking machines that were parked where the road was supposed to be. Were they motorcycles? Except they had skis on them…

“Skidoos,” she said as if reading my mind. “I guess they don’t have them in hell, do they?” and she plucked a helmet from one and handed it to me. “Watch your nose.”

I took the helmet from her, glaring barbs her way. I had half a mind to just unleash my powers and beat her to a pulp. But then I’d have to fight all her dumb minions and find the portal on my own. Hopefully this way she would lead me straight to it.

“Now you can ride with Mcfarlan,” she said, gesturing to the beefcake-in-charge from yesterday, who was popping his little head into his own helmet.

Grimly, I stalked over to him. He climbed onto the skidoo behind her majesty’s, and I followed suit. Disgusted, I took hold of the back of Mcwhatever’s jacket and hoped not to fall off. I’d been allowed to ride a motorcycle in hell, but it had been tricked so as not to bust speed limits. Like, you now you’re in hell when there’s speed limits on everything. Betcha there’s none of those in heaven.

We took off. Zooming through the city at daytime (without white crap in your face) was a totally different experience. The houses were bright and quaint around here, quickly giving way to shops and malls – and not a single car.

Well, there was over a foot of snow everywhere. Where would the cars go?

Instead there was other skidoos here and there, quickly switching to drive next to us, but always behind Bella. Pretty soon, I looked around and we were leading a whole flock of skidoos. The sound was such a racket. I wondered what the hell was going on. Was I about to be mobbed to death? A public execution of sorts? Was I breakfast for the starving hordes?

We drove up to a chapel. There Bella skidded to a halt, and the entire horde followed suit. I gawked at the number of vampires present. If it was a buffet, there certainly wasn’t enough blood in me to fill up everyone.

No, if this was her legions, then hell was empty of vampires right now. Because seriously, vampires have always been a protected species (don’t laugh) but there was so many right here.

The massive chapel was bursting full of them. They shrieked and squealed with joy as Bella came in, parting for her like the proverbial Red Sea, if the Red sea had still desperately wanted to touch Moses.

Arms were waving towards her. Babies were held out. The air was frenzied, frantic. The crowd closed right after her, blocking us from following her. Mcsomethingorother grabbed me by the shoulders and held me against him to keep me from getting torn from him by the crowd’s movement.

And that’s when it struck me. This was no army. There was no discipline, no ranks. Everyone was wearing civilian clothes and – I looked around at the screaming mouths to be sure. These were humans. We were actually a tiny patch of vampires, in a swathe of humans.

“Friends,” coeed Bella from the spot where the priest was supposed to be. The crowd silenced instantly. You could have heard a pin drop.

Faintly, someone began sobbing. Bella smiled sweetly in that direction. She had her hands on the book reading thing, and was poised to give a speech. I didn’t want to admit it, but I was really curious what she was going to say. Talk about herself as the savior of humanity or what? Vampires came in peace?

Bella began to speak. At first I thought I couldn’t hear her because she was mumbling. But then I realized there really was no sound coming from her mouth. Except I felt it inside. A strange feeling of peace invaded me. Words that made no sense began popping into my head, from some sort of angelic language. Enochian?

The crowd began to sway. I felt dizzy. The big hands on my shoulders held me steady as around us the world began to careen. The words began to hammer through me and I felt that feeling of peace intensify. Bella was walking forward towards the pews, moving her hands as if directing a chorus. The words pulsed through me and I knew I shouldn’t know them, but they took on meaning for me.

What meaning? I couldn’t put it into words. My body was numb and I was swaying back and forth with the crowd. The air pulsed around us. My eyes felt heavy and the light hurt.

The silent words began coming faster, rhythmically more and more intense. The meaning was overwhelming. It was something about peace and peace, but in such a way that… I don’t know.

Faintly, I heard sobs from the other side of the chapel. Nothing in me was disturbed. Iu knew they weren’t in danger, that nothing was in danger in this peace.

And then I cracked open. There was no other way to explain it.

It was if all of a sudden I’d broken beyond the limits of my body, of my own soul. I was no longer just me, a soul amongst so many. I could feel them, touch them. Ecstacy shone through me like a white light that radiated from within and I felt oneness with everything, everyone in this place. I could feel the energy on a different, more pure level than before. I was powerful enough to control the universe. I was beyond my own limits of existence. I could, I could –

I must have passed out. Because the last thing I remember was that pure, unbridled ecstacy. Then the next thing I knew, a voice was calling me.

“Chaos, Chaos,” a sweet voice was saying.

I felt my body being shaken, but it didn’t seem to fit me anymore. It felt foreign, like a dirty old sock you had to put on.

“Chaos,” and I recognized it as Bella. Bella! My heart thudded at the thought of her. Curiosity is what I told myself it was. In fact it was love. Adoration. Something in me craved her, because she was ecstacy.

I forced my eyes open, coming into my body and fitting into it dingily. Before me, Bella was grinning. She was patting my cheeks. At the sight of her, my soul flipped. Bella! My hand reached out and snatched at her, a strangled cry in my throat.

“Shhh,” she caught my hand and pressed it to her shoulder. My breath came ragged as emotions flooded me like a chemical rush. I knew that if only she willed it, I’d be back in that state-

“It’s alright. Stay with me,” she was saying gently and my mind had no choice but to focus on her words. I wanted them so bad. “You went under deep, didn’t you?”

I released a ragged breath. Somewhere, alarm bells were ringing in my head, but I had no idea what was happening. I’d never heard of anything like this. All there was was this feeling, and Bella. She who was taking my hand in both of hers now and squeezing it tightly while giving me such a comforting smile. “You’re okay,” she said in that sweet tone.

I gulped air. My body didn’t want to stay like this. I was like an addict needing another rush, craving it. But as Bella squeezed my hand and I looked into her blue blue eye, the burning need began to subside.

“There,” she said. “there you go. Come on, sit up.”

I was lying on a church pew. There were a few stragglign humans here and there, but the church was now fairly empty. The big beefy dude was standing beside me, glowering down smugly.

Gingerly, I managed to sit up. I wanted to barf. I was sweaty, clammy. Bella crouched before me, grinning wildly now. “So?” she asked eagerly, like we were sharing a secret. “Are we that bad?”

I took another look around. I told myself to take my hand from hers, but couldn’t. I liked her touch. I swallowed, my mouth now dry. “What happened?”

Bella patted my hand. “Secret!” And she drew up to a standing position. “Come on.”

“My Name is Chaos”: Chapter Six, Part Two

I wanted to just leave the room, but hey. Instead I was… announced out? There’s just no way to describe how I was marched to the door with a hand on my shoulder, and the door was dramatically flung open so it slammed upon the opposite wall and all. The vampires who were standing around the door jumped and spun.

Bella lifted her chin at them like she was the most important thing in the world. No, she radiated it. Then, she crooned. “Namastay,” while designating me with the tips of her fingers as if I was a crystal ball that shouldn’t be touched. “Put our guest up for the night. Find her some clothes and -” she seemed to lose track of her own thoughts. “All that,” she finished, eyes drifting off to the ceiling.

The vampires bowed, echoing ‘namastay’. I took a breath and looked over my shoulder at Bella. She had a smile on (did she ever not smile?) and was obviously in dreamland.

The vampires remained in their bow. They were waiting for something. I wondered what the hell was going on.

“I have had a vision,” whispered Bella, entranced.

“Yes,” said the beefcake, looking up but remaining in his bow.

“I-,” Bella brought her fingertips to her forehead dramatically. “I-,” and she froze in that position.

“Need help?” I asked dryly, hoping she would end with the dramatics. But she didn’t answer. Everyone else glared at me.

Bella began breathing deeply. “I see,” she crooned, swaying back and forth on her feet. “I see-” and she opened her eyes. Her strange smile returned. “Have a good night, everyone.” She patted me on the shoulder. “Don’t get into mischief.”

And with a clap, she shut her door. The vampires rose from their bows. I looked from the shut door to them. Gingerly, I pointed a thumb over my shoulder at the door. “Is she always like that?”

“Our Queen has been gifted with visionary powers unlike any other,” intoned my beefcake. “Don’t make light of them.” Or we’ll beat you to a pulp.

I nodded, stuffing my hands in my pockets. “Oh,” as if I hadn’t already understood that.

Beefcake clapped a heavy hand on my shoulder, then another. “This way,” he grunted, physically maneouvering me towards the stairs. I let him, grinding my teeth at the treatment.

Downstairs, Mark and Leo were waiting nervously. I could see why. The other vampires were surrounding them, sharpening their knives, hungry eyes fairly devouring my friends.

“They’re to be put up for the night,” grunted the beefcake in charge. I was shoved to the center of the waiting room beside Leo. “Find them rooms.”

Groaning, various vampires pulled out cellphones and began texting. Those that had accompanied me upstairs just stood there and glared imposingly at me. I put my hands in my pockets and looked around at the décor.

After a moment of doing that, I cleared my throat. “So,” I turned to Mr beefymcbeef. “Bella-”

“Our Queen,” he intoned. “Is not to be called by her name alone. Show some respect.”

“Oh, yes, no disrespect intended,” wouldn’t want to insult the nutbag. “Uhm,” I tried to formulate my words into a proper question, but all that came to mind was ‘Twilight? Really?’. So I blurted out whatever came next to mind. “Where’s she from?”

There was a universal snort, even from the ones on the cellphones. Mr Beefcake glared at me.

I waited a moment before admitting that they weren’t going to answer. “Why?” I asked loudly. “Is she some sort of secret?”

“We don’t discuss our Queen with strangers,” one on a cellphone said loudly, only to be shushed by others.

“They’re not worth it,” muttered another.

I flopped down onto an armrest beside a vampire. She hissed at me, baring her fangs. I hissed back. That baffled her.

“Found one for the kid,” said a scrawny vampire, handing the cellphone to my beef-in-charge.

“Good,” the beef took the cellphone, then handed it back. Nodding at me he said “This way.”

We paused for him to put his coat on, and then we trooped out into the snow. It was a full-on snowstorm now, snow flurries whacking me in the face and making me blink uncontrollably. I could barely see a thing, and felt stupid as I trudged along behind the hulking vampire.

I was taken to a neighboring building where a quaint-looking family greeted us with very toothy smiles, all vampires, even the little toddler in their arms.

“So pleased to be of service to our Queen,” they cooed as we were let in.

Mumble mumble, went the beefcake, taking the mother aside and muttering something to her. I was led by the father to a guest’s room.

It was all very quaint. Nicely painted, with ruffles and ribbons on things. Barf.

Then, as I was looking at the ruffles and ribbons all around this room, the door was drawn shut behind me.

I stayed in that room all night, sleeping lightly and generally being frustrated. There was no window to escape from, and I didn’t want to just bust out and get caught sneaking around. What was I going to find in this house anyways?

The next morning, at no particular time that I could decipher, I was woken up by the mother.

“Darling,” she cooed as she pushed the door open. “It’s time to wake up.”

I sat up grudgingly. I was no one’s darling! I was about to give her a mouthful of my opinion when I saw that she was carrying clothes for me. Fresh clothes!

Mercifully, they weren’t pink and purple or something hideous like that. No, they were black with … ‘visitor’ spray painted on it in white. Really? Really?

I put the t-shirt on, thinking that, really, it couldn’t have gotten any cornier. The cargo pants fit as well with a belt and mercifully they didn’t have ‘visitor’ spray painted on the ass or something dumb like that.

Trudging out of the room, I was greeted with – Bella herself standing there with a troupe of vampires. The family that had ‘hosted’ me looked ecstatic out of their minds, starry eyes staring adoringly at Bella. Bella who turned her smile to me.

“Namastay,” she crooned. “You’re awake.”

I glanced to a window and saw that it was still dark out. “Morning?” I guessed?

“We need to get a start on your day if you’re to see everything,” Bella crooned as she waved me over. “Hurry, hurry, we haven’t got all day.”

Frowning, I let myself be ushered out the door into the cold and dark – with Mark’s coat on. Fuck, no one was ushering me out without a coat on. Not in this cold.

“My Name is Chaos” Chapter Two Part One

“So where is home?” She asked tenderly, as if she cared.

“Fuck off,” I grumbled. I was caught in my lie. I didn’t even know what to say now.

She was smiling like a fox. “Where is it you want to go then?”

I lowered my head. “I don’t come from around here.” There. Not a lie.

She hummed agreement, nodding. “I know.”

I balked. “You know?” Right, she’d mentioned my ‘stature’, so maybe she knew… I leaned back smugly in my chair. “What do you know?” Come on, tell me the goods.

FoxFace smiled. She leaned forward innocently. “I know you’re not from around here.” And she lifted a finger to point between my eyes. “I know you’re a new specimen.”

A shudder ran through me at that wording. “Specimen?” I squawked. “I’m not-” but I stopped at her chilling smile.

“You’re not a vampire,” she said softly. “You’re much more powerful than that. Aren’t you?”

I squirmed. Uh, maybe? How did she know so much? Could they really tell so much from a blood sample? Humans.

“So where are you from?” she asked, clasping her fingers before herself on the table. “Tell me,” she said so sweetly.

I scowled. “I don’t have to tell you anything. I have nothing to do with this situation-”

“Oh?” she raised her eyebrows. “An uprising is being planned, and you just appear?”

I bit my lip. She knew?

She smiled… not patronizingly, matronizingly? Like I was a cute little chick that just needed some good henpecking. “You don’t think I’m stupid, do you?”

I swallowed some snark and shook my head.

“You do realize I won’t stop until I get the answers I want?” she said with that smile. I wished she’d stop smiling. I fidgeted, taking up my pentacle necklace. No need to use it yet, I told myself. I was just being interrogated. Couldn’t I stand this?

But I didn’t like the feeling that she knew more than I did. She had so many chips in her hand, and I had none. Except for myself, so to speak. And hey, I’m a mega chip but I need to know what I’m doing. And right now I was out of lies. I just wanted out. So hey, why not try that option?

I imitated her, clasping my hands on the table and leaning forward. “I want to make a deal with you.”

Her eyebrows raised. “That’s cute, considering your situation.”

I bit back a comment. “Let me go, and I’ll do you a favor.”

“Like what?”

I shrugged. “Like not killing you. Who knows?”

Her teeth flashed brilliant white as she grinned, nastily. “You should reconsider. Tell me something I don’t already know, for example.”

I snorted and crossed my arms, still leaning forward, trying to get all up in her face. “You can’t make me talk.”

In a flash she snatched the top of my head and slammed me face-first to the table. Smack! Forehead and nose to the table!

I yelped, cradling my face. Blood! I was bleeding! My nose!

It hurt! I know incarnation brought new sensations, but this pain was just – wow! Ouch!

“So you see,” she was saying as I snorted blood and gingerly touched my nose. Not broken? No, not broken. “I can make you talk. I have many, many, ways to make you talk.”

I glared at her. “Oh yeah?” I sneered, feeling braver than I felt.

Her smile was still there. “We also have Mark, if you’re not enough incentive for yourself. How do you feel about watching an innocent being tortured before your very eyes?”

I blanched. They wouldn’t. But one look at that smile and – yeah, they would. Or m ore precisely, she would.

“Not so sure?” she asked tentatively. “You look a little queasy.”

I looked down at my hands. Monsters. Humans are monsters. I wanted to go home already. “Look,” I said flatly. “You won’t believe me, so,”

“Try me,” she said softly.

Uh. I looked at her. Like, really looked at her. She was in a country being attacked by vampires, right? “You know,” I said cautiously. “The vampires kind of came out of nowhere, right?”

She waited patiently while I gauged my situation. There was nothing in my mission statement that said ‘don’t give away our existence’, so … “I’m the Grim Reaper’s child,” I said flatly.

A light went off in her eyes. “Really?” she said sweetly, way too sweetly.

Shit. What, was she going to run tests on me now? Shoulda thought this through. What now?

“So this is a turf war,” she said. “The Skulls kidnapped you to send a message to the Canes.”

“Uh, what?” I squinted at her. Skulls? Canes?

She gave me a petulant expression. “Your daddy? The Skulls? Mark’s gang? The Canes? Or did you not pay attention to Daddy’s work?”

I bit my lip. Just my luck. Just, well, maybe this was a turn for the best.“Y-yeah. I just,” I hung my head. “Tried not to have anything to do with it,” I mumbled.

“But then your friends abandoned you,” she said sweetly. “And you were in that car.”

I bit my lip harder. Shouldn’t have told her that. Really shouldn’t have.

“And now here you are,” she said in awe, as if I was a golden unicorn pooping a rainbow out for her.

I scowled at her. “So? You gonna send me home or what?”

She smirked. “What did daddy do to make your blood like it is?”

“I’m not a vampire.”

“I noticed,” she said softly. “So what are you then?”

I squirmed down. “I told you. I’m the Grim Reaper’s child. That’s all I know.”

Oh, those white white teeth. “Well, let’s find out together then, why don’t we?”

Oh, dear sweet Jesus on a stick.