Almost missed yet another week of posting a chapter. Whoops! Since nobody screamed for me to save Alex’s dignity and stop posting, I’m just going to keep throwing chapters up and hope people are enjoying the story despite the rough writing.
Getting Luka and his wheelchair into my car was an easier deed than I had imagined. Luka nimbly swung himself out of the chair and into the passenger seat. As for the chair, it performed some amazing feats of acrobatic agility and I was able to fold it down to a size compact enough to fit in my messy trunk.
“Tell me about this Carlos,” Luka said as I pulled out of the Agency parking lot.
“Born in nineteen eighty-seven on the island of Puerto Rico, his family emigrated to mainland America when he was five. His parents and younger sister died in the Fall and he was adopted by a distant relative.” I recited what had been in Carlos’ file without taking my eyes off the road. Luka was the worst passenger I’d ever had the displeasure of driving anywhere. Not being in control of the two tons of metal and glass hurtling down the streets made him antsy. It was only a matter of time before the “helpful suggestions” started. “He showed a bit of promise when his magical abilities first began to appear, but he topped out as only a low-level sorcerer.”
“Watch out for that pedestrian, Lex. He is not paying attention to where he is walking.”
“I see him.” The pedestrian in question was a young man walking along the opposite side of the street. If I didn’t know he did it with everyone, I’d have been more annoyed by his side-seat driving, but I simply smiled and reveled in having my friend back. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve missed posting the next two chapters of Where Demons Fear to Tread and for that I apologize; events conspired against me and kept me completely away from the computer these last two Fridays. However, I’m not sure if I want to continue posting chapters. It’s been a little over three years since I last read WDFTT (Holy WOW! Has it really been that long? Yup, it really has. WDFTT went out on submission to publishers as Lost Souls at the end of 2011… My how time flies!) and as I’m reading through each one before I post it, I find myself cringing quite a bit. I still love Alex and her story, but I’ve grown so much as a writer these last few years and it’s now extremely obvious rough the writing is. It needs a massive overhaul which I don’t currently have the time for since I’m in the process of rewriting Child of Mischief.
So, question for all you lovely readers: Continue posting up chapters each week as they are or preserve what dignity Alex and the rest of the Vamyraset have left?
The top search result(s) that leads people to my blog revolve around my posts about my adventures with Splat Lusty Lavender hair dye, so in the interest of helping those people out, I should post an update about my hair. The last time I used the Splat Lusty Lavender was way back at the end of 2013 and I STILL have a pink tinge to my hair after several attempts at bleaching it (both at home and professionally) and coloring over it with my normal go-to dye of reddish-blonde. At this point, I’m going to just have to let it grow out and gradually cut it away each time I trim my hair.
I loved having purple hair — Absolutely loved it! — but the Splat took several weeks of almost daily washing before it finally stopped bleeding on everything and by then the color had paled to more of a magenta. I can’t speak for anybody whose hair composition differs too much from mine, but I can say that if you have blonde/dirty-blonde hair that is very fine think long and hard about using Splat because it will be a decision that sticks with you for a very long time.
My hair after bleaching.
All my contacts had gone silent, and not only the ones in Skullhaven. I couldn’t reach any of them through means either mundane or magical. The only other time I had lost complete contact with my informants was a few years back, when a group of trolls decided they objected to being snitched on and killed every single one of the Agency’s narcs they could get their oversized paws on.
“I’ll be so pissed if this lot is dead. It’s such a pain in the ass to cultivate new contacts,” I grumbled to myself as I tossed my phone back onto my desk. Almost three years had gone by before my current contacts fully trusted me. Knowing that your predecessors had been squashed into a giant, bloody puddle doesn’t do much for a person’s confidence. If my newest batch was dead, I would probably never find anyone willing to talk to me again.
I banged my head against the padded back of my chair, my brain running around in circles like a hamster, trying to find something to work with. Stag had called me back with some disturbing news – the heavens were silent. Not a peep, whistle, or out of tune hum could be heard by anyone in the Astrology Department.
She wasn’t too worried, it happened from time to time, and I shouldn’t be concerned, more than likely the silence had nothing to do with my case. Her underlying message being that nothing I was working on could ever be important enough to make the heavens keep their secrets. Yeah, right. Because a case that involved Death, a Seer Pope, and a supposedly impossible curse was just your everyday run-of-the-mill occurrence.
Vic hadn’t called me back, so I was working under the assumption he hadn’t found anything yet.
The only call that gave me any new information was from the crime scene analysis department.
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Walking back to my car, my head was abuzz with everything Bishop Montoya and I had talked about. The weight of his words and presence had inflamed my body, but soothed my mind.
Bishop Montoya hadn’t given me much new information, and we may have had severe theological differences, but merely being in his company and listening to him talk had made me, or at least the human part of me, feel better. He was a man who knew his place in the world and strove to make a difference. I liked that.
My cell phone chirruped at me. It was Vic with my update. Hopefully he had some good news for me.
“Alex, you’re not gonna like what I have to tell you.” Not the best way to start a conversation.
“Well, go ahead and spit it out. If I don’t like it, I’ll simply kick the crap out of you the next time I see you.” I was in a good mood and I wasn’t afraid to let Vic know it.
“Somebody’s in rare form this afternoon. I take it your meeting went well?”
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My meeting with Bishop Roberto Montoya was not what I had expected.
He agreed to meet me for noon tea at a little bakery down the street from Father Callahan’s parish. Demons are invulnerable to most attacks; the only thing capable of completely destroying a demon is pure faith in something based on goodness. The Church had spent centuries battling demons, and the essence of their convictions seeped into the very walls of their churches. Merely walking past a church on a normal day was an uncomfortable experience for me, stepping inside one now would be crippling.
Bishop Montoya’s dark, intelligent eyes took in everything about me, lingering for several moments on my hair and neck tattoos. I waited for the inevitable grimace or even just a raised eyebrow, but he gave me nothing. His face was as serene and impassive as a statue.
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Almost forgot to post Chapter 6 today, but here it is!
The next morning, I walked into the morgue’s front lobby and immediately wished I’d stayed away. I hadn’t slept well the night before. My brain had been wound too tightly for sleep to be anything but a couple minutes of downtime interspersed with long bouts of tossing and turning. My entire body ached from the night before as did my hand.
I wasn’t ready to deal with anybody else’s drama. Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to be that lucky.
A wash of agitated panic cascaded over me. It was nearly a physical blow to my already raw and exposed system. I had to pause for a moment to catch my breath.
“Agent Powers, you got my message.” Mel Stevens, the head medical examiner, was a behemoth of a man. As far as I could tell, he was completely human, but at close to seven feet of nothing but bulk, he towered over everybody. Short grizzled hair clung to his head and face, nearly obscuring his dark brown eyes and bulbous nose. The hair on top of his head always stuck out at the oddest angles as if he either didn’t brush it in the morning or he ran his hands through it and tugged on it throughout the day. Despite his haphazard hair, his clothes were always freshly pressed.
He was also as skittish as an over-caffeinated cat.
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