The chime above the door rang and I shoved the book I was reading into my bookbag.
An inordinately handsome young man had walked in and was now leaning on my counter. He nodded to the backpack as I straightened up. “Whatcha reading?”
“Um… just something a friend leant me.” I didn’t want to admit what it was—one of the million YA paranormal books bracing the shelves these days, one of the very books that was driving up our clientele—it’s hard to find true love when everyone is obsessed with vampires and werewolves.
I cleared my throat. “Welcome to Other Dating. My name is Charity, how can I help you?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Charity? And are you an angel, Charity?”
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. I’d been hit on by an inordinate amount of Others in my time. It had long lost its ability to make me blush.
Image by Dot Myl – Google Plus
Hello dear friends and imaginative travelers!
We regret to have left you at the Tree alone for such an extended period of time. We thought of you often, and despite our best efforts to return, the Door to the Tree eluded us, busy as we were fighting monsters in our path.
But if you’re here, if you’re listening… we’re knocking.
Where will 2018 lead us?
Come along. Let’s find out.
Lana waited for the search light to make another round, counting down the sequence she’d committed to memory. Rubbing sweaty palms on her thighs, she straightened her shoulders, crouching low for the run.
“Get ready,” she called behind her.
They rushed across the abandoned plaza and ducked into the sharp angles of the building’s entryway. Jo’s feet were solid lead, banging on the concrete, her breath a frantic pant behind her. Lana waited for the sirens, her heart in her throat, her body tensed for another run. The army never came.
There was only silence. Silence and the sound of Jo’s hysterical breathing.
“Think you could breathe a little louder, Jo?,” she bit over her shoulder. “I don’t think the guards quite hear you.”
“Nick said he’d be here.”
“And he will.”
“Then where is he?”
“Maybe he’s running late.” Lana cupped her hand above her eyes and pressed against the glass. Everything within the building was still dark, only shadows and moonlight dancing in slow circles across the stark white tiles.
I sweep the frost from the path, whisking it away, just as my lady always asked of me when winter came. Some small part of me asks why I bother, when it will only build up again, with no feet to wander it but my own, and that of my broom.
It’s a curse that brought this everlasting winter on the castle of my birth. A curse, and love. Though what the difference is these days, I’m only half sure I remember.
With the grounds cleared, I gather my courage, to walk among statues.
I sense the moment she walks into the room.
“A little early for lunch,” I call over my shoulder, glancing at the large clock that hangs above the white board. “Just couldn’t wait to see me, huh?” I smirk, pour another liquid into the vial hanging above the Bunsen burner. “Don’t blame you. I’m pretty irresistible.”
She doesn’t speak, doesn’t laugh. My hands freeze where they are, the liquid in the beakers sloshing from side to side at my sudden lack of movement. I don’t turn around. I don’t have to. I know she’s there. I feel it.
She brings a mass of unspeakable energy with her everywhere she goes. Usually, it’s vibrant and warm, like being touched, embraced by a brilliant star. Today, it’s not. It crashes and cracks within her tiny frame like a thousand lightning storms.
The skin on my back prickles and burns where she stares. My eyes slip closed. I choke on the emotion her very presence conjures. My chest fills to the brim with pressure I can’t afford to release. So I exhale slowly, placing my equipment on the lab table, and force a smile as I turn to face her.
She stands no more than three feet away, her arm extended.
I’m staring down the barrel of her gun. Continue reading
Here’s the truth. I’m a mistake. An accident.
A girl like me should not exist. Not because it’s impossible, (although let’s face it, it is) but because I’m just not cut out for the job.
I had a crappy childhood, like most of those nobody girls in fairytales who end up marrying princes. But I didn’t get a prince. I just became a freak. Continue reading
I felt like I’d been in that taxi forever. We’d driven far outside Birmingham, into open countryside. Now we were pulled up next to a small wooden sign that said Serendipity School of Practical Magic and Mysticism.
I didn’t know what to expect. A castle, maybe. No, that’s ridiculous. This is real life, not Harry Potter.
Still, I didn’t expect this. This old house, all gables and bare-branch trees and curtained windows. This place screamed witch. And that’s not… really what I am. Is it?
I didn’t want to be a witch. Witches were old and warty and apparently meltable by water. I was sixteen, Homecoming Queen, and very fond of baths.