Monday, June 24, 2013

The Blue Lady - Part VIII

Part VII

Jill took Matty into one of the small bedrooms to tuck him into a cot. It was the first time Cal had gotten a good look at him, a little small for his age with a mop of coppery hair and she thought she got a glimpse of freckles underneath the dirt.

Lucas, Cal, and her grandfather sat at a small card table in front of the cast iron woodstove. Cal had her back to the comforting heat sipping a cup of tea. The pleasantries aside Russ got down to business, he wasn’t talking grandfather to granddaughter anymore but as the Guardian for Northern New England speaking to one of his Mediators.

“This is the fifth time something has come through in the past six months and that’s only in New England.” Russ’ voice was gravelly with a heavy Maine accent. “First was that goddamned banshee on Route 1 you took dealt with. Then there were trolls in Vermont."<!--more-->

"Trolls? Is that what happened to your truck?" She had noticed the pickup had some new dents and the hood had been replaced.

"Ayuh, I hit one there. Stove up the whole front end. I also banished a pixie that was playing tricks up in Machias." He chuckled before continuing with a more serious tone. "Then there was a fucking Black Dog in the middle of Boston last month that took Hilda and half a dozen other mages to corral and send back.”

Cal had known about the trickster fairy but trolls and a Black Dog? That was far more and far nastier than should be coming through the Veil. Maine got more than it’s share of fae with all the wild places it still had but a city like Boston had wards in place and few enough green spaces for most to avoid the place. It should have been protected. This could be pretty bad.

“No idea why?” Lucas asked, Cal didn’t need to she could tell from the look on her grandfather’s face.

“I’m telling you I’m going to find out. Hilda has been digging too.”

Cal didn’t get along with the Guardian of Massachusetts but she respected Hilda. She also had an extensive network of magic users, preternatural beings, and mundane informants. If anyone in New England knew what was going on Hilda Ingridsdottir would find out.

“We’ll let you know if we hear anything Grampa.”

Russ patted her softly on the back it, it was as close to affectionate as the old mage got.

“You’d better take off, don’t want your bloodsucker to get sunburnt.”

That was the closest to concern for Lucas he had ever shown. It was a definite improvement in relations when Russ didn’t want to kill him.

Cal walked back to the bedroom where Jill had stayed with Matty. She was sitting on an old folding chair watching over the little boy. Russ’ dog Bandit was curled up at the end of the bed, his head laying across Matty’s feet.

“How’s he doing?” She asked softly.

“Seems okay. He must be exhausted, he didn’t even wake up when I carried him in.”

“He probably is but Lucas also put him under.” She leaned down to scratch behind one of Bandit’s floppy ears. He was a big, good-natured, mutt. No one was entirely sure what breeds were in his background but he was shaped a bit like a labrador but with long thick fur and markings a bit like a husky, including the dark mask that gave him his name.

“You know it’s creepy that he can do that, right?”

“Yeah.” Cal didn’t like the direction the conversation had taken. Lucas’ ability to affect minds both disturbed her and frequently came in handy. She also felt strangely guilty that it was something she’d never had to worry about him using it on her, even before they’d really gotten to know each other, being a mage she already had strong mental shields up.

“Callie, look at your pants. They’re ruined.” Cal looked down at her blue jeans, they weren’t very blue anymore. She doubted she’d ever be able to get the combination of drying blood and muck out of them. At least her shirt had been spared.

Cal and Lucas said their goodbyes and climbed back into the Jeep. She was too tired to argue over who drove and just curled up into the passenger seat. They made it home a couple hours before dawn. Cal had insisted on finding someplace that was open to get food, they had finally found a 24-hour drive-through. One coffee and a blueberry muffin later they were back on the road.

Cal barely took the time to undress before collapsing in bed. She didn’t even have the energy to wash off the remaining smears of dried blood. Lucas on the other hand didn’t seem to be too tired to her as he started nibbling on her ear.

Cal rolled over and looked at her lover. “You are insane. I’m so tired I can barely move and you’re horny?”

“Mm hmm… “ He mumbled into her hair. Cal thought this was taking his fetish for danger a bit far.

“I’m going to sleep now. Goodnight.” She swore he was actually pouting but it was a fleeting thought as her body gave in to exhaustion.

Jill called that evening to fill her in one what had happened that morning. She and Russ had used a story about Bandit finding Matty while out for an early morning walk. Cal had to laugh at that, the big shaggy mutt wasn’t terribly bright. He’d once gone into a fenced pasture and couldn’t find his way back out through the open gate, finding anyone was well beyond him.

Matty had been tired, hungry, and a little dehydrated but otherwise fine. Scraped knees were the only injuries. His parents thought it was a miracle and no one was all that surprised when he didn’t remember much. They all assume the funny blue lady he kept talking about had been a dream.

And that's the end of the Blue Lady. I'm already working on the next story featuring Cal and Lucas

Part VII