St. Paul Grimoire is a weekly serial that updates on Mondays. Each month will cover a self-contained story told over four parts.
It will not be overly edited, and character arcs and plotlines could be adjusted with your feedback! PLEASE let me know what you think!
It took him several tries to raise the Lake. He was starting to get the hand these Guardian tricks, of controlling his double vision, or calling up the Lake. He could also shift into Other St. Paul, though that also took several tries and in the end never got him anywhere useful.
“Whoa,” said Pete as the rippling water reached for her running shoes.
“First things first,” said Dakotah when he saw the raft. He closed his eyes and concentrated, grasping for that feeling he was getting the hang of. When he opened his eyes, he felt a surge of success at the sight of a long canoe and paddle where the raft had been.
“That’ll be way easier to steer,” he said. “I used to canoe a lot with my uncle on the reservation. Have you canoed before?”
“Like once,” she admitted. She gripped his hand as he helped her into the boat. Most Minnesotans were big on the outdoors but her family’s vacations had always been to Mexico. “My mom hates the water.”
“It’s easy,” he assured her. “Only thing is, while you’re paddling, just think about the Santuary in Ireland. Keep thinking about it the whole way.”
Valene probably would’ve hated gliding out on black water into an uncertain veil of mist, but Pete loved the rush. She loved watching the water ripple over her paddle. She didn’t look forward, she took in everything all all sides.
“Do you think you can swim in there?”
“You’re wack, Abe,” Dakotah said, which was a phrase he often used on her brother. “Why you wanna swim in there? There’s probably, like, monster fish.”
“Maybe,” she said. But she didn’t think so. Yes, they’d been attacked, and seen some scary things, but she’d met them all, and felt ready to face them again.
Hero Class, a voice in her mind said.
Plus, there was that necklace. And Ike. The fey world couldn’t be all bad.
“There,” said Dakotah, and barely a minute later they were bumping into the side of a room.
But Pete did not have time to wonder at the lake lapping quietly at the edges of a landlocked house. The living room they were looking at had been ransacked. No object had been left upright. Mirrors and frames lay shattered, couch stuffing ripped up, shelves cleared of their objects with a swipe.
“Fuck,” said Dakotah.
She didn’t know if that Hero Class comment was infecting her brain, but she said, “We have to look around.”
Face drawn, Dakotah nodded.
They stepped warily from the ferry. Like before, as soon as they were on dry land, the lake faded away behind them. Pete started off like a TV detective. She walked with head bent as she examined the wreckage.
The place wasn’t a shop, it was a home. They had entered through the living room. A kitchen lay beyond. The ceiling was low and close and there wasn’t an upstairs.
“I don’t see anyone,” Pete called.
He could’ve told her that. The weight of the silence was complete. He knew there wasn’t another soul in this house.
Dakotah went straight to the front door. He opened it and stepped in the Irish dawn. In the early morning light, he saw a house surrounded by a high, barred fence. Other houses on the block were the same. Unruly shrubbery blocked his view of the street, and he bet people’s eyes slid right by this house, missing it just like they did Ike’s shop.
At the sound of Pete’s confused voice, he snapped the door shut.
She stood in the living room, in front of a huge oil painting of a woman on a horse. Dakotah frowned. Had that painting been there before?
The woman turned her head and looked right at him. “Guardian.”
“Uh, just the Heir…” he said lamely.
“What happened?” Pete jumped in. “Where’s the Irish Guardian?”
The layers of paint making up the woman’s face crumpled, and she brushed away a tear. “Caitlin was killed some time ago. She had no Heir, she was so young herself…”
The horse whickered sympathetically.
“‘Some time ago?” Dakotah repeated. “Did you call anyone? Who’s looking for her killer?”
The painted woman shook her head. “The human world has ruled her death a murder. They will search… and never find her killer, of course. This house is a crime scene, I suppose.”
“I meant, from the fey world,” Dakotah insisted. “Who’s gonna find her real killer?”
“Things do no work that way in our world, Guardian. One must look after oneself. Guardian is no easy task. There are many, many people who could have killed Caitlin.”
“But—” stuttered Pete. “But what about, like, fey police? No one’s even wondering how a Guardian was killed? I thought they had special powers!”
The mournful woman shrugged. “In the past, we had a court. A court of beauty and goodness. But now we must all fend for ourselves. It has become a cruel world.” Her voice shuddered, and broke. “I am sorry.”
“Hey, wait!” said Dakotah, but her image was fading, along with the horse and background, until it was completely blank.
He and Pete traded a look, but there wasn’t much to say after that.