St. Paul Grimoire updates Fridays!
“Which way is he going?” Pete held her phone flat as she and Val walked.
“Still on the way to Grand,” Phin said through speakerphone.
Pete adjusted her sword. It was hidden by glamour now, and she and Val would’ve been strangers to their own parents with their warped features.
“What’re we gonna do when we catch up?” Pete asked.
“You’re the Hero,” Valene answered. “Jump him?”
“I don’t think Heroes are supposed to jump people.”
“Do not jump him!” Phin yelled through the speaker.
“I can throw my cloak over his head,” Val went on with a sly look at Pete.
Pete grinned. “Yeah, and I’ll punch him until he’s down.”
“Oh, my god,” groaned Phin.
The girls laughed.
Phin said, “He walked into Caribou.”
“Cool,” Val said. “We’ll catch up to him. We’ll call you if we need you to scry for him again.”
“I think I should stay on the line–”
“We’ll be fine,” Pete stressed with a roll of her eyes at Val. “Talk soon!”
Val swung the nondescript brown bag with the correct candles in it. “Maybe you can make yourself invisible and get close to him.”
“Don’t you know if I can? I thought you read the Hero grimoire.”
“Just most of it. The grimoires are annoying. A lot of the important information’s all the way at the back, but if you skip, it can get confusing.”
“Well, what did it say about Heroes?”
Val shrugged. “It was the smallest grimoire I’ve seen. It basically just said to make good choices.”
“What? What about my powers? Wasn’t there anything about, like, how I was able to fight off a fucking vampire?”
“Nah. It said everything’s innate, you know? Like your morality or some shit manifests as magic.”
“Will I lose my magic if I make bad choices?”
“No, you become a Villain,” Val said simply.
Val could tell Pete wasn’t happy about this lack of information. She had been spending a lot of time helping Dakotah, and not much at all with Pete.
“I’ll read it again later. Like I said, I’m not done.”
Pete nodded. “Hey, how’s Marco?” she asked, warming up a bit.
“Girl, let me show you the snap he sent me yesterday, it is groooss.”
They were still looking at their phones when they reached Grand Ave.
“Shit, isn’t that him?” Val said suddenly.
She pointed across the street, where sure enough, Tou Chue was getting onto a bus.
“Run!” said Pete.
They did, but it was in vain. The bus shut its doors and was off before they could get across the street.
“Damn!” Val said.
“I’m calling Phin.”
Phin sighed heavily when he heard they’d lost their quarry. In minutes, he was directing them down Grand.
“Ok, he’s walking now…yeah, he just turned into Rondo.”
Less than ten minutes later, Val and Pete were also approaching Rondo Library.
“I can’t tell what section he’s in,” Phin said. “I just see books.”
“Ok, we’re in, I’m hanging up on you.” Pete tapped off and they entered.
Rondo wasn’t a quiet library. Kids ran around while parents talked together. Tutors worked at tables and two men gabbed at the counter with a librarian.
Tou Chue was sitting down at a computer. His paper bag sat at his feet.
“Ok, you distract him from the left and I’ll switch the candles out,” Pete said.
“Yeah, alright. I’ll pretend I can only speak Hmong.”
Pete frowned. “You don’t look Hmong right now.”
Val laughed. Pete’s change was obvious, but she couldn’t see herself and so had forgotten her features had been changed by glamour.
“Whatever,” she said with a shrug. “I’ll be half-Hmong.”
Then she was off, and Pete was circling to the other side of Tou Chue as fast as possible.
Pete approached as Val struck up a conversation with Tou Chue. She couldn’t understand, but Val gesticulated nervously and spoke quickly. Pete couldn’t tell if it was faked or Val’s real nerves.
She moved the chair next to Tou Chue. He looked and her and then back to Val. Pete crouched, reaching the pack of candles into the bag and grabbing the charmed fey candles out.
Her hand had just lifted out of the bag when Tou Chue heard the rustle of the bag and whipped around.
From Val’s perspective, one minute Pete was there, the next she wasn’t. Invisibility fell on her like a cloak just before Tou Chue turned.
When he turned back to her, she smiled widely. “Ok, ua tsaug.”
Then she turned abruptly and walked away.
She just kept walking, out of the library, around the corner, and then Pete flashed into appearance beside her.
Her Hero friend grinned broadly as she produced the candles.
“Yeees!” Val crowed, grabbing Pete’s shoulder and shaking her. “You were fucking invisible!”
“Lemme text Phin.”
“Tell him we’ll be back later. We need lattes.” Val tossed her cloak over her winter coat and led the way to Caribou.
Dakotah had reclaimed his place behind the counter and was talking animatedly to Phin.
“It was so cool, man, like all this nature around but then sometimes it would fade away into just light and air. You could feel things in the air, but we never saw anyone else. Or anything.”
“Sounds crazy,” Phin said.
“Anything happen here while I was gone?”
“Uh…” Phin brushed his fingers through his faux-hawk. Briefly, he explained what had happened.
“You mean those two dumbasses took my magic shit and are sitting at fucking Caribou with glamour on?”
When he said it like that, Phin had to admit it was a bad idea. They were way to casual with magic. Still. “She’s a Hero and Val knows everything about everything. They’re fine.”
Dakotah shook his head. “I dunno dude. I think we keep forgetting the bad stuff too quick.”
Pete and Val entered the gate and ran into Caitlin outside the shop, smoking a cigarette.
“Hey,” she greeted them.
“Aren’t you cold?” Val asked. Caitlin wasn’t wearing a winter coat and it had been bitterly cold most of the month.
“Still haven’t bought a coat. Most of my stuff was lost in the raid on Belfast.”
“I bet you’re glad to be somewhere stable,” said Pete.
Caitlin nodded. “This is a nice Sanctuary. Mine was a shithole, just sayin’. I fought so hard to be made Guardian and it wasn’t even that great of a place.”
“Well…” said Pete slowly. “That’s too bad.” She had gone with Dakotah to the Belfast Sanctuary and it had looked nice enough, but what did she know? Still, Caitlin had an unfriendly vibe and so Pete was inclined to disbelieve her.
Caitlin nodded and continued smoking, so the girls moved on.
“She weird,” Val decided when they’d walked far enough away.
Pete nodded. “She’s helping Dakotah though.”
“Yeah, I guess. But she’s still weird.”
My YA fantasy novel TURQUOISEBLOOD is out now! Get your copy here!
When the dangerous rogue dragon Anya crash lands in an isolated mountain village during a snowstorm, Kiri saves her life. Anya awakens seemingly cured of her madness and in thanks offers to show Kiri the country outside her village.
What starts as a simple pact quickly becomes something more as Kiri becomes embroiled in the intrigue of the royal court and the hunt for a murderer.
Meanwhile, 200 years in the past, Pristina fights to stop a rising civil war.