This chapter is a bit of set up and a little stale - but please bear with me - I really want to make this story good, I have some great ideas for this one - esp if you are an anita Blake lover before Blue Moon.
I dont Own Anita Blake etc etc That belongs to Laurell K Hamilton. Lucky gal!
Ever since I can remember I’ve always known I’m different, strange you might say, my mother would have said special, but then all mothers think their children are special.
She wanted a nice normal life for me, college, husband, kids, house with a white picket fence and a dog in the yard. But lifes a bitch and that was one thing she didn’t tell me!
Perhaps she read something in the moon or the wind, but a year before she died, she started teaching me the craft. Something she had continually and studiously avoided until I reached my thirteenth Birthday. Perhaps if I known what I know now I would have paid more attention but like all teenagers I was more interested in the latest fashion fads and film stars, than in sitting beside my mother on stormy winter nights reciting crummy incantations that did little and just made my eyes water from all the smoky incense.
You have probably guessed by now - I am a witch. I admit not a very good one. My control is lackadaisical at best; I can only manage the most simplest of potions and spells. All pretty low level stuff. Occasionally on my period, stuff goes flying and doors banging if I get real riled up – but that’s the scariest I can get.
After my mother was killed, I was placed in a home for orphan children, in reality a prison for unwanted and disturbed kids. Bars were on the windows and wardens with the title of teacher in care, patrolled the grounds with truncheons and hypodermic needles. Less than a week in their tender hands and I longed to feel the earth under my feet and the wind in my hair. My carefree life had been brutally and horrifically torn away, and I withdrew from the world for a period. Until that night, the night I ran, despite the guards and dogs, I escaped to this day I cannot recollect exactly how, but desperation drove me on and I am stilling running eight years later, as I disembark from a greyhound bus partly destitute and definitely homeless. I’ve come to St Louis a name picked at random from a map with a pin. But it seems more stable than most. Somewhere I can mix, and not stand out for a while.
With the last of my cash I managed to get a deposit on a bed-sit in a rough part of town. Then I began to scout out the city. My first rule I learned on the streets was know the habitat. Where to go, sleep, hide out, the best escape routes and most importantly where I could go without causing any undue interest in me.
Several months later saw me working the graveyard shift as a cook at the Ricks diner. I started out as a skivy to the regular cook, cleaning dishes and peeling vegetables, until Rick the owner gave me a shot at the nigh-time shift. It would never get a Michelin star with its cheap plastic coated seats and worn wooden floorboards, but its saving grace was the burgers, made from a secret recipe, the special ingredient was Tabasco sauce, it had customers coming back weekly. He didn’t ask for references, and he paid me in cash. The tips were good, and the fact that my boss was gay and a were rat meant that he wasn’t looking for model citizens. All in all life was looking up, I had a steady job, a place to stay - slightly cockroach infested to be sure, but it was dry and all mine, a few new acquaintances, yes life was sweet.
I finished up my shift early, it was a new moon tonight and Henri had promised to cover for me, my boss nowhere to be seen, as expected on a full moon. In fact the diner was remarkably quiet, probably due to half our cliental being of the furry variety. I grabbed my bag of supplies - sandwiches, hot chocolate, cookies and oh yes a whole plethora of magical stuff, half of which I wasn’t sure what to do with but it felt good to tote it around. Before my mums death she had taught me a monthly ritual said it would ground me, make me calmer and more at peace. Perhaps because I had no grave to visit, every month I found a quiet location to invoke the spirits and in some small way I felt closer to her, almost like putting flowers on her grave.
I drove to the outskirts of the city, there was a small nature reserve that was perfect for my task. I scouted the area and satisfied that I was alone. I began my preparations.
I sat cross legged inside a chalk drawn pentagram, smearing some wolsbane on my face I began to chant. I invoked the elements paid tribute to mother earth, and felt my power rise. As shape shifters everywhere began to shift, I too felt the moons call, and my own power began to build. I felt my eyes roll back in my head, my body swaying to some inner music only I could hear. I resisted the urge to dance manically, that was just too cliché and with the last of my conscious thought I picked up my blade and cut my wrist, blood spilled to the ground.
Instantly my power went spiralling, out of control, I had never felt this before it was pure exhilaration. I was connected to earth and the moon, to life itself. Every blade of grass stood out with crystal clarity, I could hear the sound of mice deep in the burrows. The wind was swirling about me and I could feel lightning and thunder on what had been a cloudness night. Oh boy what a rush I felt jacked up. I was invincible. I felt first one prescence then two look my way, as they felt a new source of power in the city, they reached out to taste and to gain control, more I think in curiosity than with evil intent. I felt a frision of fear but my power controlled me now and I sent them spinning away.
There was too much, too much power. My senses were being overloaded, gasping I did what I normally did and sent that power back into the earth back to the mother nature. But there was too much, too fast and overcome I fell into blackness.
When I woke all was quiet once more. The moon had reached its zenith and in the distance I could hear the faint howling from the local lupanar many many miles away.
I closed the circle, and erased my pentagram, Whispering my thanks to the mother. I began to gather my things. There was a crack, and a small hole appeared in the earth. I stood uncertainly, watching fearful of what this new manifestation was. A small gurgling noise rose from the gap as water bubbled up. Transfixed I stared in wonder and delight, I had heard of this - a gift from the source, it was the stuff of legends and myths and I have never dreamed that this would happen to me. Carefully I made my way to the bubbling brook, I knelt down gave thanks once again. Cupping my hands I drank deeply feeling replete and refreshed. I splashed the water over my face, and body, enjoying the feel of the ice-cold water as it slid over my skin.
Turning away I started down the hill, there was another crack behind me and as I turned I saw the small bubbling brook had become a fountain reaching 10feet into the sky, but not of water but a fountain of blood. I stood in shock, fear coursing through me as before my eyes the fountain died down and the earth moved once again to cover the hole as if it had never been.
I stood breathing deeply, I had given a gift of power to the earth, in return she had gifted me with two gifts: water – an element of purity and innocence and with a vision, a vision of blood - a omen of death. What this meant, I was not sure, but one thing I know, you cannot escape your fate - my mother knew this. All you can do is prepare and meet fate on your terms not on its.
My mood should have been sombre, and dark. But despite the blood omen I felt happy and as insubstantial as a feather, I almost floated down to the car, only to crashing down to reality when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the colour of my eyes. Pure obsidian black, now that was scary.
The next day, saw me running as usual, in the park. I go running every day, and twice at the weekend, the idea being that I should be able to outdistance most people. After all running is was what I did best. Besides it passed the time and you did see the weirdest things. Once in St Louis I saw a petite woman, running with a gun. Honestly a gun.
Today however I saw my favourite entertainment, I called him blondie and he had the cutest bum, it was just luck that saw me running his route from the best vantage point, behind that is. I had seen him before, we knew each other by sight enough that we bade each other good morning and occasionally other such pleasantries. I admit I flirted a bit – he was sweet, and sometimes the look on his face made me what to hug him.
Eyes on his cute butt and thinking very illicit thoughts I didn’t see the dog poop until it was too late, with a startled yelp I watched in almost fatalistic horror as my forward motion led my foot right into the middle of it, I twisted but it just made things worse my foot slipped in the soft gooey mass and with a ouf I slid along the ground.
"eurghhhh... yuck", I started gagging at the smell. Oh my god the poo was all over one of my legs from foot to thigh.
Laughter reached my ears and I looked up to see Blondie howling with laughter. Bastard, I grimaced in horror, this had to be a nightmare. Throwing him an evil stare I gingerly tried to get my feet, it was disgusting, I was disgusting. Two warm hands cupped my under my armpits and unceremoniously lifted me to my feet. My eyes met two blue eyes crinkled in mirth.
"Sorry" he chuckled unrepentedly "but that had to be one of the funniest things I have seen all year". He stood back and grinned at me. My face red from mortification, disgust and anger.
"So pleased that you are amused, happy now". I snarled at him, giving him one last glare before I limped away.
"Hey hey... look sorry, sorry ... that was insensitive I'm sorry okay let me help you, I have a friend who has a cafe about 5 minutes from here you can clean up there". He held up his hands beseechingly, puppy eyes staring at me beneath his bangs. God he was cute, and here i was covered in dog poo, life was so unfair. Then to my absolute astonishment he tugged off his T shirt revealing a chest worthy of Adonis all washboard abs and muscle in all. Then before I could stop him, he was kneeling before me and wiping off the gunk. He grinned up at me, “besides I need to make amends as I believe it was my butt that caused your downfall”. I could only gape at him in horror, he knew I had been ogling his butt. My face flamed bright red again, but he kept a very firm and warm hold of my leg as he cleaned my leg, “think our grandkids will believe how we first met”.
I couldn’t help it, he was infectious with his good looks, easy attitude and he was my knight in shining armour. I giggled and then laughed at the absurdity of it all. He smiled all teeth and blue eyes.
Sever hours later, a much cleaner me and my shining Knight who turned out to be a stripper called Jason, were laughing over cappuccinos at his friends café. We had a lot in common, same humour, slightly off and we both loved old Black and white movies. Seemed this was his secret vice and I faithfully promised to go with him to Sinatra’s an old decaying cinema on Southside to watch the reruns of “Some like it hot“ , but only if I cooked him some Burgers at Ricks on the house. It was a deal and he promised to come in a few days only slightly pouty that I didn’t have a mobile and wouldn’t give him my home address.
He walked me to Ricks and it was nice, the way our bodies would graze against each other as we walked, the occasionally touches as we chatted about everything and nothing. As we stood outside the café, I suddenly felt as ungainly as a teenage, that awkward moment of what we should do next, my heart pounding like a steam train. Jason smiled at me “Relax honey”, his hands carefully pulling my glasses off and then pulling the clasp out of my pony tail out. Watching in fascination as my hair pooled over my shoulders. His hands still in my hair he angled his lips to my mine. I expected a tongue tangle but instead, he lightly grazed my lips, his tongue just teasing me. He seemed to breathe me in, his hands warm against my skin as his head dipped again to taste me.
“Wow”, was all I said, wanting to go another ten rounds with maybe some tongue hockey.
He grinned at me. “That’s just so you wont forget me as I cant phone you every ten minutes to bug you”. His head suddenly cocked to the side as he looked at me with my hair going nuts all around me, his eyes frowning. Another reason why I usually keep it piled up, it sometimes has a life of its own.
A wolf whistle broke the moment “Way to go girl, he is a hottie”, Lisa one of the waitresses, a cigarette in a mouth was watching us with rapt attention, blushing I shushed her into the diner, waving goodbye to Jason, who was laughing his socks off.
PS I am not into Dog poo - but this actually happened to me - except no handsome knight to whip off his shirt and save me.
I know its a bit boring - its the set up it will get better - and promise no Mary Sues (Ihope)
please please review