Disclaimer: See chapter 1.
Story: Standing Right Here
Chapter 1: Whiplash
Dawn slid to the ground. Her breath puffed out in front of her face, visible in the dim light. Every nerve in her body was on fire and her muscles felt as though they would never work again.
“This is why you don’t mess with the Powers,” she hissed. “They tend to knock you on your ass.”
Willow had found one of the Powers’ messengers living in a church in central London. Raven haired and grey eyed Talia, she’d been argumentative and rather rude. She refused to even approach the Powers about the request. “I’m not taking that to Them. I like me bloody head right where it is.”
Less than ten hours after meeting and leaving the woman, Talia was at the door of Dawn’s loft. “They have decided you need to change-”
“They didn’t really explain, except that you are being sent where you could only possibly change things for the better. Apparently they feel you need an idiot-proof assignment.”
Grinding her teeth, she managed, “Where is it?”
“Here, there,” Talia shrugged, “point is you get your ‘purpose.’”
Dawn had barely made it to the phone to call Willow when she was crashing through the blackness, freezing, her lungs unable to find air. And then it had ended and she was sitting on her ass in the dirt.
It was quiet. She stretched a reluctant hand to her ear checking that her hearing still worked. Tears leaked down her face as she forced her body into a standing position. The bricks against her back were rough and welcomed, as it kept her from returning to the ground.
Knowing she needed a few minutes before she moved, she examined her surroundings. It was a small village, likely a perfect place for a vampire to get a snack and not worry about being caught or pursued. She glanced at the sky where the moon was obscured by clouds. The number of lights on suggested it to be mid-evening, but Dawn had been in the middle of preparing lunch when Talia had arrived.
Watching the street she felt a cold shiver slide up her spine. A cloaked figure slipped up the street, walking towards two houses not far from Dawn’s resting place. The figure looked around the street and Dawn relaxed into the shadows not letting panic set in. The moon managed to find an opening in the clouds for a second. Then the hooded figure continued on to his destination, directly between the two houses. It’s not possible,
Dawn thought. But as sure as she used to be the Key, the face beneath the hood was that of snake-man. It had been truly terrifying in a way she found difficult to explain, yet familiar…
Pushing off the wall she tried to find her balance, glad her legs seemed to be holding beneath her. She glanced at her outfit: trainers, jeans, and a long sleeved shirt. Not nearly warm enough for where she had ended up. She wrapped her arms around herself, trying to retain some warmth.
She stepped slowly from the wall and around the side of the house. Her foot had barely touched the cobblestone when a scream rang out. It sounded so far away, but so close. It was female, and nearly as soon as it started – it ended.
Dawn waited on baited breath for the lights to come on around her as people ran to find the source. But nothing happened. She went forward planning to continue along the road when something shimmered in the corner of her vision. She turned her head towards to the space between two homes…
Frowning the woman focused on the lot. But just as soon as she was certain there was nothing. A green light flashed and a sound like an explosion had Dawn stumbling for the fence post to hold her up.
Icicles took residence in her veins at the shrill cry of a small child and the howl of a tortured man. And then a dark shadow was coming towards her from a house that appeared between the two homes.
Years of practice and training should have prepared her for what to do. Instead she dove sideways into the cobblestone tearing her shirt as she landed on her elbow. She twisted and turned looking for the fearsome shadow, but it had disappeared.
She was left in the street trying to understand where the ruins of the building had come from. And whether she should investigate them or run.