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Nine Burnt CabbagesThey were a little lost.
Finding their companions in what she'd at first thought was only a small marketplace was proving to be a challenge. Now she understood why Clayton stressed the importance of sticking together; the place was huge. Mana wasn't even sure she could find her way out of the maze of people and vendors if she tried.
And that could be a problem.
“Do you see them?” Mana asks her twin, scanning the crowds.
“No,” Keahi grumbles, glaring at an oblivious passerby who steps on her foot. “And if I have to spend any longer here I swear I'm going to burn somebody.”
And she could, though Mana found that quite hard to adjust to. They had been alive for eighteen years, and it had only been recently that she'd discovered her sister possessed that ability. Still, she highly doubted allowing her sister to combust in the
Rescue Operation“Careful, boss. She's a biter.”
The boss – a man who couldn't be much taller than her – smirks as he takes a small, taunting step forward. His captive, none other than Keahi herself, glares at him, tugging on the ropes that hold her in place.
“Come closer,” she challenges. “I dare you.”
“Now that,” the man responds, squatting to her level though just out of reach, “would be a very stupid thing to do.”
There are three of them in all. Her other two captors sit by the fire, skinning a rabbit they caught during their trip back to their camp. They lack so much organization, she's almost ashamed to be their prisoner.
“I'm not scared of you,” she snarls. Her foot nearly collides with his head as she kicks at him.
Her captor ignores her, instead working to catch h
Sharing"What are you eating?"
"Peanut butter pie," Keahi responds as though it is the most logical thing in the world. For her, it probably is.
Clayton makes a face. "I know you like peanut butter and all," he says, "but that's a little extreme."
From her place on the sofa, Keahi stares wordlessly at him, taking another bite.
"Why couldn't you just stick with a spoon and a jar of peanut butter?" Clayton continues. "Still gross, but not as disturbing. Peanut butter just doesn't belong in pie."
Mana doesn't bother to warn him. She's certain he knows by now what danger lies in provoking her sister, so she prepares herself to flee at any given moment.
Keahi's eyes narrow on him dangerously. "Take that back."
Clayton crosses his arms. "Make me."
She ignores the challenge, reaching for another bite. Clayton moves to snatch the tin from her, but she's quicker and stabs her fork into it, glaring daggers at him.
If looks could kill, he'd be dead.
"Back off," she snarls at him, grip tight
When Traveling in Ireland“They send the Seattle branch to the Bahamas, and us? The remote countryside of Ireland.”
No one in the rental car has a response for that, so Yan huffs, stuffing the last of his sushi into his mouth. As he chews, he stares out the window with the strongest look of boredom Larka has ever seen someone have.
She doesn't blame him. The ocean side – which had kept her occupied for quite some time – was long gone now, and the further they drove, the less it was common to see anything other than grass.
“At least Ireland is pretty,” Ari reasons to the sulking albino. “And you still have three boxes of Girl Scout . . . oh.” She finishes quietly when she sees every box is empty.
Cy eyes them in the rearview mirror. “How we managed to fit all four of you back there is beyond me,” he muses. Larka, Ari, Isa, and Yan all glare at him in turn
One Little Blunder“I thought Keahi was supposed to work in the garden?”
Mana smiles, dropping another tomato in the basket. “Keahi hates gardening, but I love it so I offered to trade chores with her.” As she explains this, Madelynn nods in understanding, scrubbing the windows.
“Makes sense, I suppose,” the red-head responds. “Clayton wouldn't be caught dead gardening either.”
Mana blinks. “Really?” She asks.
“Yeah,” Madelynn responds. “He always says something about his pride.”
She laughs and is about to speak when water sprays at her from behind. A very undignified screech escapes her and she whirls around, unsuccessfully batting away the water aimed at her face. Once the offender is done, she is soaking and water drips down her face.
“Got ya!” Clayton yells,
Inspector Wolf The old lady was dead. I could smell it before I even got into the house. The whole place reeked of adrenaline, sweat, fear, copper and steel. He’d dropped her right in her living room. Chopped and chopped until she stopped moving. But I could tell I was getting close. This had been done in a hurry, and the killer didn’t have the time to clean up after himself like he usually did.
Across the room, the phone rang. The shrill sound set my teeth to grinding, but I ignored it. Instead I followed the killer’s bloody footprints into the back bedroom. He’d climbed out the window. If I hurried, I could catch up to him and end this disgusting spree he was on.
Then the answering machine kicked in. “Hi, Gramma! It’s Red. Sorry I’m running late. I kind of lost track of time. But don’t worry. I packed the picnic and I’m heading out the door right now. Love you.”
She’d been expec
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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