Another excerpt from FURY’S MAGIC–coming in November!
I glanced over at the Devani. They were poised, weapons at the ready. Mist rising from the sewer grates began to cloak the area as the clouds socked in. The atmosphere was so thick I could barely breathe, and I could feel the fear that was beginning to build. Fear had a way of taking on a life of its own.
I leaned toward Tam, cautious to keep my hands where the Devani could see them. I had faced a lot of Abominations in my time, but this was more frightening than any of them.
“Usually, the Devani order the crowd to disperse.” Tam’s whisper-speak was at the lowest range, but I managed to catch it. “I wonder why they haven’t done so yet.”
“Maybe…” A horrible though crossed my mind. Were they now refusing to give the crowd a chance to surrender? Protest wasn’t against the law, but the laws could change daily.
I didn’t have a chance to finish my thought because one young man—probably no older than fifteen, threw a bottle at one of the Devani closest to him, and the storm broke. The Devani waded into the crowd, their stunners buzzing. Their victims writhed on the ground, screaming from the painful jolts of electricity running through their bodies. Stunners could kill, but apparently this time, they were set to disable rather than destroy.
Tam pushed me to the side as one of the soldiers headed our way. “Run, Fury. You can run at blur-speed. Get out of here while I distract him.”
“Not without you—”
“Your chips, Fury. I don’t have any—I’m not required to have them. I’m safer than you are.” He gave me another push, his gaze holding mine. “Go, love. I’ll be there shortly.”
My heart telling me stay, but my head wrapping around the realization that he was right, I raced away at blur speed and then, as I hit the intersection in the middle of the street, I raised my arms and clasped my hands over my head, transporting to the Crossroads. The last thing I saw before I vanished, was the soldier taking Tam down with the stunner.
The mist rose around me as I landed in the world between worlds. The Crossroads bordered a number of realms and dimensions, and the deities associated with the Crossroads were legion. But although I had seen several of the others out here—including Papa Legba—my business here was always with Hecate.
I always arrived at the same place when I shifted over—a barren juncture where three roads intersected, in a barren field that stretched beyond the horizon, dotted only with a few scattered trees and boulders, and a bench here and there along the road. I always landed in the center of the intersection, next to a low cauldron that rested in front of a signboard. I had read the sign so many times that it was burned into my memory.
Stand at the Crossroads
State your claim
To seal the deal
Strike the flame.
I dropped to my knees, resting my hands on the ground as I reached out, trying to summon Queet. “Queet, are you near? Can you hear me? I’m on the Crossroads.”
Exhausted from the evening and worried about Tam, I dragged myself to my feet and wandered over to a nearby bench, slumping down on it. I couldn’t go back to Portside right now—if I appeared in the middle of the skirmish, they’d catch me. I’d have to head for Jason’s house instead.
Fury? I’m here. His whisper-speak faint, Queet appeared by my side. He looked translucent, which wasn’t a good sign. His energy field looked wavy—like bad reception on the viseo.
Are you all right? Something was wrong with him. You don’t look so good, Queet. You look…faded.
No, actually. Hecate will tell you. I’ll be all right, though. I just need a little rest. But I told her what was happening. She told me to tell you to go to Jason’s place. Text her once you’re there. She gave me this for you. He handed me a talisman. It looked at ethereal as he did, but when I held out my hand, he dropped it into my palm and it landed, solid as I was.
“A Transfer charm. Oh thank the gods. I need this.” The talisman would allow me to step off the Crossroads to a destination other than the one I had entered from. And that would save my butt. I was about to thank him, when Queet vanished.
Now even more worried—both my lover and my spirit guide were in trouble—I hurried toward the exit. I always saw it in my mind as a flickering arrow of green energy, like an EXIT sign in a shopping mall. Holding the talisman tightly, I visualized the intersection in front of Dream Wardens and then, I shifted. As the mist and fog of the Crossroads swirled around me, I felt myself sliding through the layers that divided realities. Then, in one long blink, I was standing in the middle of the street in front of Jason’s shop. The Market Square clock was chiming nine PM.