Another Tuesday Tales, the same story – still without a title. It’ll come to me eventually, I suppose. I give a couple of hints into WHAT Carolyn is, but still don’t spill the beans completely. I believe the next foray into this world will answer it for you…but I can’t be sure until it’s written. 🙂 I do know that a couple of times during this bit I tried to slip back into 3rd person. Still not used to this first person stuff.
Remember, this is a meme with many contributing authors, so make sure to click the link at the bottom of the image to take you to see more!
Anyhow, as always this is un-edited mostly, so forgive any errors. :
I got to my feet and carried the box into the kitchen. For a few minutes I could do nothing but stare at it sitting on my table. Whatever was in that box could, and likely would, ruin the busy life I had now — only to make it more chaotic. I’d done my time, earned this vacation. With trepidation I dug the scissors out of our ‘junk’ drawer and sliced open the tape.
It didn’t matter if I could have sliced it open myself. Without direct orders I’d stay human as long as possible.
Brown shredded paper provided a buffer against bouncing. The assembly shunned many modern conveniences like packing peanuts. It now was suspect, the delivery truck and man might not have been anything more than my phoenix spy outside. Crafty creatures like that could imitate a great many sounds.
I sighed. No point in delaying any longer. I yanked out the shredded paper and it drifted like snow to my spotless bamboo floor. A plain white envelope sat on top of something. The stamped crest was made of pure liquid silver, set by cooling to earth’s temperature and removed only by fire itself. Not known to humans, only our kind knew of its location and existence.
Two dragons curved along the shield, their tails entwined, noses touching. The face of the shield held a griffin with wings unfurled. Habit brought my hand to my chest where my pendant hung hidden below my shirt. Solid silver, heavy daily reminder of how many years before my molt would occur.
So far in this incarnation I’d worn it every day, it had helped me appreciate the short span of time I’d have. After so many years it became easy to take a vacation as a human for granted. After all, thirty years is nothing when you’ve had eons.
I pulled my hand from the pendant and ran my fingertips along the lines of the crest. Once again I’d have to shed a bit of humanity to open it. They knew it, that’s why they’d used liquid silver.
A scream jolted through me and the envelope toppled to the table. My heart pounded in my chest as I glared at the hawk perched outside my window. While I’d ended use of my third-sight, I had no doubt he was the same phoenix from out front. “For an animal with a life as long as mine you are exceedingly impatient. I’m opening it. Go return and tell them as much. Nosy bird.”
Its beak opened and a staccato of shrieks echoed out, a loud and very poor imitation of laughter. “Glad you’re enjoying yourself.”
I grabbed the envelope again and stretched out my neck. Doing this would leave my hand marked for days. I’d have to feign an injury so Darren wouldn’t know. Maybe I could keep it down to one finger.
Eyed closed I focused on the burning heat in the base of my spine and let it build into a small flame. Under careful guidance the flame worked its way along my bones and into my veins down to my finger.
Pain let me know the shift was happening, but I kept my eyes closed. I’d much rather let instinct tell me the silver had melted than the visual of the matter.
Once the flap of the envelope popped up I pulled my finger back. It took ten times more concentration to rein in the heat and return it to my source. My index finger throbbed and when I opened my eyes it looked like someone had fun with a tattoo gun over half my hand. Lines wove together into something akin to a Henna tattoo, with both elaborate designs and the scallops of scales.
If only I was still single I could leave them.
No matter, I’d cover it later. For now, the letter had to have priority. I pulled out the thick card-stock and flipped it over. My own fathers elegant script scrolled along the card. A message and a command.
Emergency. Inside the box is your excuse. You will not be able to return.
“Bullshit.” I threw down the card. “I won’t do it. You tell him.”
My tattooed hand jerked toward the bird outside my window. “You tell him that I won’t leave so that I can’t return. I won’t molt so easily. Tell him.”
The bird let out a shrill scream before lifting into the air.
Sure I’d be in trouble. But I’d be damned if I’d be ordered around that easy.
Side note, to see approximately what Carolyn’s hand looks like after this little incident, it’s something like this:
(I’m linking to the image rather than display it as I don’t like displaying any image that isn’t mine on the blog. Click over, though…it’s pretty cool)
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