Posted in Writing

College Roommate’s and Letters

My roommate has been looking at the same piece of paper for two hours now. I’m beginning to get concerned.

Usually, Til had no problem getting through the mounds of homework the professors gleefully handed out. It would take her three hours tops to finish everything. For every class to the end of the month.

I wanted to dislike her, but it only took one incident the first day of college for us to become the best of friends. Since then we’d been pretty much inseparable. Causing mayhem and righting wrongs across the world.

I was pretty sure that the paper she was still staring at had to do with her job. The other job. As opposed to the barista job she had at the local coffee shop.

Only one way to find out.

“Yo, roomie. You gonna share what’s on that paper or do I have to play twenty?”


‘The heck?’ Two years of being roommates and I can honestly say that this is the first time she hasn’t answered me. Whatever was on that paper was important.

Since she can’t tear herself away from it I would just have go to her. I walk over to her bed and plop down next to her hard enough to make her bounce. Still no reaction. I shake my head and gently take the paper from her. I didn’t think she’d give it up so easily, but she doesn’t protest at all.

I sit back and begin to read.

It doesn’t take me long. The piece of paper does in fact have to do with her other job and within the first sentence I know that it’s a bad one.

It’s a letter from her oldest brother, she has three older brothers, asking for a ‘meeting’ of the four siblings.

The last time they got together the world went to war.

I know she’s worried about what’ll happen this time, unfortunately, her brother wouldn’t ask her to ‘please join the council to decide a course of action’ if it weren’t for a very good reason. Having met the man I can safely say that he is the most obnoxious and rude person in existence. He doesn’t say ‘please’ for any reason unless it involves something world changing. Like a war.

I nudge her shoulder with mine, “I’ll go with you Til. You don’t have to face them alone this time.”

She still doesn’t say anything but she does finally look up at me. Her smile is tremulous and her eyes are so weary that it hurts me to see it.

We pack. While she’s getting the car, I go and talk to the headmaster. He’s a pompous jerk who doesn’t like my mom and so when I tell him we need a pass for the rest of the month he refuses. I’m not surprised. Unfortunately for him I have no problem with calling my mother to fix my problems for me.

She doesn’t always, in fact she rarely does, but when it really counts she seems to know and stands by me. My whole family would come down like Heaven’s Wrath if I needed them to. I really hope this isn’t one of those times.

It isn’t. As soon as I pull my phone out to make the call the doors open and Founder Rexib strolls in. He’s one of the beings who helped create the college and those who did have final say in everything relating to it. Even if that means going against what the headmaster says.

Founder Rexib looks surprised to see me. “Navar. Why are you still here? I was sure you would have left for the meeting by now with your roommate.”

I open my mouth to tell him that the headmaster won’t hand over the passes we need to leave the campus without being suspended for unsanctioned leave, but then snap it closed almost as fast. There’s no way he could have heard the conversation through the thick oak doors which means that he found out another way.

I wasn’t really concerned before about the meeting. I knew that I could keep Til’s temper in check and keep her from jumping into whatever juvenile challenge her brothers thought up. Now though, I can feel the slick slide of apprehension on my spine.

Founder Rexib has ‘Sight’. Specifically, he has ‘End Sight’ which means that he can see when disasters are going to happen. Depending on the severity, he will either step in and try to stop it from happening or he will let it happen. My mama explained it to me when I was little. To be honest I didn’t understand how it worked then or now.

What I do understand is that when an ‘End Seer’ says that you should have been gone by now then you should have been gone by now.

I give him a short bow and race outside, jumping into Til’s car through the open window to save time and we set off to meet with her brothers.

It occurs to me later, as we’re driving up the winding driveway to the castle, that I should still have called my mother and told her what was going on. Just because she was powerful didn’t mean that she was omniscient and if she didn’t know where I was then she couldn’t help if I needed it.

It also occurred to me that I should have packed my rifle anyways, even if I did have to show my license to carry over state-lines and through portals every hour at the security checkpoints.

Yes, we got to their home faster, but I was sans favorite rifle. I didn’t like being weaponless, especially with who I was going to be spending time with soon.

The butler opens the door before we get to it and informs Til that they are still waiting on one of the brothers, Min, so we have time to settle in and eat before the meeting. On the one hand it’ll be nice to eat something and relax. On the other hand I know that Til wants this over with as soon as possible.

It’s late when Min finally arrives. Being the one to call the meeting you’d think that he’d be on time, or even early, but no, he arrives at three in the morning and insists that the meeting happen right then. I argue with Til about it. If it was really that important than he could have been here earlier. He can’t always say ‘jump’ and the others jump for him like puppets.

Til just shakes her head at me. She knows I don’t like her oldest sibling and even knows why. Usually she listens to me when it comes to her family because I can see things in an unbiased way that she obviously can’t. It’s kept her from a few situations she didn’t want to be involved in in any way, shape or form.

This time however, even I know that my argument has more to do with my desire to antagonize and aggravate Min than it does with making sure my friend’s best interests are being looked after.

We walk down endless hallways and sweeping staircases, eventually making it to the grand ballroom where a single table with four chairs is set up. I recognize the table, though it was smaller the last time I’d seen it, and I wonder how they got it away from its keeper.

‘Most likely they stole it’, I think while rolling my eyes at the most likely explanation for the table being so far from where it was supposed to be being kept safe.

I stand back by the doors while Til makes her way to the table. I wasn’t officially invited and even though I’m her best friend that doesn’t mean that I can intrude on this kind of business without an invite from Min.

Whatever the meeting’s about I know it’s not going to end well for someone because Ath and War both stand and give Til a hug before pulling her chair out and offering her something to drink and eat.

Don’t get me wrong, Til’s brothers love her just like she loves them, but they aren’t the touchy-feely kind of family unless emotions so intense they’ve been known to rip worlds apart are involved. For them to initiate is one thing. For them to soothe and comfort before any conversation takes place is a very bad sign.

This is definitely not a situation where she needs help with her siblings. This is bad stuff. The kind that keeps creatures of absolute destruction and misery in line and serious. One goal will be in their minds after they talk and nothing will stop them from achieving it. I quietly back out of the ballroom and down the hall, turning at the first left to make my way outside when I run into a statue face first and bounce back a step.


I hold my aching nose as I look up, and up, into vibrant green eyes.

Min, in turn, looks down at me from his towering six foot eight height. It surprises people how quietly he walks but to be honest I’ve gotten used to it and can usually stop myself before I get hurt by running into his muscled, no-give, frame. ‘Usually’ being when my mind wasn’t consumed with trying to decide whether or not my family needed to know about this meeting or not.

We stare at each other for what feels like forever to me. I’m aware of him in the way smaller predators are aware of bigger ones. I know that I can put up a fight but in the end I don’t know if I have what it takes to beat him.

He’s so much bigger than my small five foot six inch, gangly self. His armor and fierce demeanor make him look bigger than he ever has and his battle scythe doesn’t help the situation either. He’s ready for the world to end.

While I’m wearing nothing but pink shorts with unicorns on them and a tank top that says ‘Bite Me’. My typical sleep wear was perhaps not the best choice for wandering around the castle in, if only because of this situation being a possibility.

I’m about to break the silence when he offers his arm to me. I stare at it, struck dumb by the move, and begin to pray that God sends extra angels to help the world out because whatever the problem is, the solution may end up being another world war.

I take his offered arm and let him lead me back to the ballroom and the table, where a fifth chair has been placed between himself and Til. He pulls my chair out for me and doesn’t sit until I’m settled. I realize that the others are all in their armor now and have their weapons too, making me feel even more conspicuous than before.

The feeling doesn’t last long though because Min begins to speak and what he has to say makes my blood run cold and my temper hot.

Five days later news outlets across the world make their reports. They throw words and phrases around like ‘monstrous’, ‘inhumane’, ‘a vision straight from Revelations’. You get the picture. They ‘report’ on the slaughter of an entire region in India and how the villages and cities were razed to the ground, bodies left to rot in the streets. They talk and blame and ask why the many powerful beings in the world didn’t step in and stop the tragedy from happening or at least punish the ones responsible.

The world grows angry and the news keeps stoking the fire for two weeks after.

I don’t watch it though. The only reason I know what’s going on is because other students won’t stop talking about it. Thankfully, most students understand what really happened, or had to have happened, and they don’t blame Til, her brothers and I for the massacre.

Some students, new ones, try to start fights with us. A few even ‘protest’ our being allowed to stay at school and free, claiming that we should be held accountable for what we’ve done. Those people go away quickly though, the others tell them the truth which is definitely not what the media has done.

Eventually, my mother calls to make sure I’m doing alright. I tell her I’m fine, but she isn’t fooled and sends a few of my siblings to drop off cookies and brownies to help.

There’s so much that Til and I end up putting a table together and setting things out for people to enjoy.

Since it’s finals week our gesture is very much appreciated.

The Founders visit personally and let us know that we are exempt from finals this semester. They know the truth about what happened and tell us that if we need anything to let them know. We appreciate their offer but still take our finals just like everyone else.

We take them in separate rooms though and all of our finals in one day instead of spread out. Our teachers’ give us small smiles and hugs before we leave.

Even though our semester is over we aren’t heading home. There are only two semesters every year at our school, Spring and Fall, and you don’t have the option to take classes in the summer. The Founders’ reasoning is that students need time to relax between semesters and visit family or recover financially from tuition and get settled again.

Most students stay on campus and teach the younger generations during the summer and winter months’ classes are out. Til and I have been doing that since the start. It’s a good cause and the kids like interacting with college students. Apparently, we are ‘rapidly cool’ and teach them far more than school ever has. It lets us be normal for a change and that’s just what we needed.

It only takes a month for the truth to become mainstream after the razing. Even the media can’t keep lying after the footage gets out. I shouldn’t say lying, as far as they knew they were telling the truth. The problem is that they were out to get views and didn’t stop to ask why the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a daughter of the Axanra would murder thousands of ‘innocent’ people.

To their credit, many do publicly apologize to us. Not only on live broadcasts but they also personally come and apologize to Til and I, without cameras in tow. I know they would have done the same if they’d been able to find Til’s brothers, but they had disappeared into their mundane lives again after the razing.

They look so different from their Horsemen selves that no one knows who they are when they aren’t fully armored and fighting. Til’s the exception, but that’s only because she’s my roommate and my mother is such a big deal. Also, her hair is neon green and literally glows with her power. A holdover from a few years back when there was an Ebola outbreak.

She hadn’t meant for that to happen, but in her defense she was under a lot of stress at the time. A lot of different cultures and belief systems were trying to jump start the end times and if that doesn’t make people stressed than I don’t know what does. She was worried the whole time that I would get sick and die. The worst thing I got was a cold and despite telling her a thousand times that she can’t kill me, she still quarantined herself for a good month.

I finally had to call my mother to come and talk to Til. My mom slapped her up alongside her fool head and told her that if there had been even a little chance that I could get sick from having Pestilence as a roommate than she never would have allowed it. That did the trick.

After the truth came out and things died down, Til’s brothers came to visit and see how we were doing. To say it was an interesting day would be an understatement. Having Death, War and Famine on campus with Pestilence caused a small riot, but then no family get together is without its problems right?

We spend the day together, playing games and going out to eat. We catch a late movie after dinner and decide to walk back to campus. It’s several miles, but the night is beautiful and warm and I know that Til could use a few more hours with her family. Especially when they’re on their best behavior.

Min, Famine for those who aren’t friends of Til’s, walks beside me while the others fool around ahead. He doesn’t say anything, which is weird because he’s usually all about trying to get me to lose my temper. I’m known for being like my mother in that my temper is a near non-existent thing that is very hard to rouse. Once it is though…well, we don’t talk about those times.

“You know, I’ve actually found puddles deeper than you.” He looks at me with a brow raised and I continue, now that I know I have his attention, “It’s true.” I stall, unable suddenly to find the right words.

I sigh and stop walking. “You are such an obnoxious ass Famine. You make it too easy to forget how old you are and I keep taking you at face value when I know better. This last instance is a perfect example.”

Looking up I meet his gaze and see endless time in them. I’ve seen the same thing a few times, outside of the Horsemen, and it never fails to make me feel insignificant and small.

And very, very happy that I’ve only lived twenty-three years.

“I am what the world needs me to be.” His deep voice is lyrical and soft enough to not carry on the night wind. He says the words factually, without rancor or sarcasm and I make a mental note to at least try to remember what he is.

“No, you’re you and I think that that’s what the world needs. Not the other way around.” I shrug, “If you were what the world needed I don’t think you’d have as much compassion as you do. The world would have destroyed that a long time ago”

We walk in silence again for a while until I can’t stop myself from asking the question that’s been front and center in my mind since the meeting in the ballroom. “You kept the letter, didn’t you?”

“Of course.”

Knowing that there is no ‘of course’ about it I nudge his arm with mine before calling a truce of sorts and, taking his hand in mine, pull him forward to his family. The five of us get ice cream and talk through the night about nothing important and watch TV when we can’t think of anything else to say. Til’s brother leave the next day, no doubt donning their non-Horsemen personas as soon as they’re out of sight, and Til and I get back to teaching kids how to balance checkbooks and make budgets.

Somewhere deep in the earth is a sprawling library that holds countless letters, scrolls and boxes full of small pieces of paper, bark and whatever else you can write on. The library grows as it needs to and there is always a place for every new addition.

In a dimly lit corner there is a dark purple wood chest. Made of an extremely rare tree only found in Shangri-la under certain extreme circumstances, the chest holds a handful of requests. Unlike the other requests throughout the library, these ones have special meaning to the Horsemen.

On the very top of the pile is an envelope and inside the envelope is a letter and the equivalent of twenty-three dollars and forty-two cents in small change. The letter was written by a nine-year old girl and sent to one of the world’s best contract killers. Famine.

The letter tells a horrific story of a group of powerful people taking control of outlying villages and towns and enslaving the people. The plan was to create an army that would be strong enough to take all of India and make it a separate kingdom under their rule. The people revolted and hid as many as they could, but it was no use. In the end, the group hired powerful necromancers to re-animate the adults and sent them to retrieve those hidden.

The little girl who wrote the letter had done so from a cell where she had watched as her friends and family were killed, only to be reanimated moments later and walk out the doors to serve as mindless drones. She had given her last breath as payment to have the letter delivered to Famine.

She, along with all those whose souls had been forced back into dead bodies, had been released from their living hell. They were at peace in whatever Heaven or Paradise they believed in.

The ones responsible for the atrocity were burning in Hell where they belonged having been personally delivered by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Navar, daughter of the Axanra.

©2016, Illeana Nexry.

Posted in Writing

Duct-tape, Trees and Sisters

Their mother watched as they trooped into the house one by one.

Usually rambunctious and always on fast forward, they were walking slowly today and there was a definite air of worry.

This of course set off every mother instinct in existence and she just knew they were either currently up to something or had already done the something and knew they would get caught. She knew what it was about, these were not the first kids she’d raised, and she knew that one of her eldest would most likely be storming in after the kids because of what they’d done.

Sooner rather than later if she had to guess. Now the question was, ask them straight out and let them confess to their crimes or wait until the guilt and worry got to be too much and let them come to her.

She looked at the clock in the entryway. It was pretty late already and her spawned middle child was going to get into trouble with her superiors if she didn’t leave the house five minutes ago to make the rendezvous.

The late time made up her mind. “Hold it right there.” She held back a grin at the way the eight stopped and hunched, trying to make themselves less visible. Technically speaking, the eight were far older than she was, but by their individual races standards they were infants still. This made for some interesting times as she tried to figure out how to balance raising kids older than her chronologically but whose minds were still those of little kids.

For the most part. Having lived so long in the human world meant that they had seen and witnessed things that took some of that innocence away that every living creature is born with.

“Where have you been?”

They looked at each other, most likely trying to think of something to get them out of trouble without lying, before finally facing her. It was the ring leader of the group, Erac, who opened his mouth to speak, but he was interrupted by the sound of the front gate slamming shut and she watched as their faces drained of color.

Her second oldest daughter came storming in a second later, slamming the massive oak doors shut behind her before stopping and glaring murder at the kids.

Il, as the kids called her, looked over at her, pointed at the kids and snarled. No words, just a snarl full of rage.

Knowing the middle child she’d given birth too, as opposed to the many adopted, fostered and mentored kids since, was long on patience when it came to the kids they took in she knew that whatever they had done would not be forgiven any time soon.

She held up a hand to stop Il from speaking, not that she’d given any indication she was going to, and said, “Whatever it is I will find out about and they will be punished accordingly alright?”

Her jaw twitching Il took several deep breathes before nodding and storming down the main hall to the stairs and up. Presumably to her room to get ready.
She didn’t have to say a word. She just turned back to the kids and waited.

“We didn’t want her to leave, so we duct-taped her to the tree.”

It was Salva who quietly confessed. The little shapeshifter girl was one that Il had rescued from a trafficker three years before and Salva had attached herself more to Il than any of the other older kids.

In fact, all of the eight currently on the verge of tears were more attached to Il than anyone else in the house. It was good that there was someone they looked up to and always knew they could depend on to keep them safe, but they were old enough to know that what they had done was wrong.

Worse was the fact that they had betrayed Il with their actions. They had known she was leaving for a little over a year now and had seemed to understand that it was something Il wanted to do. Something she had dreamed of for most of her life. For the kids to pull such a cruel trick on her?

“You knew she was leaving.” They all shifted nervously when she addressed them after a small silence, “You knew that it was something she chose and trained to do. You knew that she could be court martialed if she backed out and sentenced to life imprisonment as a traitor to her country or put to death.”

The tears started falling now. Unfortunately, it was far too late for them to be remorseful. If they didn’t learn now that their actions had consequences, they would grow up as selfish brats who thought they could get away with murder.

“Whether you are sorry or not isn’t going to make a difference in this case because I’m pretty sure you aren’t telling the whole truth yet. Which means that there is something worse I’m going to be hearing about from Il when she comes back down those stairs isn’t there?”

She let the question sit in the air a moment. “Anyone want to confess now? It may make things a little easier for Il to forgive you if you come clean of your own will before she has to snitch on you.”

When they still said nothing, she sighed and waited for Il to return. The kids weren’t going anywhere anytime soon and the wait would give her time to think about an appropriate punishment. They weren’t too old for a spanking, but somehow she didn’t think that in this instance that would get it across their minds that you do something wrong you get punished.

Ten minutes later Il made her way back down the stairs and to the front doors. By now everyone who was home had come to say goodbye and see her off. They wouldn’t see her until Christmas, which was nine months away still.

Having wanted this farewell to be a positive one, she had to instead ask Il for the details of what the kids had done.

After a moment of glaring at a wall and taking several deep breaths to gain control she said, “I suppose they told you they duct-taped me to a tree?”

Nodding her head, their mother waited for Il to continue, motioning for the others not to snicker or laugh at the image the words evoked. Not that anyone seemed to be in the mood to do so, but this was hard enough without someone finding it funny and making Il more furious then she was.

“Did they happen to mention that the tree they duct-taped me to was Yggdrasil? And that they intended for me to stay there until I had changed my mind?”

When the others pulled in deep breaths of astonishment and horror, she knew that there was no need for to punish the kids this time. Apparently, they had done so much damage that no one was going to let them forget it anytime soon. There were a lot of lectures, talks, reports, walkabouts, soul searches…pretty much these eight were going to have a lot of time with their siblings to figure out that what they had done may have irrevocably damaged their relationship with Il.

Outside there was the sound of a craft landing in the yard and those with heightened senses listened as someone big hit the ground, followed by at least four other. Footsteps against the ground, then the pebble drive let them know where the intruders were. Except that they weren’t intruders.

“The only reason I’m here and not still taped to that damned tree is because Loki and Coyote came along, planning some mischief, and owed me still so they got me down and opened the doorways to get me back here as soon as possible.”

The front doors swung open and Il looked from the five ranking officers back to her mother. “And as you can see it still wasn’t quite fast enough.”

Eyebrows raised in question the obvious leader of the officers asked in a southern drawl, “Am I missing something important?”

“No.” Il slung her duffel bag over a shoulder and walked to the door. The officers didn’t move however and their leader asked another question. Either he didn’t sense the tension in the entryway or he was blatantly ignoring it for whatever reason.

“Are you sure? ‘Cause there’s a lot of anger swirling around in here and it’s never a good thing to leave on a negative note. You’ll regret any words said in a rage later on. I promise you. No one has a guarantee of coming back alive from where we’re going. Better to say ‘I love you’ now.”

Il turned on her heel and lifted a brow at his words.

“Admiral Blaste, I appreciate your advice however…” She trailed of thinking of a way to politely phrase her next words. Not finding anything particularly useful she decided blunt would have to do. “I won’t be dying anytime soon. I am the best you will ever have in your fleet and I will rise through the ranks faster than you can blink. Besides,” she glared once again at the eight, “at the moment they aren’t even a little sorry for their actions. The only reason their crying is because it didn’t work. When they’re sorry I’ll know, but until then I refuse to stick around any longer so they can come up with some other plan to keep me from serving.”

The gathered crowd could all tell that the Admiral wanted to argue and even opened his mouth to try. Thankfully, Exa put her hand on his arm and shook her head. “Admiral, I assure you, my sister knows what she is speaking of. These eight before you look no more than ten or perhaps twelve years old, however they are quite older than that in some ways and will try their best to keep Il from her dreams. We will handle this situation.”

Looking around the Admiral let his gaze meet everyone’s there before settling on their mother. She just looked at him placidly. Knowing her as he did, Blaste put his hands up in surrender and signaled for the others it was time to go.

They took Il with them to the space station where she would join the growing number of recruits determined to keep their homeworld safe from new threats. Her family wouldn’t see her in person for two and a half years because of the skirmishes and all-out war that erupted in space with other alien life forms.

The eight kids apologized via computer screen not long after the first skirmish had ended. Il forgave them, though it took another year before she could say the words truthfully, and when they were older they too joined the military group Il was part of.

Though unable to serve under Il’s command directly, too much paperwork stood in the way for them to be bothered, they served alongside her during countless successful campaigns without any more childish pranks.

Well, not too many others. They had, after all, bought an economy sized roll of duct-tape. It would have been a shame to let it go to waste.

©2016, Illeana Nexry.

Posted in Writing

Unexpected Dissertation

She shouldn’t have come to the beach tonight.

There was no reason whatsoever for her to be there. It was cold and the wind from the ocean was only making it worse. Even bundled up in three layers and being under a quilt wasn’t enough to stop her from shivering.

She absolutely loved Ireland and wouldn’t change a thing about her trip, but damn she could do without the cold.

A voice drifted over the water and was answered by another. Sasha tilted her head and tried to pinpoint where the voices were coming from. It took a minute because the water and caves in the cliff, whose beach she was on, echoed the voices back and forth.

Sasha made her way to the left, down the beach and further from the cottage she’d rented for her trip. It was the right direction as the voices slowly got louder and she was able to pick out words here and there.

When she hit a pile of boulders, having fallen long ago from the cliff, she sighed. They’d told her to join them in one of the caves to discuss something, they just hadn’t been able to specify which one so told her to wait for the voices and follow them.

She tied the quilt around her waist and scrambled up and over the pile. It didn’t take long thanks to her years of free climbing and there was the barest hint of sweat on her skin when she hit the sand on the other side.

Still shivering despite the exertion, she pulled the quilt off and wrapped herself into it again, continuing her trek towards the voices.

Finally, after sticking her head into about ten others, she found the cave they were in. It helped that they had torches lit and a bonfire too. Had they told her there would be warmth and light she wouldn’t have dragged her feet so much. Okay so she still would have because she didn’t feel good but still.

Hearing the voices up close and personal told her what she’d suspected since she’d made it over the boulders. They were angry. Actually, she’d go so far as to say they were furious. Well, one of them was, and it was the only voice she didn’t recognize. The other three she knew pretty well having met them her second night in Ireland.

Sasha waited a few minutes to see if she could get any insight into what had made the fourth voice so pissed off and thought, not for the first time, that this had been a very bad idea. She was in Ireland! She’d already met some not-so-normal people since arriving and this could have all been a trick to get an unsuspecting American to commit a crime. Or be the victim of a crime.

Slowly, so slowly in fact she didn’t realize it was happening until far too late, it suddenly exploded and all she could think was that there had never been a worse time to sneeze.

The voices went silent then a young voice yelled out for her to join them further in by the fire where it was warmer.

Not knowing why she insisted on doing something so colossally stupid, Sasha reminded herself that this could be the thing to get her not only a degree but that coveted position at the library. This was, after all, the reason she’d come to Ireland. One last dissertation and she’d be an official graduate ready to pursue her love in the world.

Until then, once more unto the breach. Or onto the beach as the case was.

Taking a corner of the blanket she wiped her nose, grimacing at the necessity but not being able to stand the thought of continually sniffing. She hated when people did that and couldn’t abide doing it herself.

Sasha walked inside until she could see that the cave was a heck of a lot bigger than she’d thought and the voices were a bit farther away. In fact, the cave was actually a good sized cavern in the side of the cliff and she couldn’t figure out how she had missed it all the times she’d been out on the water. She knew she had come this way multiple times and never seen any sign of a cavern.

The cavern wasn’t really that big of a deal though when compared to the fact that she had no way of getting to where the others were. Not without swimming that was.

The cavern held a small lake inside and the others were all the way on the other side with no discernible walkway to cross. Still, she looked around to see if she had just missed seeing it. When she had visually searched everywhere she could think of she looked back at the others and started.

She knew it hadn’t been there before, but now there was a clear pathway across the lake to the others. Made of corral, the bridge was flat with no rails and straight as an arrow. It shimmered opalescent and she found herself staring at it for long moments. She had always liked shiny, pretty things.

Shaking her head, Sasha focused again and walked across the bridge. She hit the other side in no time, though she could have sworn the bridge was longer than she had walked, and walked over the small pebble beach to the fire.

“Alright. You asked me to come and I’m here so what do y’all need to talk to me about?” she knew it was bordering on rude, but she wanted to be in bed where it was warm and she could sleep.

Meghen twisted her hands together and gave Sasha a tentative smile. “Yes, well, the thing is we wanted to give you a gift for what you did for us. Unfortunately, we are not strong enough to give you the gift and so we had to petition our leader.”

Sasha looked at Meghen, then Andrew and finally Grava. She smiled at Grava because how could you not, the kid was adorable, before looking back at Meghen and Andrew.

“I told you I don’t need any gifts. I didn’t do anything special and-“ she held up a hand to stop them from interrupting, “though I can appreciate you wanting to thank me in some other way I seriously don’t need anything. I didn’t save Grava so I could get presents okay?”

“This is who you would honor?”

The deep voice had her head whipping around and she stared, dumbstruck.

God had blessed this one mightily.

Standing a good few inches over six feet, the man was lithely built with a strong physic that made her think he worked hard every day. And not at the gym either. He had the hard body of a cowboy or farmer. Someone who does so much physical work that they can’t help but be that level of fit.

She admitted to staring for far longer than was polite, but she was pretty sure no one would blame her considering that his good looks were only part of it. The man had antlers on top of his head. She couldn’t tell if they were attached to his head or just a prop.

She was betting on them being real because that would just fit into the whole situation. After all, Grava and his parents were Kelpie, so the man having antlers was actually easier to believe.

Behind the antlered man lounging on his front with a hand under his chin watching her with amusement, was a mermaid. Or merman since he was a he and not a she. Sasha shook her head to try and shake clear thoughts back into it. It worked so long as she didn’t look back at the antlered man.

He was too captivating and she lost herself every time she looked at him.

The merman answered the question, “Yes my liege. This is the human woman who put herself in grave danger to save Grava when he was being harmed by the poachers.”

Antler man folded his arms across his chest and glared at Sasha. “You mean the other humans don’t you, Makar?”

The merman, Makar apparently, stiffened before shoving himself back into the lake until he disappeared under the water. A short second later he emerged again, only this time he had legs and walked out to stand a few feet away from Antler man and slightly in front of Sasha. She got the feeling he was protecting her.

“Yes, the poachers were also human, however, she is not like them. If she were she wouldn’t have helped Grava.”

The silence was deafening for so long Sasha almost fell asleep on her feet right then and there.


Sasha jolted and blinked at Antler man. “Yeah?”

His jaw twitched, “I am Casarn an Telikra, Fae Lord of the Water Tribe. I have been petitioned by two of mine to honor you or saving the life of their only child. As children are precious to my people I am inclined to give you a boon.”

Sasha heard someone behind her, probably Andrew, draw a breath as if to speak, but a look from Casarn stopped the words before they came out.

“Choose what you will and it shall be yours.”

Sasha considered him. There was an undercurrent between the players here that she couldn’t traverse and that concerned her. On the one hand he was offering a heck of a gift, anything she wanted as far as she could tell, on the other hand the undercurrent made her think there was something extremely important she was missing.

“Anything I want?” She wanted to make sure of the terms before accepting anything.

He smiled beatifically, “Anything you can dream of human.”

She thought of all the fairy tales she had read over the years since she was little. The cute Disney stories where the good guys always won quickly gave way to the darker, original fairy tales and had eventually, inevitably, led her to get a degree in Folklore and Mythology. She was by no means stupid and knew that the fae loved word games and twisted the meanings around to suit them.

She couldn’t think of any story where a human won a word game with a fae. There were plenty where humans passed tests set by the fae to win a loved one back, but none that she recalled where a human got the better of a fae, let alone a Fae Lord.

It was the indrawn breath from before that helped her decide. Something about what he had said concerning the ‘boon’ didn’t quite ring true and being ‘inclined’ to do something didn’t necessarily mean you would actually do it.

“Alright then. Anything I want would come out to…”

At her words his smile became edged with cruelty and she knew she had made the right choice.

“being honored by you.”

There were three audible sighs of relief from behind her and she saw Makar’s shoulders relax minutely as well. So, that had been the trick then.

Casarn’s smile was no longer edged with cruelty. It was far worse.

He looked smug.

Had that not been the right choice after all? Crap, what did being honored mean anyways?She wasn’t the only one who realized that they had been played. Makar’s shoulders were tensed again and Meghen, Andrew and Grava were making little distressed sounds behind her.

“As you wish human.” He strode forward to stand before her, waving Makar and the others away as they tried to intercept. “I, Casarn an Telikra, Fae Lord of the Water Tribe do consider you to be of my people. As such, you shall be protected as one of my people.  Should you ever need shelter, food, clothing, drink…” he waved his hand in a circle to say ‘what-have-you’, “it shall be provided to you. Should any refuse you then they shall know my wrath and it is a swift and deadly thing.”

Before she knew what happened he had grabbed her by the shoulders and leaned in so close she felt his breath on her mouth. “In this way I honor you. Sasha Richards.” As her name left his lips she felt a dissonant chord inside somewhere and realized that not only had she been played, but that this had been a long time coming.

Casarn kissed her then and the dissonant chord smoothed until it resonated with the lake behind him. And the ocean outside, and all the waters in and around Ireland and further.

Until it resonated with something inside of him.

He ended the kiss slowly, whispering against her lips as he did, “Watch yourself little girl. You’re swimming in the deep end now.”

With that he turned, changed shape, and disappeared into the air.

Sasha turned her head to Makar, her face flushed from the kiss and unbelieving from what had just happened. “Was that…did he just…what?”

Makar would have laughed at any other time, but this night had not gone the way he had thought it would at all and he was afraid of what that meant.

“If I were you little human, I would run as far as I could away from here. Go back to your America and hide as deep in land as you can get. As far from bodies of water as you can if possible.”

She blinked up at him a few times, looked at the others, then shook her head and started walking. Back across the bridge, outside to the beach and to her cottage, muttering, “I never should have left the house today.”

©2016, Illeana Nexry.

Posted in Writing

Sneak Peak into a Novel-In-Progress

She had overestimated him. A different approach was needed. One with childlike simplicity.

“Fine then,” Flipping her long braid over a shoulder, she turned her back and walked away, “I didn’t want to share the cookies anyways. And now I don’t have to.”

She made it to the end of the block before she heard the crowd scream and felt the earth shake.

Smiling in satisfaction at a job well done, she kept walking. As if she hadn’t heard or felt anything.

She knew he was behind her, but to acknowledge him now would mean he’d won. And if he thought he’d won he’d try something else later.

The same tricks only worked so many times with him before he caught on. Which was why she kept the childish tricks for special circumstances.

And really, you couldn’t get more special circumstance than destroying a government officials’ car by slamming it into the ground Hulk-style until it was nothing but unrecognizable twisted metal.

As if that hadn’t been enough, he had then decided to take to the rooftops when the Police arrived and had made his way to City Hall. There he had made himself comfortable on the top of the building and had proceeded to throw spheres of undiluted power at anyone who came close.

No one had been able to leave or enter the building for five hours before she had arrived and spent three more hours trying to get him down.

Of course, by then half the city had decided to show up to watch the show live even though she had told the authorities that having that many people around was a very bad idea.

A large shadow fell over her and a pair of strong arms wrapped around her torso followed closely by beautiful downy wings.

It felt like being hugged by a cloud. One that had arms and smelled of a hot-dog-with-everything-on-it currently, but a cloud nonetheless.

“What? You think that just because you came down now you get cookies?”

He harrumphed against her neck then whined in his throat, pulling her closer.

“No way mister. You aren’t getting out of this that easily.” She crossed her arms over her chest as best as she could with him glommed onto her. “This time you have to actually apologize to me.”

There was a growl at her words, but when she didn’t relax her stance or posture at all he relaxed his and twisted so that he could look her in the eye without letting go altogether.

He had fathomless lavender eyes. The kind that were so unreal that you couldn’t reproduce the color no matter how hard you tried. And people had been trying for generations ever since the Angel of Death had appeared on earth with no memory of who he was.

A woman could get lost in those eyes.

Unless your name happened to be Chissa and you had been dealing with that same puppy-dog eyed look since you were little.

“Not happening boyo. A real apology this time or cookies ain’t happening.”

She waited him out. It was the only thing she could do considering that he had to learn that when she was in class was NOT the time to be doing stuff like this.

Grumbling, he finally gave in and signed an apology to her.

She sniffed, “That’s what I thought.” Patting him on an arm she said, “Alright then, class is over already so we may as well go home. Maybe I’ll make spaghetti…” her words trailed off as she considered what to make for supper that night.

He sighed heavily and banged his head against her shoulder gently. Having gotten her attention again he pointed to the right insistently. When she merely cocked an eyebrow at him he let his lower lip tremble ever so slightly before slumping his shoulders in defeat and walking past her towards home. His wings dragging just the barest bit on the ground behind him.

She would never see the triumphant grin that slid across his face when she groaned before jogging to his side and pulling him along behind her to the library.

Thankfully, the librarians knew them and had some food handy so he could eat and not get testy with other patrons.

They spent a couple of hours inside browsing and picking books to read for the next month. When he was finally satisfied, they left, arms overflowing, and made their way home.

The Angel of Death and a college girl. Now that would make a great story!

©2016, Illeana Nexry.

Posted in Writing

Agent Al and Ien: The Abduction

“I thought I’d made it clear we have a no abduction policy.”

“She wasn’t cooperating. What did you expect me to do?”

“I expected for you to act like a professional Ien. Like an agent who has five years under his belt now. Honestly I expected everything under the sun except this.” Agent Al waved his hand to encompass the room they were standing outside of.

The room was in an old hotel that had seen better days. Peeling paint on the ceilings, stained carpeting, and warped doors made up the third-floor decor that they were on now.

Agent Ien, knowing that his partner could blow at any time from the stress they’d been under because of this particular case, leaned in and tried to smooth Al’s feathers.

“She was about to enter ‘The Mark’ Al, I knew that if she went into that dance club we would never find her but her enemies would. The best plan I could come up with was to abduct her and bring her somewhere that they’d never consider she’d let herself be taken. And besides.” Ien’s tone became a little belligerent, “they used to abduct humans all the time. It doesn’t hurt for them to be on the other end every now and then to see how it feels. And she has better accommodations than the abducted ever had.”

Al just looked at him for long moments in silence.

He could stay mad. He really could, but he had to admit that Ien’s extraordinarily unorthodox plan seemed to be working and had merit.

Since the beginning of this assignment nothing had gone in their favor. The pickup location had somehow been discovered and when they arrived to take Her Royal Flutteringness Princess Sparklewings into protective custody, the ones trying to kill her had shown up. They had been forced to split up.

Unfortunately, the other team of agents who had been their backup had ended up with the Princess and she had easily escaped them, not having the proper authority given by her father to keep her in line. She had disappeared into the bustling San Francisco party scene.

Something they’d thought was an impossibility, but the Princess had proven them wrong time and time again.

Until now apparently.

“You’re right.” Al sighed, scrubbing his head with his hands the way he did to get rid of tension.

Ien was leery at the seeming too easy capitulation from his partner. “Really?”

Al chuckled a little, a good sign, “Yes. I actually mean it.” He shrugged, “It’s definitely thinking outside the box and it took me a good week to decipher your coded message. Since you’re still alive and so is she I can’t very well argue over it, can I?” He paused, “We still have a no abduction policy though Ien. Most likely we will be written up for this and counseled…again.”

The last word was said in unison and they both sighed after. Their last few assignments had been interesting, to say the least, and they had seen more of the psychologist in the last year than they ever wanted to.

“Well, we may as well stay inside the room. We draw more attention standing in the hall.”

Ien smiled and opened the door for his partner. Finally, things were looking up.

Al walked into the room and looked around. “Ah, Ien? Where is the Princess?”

Looking sheepish, Ien said, “In the bedroom.”

The pause this time had the potential to end their partnership it held so much disbelief and tension.

“Why?” The word barely made its way from Al’s throat. He didn’t want to know, but had to know.

“Well…” Ien’s voice petered off and he looked highly uncomfortable suddenly. After opening and closing his mouth several times without anything coming out, he finally shrugged and waved his hand towards the bedroom that was down a short hall to his left.

“I better just show you. Words really won’t work.”

The tension he had managed to rid himself of came back in spades and Al wondered, not for the first time, why he was still doing this job instead of retiring. He could receive a pension and do something fun with the rest of his life instead of always having to be alert to what was around the next corner and what level of screwed they would be after the fact.

Trepidation worked its way up his spine as hey made the short trek and Ien opened the door to let him see what was inside.

Al stepped in and came to an abrupt halt.

The sight before him was so unbelievable it didn’t even register until the next day. Ien had had to gently pull him from the room and walked Al to the couch to sleep it off. The next morning brought almost the same reaction though this time he merely opened the bedroom door, looked in and walked away, muttering to himself.

This kept up all day while Ien slept, waking occasionally to eat something from the small refrigerator he’d paid quite a penny for to hold food so they wouldn’t have to leave the hotel or order in as much. The potential for the enemy to find them was high and the less exposure they had the better.

And honestly, they weren’t footing the bill anyway, the Royal family was, so Ien wasn’t worrying too much about the cost of things right now.

They stayed at the hotel for a month. No one found them there, not even their own people, so by the time their assignment ended they had decided to use the hotel in the future. The staff were discreet, the obscene tips they received didn’t hurt anything, and were more than happy to leave the room alone.

Al and Ien were glad when the assignment was done. It hadn’t been a favorite of theirs. Didn’t even make the top thousand, but it had been necessary and the feeling of a job well done was still something they enjoyed.

The various news stations reported on the trial where the Princess was a key witness to the multi trillion-dollar theft of an experimental ship that had been used to commit other crimes after the fact.

The thieves were all rounded up, found to be guilty on all counts and were immediately sent to the maximum-security moon prison colony two galaxies away.

It was quite surprising then when Al and Ien were called into their boss’s office and handed shuttle tickets to Area 51. The main entry hub for arriving and departing alien dignitaries, Area 51 was restricted to all but those with the highest clearance imaginable. Even the President of the United States didn’t have a high enough clearance and had to be personally invited by a visiting dignitary before being allowed inside.

They couldn’t help but be very concerned throughout the shuttle ride to Area 51. The Princess’s ship was docked there and it was entirely possible that she had lodged formal charges against them and demanded they be handed over for punishment in accordance with her people’s laws.

When they arrived, they were met by the Overseer personally and escorted to a small hangar bay that held a fleet of ships.

Her Royal Flutteringness Princess Sparklewings descended from the Royal ship and made her way to them, her parents and siblings following behind. Being the first daughter, she was the next ruler of their people and had begun taking over more and more responsibilities from her parents in recent years. It had been one of the reasons she had rebelled so hard and ended up witnessing the theft and needing protection.

Al and Ien bowed low to her and her family in turn. Than Ien, having spent more time with the Princess than Al, greeted the royal family in their native language, Dustoffairiesese, and politely inquired to their health.

Princess Sparklewings responded for her family, as was only proper, and extended her deep appreciation to the agents for their exemplary work in keeping her safe from he thrived and assassins that had been hired to end her.

No mention was made, however, of how Ien had abducted the Princess and forced her to live for over a month in an old, decrepit hotel that was an insult of galactic war proportions.

When she finished with the long, and wordy, praises and thanks to them she paused. The pause was long enough that her father moved up and whispered something in her ear. She frowned, shook her head and took a deep breath, as if bracing herself for what she planned to say next.

“We would be most appreciative of the Agents Al and Ien, if they would procure and make arrangements to have such things delivered unto us on our home world as was used whilst I was in their most gracious care during this trying time.” Her lyrical voice floated on the air in slightly broken Human English, not to be confused with the fifth dimensions Humon English, and she hurriedly continued when Al opened his mouth to respond.

“Assuredly, we would be most appreciative and would undoubtedly repay the Agents for the cost of such an endeavor in addition to a gift given in good faith for such services that would not be inappropriate in regards to your rules of conduct.”

They had no idea what to say to any of that and it took a few moments before Ien ws able to find his voice and respond. After having a wordless conversation with Al first to make sure they were on the same page, he addressed the Princess, her family and those of her people who had trickled out of the waiting ships while she had been speaking.

“Assuredly, your most Royal Highness, we would be amenable to such an arrangement without he additional gift to us. We greatly appreciated thy presence and company. Your exuberance with the accommodations warms us to our insides. We will send a shipment within the next month if it pleases thee.”

“It would pleaseth me exceedingly and the gift to the Agents Al and Ien are a non-negotiable point as we are most gruntled at the services rendered and will repay such continued services.” With that, the Princess bowed to them, a very high honor, before turning and making her way back to the royal ship.

Al and Ien watched as the bay doors were opened and the tiny fleet of miniature spaceships flew away into the sky and back home.

When they couldn’t see the ships any longer they were escorted out and to a private shuttle this time. The Overseer, before seeing them safely on their way, had asked “What did you do to receive such a high honor from Her Royal Flutteringness Princess Sparklewings? Her entire family is known for being hard to please and that goes back hundreds of generations.”

Not wanting to explain, because how could they, they had just shrugged and said the Princess had liked the decor and color apparently.

A month later a transport ship made its first, of many over the preceding years, delivery and a ‘gift’ was sent back to Al and Ien, who received the pair of strange looking oval rocks as graciously as they could.

They never had to come clean to their boss about how they had managed what they had, even though their boss asked several times over the years. Al and Ien never said a word and true to the Princess’s word, the gifts she sent in appreciation for their services never violated any rules or policies.

An interesting thing happened not too long after the assignment ended and the Princess and her people left for their home world. There was a surge in sales for anything and everything having to do with doll houses, clothes and accessories.

New designs were imagined and old ones were brought back. Established makers made just as much over the years as new time makers and the market opened to such a degree that at home crafters could cash in too. No one could explain the recent fascination but they enjoyed unprecedented wealth from the good fortune.

Al and Ien, on the other hand, had a bit of bad fortune when they had to explain to their boss and the Alien Embassy how they had come to be in possession of a flock, of ten!, incredibly rare ‘Miniaturay Dragonayse’

A letter from Her Royal Flutteringness Princess Sparklewings

Addressed to the most honored and beloved of the Faeriesian People Agent Al and Ien

        Many warm and shining greetings from afar. We are most especially gruntled at the continued shipments thee have sent to us over the years. The varied and colorful products please us and our people daily. Most notably, this latest shipment has made our people gruntled to such a degree that our popularity is higher than any other previous generation. We greatly appreciate the new and innovative creations sent to us. The level of workmanship is delightful and pleasing to gaze upon as the higher usability of each shipment of products astounds the people (and us).

         We graciously inquire as to how thee have enjoyed the gifts we have sent to thee. It is our understanding that there was some issue when the flock first hatched. It is our deepest hope that the return of ‘The Elvis’ was enough of an apology to thy governing bodies. We had heard that ‘The Elvis’ was most desired on your planet (‘The Elvis’ was most enjoyed by my people these last few years).

         Many warm and shining felicitations to Agent Al an Ien as well. We have heard that thee have joined together with others to create family. Such is a joyous occasion and to celebrate the momentous happening we have sent thee each a special gift. Please keep the gift at -103 degrees until the fourth day of the winter solstice celebration. After which it should fare well on your world.

Farewells and continued wishes of well-being to Agent Al and Ien (and prodigy?) from Her Royal Flutteringness Princess Sparklewings and the Faeriesian People.


©2016, Illeana Nexry.

Posted in Writing

10 Minutes to Go

10 Minutes to go-

Ten minutes was all the time they had to complete their mission. Any longer and the distraction would begin to look suspicious to the targets, giving the team away.

Watches synced, the eight black clothed figures snuck across the street to the garage. First disabling the alarms and rerouting the security systems back into themselves to trick the systems into thinking nothing was wrong.

9 Minutes to go-

They made their way inside the massive garage. It was filled with hundreds of the flashiest, most expensive, cars and motorcycles, but the team bypassed them all. None of them were the target after all. Halfway to the target two of the figures broke off and raced to the far back wall. The other six went straight for the South wall.

There, beneath a blue tarp, was a lime green Lamborghini Centenario with lightning blue wing decals on the doors.

8 Minutes to go-

Giving a nod, their leader moved with them as they jumped into action. They threw the safety harness underneath the car, letting it unroll on its own, threw the tarp back on the top and proceeded to cinch the harness in place.

7 Minutes to go-

The whine of the crane reached their ears and they all grinned.

Right on time.

The other two team members had made excellent time in hacking into the cranes mainframe. Considering the total cost of the vehicles housed inside, it was no wonder that the owner had a retina, print and voice verification system in place for the operation of the machinery.

It just wasn’t enough for this particular group of entrepreneurs.

The larger group finished securing the Lamborghini while the crane made its way to their position. Having secured the car as well as they could before the crane made its way to them, their leader signaled two of the group to make their way to the bay doors.

With the timing being so crucial for this mission, the garage’s bay doors couldn’t be opened until the very last second. Too early and the alarm would sound before they had a chance to get free.

They couldn’t justify the time it would have taken to dismantle the secondary alarm system so they had used a side door to get in and would save the bay doors for the exit.

6 Minutes to go-

The crane arrived and the hook and chain lowered. They swiftly hooked the harness up and waved their comrades in the crane that they were done. They waited a beat to make sure that it would hold before racing to the doors to help open them when the time came.

5 Minutes to go-

The crane safely delivered the Lamborghini to the bay doors and gently set it back down. The crane was shut off and the two team members inside climbed out. Two soft thuds were heard over head and the two were soon seen sliding along the tether lines they had shot out of the specially modified air rifles.

The ground team couldn’t wait though and positioned themselves three on each side of the massive bay doors and pulled with everything they had.

Slowly but surely the doors gave way and after a moment or two the momentum made it easier to slide the doors along the tracks. The last two members hit the ground right as the others were pulling the tarp and harness from the car.

4 Minutes to go-

The team leader leapt into the Lamborghini as the other seven raced through the doors and to the getaway cars idling across the street. The slamming of the car doors was loud in the silence before a wailing siren began to sound.

Smiling, the team leader put the car in gear and shot through the closing doors. If they hadn’t jammed the doors open with screwdrivers first this wouldn’t have worked because the doors were automated and well-kept to be silent and fast.

The getaway cars all scattered down different streets as Police and private security vehicles came spilling out of the surrounding parking ramps.

3 Minutes to go-

Having successfully gotten the attention off the baseball game that had been playing at the stadium downtown, and a certain attendee who owned the pretty little car, the teams leader made sure to take a route that went right past the stadium itself.

News helicopters appeared in no time and reports starting coming in from the watchers telling the team leader that everyone else was safe and accounted for and that every news outlet in the vicinity was reporting on the theft.

Having planned ahead of time to have the streets closed on ‘official business’, it was really amazing what you could get away with when you had those orange cones at your disposal, it took exactly a minute to get from the garage to the docks at the illegal speeds used on the empty streets.

Of course, the streets were only empty until the leader had passed, after that the cars that had been waiting to get through the ‘construction zones’ were allowed out and filled the roads, stopping the pursuing vehicles from catching up.

2 Minutes to go-

Inside the car, the leader was getting ready for the last scene of the night’s play.

Ahead, stretched between two buildings, was a steel line. A second line was secured to the first at the middle with a carabiner attached to the end hanging down to exactly five feet above the road. With the Lamborghini Centenario being only 44 inches tall, the added height to the hook was needed for someone who planned to climb out of the window and hook themselves up.

1 Minute to go-

The news cameras panned out to capture what was about to happen and barely made it in time to broadcast as the raven-haired woman climbed out of the still moving cars’ driver side window and reached an arm out.

It never failed to awe and amuse the world when the famous Jamie Lecka made an appearance. She always had some new way to get in and out of heavily secured places and escape relatively unharmed. Her fame and notoriety had become legendary in a very short amount of time and she was loved by pretty much everyone because no matter what she did no one got seriously hurt.

A headache here and sprained ankle there, though that usually wasn’t her fault at all.

Not surprisingly, as soon as her name was mentioned ratings soared as people logged on to see what she was up to this time in protest. She may have been notorious, but she didn’t make such public displays often. Usually she was seen in more sedate settings like a court room.

The world watched, breathless, as Jamie was snatched from the car and swung back once before zipping straight up and appearing to walk on thin air. She tightrope walked quickly to the building on the left where a helicopter seemed to appear out of nowhere for her to climb into.

The last anyone saw of Jamie Lecka that night was a shot of her throwing a kiss to the cameras. Everyone knew who she was directing the kiss too and the world laughed at her audacity and daring.

Not all the cameras had been trained on her, however. Some of the cameras had continued to film as the Lamborghini Centenario continued to speed down the street, onto a dock and right off the end into the bay. It bobbed for a moment or two before sinking to the bottom.

The helicopter with Jamie Lecka vanished and no matter how hard they looked, the Police and privately hired guards and investigators could find no trace of her. Though they did eventually find the helicopter in a junkyard with a sticky note, with a familiar fanged smiley face drawn on it, after two weeks of searching.

©2016, Illeana Nexry.


Posted in Writing

Stupid Elves

“Stupid elves, always thinking that they’re the best.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing big sis. How’s the new ship working out?”

Aurel gazed longingly through her laptop screen to one of the newly acquired spaceships orbiting earth. Or a room of the spaceship anyways. In a few years that was where she was going to be. Right alongside one of her big sis’ and some of her other siblings.

Letting out a sigh she tried to catch what was being said by the many crew members milling about behind her sister Il’s back.

Unfortunately, there were too many voices speaking in too many languages and dialects for her to latch on to just one thread of conversation. Her ears twitched in aggravation at the attempt so she stopped before giving herself a headache.

From the screen, she saw her sister studying her and knew that her lame attempt at diverting the reason for the call hadn’t worked. She had to try at least.

Aurel watched as her sister leaned back and twisted around a bit towards the room.

“Oy!” the voices all stopped at the loud snap of Il’s voice, “I am trying to have a conversation here ya’ll. Pipe it down!”

Aurel heard some people snort in amusement and a few others chuckled. Those were the people who knew Il and her quirks. The muttered insults came from the people who either thought they were above it all or wouldn’t get called out. They would soon find themselves cleaning out the bathrooms or running laps. Or both.

Her sister turned back around and Aurel sighed at the sight of the Commanders insignia on the uniform jacket.

Eyebrows raised, Il asked, “You having trouble breathing kit? ‘Cause you keep sighing at me.”

Before she could explain where her thoughts had wandered, she heard a familiar voice pipe up and felt herself begin to blush.

“Is that my favorite Drow?”

A gorgeous face suddenly filled the screen and she finger waved at Daxrin.

Captain of his own fleet, Daxrin answered directly, and only, to her sister Il. Had Aurel joined the family just a few days earlier she and Dax would have been siblings. Thankfully that hadn’t happened because she was head over heels for the goblin and that would have been weird and wrong.

“Yo! My sister. You go away and stop flirting. She isn’t’ eighteen yet which means this conversation is wrong for several legal reasons.” Il playfully tried to push him away from the screen with little success. Dax just threw his arms around her shoulders and glommed, letting his whole weight rest on her.

He then winked at Aurel and began to recite a recipe for chocolate lava cake in a very obscure dialect. It was one of a very few that Il didn’t know so she couldn’t understand the words only the tone. And his voice was low and seductive now.

Aurel wanted to play along, but the fury that was slowly creeping up her sister’s face was just too funny so she kept her mouth shut and her eyes away from her sisters for fear of giving the game away.

With a sudden surge of strength Il leapt out of her chair, spun, and grabbed Dax by his collar she leaned in, having to pull him down to her five foot seven and a little height before she could snarl, “We may have been family before you chose to change your name and tribe, but if you so much as think another word towards my sixteen year old sister I will tear you apart and shove you out an airlock. Got it?”

By now, those in the room who could understand the dialect were doubled over in laughter and Aurel was right there with them.

A beat passed where Il took stock of the room then looked at Dax again.

“You were reciting another list weren’t you.”

It wasn’t actually a question and so no one answered. Aurel heard her sister sigh and watched as she ordered Dax to run twenty laps around the ship. He winked once more at Aurel before whistling a merry tune and heading out to run those laps.

Il sat again, folded her arms across her chest and waited for Aurel to get a hold of herself.

It took some time.

“You going to tell me what’s going on at school now?”

Il’s query drained Aurel of all happy feelings and she looked away from the screen. Silence stretched for long minutes until Il spoke again.

“Kit. I will drop everything and move heaven and earth for my family. You know this. But it still doesn’t mean that you can call me up and not say anything. A vid call is time-consuming and I’ve already let you take up a good twenty minutes.”

Wincing, Aurel met her sister’s eyes again and felt hers start to fill with tears.

“I know it shouldn’t bother me, but those damn elves just won’t leave me alone and I’ve told teachers and they keep saying to just ignore them. And I’ve tried to let it go but it’s like they intentionally find reasons to be where I am just so they can harass me.”

“What exactly are they doing?”

Her mumbled ‘not much really just some shoving and name calling’, was met with a disbelieving snort that had her head popping up again.

Il cocked an eyebrow, “Not much? Last time I checked ‘not much’ didn’t include broken bones and calls to Police.”

“I should have known you’d investigate.” Finally giving up on holding things back, Il would find them out anyways, Aurel spilled the whole tale.

She told about how it had started small, name-calling and tripping in the halls, and had then escalated to spell casting outside of school. Since the most severe bullying happened outside of school the teachers wouldn’t do anything and the elves in question were from Seelie High Houses, meaning that Aurel and Il’s mother couldn’t do anything either because her social standing wasn’t high enough to warrant an audience.

Elf politics made human ones seem like a game of tic-tac-toe.

When she was done confessing all of what had been happening, Aurel felt a little better. Being able to tell someone everything without sugar-coating things was a God send.

She waited patiently for Il to process her ramblings. It was a lot to deal with and she felt kind of bad about adding to her sister’s already overflowing plate of responsibility, but sometimes she just needed her sister’s advice.

It made no sense why Il’s opinion was more valuable than her other brothers’ and sisters’ and mothers was. Maybe it was because Il wasn’t a day-to-day presence so she wasn’t aware of the consensus from the house inhabitants in Montana. Whatever the reason, eventually all the kids contacted Il for advice or help.

“It sounds to me like you’ve been letting them beat you up without even trying to fight back. Or at least defend yourself.”

Aurel’s head snapped back. That had not been what she had expected to hear. She had contacted her sister for advice, not to be blamed for the bullying.

“What the hell do you expect me to do?! I can’t do anything at school or I’ll be suspended and I can’t do anything outside of school because it’s illegal!” She was shouting now and didn’t even care. How dare Il even suggest she was at fault. She hadn’t done anything wrong and didn’t’ deserve the recriminations.

“Exactly.” Her sisters calm voice broke through darkening thoughts and stopped her dead.

“Wait. What?” Aurel scratched her ear, confused suddenly with what they were talking about. “If you agree with me then how is it my fault?”

Il let out a breath, “Because sweetie, you haven’t done anything illegal or deserving of suspension but they have.” She gave Aurel a pointed look then as if expecting her to know what she was supposed to get from the vague sentence.

Il finally shook her head and explained. “I don’t blame you for the bullying, however, I don’t think it’s right that you’ve allowed it to continue instead of reporting them to the Oath Keepers.”

“Oh.” A beat passed. “Oh!” Her eyes got wide as she caught on to what Il was suggesting and she started to get excited.

“You mean because I’m from a Royal House, even if it is a Dark one, then I can demand an investigation be started because of their activities. The Oath Keepers won’t care if they’re from High Houses and I’m Drow because they only care about the laws!”

Aurel was literally jumping up and down in her seat in excitement, “Thank you big sis!” she kissed the screen, said goodbye, and logged off, leaving Il looking at the ‘Connection Terminated. Would you like to re-engage?’ message.

She rolled her eyes at her little sister’s enthusiasm. She never tired of helping the hundreds of kids that her family fostered, adopted and mentored, but sometimes it was hard to believe that they were doing a good job when the kids got themselves into easily extricated trouble.

Maybe it only seemed easy to her because she was used to commanding thousands of troops and having to think fast on her feet or risk people dying.

Something to ponder later.

Il stood, stretching her sore back as she did, and turned to leave the South Comm Room, but stopped abruptly as she caught a fellow Commanders eye.

Commander Trixelon Asak was an Seelie Elven Lord who had signed up for the new military out of boredom. He was old and carried many of the old prejudices with him, including the belief that his Dark brethren, the Drow, were despicable creatures unfit for life.

This had caused several issues between them as Il had countless Drow siblings who had joined the military, but who had to serve under an Elven or Drow CO due to the agreements signed by their respective leading entities. Il had stepped in a few times on her siblings’ behalf when Asak had singled them out and not advanced them when they had better scores than everyone else.

She made herself relax. Whatever he had to say he would say and she could choose to ignore him if she didn’t like what he said. Unfortunately, just walking away at this point would be too many kinds of rude for even her to do, so she lifted a brow in invitation.

He didn’t bother moving closer so their conversation could be private. In fact, he raised his voice so that everyone in the room could hear.

“Commander. Did I just hear you counsel a Royal Drow Princess to call upon the Oath Keepers?”

“Yah.” Her tone had a very small shade of ‘the ef is it to you?’ in it. She really didn’t like him.

His sudden smile made her take a step back. She had seen him smile before, usually in anticipation of a kill, or mockingly, but never ever in genuine amusement and it concerned her greatly.

“You council, and condone, such an action right before the Amana takes place?” There was laughter lacing his words now and she suddenly understood why.

“Well, fu- “

Her curse was lost under Asak’s guffaws.

She wanted to tell him to stop. To act professional, or at least his age, but even she had to admit to some amusement at the colossal ‘oops’ she had just unintentionally engineered.

She had completely forgotten that the Amana had been called for this year. The Seelie Courts had reigned, by right of blood, for millennia. Which meant that the Unseelie and Drow Courts, who had their own royal houses, had not had one of their own on the throne for far too long.

To keep the balance and prevent all-out war, the ancient, and obviously magical, ceremony to verify and legitimize a bloodline was slated for next month.

The Seelie Courts swore that they were the rightful, and only, rulers because they were honorable and all things good. While the Unseelie and Drow Courts were everything but.

The Amana was the only thing that could silence the Dark Courts as the Amana Relics were made from the blood of the Royal Houses of each Court. They literally could not go against the ruling once the Relics had decided the next ruler. It was how the Seelie were going to keep their brethren Courts from being represented.

The problem now was that when Aurel called for the Oath Keepers to look into the Seelie High Court teen elves, they would find corruption and misuse of power, which would cast doubt on the Light Courts honesty and integrity.

Which would give the Dark Courts the right to call for the Amana Trials where the Relics would be used in quests to decide who was worthy of the crown and throne.

Which meant that Il had just given two courts a way to take down a third, before fighting over who got to participate in the trials because technically the Dark Courts were one entity, but the Drow and Unseelie were different races.

To be fair, if the stupid elves hadn’t been bullying her little sister she wouldn’t have suggested anything so drastic, so technically speaking this was all the elves’ fault. They would just have to deal with it then and so long as they didn’t try to hurt any of her family she wouldn’t have to step in.

She really couldn’t deal with this right now. Not when she had a campaign to plan and troop movements to organize. She’s deal with whatever fallout came from her advice later.

Decision made, Il left the room, Asak’s laughter following her down the hall. She really couldn’t stand that elf.

©2016, Illeana Nexry.

Posted in Writing

Flaming Footprints



The town was dead silent except for the town hall clock tower as it struck midnight.

The lights had been extinguished two hours after sundown and the ban on noise officially began. Even the dogs wouldn’t bark at night now, having been trained by their masters not to do so after what had happened the one and only time it had been suspected that a dog had barked after dark had descended.

What was left of farmer Johnson and his family had been discovered the next morning. Pieces had been strewn about the inside of their cabin, though not enough to make full bodies anymore which left many believing that parts had been eaten by the ‘Demon’ that had also drunk the blood as none was found. Not so much as a drop had been was inside the cabin or out.

Flaming footprints had been found throughout the town the same day, leading to the Johnsons home.

That had been the day the town elders had insisted on stricter bans. Everyone agreed with the bans because after the bans had been put in place no one else had been killed and eaten. It didn’t matter if the ‘Demon’ walked the cobblestone streets at night. So long as the town elders’ bans were adhered to everyone would be safe. For two years that had been the case.

And of the eight hundred-ninety-three people in Carestown, Montana, in 1872, only one dared to defy the elders’ bans.

Eight-year-old Cara Salik.

Blue eyed with wavy blonde hair, Cara was the youngest of ten and lived with her entire family just on the outskirts of town. They had moved to Carestown nine months ago and had been welcomed warmly by the townspeople. Their home had been constructed within a week and their barn had taken only three days more. They had slept in the homes of people who had room until their house had been completed and they had been very impressed by the town’s hospitality, so different from the last town they’d lived in.

It hadn’t been until the day they were to officially move into their home that the Salik family had been told about the bans and why they were in place.

To the townspeople’s faces, the family was concerned, a little afraid and willing to follow the bans. When the townspeople were not around however, the family laughed and joked about the superstitious people and their silly fears.

After all, why would a Demon bother a relatively small town in the middle of nowhere? And did the people truly believe that the Demon stayed out of their homes because they were quiet and left the lights off?

Strange town, but nice people, so the Salik’s had stayed and soon after had begun setting up shop for their business.

The Salik’s got along well with the townspeople and were accepted quickly. Mama Salik was invited to join the lady’s quilting group and had started a small group of non-traditional herb growing enthusiasts as well. Papa Salik had quickly become the go-to person when it came to questions about new agriculture methods, the older Salik’s had become friends with their own age groups and helped with chores around town when they were done with theirs, making them highly popular, and the younger Salik’s went to school.

Except for Cara, the Salik’s had integrated themselves into the happenings of the town and fit in quite nicely.

Cara, on the other hand, had been having some trouble fitting in with the new town. For one thing, her eyes had a tendency to look different colors depending on how the light hit them which had led to an accusation of witchcraft. Mama Salik had held Cara’s chin and turned her head this way and that for the town elders to see that it was just the light and had even sent off for a medical journal that had reported on a recent study on the strange occurrence.

The elders had been satisfied with the explanation.

Another problem that Cara was having with fitting in was due to the fact that she was quite tall for her age. Already five feet, six inches, she towered over every other child her age and some older. In fact, she was taller than her four closest-in-age siblings. This led to bullying by the town children until the other Salik children had put them in their place.

It had not completely stopped the cruel taunts and teasing however, because of all the problems Cara was having the biggest had to do with her gift. The one thing that she couldn’t ignore even if she wanted to. Add her penchant for talking to animals, and her high intellect, and sooner or later there would be problems.

To be fair, Cara had not meant to defy the town elders. Her family had been more than happy to pretend to stay behind closed doors with no lights these last nine months, while secretly sneaking into the large cellar and continuing discussions long into the night, and Cara had been right there with them discussing politics and the like. For nine months. Nine, long months.

Had it not been for the puppy, things would have continued for quite longer without there being any casualties.

The puppy in question was pitch black and only a few weeks old. She had been stuck in the woods out back of the Preacher’s house for several days and was getting hungry. Cara, having been invited over with her two eldest sisters for lunch that day by the Preacher’s wife, had heard the poor puppy calling weakly for her mother.

Cara had excused herself, lying and saying that she wanted a closer look at the garden, and slowly made her way to the forest edge. The forest was unnaturally dark even in daylight and Cara had been told not to go inside because no one ever came out again. The Preacher and his wife had issued the warning again before she’d left the house, her sisters had smiled in agreement with the Preacher, but their eyes had been laughing at the silliness of it all which told Cara that she had permission to go into the woods if she wanted to.

And she wanted to.

The first four steps were easy, but after the fifth step she had started to feel a presence. One that was far from benevolent. Under other circumstances she would have turned around and gone back inside, but the current circumstances meant that she instead strode forward towards where the puppy’s voice was coming from.

No light shown in the deeper parts of the forest, at least that had been what she’d been told, but she wasn’t going in that far today. Maybe another day with her family for an outing they could see what was in the forest instead of having to listen to the highly-dramatized stories from the people. The Salik’s were quite levelheaded and didn’t put stock in such stories where no one had actually ventured into the forest, but they knew of someone who knew of someone who had.

As far as she could tell, the light shown just fine deeper in where she located the puppy. The pitiful thing was all skin and bones at that point and firmly entrenched in the trap that had been set. Most likely by a holy man, though Cara didn’t think that the Preacher had done it.

She knelt down and cuddled with the puppy as best as she could, giving her warmth to the shivering ball, while also giving the puppy some of the bread she had nicked off of the Preachers table on the way out. She poured some water into her palm from her canteen, she was never allowed to leave home without it being full, and let the puppy drink.

Cara wasn’t going to be able to undo the trap until she had gathered some supplies and even than she would have to be careful and wait until nightfall so that no one would see her. It was a new moon so only the stars would be out that night. She patted the puppy on the head, assuring her that she would be back to get her out and take her home after the sun had set, and headed back for lunch.

The day had dragged on after that. Cara had, herself, been dragged around town by one family member or another in an attempt to get her to find someone or something that would make the town more appealing for her while they were there.

‘It wouldn’t be for long’ her mama insisted, ‘just for a few years until the others had become settled, then they would return home again’. Cara would have rather gone home, to their home across the ocean that is, before they ever left. Unfortunately, they always made such trips every ten years, had since before she had been born, and nothing was going to change her parents’ mind. It was culturally important for them to see new places and explore the world.

By the time they had finished dinner and were making their way into the cellar for a card game, Cara was done in and it must have shown because her Papa gave her permission to go upstairs to her room instead of joining the family.

Her room was on the third floor and had its own window right next to a very convenient oak tree. Cara had been gathering her supplies all day and only had to toss them in her pack before jumping out her window and climbing down the tree. She made one stop to the well, to fill her canteen again, and then started out towards the Preacher’s house.

Thought the moon didn’t shine, her eyesight had always been good at night and she made quick time to the forest edge. It would be much darker inside now so she would have to be extra careful where she stepped. She would light her torch when she was far enough inside that no one would see it.

Once the torch was lit, Cara picked up her pace and whispered for the puppy. She hadn’t heard a sound since entering the forest and she had begun to worry that something had happened to it. Just when her fears were going to overflow she heard a quiet whimper. Her shoulders fell in relief as she came around the trunk of a giant spruce tree and saw the puppy was okay.

“It’s okay little girl. I said I’d be back to get you out and here I am to do just that.” The puppy’s ears turned towards her voice and she quieted as Cara pulled out her supplies.

The vial of virgin’s blood came out first, then the dove feather, a scroll with applicable scripture written on it from the Holy Bible, an ancient Sumerian dagger, a wand and, last but not least, a mummified demon hand.

If her family ever found out what she did, they would kill her for it. They were as open minded as could be, but some things were just not allowed. Taking down a holy trap to free a Hellhound would be among the things not allowed.

Cara stood, dropped her cloak on the ground, and began to walk a slow circle around the puppy. When she had made her way to the northernmost point of the circle a second time, she uncorked the bottle of blood and poured it out in the shape of a star. The ground tried to absorb it instantly, but she chanted a few words and it subsided.

She walked around the circle a third time, stopping at the southernmost point and poking the end of the dove’s feather into the ground. The silence of the forest seemed to get louder and she had the feeling that something was coming. Something that she wouldn’t like at all.

Cursing in her head, Cara quickly walked the circle again, stopped on the western most point and set the dagger down, and began to walk the last circle. When she made it to the easternmost point of her circle she took the wand, hand and scroll and prayed really hard that her hurrying wouldn’t mess anything up.

Taking the mummified hand, she stuck it on the end of the wand and held it out from her body as far as she could before unravelling the scroll and reading the scripture written on it.

Her voice got higher and the words got faster as the thing got closer.

The hand began to burn on the end of the wand and she wrinkled her nose at the smell. It was disgusting. Around the circle the items she had brought began to glow and spark as she got closer to the end of the scroll and scriptures. The wind picked up and whipped around the trees and made her dress snap painfully against her legs. The glow from the items became so bright that she had to recite the scriptures from memory as she felt the power rise from the dagger, blood, feather and hand.

Just when she thought she couldn’t hold it a second longer, the power hit its highest point and exploded in a loud boom, flattening a few smaller trees.

Cara peeped between her eyelashes to see if she was still alive and breathed a sigh of relief. She was and it had worked, the Hellhound puppy was free of the trap. Her relief was short lived, however, as she felt a breath on her neck and smelled sulfur. She froze.

The puppy growled low and its hackles stood straight up, making her look bigger than she was and, had she been older, it would have unhinged the third set of ribs allowing the chemical reaction to begin so she could breathe brimstone. Unfortunately, the puppy was far too young at the moment which meant that it was up to Cara to get them out of this mess.

Hearing the soft scrape of a weapon being pulled from a harness gave her the adrenaline she needed to unfreeze.

Diving forward towards the puppy, Cara felt the whoosh as the weapons passing lifted her hair. Her dive had been strong enough to land her right where she needed to be and she scooped up the still growling puppy in her arms and turned around.

On the one hand she wished she hadn’t, but on the other hand it was good to see what she was up against.

Also, the way out of the forest lay behind her attacker so she really had no choice.

The demon stood eight feet tall with towering double curved horns that made him seem even taller and he wore human skins for clothing. As if that weren’t bad enough, he wielded a massive hammer in one hand and an axe in the other. Both were as big as she was.

Cara gulped and would have been cut in half had the puppy not bitten her arm in warning. She jumped back from the hurt and the axe whizzed past without doing any damage.

She knew she couldn’t rely on luck to keep her safe anymore. She had to get home.

Waiting for the demon to pull his arm back for a second strike, Cara spit on the ground and called up a quick golem. It didn’t have to be big or even very solid, it just had to trick the demon into thinking she was still standing in fear in front of him.

As soon as the demons’ eyes were slightly unfocused by seeing two kids where only one had stood before, Cara made a dash for it and made it behind the demon. She raced through the forest, running into trees and boulders as she went, but she didn’t stop because behind her she could hear the demon getting closer.

Her golem had given her the head start she had needed, keeping the demon occupied so she could get ahead.

The forest parted before her and she was suddenly behind the Preacher’s house again. She winced and prayed even harder than before that the Preacher didn’t try to get a look at what was going on outside. He had to be able to hear the bellowing of the demon and even if he couldn’t hear anything, the shaking of the ground as the demon ran made it obvious something was happening.

Her foot skidded out from under her suddenly and she fell back onto the ground, the wind knocked out of her for a long, terrifying, moment.

When she got her breath back she lost it just as quickly, as she screamed and rolled to get out from under the hammer that almost flattened her head. The demon swung again, missed her but left a small crater in the ground where she had been.

Cara scrambled to her feet and took off again, heading down the main road in the town towards home. She couldn’t waste time being sneaky and staying to the shadows ‘just in case’ as she had earlier. With God’s good grace the townspeople would stick to their bans and not peek outside tonight.

A cramp seized her side and she doubled over at the sudden shot of pain. At that exact moment she felt something whiz past her head and looked up just in enough time to see the demon’s axe take out the Church. It cut through it like it wasn’t even there and embedded itself into the ground so far that only a small portion of the handle was visible.

She couldn’t stay on the open road or she would die. Cara bolted to her right between two houses and winced as the demon roared in fury. What he was saying wasn’t fit for a child’s ears, but she was actually grateful she could understand because now she knew how she could make it home alive.

The townspeople, not really knowing what they were doing, had unintentionally given her a safe way home. Circuitous, but safe. Their true belief in God had meant that when they closed their doors at night and prayed before going to bed that they had been setting shields of sort around their homes. The demon was evil, no doubt, but it was a lower class demon that couldn’t stand the Holy protection that the people’s’ prayers gave them. He would have to find a way around the houses to get her now.

Just when she thought she had made it, the demon appeared at the end of the row of houses she was running in front of and grinned maliciously at her. She almost fell over again she stopped so fast. Cara was able to hold onto her balance enough to turn around and take two running strides away from the demon before coming to an abrupt halt again.

There, at the opposite end of the row of houses, stood another creature. A horse, if you could call it that.

The creature stood as tall as the demon with black flames for a mane and tail. The flames were so dark that they were literally eating the darkness around it, as if affronted by the mere audacity that something as small as night would dare be a similar color. As if the black flames weren’t horrible enough, the creatures’ eyes burned a sickly green and its coat was red as fresh blood while its hooves were shod in dragon bone.

The only reason Cara could tell was because the flames coming from the hooves were a sparkling, clean, blue flame. The kind that only an elder dragon could create.

Shivering in abject terror now, Cara backed up a step before remembering the demon behind her. she whipped around and looked between the two creatures. There were no more alleyways for her to sneak through to get away. This stretch of houses had been built in the city style where walls were shared with neighbors.

She had nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide.

She was dead.

The puppy whined and licked her chin, trying to comfort as the horse creature reared and let out a terrible screaming bellow before bolting towards her. The demon let out a war cry of its own and raced towards her at the same time as the horse creature.

The horse would get to her faster, a benefit of having more legs and being built for racing, and Cara wasn’t sure if she was happy about being trampled before being cut into pieces and eaten by the demon or if she was just hoping that would happen out of spite towards the demon.

Ground shaking so hard that the roof tiles began to loosen and fall from the houses, Cara dropped to the ground and curled into a ball with the puppy as sheltered as she could manage. Maybe the puppy could escape when the demon and horse were eating her. Not really a happy thought, but strangely it helped to calm her.

Tensing, she waited for the first strike of the hooves to hit her. She felt the horse run over her, but it didn’t hit her at all, simply kept running past and ignoring her.

Cara opened her eyes and sat up at the sight in front of her.

The horse and demon were fighting.

How she had missed the diamond sharp horn on the horse creatures head she didn’t know, but she watched, fascinated, as the horse used the horn to cut and slash open the demon. The demon raised his hammer and brought it down on the horse. Except that the horse was no longer there but behind the demon!

She hadn’t even seen it move it was so fast.

The demon swung around, bringing the hammer with it in a death blow. Once again the horse wasn’t there. This time Cara noticed a glimmer surround the horse right before and right after it disappeared and reappeared. It wasn’t moving at all, but transporting itself from one place to another.

She had never heard of such a creature and she knew more about such things than most. It was still terrifying, but since it was fighting the demon and leaving her alone, Cara felt warm and fuzzies fill her for the horse thing. It was not, however, enough to keep her there any longer.

With the demon preoccupied with the horse in the middle of the road, Cara made her way to the side of the houses and crept along, watching the fight the whole time, before making it past the creatures’ and finally racing away toward home one more time.

Cara stumbled up the stairs to the front door and banged on it hard, falling against it when her legs started to give out.

Her oldest brother opened the door and his eyes got big as he saw her state of disarray. He didn’t even notice the Hellhound puppy as he ushered her inside and yelled for the rest of the family. Everyone came running at his call and it was her Mama that first noticed the puppy.

“What, exactly, are you holding Cara Mari Salik?”

The room went dead silent as the others all took a step back away from Cara. No one wanted to be on the other end of that particular tone of their mothers.

“A puppy?” Cara tried a smile on, but by the grimaces on her siblings faces it wasn’t a very good one.

Her mother snatched the puppy from her arms and held it by the scruff of its neck. The puppy met her eyes and wagged her tail happily. Knowing, as all young creatures did, that Mama Salik would never harm them. Cara had gotten her soft heart and ability to talk to animals from someone after all and it hadn’t been her warmongering father.

With a deep sigh, her mother asked, “What’s her name?”


Cara knew she had won as her mother sighed again and handed the puppy over to her eldest son Bram with instructions to bathe it and get it fed.

Char, the second oldest of the boys, piped up from where he stood at the door. “Um, out of curiosity little sister, what exactly were you up to tonight?”

Cara turned to look at him only to find his back to her as he looked outside. “I went to rescue the puppy from behind the Preacher’s house.”

She was interrupted by her sisters at that point, “Is that what you went running off to investigate earlier Cara? You could have simply told us what was going on and we would have gone with you right then to get the poor thing.”

Cara began to squirm, knowing that she was going to have to come clean and the sooner the better. She opened her mouth to confess when a massive axe cleaved through the kitchen wall and the demon burst inside. Her family scattered, leaving Cara standing alone in the entryway.

Exhausted by the day and ensuing nights happenings, Cara’s patience ran out at that moment and she let out a banshees cry. The demon stopped dead in his tracks and looked at her in confusion. Strong he may have been and smart enough to find his way out of Hell to Earth, but he was obviously not well educated past the essentials because if he had been he would have known to run at that point because Cara was far from being human and having to live for nine months without giving in to her gift had been a lesson in patience that she was done with now.

Releasing her wings from the binding they had been under, Cara let loose another banshees cry and reached into the ether for her claymore.

“NOT IN THE HOUSE!” her mother’s cry was the last thing she heard before she found herself outside on the front lawn and in the middle of a Berserker’s rage.

Dimly, Cara could feel when the horse thing joined the fight again. Even with the two of them fighting it, it took at least twenty-five minutes before they reduced the demon into pieces too small to regenerate. Which was a good thing because any longer and Cara would have lost the rage and been in serious trouble. She wasn’t old enough yet to fully be able to keep a rage going longer than thirty minutes at a time and that was when she was at peak and not tired from running.

Shaking the remnants of the rage off, Cara became aware of a silence heavy with fear and violence. She turned away from the dead demon and saw that the townspeople were all gathered several yards away holding pitchforks, axes and, if she weren’t mistaken, a few rolling pins.

She opened her mouth to say something, but closed it when nothing appropriate came to mind. Telling the people she was an angel from on high sent to vanquish the demon plaguing them wouldn’t work because she didn’t look the part. Her wings were a vibrant blue and she knew her eyes had changed to their original gold color. Their suspicions from before were a factor as well, though from how they were looking at her she guessed her looks were the problem right now.

The crowd shifted and Cara felt the world tilt in such a way that told her the course the earth was on had just changed drastically because of the decision the people had made. The chances of the change being positive was slim considering the violence the people were almost happy to visit upon the Salik family.

Before the crowd could take a single step towards the house and her family however, a blinding light shone from above and a figure materialized out of the clouds. Clouds that hadn’t been there a moment ago.

The figure shown bright as day and alighted on the grass between the crowd and house. Wearing a flowing white and silver gown, the woman was radiant and everything an angel was reported to be with sweeping gold wings tinged with silver and an aura of peace.

“Gentle people, God’s children, I have been sent to cleanse this place of the evil before you. However, for me to do this you must return to your homes as your eyes will surely burn away if you witness the cleansing that is needed.”

Her voice was music and held enormous power. It was not, as Cara had first thought however, the voice of an angel.

The humans didn’t know that though and quickly laid down their makeshift weapons and, being prodded by the Preacher and town elders, made their way back to their homes.

Once they were all gone, and presumably inside their homes, the ‘angel’ turned towards Papa Salik and dropped her glamour.

In place of the radiant angelic looking woman was a twenty something human looking woman. Brown hair and brown eyes in an unremarkable face went well with the unremarkable body. Not flat chested but also not busty, the woman’s body was ‘meh’ at best and gangly was about as complimentary as you could be about it.

The woman looked over and beamed at Cara, laughter clear in her eyes. She felt the gentle nudge of admonishment and realized that the woman had heard her thoughts and been amused instead of insulted. Before she could decide whether to be embarrassed or mad that the someone had gotten through her shields, the woman let out a happy squeal and ran towards, then past Cara, screaming ‘Poins’ as she went.

Cara turned and saw the woman launch herself at the horse thing, wrap her arms around its neck and hug it tight. The fierce, terrifying horse creature from mere moments before suddenly became a giddy, prancing horse, happily nickering at the woman.

Feeling her mouth drop in astonishment, Cara asked her gathering family, “Does anyone else find that highly distressing?”

“Not really, what I find highly distressing is the fact that you TOOK MY MUMMIFIED DEMON HAND!”

Flinching at her sisters’ words Cara turned to face the music. “I was going to tell you, but the demon interrupted before I could.”

Her papa sighed, “Cara, you know that you aren’t to take your siblings things without asking first. How would you like it if they just waltzed into your room and took the grimoires you check out from the library, used them in a ceremony, destroyed them in the process, and didn’t ask you first?”

“I know, but it was important and I guess I was mad that everyone else had something to do and I was so bored…” she let her words and voice trail off. The excuse was a weak one and she knew it.

“I suppose it’s for the best, this happening” Bram spoke up and held his hands out in a peace gesture as the others turned to him with glares on their faces. “Let’s be honest, we shouldn’t have gone on this trip to begin with. The only reason we did was because Cara has never been and she didn’t even want to in the first place. We were the ones who insisted that it would be good for her to get out of the court.”

Unsurprisingly, the siblings all ended up nodding in agreement with him. That was why he was heir, his ability to get people to see his point of view was legendary. It also didn’t hurt that the two oldest sisters before him had no desire to rule.

“In light of current events,” her mother gave Cara a pointed look before continuing, “I suppose we may as well cut the trip short and go home. Everyone go pack your things, we’ll leave before sunrise.”

Cara started after the others when she was pulled back by her mother’s’ hand on her arm. “Not just yet young lady. You are to apologize for your thoughts towards this woman who just got us out of a potentially destructive situation.”

She wanted to argue, it wasn’t like she had meant the thoughts to be mean or anything and the lady had been amused, but the truth was the truth and even though she was nowhere near her mother’s seventh century age, she still knew that had the townspeople been allowed to attack something would have gone terribly wrong with the world.

“I’d say war, but that wouldn’t really cover it.” Cara looked at the woman as she answered the unasked, “More like annihilation and early end of the world. These people would have become a sect of non-human hunters who could prove their claims and would eventually grow strong enough to have a presence on every continent and in every form of government known on the earth. When technology comes along they would have created ways to traverse the worlds and would have slaughtered entire universes without truly understanding what they were doing.”

Finding no lies in the answer made Cara very glad that the woman had shown up when she had, but that didn’t mean that she wanted her poking around in her head and thinking she knew everything.

“Why did you name him ‘Poins’?”

Her father gave her a look that was part amused at her sad attempt to divert the conversation and displeased with the fact that she had been rude while doing it and still hadn’t thanked the woman.

Laughing, the woman apparently decided to continue to not take offense with Cara. “I actually named him Poinsettia after the flower, but when other people started calling him that, and he didn’t like it, I decided I better shorten it so that he would stop killing people who displeased him. I was out getting some lunch when he bolted and I’ve been looking for him for about two, three years now? He’s always been good at hide and seek.”

“I’m sorry I thought those rude things about how you look. It was uncalled for and I apologize for my rudeness after you stepped in and helped us like you did.” Cara rushed the words together to get the apology done with and had to take a deep breath when she was done. There was silence until she looked up again and met the woman’s eyes.

She shrugged, “It actually doesn’t bother me and I can’t blame you for things you think when you choose not to say them in the end and you’re most welcome on the save. Just next time tell a family member what you’re up to so that you have backup okay?”

Cara nodded vigorously, knowing that she had dodged yet another bullet that night. Technically, for the offense, the woman could have asked or demanded anything and it would have been hers. Even if she had demanded Cara’s death.

She watched as the woman swung up onto Poinsettia’s back, waved in farewell and turned the horse towards the forest. Before she reached the edge and disappeared, Cara yelled a last question, “What’s your name lady?”

The word ‘Nexry’ floated on the wind back to her and she felt her mother and father stiffen in surprise. She cocked an eyebrow at them.

“Another time Cara. That is most definitely a story for another time.”

Shaking their heads they ushered her inside so that she could pack. By daybreak, they were gone and the house and other buildings had been mysteriously burned to the ground and nothing was left.

The townspeople eventually forgot what had happened and the town became lost to history as people moved away to the cities for better work. The flaming footprints, or hoof prints as the case was, that had led the people to put the bans in place to begin with, even before the demon arrived, were never seen again. After all, Poinsettia was back with his herd and had no reason to investigate a temporal Hell gate now that his Lady Nexry had destroyed it.

The Salik family went back to Tir na Nog, their home in the year 5089, where Cara became one of the most sought after Fae Princesses of the Light Court and spent the rest of her life happily breeding rare creatures and discovering new ones.

But that’s a different story entirely.


©2016, Illeana Nexry.

Posted in Writing

A Toast-with-Jelly Kiss


Isra’s yawn was so wide that it made her jaw crack and ears pop.

As her mouth closed once more, she shook her head to try and get her brain in gear and, when it didn’t work, she took a deep breath and squinted blearily at the canister in her hand.

The container was blue and had a picture on it, but damned if she could figure out what the words said. Of course, if she had remembered to grab her glasses from the bedside table before leaving the room she wouldn’t be having this problem to begin with.

Well, as they say hindsight is twenty-twenty and her sight was correctable to that degree, just so long as her glasses were on.

Isra sighed again and felt along the counter until her hand brushed the mug rack. She took a mug, set it on the counter and proceeded to scoop some of the finely grained stuff out of the canister and into the waiting mug.

It took until the third scoop for her to realize that the mug was upside down. She stopped and heaved a heavy sigh.

This was not a good start to the morning.

Isra bent close to the counter and brought the canister up towards the mug so that she could oh so carefully pour the contents back into the canister without spilling any. After which, she just as carefully turned the mug right side up and slowly counted out the scoopfuls of what turned out to be hot chocolate mix.

That Herculean task done, Isra managed to find bread and the toaster and successfully put two slices in without anything untoward happening. She stood for a minute trying to remember what came next before shaking her finger at the ceiling and making her way to the refrigerator.

She pulled the door open and, literally, put her head inside to try and find the strawberry jam. Not having any luck with the jam, she shrugged and grabbed the jar of grape jelly.

Getting a butter knife was easier than getting the butter because the silverware hadn’t moved in two years. The butter however had not been put back in its usual place, so Isra put her face right up to the counter and squinted at what was sitting on top.

It took her awhile before realizing that the butter dish couldn’t be on the counter because she had never put it back after supper the night before.

Sure enough when she put her head close enough to the table she saw the familiar ceramic yellow duck that held the butter.

Isra heard the toaster sproing done just then and, since she couldn’t be bothered to try and find a plate, she pulled a piece of paper towel off the roll and carried her toast to the table that way.

Sitting down, she pulled the butter dish and jelly jar close enough that her short sighted eyes didn’t have to strain so much to see and proceeded to butter and jelly her toast.

Isra started to feel like the day was finally looking up, until she heard the butter knife clatter to the kitchen floor.

She shouldn’t have left it so close to the table edge.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before hunching over her toast and resolutely ignoring everything else around her.

Isra only knew she wasn’t alone anymore when a hand tipped her head up and her husband’s lips touched hers in a gentle kiss. He licked the crumbs from her lips while setting a steaming cup of yummy smelling ambrosia in front of her on the table.

Before Isra could reach for the cup, and the nirvana within, her face was tilted up once more and her glasses were settled in place just so. She blinked up at him.

“Better?” He asked. She nodded and went back to her breakfast, hearing Matthew chuckle as he moved about the kitchen fixing himself food.


Matthew woke when his wife left their bed. It was a habit he never wanted to break and he still pretended to be asleep as she moved around the stacks of library books on the floor and out the bedroom door. No doubt aiming for the kitchen to get breakfast started.

He rolled twice so that he ended up on her side of the bed and looked over the edge to the floor.

Sure enough, as she had done almost every morning for as long as he had known her, his wife had forgotten to put her glasses on before leaving the bedroom.

Smiling to himself, he shifted to his back for a full body stretch before swinging his legs off the bed and heading to the bathroom. Five minutes later he strolled back out again, picked up Isra’s glasses, and made his way towards the kitchen.

Matthew walked into the kitchen just in time to hear a knife hit the floor. Unconcerned, he poured hot water into the forgotten mug of hot chocolate mix. He stirred it, added whipped cream to the top and couldn’t stop from shaking his head at his wife.

Eleven years later and Isra still wasn’t even close to being a morning person.

God, he loved her.

He leaned against the counter and just watched her for the sheer joy of it for several moments, well aware that she probably hadn’t notice him enter the room.

After drinking the sight of her in and wondering if he would he ever get enough of her, he finally decided to take pity on his wife and moved to her side.

Matthew snuck his hand under Isra’s chin and lifted her face to his for a kiss. He could feel the crumbs scattered on her lips and licked them off. She tasted like grape jelly, which meant that she had forgotten that she had put the strawberry jam in the refrigerator door the night before. It was supposed to be a precaution, just in case she forgot to put her glasses on before eating breakfast.

He set the mug down on the table and pulled said glasses from where he had hooked them onto the neck of his shirt. Unfolding them he tilted her head up to him once more, managing to stop the chuckle that tried to escape when she growled at him for stopping her from reaching the hot chocolate, and slid them onto her face gently.

“Better?” he asked, knowing full well that she wouldn’t respond verbally. It was far too early for that yet and he couldn’t help but chuckle when he was proven right. She barely managed a nod in his direction.

Grabbing the loaf of bread Matthew made himself some toast and sat at the table to eat. He spread butter on both pieces, but stayed away from the jelly, not being a particular fan of grapes unless they happened to be on his wife.

They ate in silence, sharing the mug of hot chocolate between them while the sun slowly rose above the horizon to shine through the balcony window.

Posted in Writing

Agent Al & Agent Ien: Silent, but Deadly

FBI Nevada headquarters.
Alien abduction interview with Melonie Smith

“Is this really necessary? I mean, I’m back unharmed and the alien who abducted me is long gone.”

“It’s routine for all unauthorized alien abductions since the legalization of alien activity within our solar system ma’am.” Agent Al explained.

Melonie’s eyebrows rose, “Unauthorized?” She looked back and forth between the two agents, “I didn’t know there was such a thing as an ‘authorized’ alien abduction.”

It was Agent Ien who responded this time, “Have you ever heard of role playing?”

“Yes, of course, who hasn’t?”

The agents stared at Melonie for several moments in silence, not wanting to go into detail.

A thought crossed Melonie’s mind, “Oh.” Her eyes got big as the full meaning hit her, “OH! You mean people…and the aliens just…” A pause, then, “Kinky bastards aren’t they?”

Agent Ien nodded his head once, “Yes ma’am that pretty much sums it up. Now, if you would be so kind as to start at the beginning and tell us how it is you got the alien who abducted you to not only release you, but return you to Earth, we would appreciate it.”

“Well, sure, I guess. If it’s really that big of a deal.” Melonie said.

Agent Al’s smile was small as he nudged the blonde woman into starting, “So, you were on your way to class?”

“Yes.” Melonie nodded and continued, “I was on my way to class when…”

5 minutes later:

“…You’re telling us that you got a Sensitivenose alien, one of the most cunning and brutal alien races, to let you go and return you, by being annoying?” Agent Al’s voice was disbelieving.

“Yep. Pretty much.” Melonie shrugged. She had told them the story wasn’t that interesting.

Agent Ien looked down at his notes. “Just to be clear. You were first beamed up to the ship and you say that the ship only had one area to it where there was a control panel, sleeping and food area and what looked to you to be an exam table, correct?”

Melonie nodded and confirmed, “That is correct.”

“Alright. Your captor didn’t do or say anything to you for several hours and refused to answer or even acknowledge your questions and presence, correct?”

“Correct again Agent.”

“Okay, according to your statement, you say that you got quite annoyed by the silent treatment as your last boyfriend would do that when there was something wrong, but wouldn’t tell you what it was. So, you decided to sing in an attempt to get your captors attention and some answers. Again, is this all true?” Agent Ien looked up from his notes to watch the woman’s face.

“Yes sir. Since he didn’t want to talk to me I figured I would use the same trick I used on my ex-boyfriend to get a response.”

“And that was to sing ‘This is the song that never ends’? Over, and over, and over, and over, again?”

“And over, and over again. I made sure to change my voice and the style of my singing so it wasn’t boring.”

Agent Al interrupted with a question of his own. It wasn’t relevant for their investigation, but he wasn’t sure he had heard her right the first time, “How did you keep the song from becoming boring again?”

“Easy.” Melonie shrugged again, “I made my voice higher or lower at different points of the song, I sang in a Bluesy way, a Jazzy way, a dubstep way. You get the picture.”

“And you got the response you wanted?” It was back to Agent Ien.

“Not exactly the one I wanted, but I did get a response. He started yelling at me.”

“Just to be clear, you do not speak Sensitivenoses?” Agent Ien asked.

“Nope. To be honest, I barely speak Spanish, but then, you don’t need to know what someone is saying to mimic them” Melonie’s smile was bright as she continued. “All I did was repeat the sounds and noises the best I could back at him and voila!”

“Let me make sure I have the order of events right. First, you sang one, if not the, most annoying songs in the world for a couple of hours straight, correct?”


“Second, when you had his attention you mimicked him even though you didn’t understand what he was saying. Right?”


“If I may ask, would you please confirm for us what you initially stated was the, and I quote, ‘piece de resistance’, of your efforts to convince your captor to return you to Earth?”

“Sure. I simply let loose a silent, but deadly.” Melonie looked between the agents again as she noticed that they had strange looks on their faces. “You know, I let a stinky one out.”

The pause this time was much longer than the first. Finally, Agent Al cleared his throat, stuck his hand out for Melonie to shake and said, “I think that about does it ma’am. Thank you so much for your cooperation during this investigation.” He showed her to the door and waved when she turned around before getting into her car and driving away.

He rejoined Agent Ien in the interview room, closed the door and sat down across from his partner.

His partner was the one to ask the question that was weighing on both their minds. “What the hell are we supposed to put in the report?”

“…I have no idea, but it better be good or we’ll be looking at another psych evaluation Ien.”

Agent Ien groaned at the thought and rubbed his face with both hands, “Why do we always get the difficult ones?! My mother was right, I should have been a librarian.”

Agent Al nodded in sympathy and understanding, “I think we both should have been librarians Ien. At times like this I really believe that would have been the best career choice we could ever make.”

Unauthorized Alien Abduction Report
Filed by Agent Al and Agent Ien

According to Mrs. Melonie Smith, she was abducted on her way to class June 8th. She identified her alien captor as being from the Sensitivenose race and through a description of the inside of the ship we were able to ascertain that it was a B-Class slave cargo ship.

It is well known that no one ever escapes once aboard these ships, until Mrs. Smith. Her statement of how she procured her release is as follows.

After questioning and observing for several hours, Mrs. Smith ascertained that her captor was not willing to converse with her in a civilized manner. Mrs. Smith understood her captor’s attitude to be a hostile one and proceeded to act with what she thought was an appropriate amount of self-defense.

1st, she subjected her captor to a continuous and cacophonous barrage of very specific words in multiple tunes that were meant to disorient her captor and cause it to become mentally drained by the sheer fortitude she showed in the verbal onslaught.

2nd, once she had her captors attention, after a couple hours of the initial onslaught, she proceeded to confound her captor by verbally requesting clarification of what it was saying to her. Unfortunately, Mrs. Smith does not know Sensitivenosese and so had to rely on her ability to mimic her captor’s words so that her captor could clear up any confusion.

3rd, in the end Mrs. Smith, having exhausted all other avenues of securing her release, decided that desperate times called for desperate measures. With this in mind, Mrs. Smith coordinated an attack on her captor that proved to be most effective in gaining her release. Mrs. Smith created a noxious fume of near deadly chemicals and released it quietly so her captor would not hear and be able to take counter measures.

It was this last attempt that made it possible for Mrs. Smith to be returned to Earth as her captor could not withstand the overpowering olfactory assault she had orchestrated.

In summary, it is our belief that Mrs. Smith did what she could with what she had and was able to do what others could not, which was to secure her own safe release and return to home without the aid of trained government negotiators.

It is our recommendation that Mrs. Smith be retained as a free agent should any issues concerning the Sensitivenose alien race ever arise again in the future.

End of report.


©2016, Illeana Nexry.