Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Saturday AGAIN, Already?
Current mood: busy

Saturday AGAIN. OMIGAWD. I mean, yeah, I'm GLAD the work week's over. But I haven't really even dealt with my serial.

Are you sure . . . Fine, fine. If you insist. But it's only going to be a short one. Short enough that I may have to do a mid-term installment on Wednesday to finish the chapter. (Or not. I'm on deadline now. So you may have to take it on faith without a cliffhanger this time. I'm sorry.)

Chapter 3 - Old Friends/Old Enemies (Part 1)

It was cool and dim inside the church. The only light was the sunlight streaming through the glass front doors, and casting beams of bright color where it passed through the jewel tones of the stained glass windows. I could feel powerful residual energy thrumming up from the floor, but it was calm, soothing. I needed to be soothed. I'd put the money and the gun in my backpack, and even though they didn't weigh that much, I was painfully aware of it.

I don't like guns. Don't get me wrong. I think in the hands of someone like Bob, they're perfectly okay. He knows what he's doing, and is careful. And I'm damned grateful he had that shotgun handy to keep me from becoming a "Scooby Snack". But I'm not Bob. It was going to take training and practice before I was comfortable shooting. But it might be worth investing the time. Because compared to my enemy I was practically helpless. Hell, compared to virtually any mage out there.

I did not curse my father. I was in a church. Honor thy father & mother and all that. And curses in my world carry weight. AND cursing is offensive magic. Oh no. So no. Because in the process of almost drowning me during my "baptism" he'd done something. My mentor hadn't been sure exactly what, so she hadn't dared mess with it. But there was an inhibition in my skull that made it impossible for me to use offensive magics. To the point where I collapse to the floor screaming in blinding pain if I so much as think about doing it.

So maybe the gun wasn't such a bad idea. But it still made me nervous.I walked toward the front of the church, approaching the altar a little timidly. I'm not religious (probably in reaction to dear old Daddy), but I have a healthy respect for the divine. I needed to come close enough to that altar that its latent energy would obscure evidence of my passage. But I didn't want to risk irritating the Almighty. If he/she exists. Which I'm not sure of. But I'm not sure he/she doesn't. So better safe than sorry.

I was dithering. I don't dither. Which meant the incident back at the office had shaken me more than I wanted to admit. Damn it I liked it here. I'd made friends. I felt a surge of helpless rage. Not that it mattered. If I cared about these people, I needed to not endanger them. It was time to leave.

Casting one last look around, I gathered my will and created a seam.There's a trick to moving about using seams. You have to be able to clearly imagine where you want to go, where nobody's liable to be, and where you're not liable to set off electronic alarms and/or get arrested. (So no popping into the bank vault, or robbing the museum.) Once I realized that I would be needing to move around a lot to stay ahead of the bad guys I made a point of going to the library, looking up the landmarks of various locations. The internet is a marvelous thing. You can, given enough time and patience, find the floor plans of most public buildings. And I can extrapolate. I might not know which colors they use for the bathrooms in Grand Central Station. But I betcha I know the basic layout. And just how much variety of layout is there in your average Super WalMart?

So, where was I going? Washington, D.C. home of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Jefferson Memorial, Congress, etc. DC is cold in winter and early spring. There might be people around, but not many. And if I remembered correctly, the weather channel had announced they were in the middle of a blizzard. I might freeze my tuchus off. But I wasn't likely to land on top of anybody.I stepped through my little gateway in reality. In less than a minute I went from the dim shadows of a little local church, to the cold shadows of a marble monument.

Shit. Why couldn't I have looked up the major landmarks of Grand Cayman, or Bermuda --- no not Bermuda, not risking that triangle thing. Bad mojo. But still.I stepped out from beside the huge sculpture honoring the 16th President of the US. A tall blonde woman in a thick winter coat and plaid muffler blinked at me, looking a little startled, but she was standing on the South side of th1e building, where she'd been reading the inscription of the Gettysburg Address. I nodded in greeting, trying to act perfectly normal, and not as though I'd just appeared, literally, out of thin air, and moved purposefully out of the entrance and down the wide flight of steps toward the reflecting pool and the main part of the mall.

Wind cut through my lightweight jacket like a knife, and my teeth started chattering. I didn't swear out loud. But the language going through my mind wasn't pretty. I needed a coat. And gloves. And sooner rather than later. The thing is, while I could visualize the monument from pictures on Wikipedia. I had no idea where the nearest store was. I moved as quickly as I dared across the icy walkway. There was a major thoroughfare up ahead. I could see a bus stop. Buses are heated. Right now heat sounded good. Oh yeah. And who knew, maybe the bus driver could tell me how to get to the nearest shopping center. I could only hope.

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