Elena looks around with a scowl. She’s skulking in some thick underbrush and it’s daylight. Late morning, even. She hates hunting in daylight, but her search has led her here to this park in southeast Dallas. Roosevelt Park. At least it’s well wooded, offering tons of cover and hidey-holes. Elena’s lips twist in an ironic smile. Which is probably why users and dealers come out here to spend some ‘quality’ time.
Elena is trying to get her hands on a designer drug, an LSD derivative, called “Flowers.” It’s a really recent, popular recreational drug; it’s the ‘newest thing’ among the crowds that like to do hallucinogenics. Elena has observed people on this drug and has become very familiar with the symptoms. It seems to be a fairly elegant drug, with the ‘trip’ usually being mostly harmless and usually quite entertaining to the user; however, due to its roots in LSD, Elena has no idea what kind of brain damage it leaves in its wake.
Elena strongly suspects that Claret is involved in, at the very least, the formula itself, and quite possibly the actual manufacture and sales of the drug. Among the Freakshow Confederacy, Claret is known to be a skilled chemist, in addition to being a very effective potion maker. She is reputed to formulate “all the best new drugs;” speed, acid, etc. After she’s “perfected” the formulas, she then sells them, no questions asked. Elena would venture to guess that Claret probably sells some on the side of her own manufacture, too.
Claret has been on Elena’s mind of late, what with Claret bugging out when Claret’s own good friend Erica gets snatched by lycanthropes without so much as a “No, don’t take my BFF!” Then, not one day later, Erica slips up and mentions that she has helped create formulas for Claret on the side. Some friend Claret is.
Elena is also concerned about the integrity of the drug. Not so much for its alleged purity and effectiveness, but if Claret isn’t involved in the actual production, what if there are bad batches of these “Flowers”? What with all the press about “Bath Salts” and people tripping and eating other people’s faces, not to mention eating their own once loved pets live. “Bath Salts” are the Zombie Apocalypse drug, basically, and make all LSD derivatives really, really risky.
The sales of Flowers have stayed local, as far as Elena can tell. She needs to find a physical sample and have it tested so she can have proof. She also figures she can have Jamie run the tests on it for her. Primarily, she wants to know whether or not Claret is involved. If it’s someone else, then it’s a different matter altogether. But if it is Claret, well, Elena wants to know.
It may need to be an accident, what with her being Erica’s friend. Or maybe I should just run her out of town…? Hm…
A Familiar Face
As Elena lurks in the undergrowth near a path, she sees a man walking purposefully down the path. He’s tall, just less than six feet, wearing a sport coat and slacks. There’s something about him that’s familiar, and as he gets closer, she realizes it’s John Wolf, the guy who works for the DA to get innocent people out of jail.
Huh. Wonder what he’s doin’ here?
She watches him as he passes, maybe ten feet from her. He pauses and looks around, and for a second Elena wonders if he senses her presence, but nothing from his stance or demeanor indicates that she’d been made. Then she sees him straighten up suddenly, like he recognizes something, and he strides further down the path. Elena quietly and carefully follows him at a distance, her soft soled boots making no sound as she deftly avoids stepping on things that would reveal her position.
As the path opens up, Elena can see Wolf approach a group of teenagers – three male, two female. Unabashedly, Elena tilts her head slightly starts listening.
She hears one of the males whisper loudly, “The fairy’s gone!!”
The kids haven’t even noticed the man going straight at them. No survival instinct, there. Wolf’s posture screams Law, and they don’t even see him.
“That was awesome!” another male exclaims.
One of the females mumbles abstractly, “What did it look like to you??” She is a slender girl with a wild mop of curly, carrot red hair, and is leaning against a tree.
Wolf stalks over to the redhead. Elena can guess at impatience and frustration from the set of his shoulders.
“Alright, Emma. Let’s go.” Wolf’s voice is cold and professional.
Five pairs of massively dilated eyes swing to him. The girl Emma leans forward from the tree and sways as she tries to focus on him.
“Mr. Wolf? Are you real?” Emma’s voice is slurred and she is very clearly completely puzzled.
Wolf’s voice is calm, but stern. “Yes, ma’am.”
The girl’s head drops back against the tree and her eyes close. " Aw! Buzz kill!!" she moans.
Elena sees the back of Wolf’s head nod once, tersely. “Yeah.” There’s a brief pause and Wolf extends his hand. “Let’s go.”
The redheaded teen hesitates, and Wolf says matter-of-factly, “So how badly do you want to go to jail?” His dark head tilts. “You can go home, or you can go to jail.”
There is a silence, as Emma’s friends watch with wide, blank eyes.
Emma sighs in resignation. “Ok, just so long as I don’t have to deliver that… deliver the food.” She shakes her head. “I don’t want to go there again. I’d rather go to jail.”
Elena is puzzled. There’s something in the girl’s voice. She sounds so determined, which is really unusual, considering her current condition. Elena can tell Wolf is puzzled, too.
He’s not letting that stop him from collecting her, though, as he motions to her. She leans over and picks up a big bag. Elena can smell the food in it, and then she notices the girl’s shirt – it’s light blue and has a logo that says “Meals on Wheels Volunteer.” It’s rumpled and has some stains on it, indicating that she probably slept out here in the park wearing it. The girl’s shoulders are hunched and defensive as she walks towards him.
They walk down the path. Once they’re out of sight of her friends, Wolf stops and turns to face Emma. Elena stays ahead of them, but well within her earshot.
“What’s so bad about the Meals On Wheels? " The tone of his voice is completely non-committal.
Emma snorts. “Psh. You won’t believe me.”
“Well.” Wolf pauses. “I’m your friend.”
Emma immediately starts shaking her head in denial as words start tumbling from her mouth. “No way. No way, Mr. Wolf. You already think I’m a waste and I’m trippin right now, so… Let’s just go home. Let’s go home.”
“Maybe you can be honest with me,” he coaxes. “Believe me, I’ve seen some weird things.”
Elena can practically see the gears in the redheaded teen’s mind churning. After a few seconds of silence, she finally nods.
“Mrs. Jackson is… not there.” She pauses, then says quickly, “And… Something ate her and I’m not going back to that house.”
Wolf is incredulous. “You mean like the Big Bad Wolf swallowed her whole, or something, you know, ripped her apart and ate her?”
“I thought was clean. Ok? I thought I was clean.” Her voice is on the verge of panic. “I opened that door, and that thing… It was chewing on her leg! I ran. Ok? I screamed and I ran.”
“When was this?”
“I was tryin to make the delivery yesterday!” she exclaims.
“Do you have the address?”
Emma nods shakily. “Yeah, she’s on Park Row just off of Malcolm X.”
She reaches into the bag of food and rummages around for a minute or so, then finally pulls out a sheet of paper. She hands it to him. Elena watches Wolf as he peruses the paperwork quickly.
After a bit of silence, Emma asks, “So are you saying you believe me?”
Wolf looks up from the paperwork. “Well, what kind of thing are we talking about? An animal? A person?”
“I… I… it was eating her leg,” Emma stammers, “I ran… It was a dude, I guess. He was ugly.”
“Well, Bath Salts thing?”
Emma shakes her head vehemently. “No, I don’t touch that stuff. I do stupid stuff, but I don’t touch Bath Salts. I don’t want to eat somebody’s face.”
“Ok.” Wolf nods. “Well, alright. I need to take you home. Ok? That’s your choice. Either home or the hospital. Ok? You gotta get this stuff out of your system.”
Emma wilts. “My mom’s gonna kill me,” she mutters quietly.
“Your mom’s at work.”
“Home, please.” Her response is instant, relieved.
Wolf laughs, and starts to escort Emma down the path towards where Elena knows some cars are parked. About half way there, he pulls out his cell phone and dials a number. Elena can hear the “Number no longer in service” message as it chimes in his ear, and sees him shake his head in frustration. He puts the phone back in his pocket and the two continue to make their way down the path.
Elena moves ahead of him and positions herself conveniently between him and the cars parked along the street, so that when they leave the park area, they’ll basically bump into her. Elena tilts her head again when she hears Wolf’s phone ring.
She watches as he pulls it out of his pocket and look at it with a puzzled look on his face. He tentatively holds the phone to his ear. He has stopped walking, so the redheaded teen stops, too.
“Uh, hello?” His voice is puzzled.
“Hiya!” chirps a female voice.
There is a blank pause.
“Oh!” Recognition suddenly dawns in his voice. “Uh, hi, Chrys.”
The voice is familiar to Elena, too, but she can’t quite place it.
“I’m over here hanging out with the teenagers that are by you.”
Elena’s black eyes narrow suddenly. There hadn’t been anyone else over by those tripping teens.
Wolf nods. “Oh, ok!”
“I appeared to them and told them drugs are bad!” chirps the feminine voice.
High pitched. Tiny-sounding. “Appeared to them.” Elena places her. Chrysanthemum, the purple Tinker Bell. Hence Elena’s not seeing her. That fairy could out-sneak just about anyone. Not only is she tiny, but she is quick, quiet, and could throw a really awesome veil on top of everything else. She literally has wings, glows, and drips purple glitter everywhere which necessitates the veil; it just doesn’t make her sneakiness any less viable.
“Ok. Alright.” There is almost a smile in Wolf’s voice. “Um, well, good! Keep up with the ‘say no to drugs,’ ok?”
Emma has stopped walking and is standing next to Wolf. She looks up at him, swaying slightly. Her dilated eyes are totally puzzled.
Suddenly Wolf straightens. “Oh, hey, do you happen to know where I can find Elena?”
“Actually, I was going to look for her, too. I found a drug sample.”
Elena perks up. Drug sample?
Wolf is clearly disappointed. “Oh, ok.”
“I cleaned out their pockets,” Elena hears Chrys say proudly.
Wolf laughs. “Really?”
After a second of silence, Wolf sighs. “Well, if you find her, could you let her know I’m looking for her?”
“Ok. I’m going to head over to Atwater’s now…” Chrys says.
“Well, I’ll tell you what,” Wolf replies. “Are you busy right now?”
Wolf smiles. “I might have something odd going on. Want to come along?”
The sudden silence indicates it’s clear that Wolf is reluctant to talk about it out loud.
“Ok, I’ll just follow along. I’ll get it as we go,” says Chrys
“Alright,” Wolf replies. “Ok, bye.” He holds his phone away from his face, looks at it a second, presses the “End Call” button out of habit, shakes his head and puts it in his pocket. He continues walking, Emma following a short distance behind him, shaking her head groggily and muttering indecipherably under her breath.
Elena can tell the instant he sees her leaning against the light post.
“I need to get your new cell number.” His voice is slightly irritated as he approaches.
Elena laughs. “Right.”
Wolf raises an eyebrow. “You’re real hard to find when you don’t want to be found.”
Elena can’t disagree with that and nods. “That’s the whole point, yeah.” She adds, “But if you need me urgently and the number you have doesn’t work, you can get me through Conor. He almost always has my current number. Or if it’s not urgent, you can leave a message for me at Atwater’s.”
Wolf sighs, and then gestures at Emma. “Ok, well, I gotta take her home. I’ll get with you as soon as I can.”
“You want me to wait around here?”
Wolf muses for a moment. “Hm.” He reaches into his inner jacket pocket and pulls out the paperwork he got from the redheaded teen. Elena takes it, sees immediately that it’s Meals on Wheels paperwork. She reads it quickly, and then hands it back.
“If you could case it…?” he asks.
Emma is watching the exchange with distracted interest. She studies Elena for a bit, taking in the close shorn dark hair, dark BDU pants, the gray t-shirt and a green plaid button up shirt worn loosely over it.
“Are you… are you a cop?”
Elena glances at the teen. “No.”
“You got a cop vibe.” Her voice is almost accusatory.
Wolf looks at Emma, eyebrow raised. “She’s a friend of mine.”
“Ex-cop.” Elena offers.
Emma eyes Elena suspiciously. “What kind of cop?”
Elena shrugs, not answering, and looks over at Wolf. “Chrys said she has something for me?”
“Chrys? Oh, yeah, apparently.” He pauses, that bemused expression flashing across his face. “Um, hold on a second.” He pulls out his phone and gingerly holds it to his ear. “Hey, Chrys, are you there?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m here.”
“Ok! Um. Hey, would you mind…”
Chrys interrupts quickly, “I’m gonna go with Elena.”
“Yeah, good idea. And um…” Wolf’s voice fades.
“I’ll fill her in on the way there.”
“Cool. And have her… Yeah, she needs to look at that stuff…”
“I’ll show her!” Chrys chirps cheerfully.
“Cool. I’ll… uh, call yall on my way back. Ok, bye.”
Wolf gingerly presses the End Call button, looks at the device quizzically, and replaces his phone in his pocket. He nods at Elena and then helps Emma into the car. Elena moves closer to the tree line and watches as Wolf and Emma drive away. Then she quietly disappears into the brush.
Elena goes deep into the trees. Once she is in a small, secluded clearing, she does a slow 360, looking around carefully. Man. That fairy can hide, she thinks with slight envy. Soon enough, the glowing purple creature shows herself. And, yeah. She is exactly as Elena remembered her: a tiny, energetic fairy that gleams and shimmers with shades of purple and violet light. Craziness.
Chrys flutters over to Elena and perches on a branch that puts her roughly eye level to Elena. Glowing dust puffs as she settles down, and moments later, purple light floats slowly down, like it’s dripping off her. She turns her tiny face to Elena, who notes that even her eyes are purple. So weird. Chrys pulls a Ziploc bag out of… well, nowhere, and thrusts it towards Elena.
“I found this in their pockets.”
Elena takes it. “Did they say what it was?”
Chrys’s eyebrows come down and her tiny face looks concerned. “They were…,” she pauses, then continues, “No, they didn’t say what it was because they were hallucinating and I didn’t ask them. All I did was appear to them and say ‘drugs are bad!’ and to never take them again.”
Elena nods. “So it was a hallucinogenic?” The drug Elena had been searching for was a hallucinogenic.
“Yeah. They were like talking to trees.”
Elena lifts the baggie and gives it a slight shake. “Can I keep this?”
Chrys shrugs slightly and nods. “I’m not gonna do anything with it.”
Elena studies the hearts, and at first glance they look like the Conversation Hearts that are around on Valentine’s Day. However, upon closer inspection, they are clearly homemade.
As Elena is studying the samples, Chrys starts talking. “So did you overhear what Mr. Wolf and I were talking about? The lady at this address got eaten?”
Elena looks up, black eyes alert and angry. “Yeah, I heard that. Somebody was eating an old woman’s leg.”
“So, let’s be careful.”
Elena agrees. “Yeah. Let’s be sneaky and careful.”
Elena drives to the address she remembers from the Meals on Wheels paperwork. As she drives through the neighborhood, she can see that it’s in an area that has fallen into disrepair. The whole neighborhood is run down and dilapidated, and it doesn’t look like a nice neighborhood. She drives past the house to see if there is going on, but Elena doesn’t notice much. The address looks pretty typical to the neighborhood. A bit run down, but no broken windows… Nothing untoward.
Elena parks the car some distance away. Then they sneak to the house, and sneak around back since the front looks undisturbed. Elena carefully cracks open the back fence, which was hanging loosely on its hinges anyway. Fortunately, the fence doesn’t creak when she opens it. She lightly creeps up to the corner and peeks around it.
Sitting in a chair leaning against the wall is a big white guy with a huge bushy beard wearing a heavy leather jacket. His head turns their way, then his eyes narrow. He barks something in a foreign language in their direction. Then he snaps, “Pixie! You should leave!”
Chrys is completely caught off-guard. “What?!” she squeaks.
“Wyldenfae, this is not your territory,” he growls. “Getten zee gone.”
His accent is thick German.
Elena knows something off. As he’s talking, there’s glamor involved. She can’t see through it, though.
“Goblin,” Chrys gasps.
Elena immediately makes the connection. German goblins. Yeah. That Erkling chica is making her move now. Elena starts backing up slowly. They came to scout, and scout they did. Time to bail.
He leans forward. “How are you moving backwards but your wings are not flapping?”
His eyes narrow to a baleful glare and he points at Elena. “Who are you, mortal?” And he pulls out a pistol and roars over his shoulder through the open door. “Karl! Schmidt! Raus!” Two more “men” burst through the door.
Elena ducks behind the corner. Elena hears Chrys protest quickly, “Please, please, we don’t mean any trouble! If you could just let us leave? We won’t bother you again.”
Yeah, til I come with back-up and kill yall, Elena thinks angrily.
Elena can hear the scowl in the goblin’s voice. “O.K. Out, Wyldenfae.”
Chrys quickly darts past Elena, and Elena slowly backs through the fence. They get out of line of sight of the house as quickly as possible. Elena notices the front window’s curtain twitch, and knows that there’s at least one more watching them from the front room of the house. Elena and Chrys go around the block to get to the car and wait for Wolf.
They sit in the car for a few minutes in silence, then Chrys’s tiny voice pipes up. “So they listened to me and let us go.”
“Yeah,” replies Elena, then she reminds the fairy, “They also ate a woman.”
Elena pulls out her cell phone and dials Wolf’s number.
E “There’re at least four perpetrators at the site –” she begins to explain.
Chrys chirps excitedly, “German Goblins!!”
“Ok,” replies Wolf calmly. “I’ve got my gear.”
“Come hot,” Elena warns. “If you have any steel jacketed rounds, those are best.”
Wolf pauses a moment. “Um. I can take a detour.”
Elena shakes her head. That will take too long. “What are you carrying? Because I have extra .45, 9mm and .357 mag in my trunk.”
“My spare is a 9,” Wolf says.
Elena nods. Perfect. “Ok, then just come straight over.” She quickly describes where they are in relation to the former Mrs. Jackson’s house and then hangs up and waits.
Elena has been keeping an active watch, in case any of the bikers decided to come out and take a walk. She notes Wolf’s car as it pulls up behind them, and watches him in her mirrors as he approaches her car. She clicks open the lock when he gets to her door. He pulls the door open and gets in the car.
After the door has closed, Chrys says apprehensively, “So, that was scary.”
Elena shrugs. “Well, we’re going back. They ate a woman. They need to pay for that.”
Wolf looks over at Elena. “Ok, so the way we’re going to have to play this, legally speaking, is that…”
Chrys interrupts, “We can’t exactly go to the door.”
Wolf shakes his head. “If there’s a gun fight that erupts here, I’ve got…”
“You have to worry about your Law,” Elena acknowledges.
“I have cause to come visit here, because Emma told me something bad happened to Mrs. Jackson,” Wolf explains. “So, I’m going to go up and knock on the door. Ok?”
Elena eyes him doubtfully. “Ok.”
“Depends on what happens after that.” Clearly Wolf senses her doubt.
Elena shrugs. “Do you want me to… wait back a little? Cuz they know me. They made us.”
“Yeah,” Wolf nods.
Chrys chirps excitedly, “I lied to them!”
Elena laughs slightly, and then shakes her head. “They saw her and me.”
“They saw me and said,” Chrys switches to a fake German accent, “Get out!”
“How do you want to play it?” Wolf asks Elena.
“I can be back-up; I got a sniper rifle and rounds to go with it,” she replies calmly. “Or I can get close and try to stay unseen. They didn’t see me until the end there.” There is silence as they both think, and Elena checks out the houses they’re parked nearest to. Elena looks at him. “What are you comfortable with?”
“Ok, so what are we working with here? What are they?” Wolf asks.
Elena looks out the window, studying the layout of the street in relation to the houses as she thinks about it. “Well, they’re Wildfae of the Huntsman, the Erkling, or something like that.”
Wolf is incredulous. “That’s really real?”
“Yeah. Oh, yeah,” Elena replies positively. “They steal people and apparently eat some, too. They’re goblins.”
Wolf’s eyebrows come down in confusion. “Can’t we punt goblins?”
Elena’s intent gaze snaps back over to him. “What? No. These guys are big. And like Lord of the Rings.”
“Oh.” Wolf thinks about it. “They’re not the goblins from, um… the maze…”
Elena shakes her head. “These are more like Urukhai goblins.”
Chrys nods in agreement. “They are Big.”
“He had glamor on to make him look like a biker dude,” continues Chrys excitedly.
Elena agrees. “But,” she adds, “iron still will kill them.”
Wolf nods. “Ok.”
A slight smile creeps across Elena’s mouth. “I got all kinds of different ammo to take care of this.”
They sit for a few more minutes. Elena studies the landscape of each house near her car. One house has deep, overgrown holly bushes that almost completely obscure the front line of windows, the kind that pokes you. Good move in this neighborhood. Those leaves are pointy.
“So the niceties of the law,” says Elena, looking back at Wolf. “What are you going for?”
Wolf shrugs. “I need to find out if Mrs. Jackson is dead.”
“She’s probably dead. These guys eat people,” explains Elena matter-of-factly. “When I saw who these guys were, I’m not surprised that they ate her.”
“Well, without being sure, I can’t go busting in there.”
Elena is puzzled. “I don’t know how you want this to go down.”
“I’m going to have to play it straight until…” his voice drifts off as he thinks about it.
Elena studies him a moment, then nods. “Ok.”
“So…” he muses quietly.
Elena laughs. “So, I can just be the helpful CHL carrier who was in the vicinity to render assistance upon hearing gunfire?”
Wolf looks relieved. “Yeah. Ok.”
Elena bends down and reaches under the front seat and pulls out two magazines of steel-jacketed 9mm rounds and hands them to him. “Do you have a vest?”
Wolf nods. “Yeah. Wearing it.”
“Ok, that’ll help.”
Elena and Chrys fade underneath Chrys’s powerful veil. That in addition to their individual capabilities of moving quietly makes Elena fairly sure that they will not be detected until they desire to be, especially since they’re going to hang back near the sidewalk. Elena watches Wolf’s car as it approaches Mrs. Jackson’s house. He parks his car and gets out. His face reflects only boredom as he straightens his sport coat and adjusts his sunglasses. As he walks toward the house, his posture is clearly that of an officer of the law. Elena smiles slightly, and watches intently.
He approaches the door and knocks. She can hear a rustling movement from inside the house, but no one answers the door. Wolf raps on it authoritatively, but still there’s no reply.
Wolf calls out loudly, “Mrs. Jackson!”
Elena can see past Wolf as the door creaks slowly open. A small, ancient black woman holds the door open slightly. She’s wearing a white nightgown with a pale floral pattern and some kind of lacy cap covering her head.
“Yes, sonny. How can I help you?” Her voice is shaky.
Wolf says, “Mrs. Jackson!”
Mrs. Jackson seems hesitant “Ye-Yes?”
“Are you feeling ok?”
“Yah, I’m feeling goot.” The voice, in spite of the feminine tone, has a slight German accent. Yeah. Of course.
Wolf’s voice is concerned. “Well, I had a report that you were feeling poorly.”
“Oh, no, no.”
“May I come in?”
“No, no. I’m O.K.” “Mrs. Jackson” shakes her head. “I don’t recognize you.”
“Mrs. Jackson, you obviously aren’t feeling well. Your skin is all pasty white.”
“Mrs. Jackson” pauses uncertainly “Uh. No. I am O.K.”
“And your voice. You’re obviously sick. I’m going to call a doctor.” Wolf’s voice is all solicitude as he reaches in to start pulling out his phone.
“Mrs. Jackson’s” face distorts grotesquely as it snarls something in German and reaches out to grab Wolf, who pulls out his 9 and fires. His shot is true as the creature’s glamor fades and it slumps to the ground. It glares at Wolf through baleful red eyes. It’s wearing bronze chain mail with bits and pieces of plates here and there, with a dagger.
It growls “Eisen!!” as it slumps back. Wolf steps in past its slumped form and out of the doorway.
Elena moves swiftly to the door and looks through the doorway. Inside the room with Wolf are three extras from Lord of the Rings. She takes a quickly aimed shot at one. Bang. The goblin deflects her bullet with his shield! Uh-oh. Gonna be a tough fight.
“Did you feel anything when you went in?” she calls out.
“No!” comes Wolf’s quick reply.
Suddenly the room is lit with crazy lights, and the goblins roar and shield their eyes. One of the goblins rushes Wolf, swinging an axe. Wolf tries to leap to the side, but the goblin tags him; however, Wolf takes it and shrugs it off. And then the other goblin, the one Elena recognizes from the back yard confrontation, rushes Elena and takes a swing. It scrapes across her body armor and she can feel the impact, but knows the damage is pretty insignificant. Maybe a bruise.
One of the goblins pulls out a bovine horn, raises it to his mouth and blows it. It lets out a loud trumpeting noise. The sound of it is a little disconcerting. Elena is used to gunfire, but this horn thing, she can feel it in her muscles and bones as her adrenaline kicks in full force.
Guess I have my target. Elena aims at goblin with the horn. From the corner of her eye, she can see Wolf fire a hurried shot at the goblin attacking him, but the goblin blocks it with his shield.
Then, there’s a shimmer and suddenly there are two extra Elenas, two extra Wolfs and Chrys appears with extra copies of herself. Two of the goblins are startled to see the fae, but the leader, Elena can see, is unfazed as it leaps towards Wolf.
Elena can see a flurry of movement as the two goblins gang up on Wolf, who takes a solid hit from the leader goblin’s axe. However, that puts the leader closer, point blank, basically, so Elena takes her shot and sees the wound blossom on it. She can also see Wolf as he’s trying to dodge the goblins’ swings aiming at the leader, too.
One of the goblins swings at Wolf, but stumbles something and misses. The one on Elena tries to do a feint, but Elena sees it and dodges deftly.
The leader glares at the purple fairy and blows the hunting horn again, this time directly at her. Waves of concussive force rush towards her and slam into her and she thuds against the back wall. Elena takes aim at the leader again. Wolf fires at the goblin leader but misses as it deflects the bullet with his shield.
Suddenly the room is eerily silent as the combat rages. One of the goblins on Wolf lands a solid hit and Elena can see Wolf flinch from the pain, but luckily he seems to shake it off. The goblin on Elena keeps trying to hit her but she side steps the axe.
The leader draws a throwing axe and throws it powerfully at Chrys. The head of the throwing axe hits her in a cloud of purple twinkling glitter and knocks her out through the front door, trailing a stream of fairy dust in her wake. Elena hears her land outside with a thud.
Elena has been aiming at the leader. She also sees that the throw overextended his reach and takes her shot. Sweet. BANG. Elena can see it’s a very solid hit as the bullet penetrates his chest armor. Wolf’s shot lands on the leader, too, but it doesn’t seem to faze him too much.
The other goblin on Wolf lands another hit, and Elena can see that Wolf is getting pretty ragged. She deftly sidesteps the swing of the goblin on herself and leaps between the leader and Wolf.
The goblin leader comes after Elena and takes a powerful swing, and she tries to move out of the way. However, she can feel the axe blade slide across her chest and slice across her unarmored arm and shoulder. She fires at the leader, and hears Wolf’s gun fire, too. Both solid hits.
When will this dude just DIE?! she wonders.
Wolf manages to stagger out of the way of the swing of the goblin on him, as Elena dodges the two as they growl and attack her. Elena shoots the leader again, and he growls at her as he slumps against the wall. She glares at the other two goblins and says, “You wanna run now.”
They look at each other, then at Elena. “You vill allow it?” one asks.
“Who sent you here?”
“Our lady,” it replies.
Yeah, Elena knows who it is talking about. “Yeah, I’ll allow you to run.”
They take off.
Wolf leans against the wall and looks at Elena. “Who’s ‘their lady’?”
“The Erk… The Erkling’s daughter,” she says distractedly. “Oh, man. I gotta talk to Jamie. The chickens are coming home to roost.”
Elena studies the scene for a minute or so, and starts cleaning up. Before she has even finished, the bodies of the two dead goblins are starting to dissolve into ectoplasmic goo.
Wolf looks around to try to find Mrs. Jackson. Soon enough, he finds her remains. Her bones are still there. There are even bite marks in her bones.
“Guess I have to report this to the police. I guess?” Wolf mutters.
Elena looks up at him from where she just picked out one of Wolf’s bullets embedded in a wall. “I don’t know who you’re going to say ate her.”
“Hm,” is his only reply.
“Cuz how are you gonna explain this?” She gestures at the bullet ridden room and the bones in the corner.
Wolf is silent for a minute. Then he says thoughtfully, “I was looking for Emma and I was going along her route to see where she had and hadn’t delivered.”
“Did you discharge your weapon?” Elena wants to make sure he has thought of every angle.
“Well, no. I discharged my backup,” Wolf pauses. “With your ammo. So there are a bunch of bullet holes and a dead grandmother.”
While Wolf is thinking things over, Elena goes outside and picks up her poor little fairy friend, who is groggily regaining consciousness. A short time later, Wolf comes outside, too, and they get in Wolf’s car.
“What happened?” Chrys’s voice isn’t quite as energetic as it has been in the past. Chrys is resting in the front seat on the bench between Elena and Wolf. She looks like a child’s toy.
Elena glances down at her. “Big one’s dead.”
“What happened to the other two?”
“We let ’em go.” Elena looks out the window and studies each of the houses in turn.
Chrys is confused. “What do we do now? End of story? What?”
“Well, we need to find out why they picked her,” replies Elena. There is silence.
Then Wolf asks, “We got the scene cleaned up?”
Elena nods. “Yeah.” The curtains of the house two buildings down are rustling. “I need to talk to Jamie, cuz that Erkling chica has it out for him. If these guys are comin’ to Dallas, there’s probably a reason.” She pauses, watching the curtains as they still. No one goes to the door, so she thinks they’ll be just another person who ’didn’t see anything.’ “Since they’re wildfae, they’ll… I dunno. They’ll be messing with Jamie’s people, or just everyone. Who knows.”
Wolf nods, and pulls out his phone.
“Ok, I’ll be going now. If you hear anything, leave word for me at Atwater’s.”
Wolf nods at her as he starts talking to the police operator, and Elena, after another quick look at the surrounding homes, slips out of the car and walks away.
During the course of the next few days, Elena does some investigating, and to all appearances, the goblins picked a random old lady with no family to speak of. Random lady, bad luck. Elena has a bad feeling that it’s not over yet, though. Conor says the fae like to hold grudges, what with them being immortal and having all the time in the world to enact their revenge.
2 already granted for full transcript