This is Ran, Sarn’s son. You know, the little kid from the Curse Breaker series? That’s me. Today, Robin was supposed to join me, but I don’t see her anywhere. My Scribe, Melinda, has a small apartment. So if Robin was here, I’d see her, and I don’t.
“Robin? Are you here?” I asked as I poked my head through the glowing-purple portal floating in the middle of Melinda’s messy apartment. Robin lives in the same fantasy world as me. But there was no one on the other side of that portal, just the cave where I lived with Papa and Uncle Miren.
“Maybe she’s not coming.” Papa sat beside me on the chaise lounge facing the portal in Melinda’s apartment. He placed a big hand on my back and worked his long fingers under the belt cinching my cut-down version of his Ranger Greens to stop me from falling head-first through the portal.
I didn’t want to accidentally face-plant on the cold stone floor of our cave either, so I backed up until I was sitting on his lap. I needed to talk to Melinda about moving the portal’s terminus over to the mattress in our cave. Then I could at least fall onto something soft. “No, she has to come, I promised everyone they’d met her.”
“Who is everyone? We’re the only ones here.”
Oh, Papa was right about that. The door swung open a moment later, but Robin didn’t walk in; Melinda did. “Have you seen Robin?” I asked her.
“No, did you tell her she’s supposed to be here this week?”
“Uh, no, I didn’t.”
“Then how would she know to be here?” Melinda set down the bag of groceries she was holding.
I shrugged, and there you have it. I forgot to invite Robin this week. I’m really sorry about that. While you catch up on our Dragonish Problems, I’ll go find Robin. Back in a bit. Happy reading.
Papa waited for a response while that beam the metallic angel had generated ate at his shields. Uncle Miren finally nodded. He grabbed my hand and dragged me away from the fight.
I was scared for Papa. I’d never seen anything eat through his shields like that. Bear patted my arm, but I couldn’t let go. He was too wobbly in this chubby body to fight. Just walking was hard for Bear. So I tightened my arms around his big belly and watched Papa’s shields disintegrate around him.
“Papa doesn’t have magical weapons,” I mumbled into Bear’s fur. “He just has shields.” I liked Papa like that, but that lack put him at a disadvantage when facing an opponent with a ranged magical attack.
I squeezed Bear and squished his furry face against mine for comfort. That also kept Bear from talking, but I couldn’t let go. I’d already lost my mother. I couldn’t lose Papa too. I’d been wishing so hard for someone to help Papa that I’d completely forgotten he wasn’t alone until Auntie Sovvan slammed into the metallic creature.
I cheered as she and the metallic angel crashed to the floor, cutting off that evil beam. Beside them, the giant book imprisoning our Newsletter-Dragon started to shake. That couldn’t be good.
“I want to stay,” I told my Uncle when he tried to pull me into the dubious safety of the hallway.
“I’ll take him,” Melinda said. She held out her hand to me and winked when Uncle Miren dropped her gaze in order to check on me.
I grabbed her hand and tried to look we weren’t plotting something. “Did you know your hand is glowing?” I pointed to her free hand. Pink and blue energies wove between her fingers. Well, that explained why the portal to our world was always purple. Mystery solved.
“Stay with her, okay?” Uncle Miren said.
Behind him, the metallic angel got her knee up and somehow that gave her the leverage to toss my aunt off. She raised her hand to blast my Aunt, but Papa jumped in front of her and threw a shield between them. The orange blast struck it and burned away the top layer while my aunt picked herself up off the debris she’d landed on. Ouch. Thankfully, Auntie Sovvan is hard to damage.
“Ran, did you hear me?” Uncle Miren asked.
I nodded and stared at the giant book that had eaten our dragon. It had levitated off the ground and was now floating out of the giant hole in the wall it had made earlier. “Is Papa doing that?”
“I don’t think so,” Melinda said. “Look.” She pointed to the colored streaks emanating from the black blobby thing in the sky. We had just agreed (last week) that it wasn’t a black hole, but the rainbow field it gave off had warped the washers, dryers, the boiler system and melted the metallic angel’s wings. Oops.
The giant book seemed to ride those colored streaks into the sky, but it started wiggling as it neared that black object. “Is it doing that ‘spaghettification’ thing you had talked about last week?” I asked Melinda.
“Yes, I believe it is.”
Invisible forces emanating from that black blobby object in the sky simultaneously stretched and squeezed the giant book and probably our dragon too. I didn’t feel too bad about that because that dragon had caused a lot of trouble and property damage. A little spaghettification might be good for her.
“You said it wasn’t a black hole. So why is the book getting all noodly?” I asked. I was sure there was a nice scientific term for that, but it looked like a noodle from where I was standing, so that’s what I’d call it.
A blue glow popped out of the end of that giant book-turned-noodle. “I’ll get you for this and your little whelp too!” the Newsletter-Dragon screamed. Uh-oh. She was free.
The papers Bear had lost spun faster around that unidentified black object in the sky as it swallowed the giant noodle-shaped book, and they started to glow blindingly bright.
“Everyone move back,” Melinda shouted then she tugged my hand and pulled me back toward the door to her apartment, but I dug my heels in and looked for Papa.
He and Auntie Sovvan were still fighting that metallic angel. Papa’s shields were shredded, and both he and Auntie Sovvan were a bit singed in places. But they were still all in one piece. I was grateful for that. The metallic angel blasted them again, and Papa’s shield failed, but they dove aside before the blast could strike them.
Oh no, it would take Papa a moment, maybe two, to regenerate them. His magic didn’t always do what he wanted it to. Sometimes, it got ideas of its own. But that metallic angel was stalking toward them. Both her hands glowed a fierce orange as she built up another blast.
“Get up, Papa. Get up, Auntie Sovvan.”
“They’ll be okay,” Melinda said. Her hand was glowing a vibrant pink shot through with blue flames now. Where the two flames merged, a purple light peeled back slivers of this world to reveal a place I knew well—Shayari, the fantasy land where I was born and raised. (We have enchanted forests! 🙂 )
Then a red blur in my peripheral vision drew my eyes to the hole in the wall. A woman a little older than Papa wearing a red leather brigandine stood framed in it. She swung her fist up, and a whip made of green light wrapped around the metallic angel’s torso.
“Who is she?” I asked in awe.
“My warrior witch, or rather the young woman who will become her when she masters her powers. I’m still working out the proper terminology,” Melinda said, and she too was smiling.
“Does she have a name?”
“Robin, Robin of Larkspur.”
“Good name,” Bear said as Robin yanked that metallic angel off her feet.
To be continued.
But we found Robin (yay!), and she’ll be our special guest next week with insider news about Rogue Skies, which features her debut book, Hunter’s Night, which will be followed by her first sequel, Rogue Night. She might even do a cover reveal. Stay tuned for more magical mayhem next week.
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