Episode Eighteen: Tricksters: Scene 12

“This gets weirder and weirder.”

I nodded. “You’re protected.”

“I…know.” Monica turned and looked at me, dark eyes thoughtful. “I want to help.”

I felt a sigh flow out of me. “I…” I wanted to say I had enough people to worry about, but Monica was an adult. She could make her own decisions. “You’re not a fighter.”

“No. But I make a good wingman.”

I shook my head. “He’s going to come for me one way or another and anyone who gets in his way is likely to burn.” I looked at her. “Protection only goes so far…physically.”

“And this time I can’t distract him for you.”

I shook my head. “Distracting Tyz’vel, easy. This guy? He’s not one for a roll in the hay, from what I know.”

“And Tyz’vel’s still out there.” She shuddered. “That name makes me want to shower aftwards.”

“It’s supposed to. Demons choose ugly names, or are given them, or whatever. Reminds everyone how evil they are.”

“And these people?”

“Fire giants. They’re not so different from demons, but they have…they aren’t entirely evil and have their own code of honor. Kind of like Klingons, I suppose.”

That analogy she clearly understood. “Got it.”

“And they have me in mind for queen.” I shook my head. “It’s…I…”

“I know who you are,” Monica said. “Just…I don’t know…”

I reached for her hand. “Don’t worry about it. Apparently you’re involved in this.”

And she would die in it. I suddenly knew that with utter clarity. And that wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair at all.

I heard the raven’s voice as clear as if it was on my shoulder, “Trust us.”

I did, but…I didn’t want anyone to die. Anyone on my side, that was. Kanesha…Kanesha I hoped to keep alive for a while.

But the sense I had was that Monica’s fate was imminent. That she had already been chosen. “But…”

“Don’t tell me. Whatever it is, I don’t want to know. I don’t want a prophecy.”

I looked at her. “Remember you aren’t a fighter. Or, you know, start learning.”

She grinned. “Alright.”

But a shadow like raven’s wings had passed across the sun.

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