From the bike, Southeast was different. White girl on foot got suspicious looks and sized up for mugging.
White girl on bike got people closing curtains. They couldn’t even see the gun. Or maybe it was something about my face.
“Find Mr. Clem,” I whispered, and the fyrhund streaked ahead of me. I didn’t dare send it to find Kanesha, it might eat her. If it ate Mr. Clem? That would solve all of our problems. The bike followed…I wasn’t even steering her at this point, just crouched over the handlebars, actually feeling the mane flowing into my face. And knowing I knew how to ride not just a horse, but a horse like this. The gun was heavy…I should have brought the sword too, but I hadn’t wanted Wilma to touch it, hadn’t wanted anyone to touch it.
Or maybe I felt that if she did she would be pulled in, and she would be dead. She wouldn’t last five minutes in this world.
The fyrhund swung down a side street and I clung to the bike as I followed, feeling as if I was about to take off into the air. Feeling, perhaps, like those who rode with the Wild Hunt felt. Free. Dangerous.
Feeling as if somebody was going to die tonight. Perhaps not at my hands, but there was death in the air. There was death in the fire that streaked backwards around me, and people saw it, sensed it, backed away except for one young man who got ahead of me, pointed his gun, fired and missed, then scrambled to the side before I could hit him.
Protecting his turf, his people. I could almost see that, almost see what he was. Remembered his face.
He was one for Mike’s head start program. He was one who could not just get out of here but be something for them on the outside, but I had to keep moving. I had to find Kanesha.
Find Kanesha and Mr. Clem. And the fyrhund was running faster. They were on the move, I knew. Some kind of vehicle.
Then I saw it. He’d got an old VW camper, painted puke green. I winced. You can get away with colors on VW campers or bugs you can’t on other cars, but that shade of green belonged nowhere outside of somebody’s stomach. The plates, of course, were obscured.
I whistled, and the fyrhund dropped back to run next to my rear wheel. What next? Shoot out the tires?
Somebody was going to die. I sensed that again. It thrummed through me. I pulled the gun from its holster and fired.
Hit the rear tire square on, the van squealing and then spinning sideways.
“Let her go,” I said, not dismounting, not moving. I hoped in that moment he saw the reality…a blonde woman on a grey horse, with a dog made of fire at her side.
He tried to shoot me.