Episode One: The Horn: Scene 26

On the motorcycle, then. With the things that mattered…clothes, the gun, the horn. I did believe Otter on one thing; it might be useful to me. And I still got the vibe that as smarmy as he was he did have some thought and caring for my wellbeing. Just a bad way of showing it. Or, it almost seemed, like he didn’t know how to show it. “I have something Mr. Otter wants.”

“That’s dangerous. He’ll talk it out of you sooner or later. Or, failing that, trick it out of you.”

That was all we could really say, as Thea gunned the engine. I had this vague feeling the motorcycle was alive, as I had before, was somehow cooperating with us. And at the same time I felt that it was an echo.

I waited until we stopped. In Old Town Alexandria, but not the main street. Quite a few blocks from the magic store. “He said it might prove useful.”

“Then it’s definitely dangerous. Anything that old trickster thinks is useful is going to have a blade on the hilt for sure.”

I didn’t need to know what she meant to translate that saying. Something as dangerous to you as the person you wanted to hurt. “It’s a horn. Marked with Tyr’s rune.”

“Oh. He stole it.”

From her tone, it sounded like he did that sort of thing all the time. “And then used it to mess with my head.”

“We really need to tighten his leash,” Thea grumbled. “You’d think…well…that’s the way of things.”

“He does this all the time,” I hazarded, glancing up at the blue sky. Good, no threat of rain.

“Oh, no. Usually he does worse. But the horn…”

“What is it good for?”

“It does interesting things to liquids you put in it. Turns them into truth serums or makes somebody who’s guilty of something break out in hives. It’s for…finding out if somebody’s guilty.”

“I drank from it.”

“Oh, it would be harmless enough to drink from in private. It’s only a problem if somebody hands it to you.”

“Would the person behind all this recognize it?” I couldn’t help but grin.

“Oh, I see that glint in your eyes. If it’s who I think it is, yes. But he may be working through people who don’t even know who they’re working for…so, he’s right. It could be useful. Either way, don’t break it. It’s rightful owner wants it back.”

“It’s in my duffle. I wrapped it in, uh, underwear.”

She flickered a grin.

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