Tyz’vel elected not to follow up, perhaps because he really had planned on setting fire to the place with us all trapped inside and trusting that I would survive.
Or maybe he wasn’t even concerned with my physical survival. He was a spirit himself, after all. Or…I didn’t understand how it worked. We went back inside and finished the shoot with no more problems.
“Ugly prank,” the director said afterwards. “Thought it was funny to put people in the dark, and the fire escape door was jammed. Which I promise I’ll get fixed before we use this place again.”
I slipped out with Monica. “You got a fake ID?” she asked.
I shook my head. “Live with a cop, remember. You go ahead and get drunk. I’ll do what I need to do to clear my head.”
“It was your stalker, wasn’t it.”
I nodded. “Yeah. It was. He apparently thought that was funny or something.”
Monica shook her head. “Half hope he shows up in a ditch. That door was really jammed. I thought…”
“So did I. Which was probably the point. He wouldn’t have actually done anything.” I added that lie to reassure her, but I was starting to wonder if I should, well, do anything. Hang out with anyone who wasn’t part of all of this and used to dealing with it.
A horrible thought and I knew it wasn’t healthy, but people around me did tend to get hurt. I wasn’t responsible for them getting hurt, but it still happened.
Take no responsibility for the actions of your enemies, Thruor would say. Just do your best to stop them.
I didn’t feel as if I was doing my best. I went straight home, got my gear, and went out hunting vampires, imps, or whatever I could find. I actually did find a vampire and killed it. It made me feel better. It made me feel, at the very least, more in control of the situation. I might not be able to deal with Tyz’vel, but I’d stopped some poor soul from being eaten.
I might not be able to deal with Tyz’vel. I could keep “killing” him, I supposed. Then it occurred to me.
I could tell the difference between the real Kanesha and Tyz’vel pretending to be her. Could Mike? I headed home at full speed, rushing into the house.
No sense or sight of the demon. “Mike…we need to talk.”
“Tyz’vel’s latest trick is shapeshifting into people. He did a pretty good Kanesha impression.”
Mike sighed. “Great. We need passwords.”
I nodded. “I can smell him anyway. The rest of you…yeah. Passwords. Once Kanesha and Thruor show up we’ll work on some.”
Passwords were good.