Hawthorn & Ash #10

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Welcome to this week’s installment of many micro stories, ranging in length from 100 words to 500 words.

With each story we hope to deliver a little whimsy into the lives of our readers.

The Hunt

The world turns around us, ever-changing and never ceasing. Once upon a time, we remained unchanged.  We secluded ourselves and lived in the space between worlds where humans could not reach us.  Their influence was too strong though and as technology increased, the power of the ancient began to crumble.  We had to adapt to survive.

We left our halls of perpetual autumn and found a home in the modern world.  We are everywhere now.  Our children go to daycare and elementary school.  They play sports alongside human children.  They go to college and intermarry with the others of this world.  We are no longer a community, but just another ethnicity buried in the vast world of minorities.  Only you can’t tell what we are by how we look or what traditions we follow.

It’s why my job is so hard.  Being a Fae in the human world has plenty of problems, but being a cop makes it that much harder.  Humans don’t know about the existence of others like me.  Not just the Fae, but Weres and Witches, Shifters and creatures from nightmares they don’t want to remember.

Tonight is just another night on the watch, but this case keeps pinging something in the back of my mind.  Some memory of times long past intrudes at the tip of my tongue and won’t let up.  It feels purposeful like someone is trying to call me out, but I can’t remember who or why.

“Sean, are we good here?”

My partner, Tony, is a good guy and an even better cop.  His instincts, even without knowing about the other, are dead on.  Like now.

“Yeah.  I don’t need to see anything else here.”

Tony gives me the side-eye, but he doesn’t say anything else.  Sometimes I wonder if he really knows about us.  If he does, it was quick thinking and personal deliberation, nothing someone has said directly.  As I said, he’s good, and he’s seen enough to make anyone wonder.  He misses the bigger things though, like being unwarded around one of the Fae.

“This is going to be one of those, isn’t it?” Tony asks.

I know what he means.  This isn’t going to be solved easily, especially not on paper.  I swear I spend half of my job trying to explain away other-cases in a way that humans will believe.

“I’m afraid so.”

It’s back.  The tickle at the back of my mind and I spin around to look at the surrounding cityscape.  There’s nothing out of the ordinary to see, nothing that should cause me to hesitate, but I do.  And then I know.

She’s here.

Somewhere in the depths of the city, the queen of the Fae is calling to me.  This is no ordinary crime, and the killer is no mortal creature.  Tonight, I will hunt out my Queen for the first time in two hundred years.  Great Mother have mercy on us all.

Chris Bannor is a science fiction and fantasy writer who lives in Southern California.  Chris learned her love of genre stories from her mother at an early age and has never veered far from that path.  She also enjoys musical theater and road trips with her family but is a general homebody otherwise. 

Visit her at: http://www.ChrisBannor.com  facebook.com/chrisbannorauthor

If you enjoyed this drabble you can find it and more in the Hawthorn & Ash 2019 anthology.

AVAILABLE HERE!

 

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