Rebels of Darkness Sequel

An aesthetic I made for my upcoming project, a sequel to my novel, Rebels of Darkness. Previously, the origin of a pandemic infiltrated the government to spread the virus & destroy. They’ve now stepped it up a level…

Read the original here:

Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 43

Without looking directly at her, I signaled for Giada to get low on the ground, which she did with confusion but very little hesitation. As Wade stepped backwards, he naturally expected his path to remain clear. He had no clue that Giada had stationed herself where she had, and his shocked expression when her position collided with his footfall was priceless! He tripped and plummeted down to the floor with a thud! I saw Aidan dive for the wand that had fallen out of Wade’s hand, so I took this opportunity to quickly retrieve my own wand. As Wade lunged towards his wand, I snatched mine. Wade grabbed his wand, and Aidan immediately knocked it out of his hand! This distracted him long enough to allow me to cast a spell, and Wade got stunned to find himself suddenly bound by ropes! I stood over him and declared, “Wade Toonella, you’re under arrest!” I could see fury brewing in his eyes, but with no alternative, he begrudgingly accepted his fate.

It took Giada, Aidan, and me a moment for the reality of the situation to sink in, but when we realized that not only did we beat an extremely evil villain but we also saved the entire planet from certain doom, we cried out in relief and joy! We got into a group hug, and I just started bawling from the pure elation of it all! I had a feeling we’d achieve success, but with so much at stake and the odds stacked against us like that, I didn’t feel too sure about making it out of there alive. Now that we had, it felt so surreal! More surreal than the monsters we faced in the maze! “We won!” I voiced just to make sure that this achievement had actually happened.

“You did the bulk of the work!” Aidan praised me. “Your wise words and fast thinking under pressure really saved the day!”

“I wouldn’t have gotten this far if you hadn’t been there!” I lauded him. “You gave me courage when I needed it the most, and you distracted him enough for me to get my wand and capture him. Plus, if I didn’t have your help, I’d probably still be stuck in that maze!”

Giada reacted incredulously, “You guys went through the maze? Didn’t you see the backdoor?”

Aidan griped, “There was a backdoor? Dammit!

“He probably put a spell on it so we couldn’t see it.” I wasn’t sure if I actually believed that, but I told myself that anyways, and it seemed to quell Aidan too. I couldn’t think about what Aidan and I could have done differently in that moment, we won and that’s all that mattered! Plus, Giada’s input in the conversation brought up another important point to me. I turned to her and profoundly expressed, “You came back! Why’d you do it? Not that I’m not grateful, but you didn’t show much interest in helping us out before…”

“I didn’t think think I could, and honestly, I didn’t come in here thinking I was going to,” Giada admitted. “I ran into your detective friends in the forest, and they asked me to see if you were still in here. I was just supposed to check on you, but when I saw you guys lying there, I dunno, I just felt something inside me telling me to go help. I had no idea how I could since I’m just a Fay…”

“You’re not just a Fay!” I kindly differed with her. “We would have been done for without your help! It took a lot of courage for someone who can’t do magic to face a magian the way you did!”

Aidan added, “Especially with your attitude towards humans. You didn’t stand to gain anything out of this, but you did it anyways!”

I tacked on, “We wouldn’t have made it here in time to stop the apocalypse if you hadn’t let us into the Ploutonion! You didn’t have to help us, but you did, and it helped save millions of innocent lives!”

“You’re a hero!” Aidan complimented her. “You deserve to…” He trailed off as the Fate Particle began glowing brighter and emitted sparks.

“What’s happening?” I wondered out loud. For a brief second, I fretted that we hadn’t saved the planet after all, and I feared its hyper activity signified disaster…

The Fate Particle shot a ray outside of its protective orb, and Aidan and I expected the worst. That ray only struck Giada though, who grew avidly confused as warm light surrounded her. She floated into the air, and it reminded me of Jasmine ascending into Heaven. Aidan noticed the dawn of comprehension taking over my face, so he asked, “What? What’s happening.”

I answered him, “Don’t you see? Humans are allowed in the Ploutonion to make the case for Fays as to where they belong in the afterlife…”

“We persuaded the Fate Particle to let her into Heaven!” Aidan gasped.

“We sure did!” I agreed as we watched her rise up and dissolve into the clouds. It gave me a high level of gratification to know that Aidan and I assisted her in obtaining a blissful ending! I did feel a little morose knowing we’d never see her again, and it did seem like she left us too soon, but the peaceful expression she bore before she left made me think that she had gotten exactly what she wanted and that we had done the right thing. I also took notice of how physically close Aidan and I had become, and I pondered if it could lead us to growing close in another way…

Wade abruptly interjected, “Are you bohunks finished yet?”

“Bohunks?” I echoed back to him. “Wait, that prejudice was real? I thought you just made it up for your alter ego!”

“That was theo nly part I didn’t fake!” Wade grumbled. “You and your filthy, bohunk mother… I won’t miss seeing your wretched lot every day!”

Aidan queried to me, “What’s a bohunk?”

I replied, “It’s a derogatory word for an eastern European person.”

“You’re eastern Europen too?”

“Yeah, my dad is Irish, but my mom’s Polish and German.”

“Oh nice! I’m part Serbian on my dad’s side.”

“Oh cool! I-.”

Wade interrupted, “Can I please just go to prison now?” Aidan and I shrugged, and then we non-verbally established that it had come time for us to get out of there!”

When we peeked out of the exit, we saw Sandra and Chief Mazarine pacing near Aidan’s car, and I was glad that we could bring them some much needed good news!We used our wands to send Wade out first, which gave them quite the startle! After Aidan and I hopped out of the Ploutonion, they appeared to have had a huge wave of alleviation wash over them! Sandra ran over to me and gave me a big hug! “Thank heavens you’re okay! Your mom called me, and I got so worried!”

“Where’s the Fay that came in with you?” Chief Mazarine questioned.

“She’s not coming back,” Aidan grimly let him know.

Chief Mazarine’s face fell to receive that sad update. “I’m sorry to hear that! How did she-?”

Wade cut him off, “Hello? Isn’t anyone gonna talk to me about my role in all this? Clearly, I’m the victim here!”

“You’re the victim?” I shrieked at him. “You tried to kill us all!”

“I tried to liberate you!” Wade corrected me. “I put so much work into this only to have it fall apart at the last minute, so I deserve to have the world hear my story! It all started when I was young. I-.”

I commanded, “Put him in a squad car! We can get his story later!”

As a couple of nearby officers carried him off, Wade bellowed, “You’re all sinners, and you deserved to die! I was gonna make you all pay! I would have ruled the world with you all gone! I-!” The officers slammed their vehicle door shut. I noticed that it had been the K-9 officer’s car, and from the trunk, I could see Garmer very poignantly staring in his direction. It made me titter, but I also realized that maybe the bloodhound took an interest in me because of my proximity to the true killer!

“I told you my disguises worked!” Aidan grinned.

“Huh?” His assertion seemed so wildly out of context, but since I knew him as an intelligent person, I opened up my ears to hear what he had to say.

He explained, “For my heists, you wondered why I didn’t have people trying to assassinate me for revenge. I hustled this guy out of a drug deal once, and he didn’t recognize me at all! With all the talking he did up in the Ploutonion, I’m sure he would have brought it up! Too bad I didn’t meet your stepdad before, maybe I could have prevented a lot of this from happening!”

I winced and dryly responded, “I don’t even wanna think about that!”
We both laughed, and my heart reveled in sharing this moment with him. I didn’t want it to end! I knew my team was waiting for our statements, but after this whole chaotic ordeal, I learned that life is short. When I thought I might die, I felt pained thinking about all that I could have experienced in my life and didn’t. Now that I had been given a second chance, I didn’t want to waste any more opportunities for joy! I didn’t have any way of knowing if my feelings were reciprocated or not, but I couldn’t just let us go our separate ways without trying to recover what I lost! Fate could tear us apart on the way out of here, so it had to be now! I pleaded with him, “Aidan, please forgive me for the way I treated you! You didn’t deserve it, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it up to you so I can be with you again! Please, is there anything I can say or do to be your girlfriend again? Please!”

Aidan mulled it over for a minute, and I waited for his determination with such anxiety. I hoped that he would give me an answer right away, this hesitation sent me reeling! I never wanted anything more and hoped that he desired me just as much because if he didn’t, it would have devastated me! Not to mention that I would have gotten humiliated in front of my colleagues… again! My nerves felt like they were on fire when he turned back to me with what appeared to have been an answer in his mind. With a wry smile, he inquired, “Can you take those handcuffs home?”

My insides became giddy in relief, but before I could reply, Chief Mazarine snapped, “No! Absolutely not allowed!”

“It’s not?” Sandra reacted in surprise. When Chief Mazarine gave her an alarmed look, she tried to cover up what just slipped out, “I just meant in case you gotta arrest someone off the clock. Not like I’ve ever used it for other reasons…”

“Ugh!” Chief Mazarine walked away in disgust. As he stomepd away, he muttered, “We’re going over policy standards on Monday!”

Aidan and I chuckled, but with that interruption out of the way, I focused back on the most urgent matter at hand. “Does this mean that you forgive me?”

Aidan wrapped his arms around me, and he assured me, “Of course!”

I beamed very widely before giving him a tender kiss! I could hear Sandra cooing, “Awwwww!” in the background, but I could hardly pay attention to her or anything else right then. Getting lost in his embrace felt like a miracle, and with my core gaining full trust in him, I now had the ability to love him more freely, and that kiss was the best thing that I had ever experienced in my entire life! For a brief moment, I actually wondered if I had died in the Ploutonion and had gone to Heaven! I caught a whiff of Wade’s odor and knew that there wasn’t any way that my paradise would smell like that! As we went arm in arm to give our statements, I briefly amused myself wondering if they would force him to bathe in prison!

When Aidan brought me home, my mother ran up to me and squeezed me tight! Travis exclaimed, “You’re okay!”

“Of course they’re okay! What do you think this is, an out of body experience?” his mom remarked sarcastically.

“What happened to Wade?” my mother asked perplexedly.

Aidan and I exchanged grave expressions, and then I revealed to her, “Wade got arrested. He’s being charged with multiple homicides and, like, six million counts of attempted murder!”

My mom’s face paled to hear this. “He’s never coming back?”

“He has a secret fortune, which now, legally, belongs to you!” I know it probably sounded a bit strange to comfort someone who just lost their spouse in such a way, but my gut indicated that her disturbance over the matter had nothing to do with missing him!

“Really? Well, I’m okay then!” Her skin got its color back, and we all celebrated the occasion.

When Ben drained out all of bank accounts, I never would have guessed that I would encourage anyone else to do that! My mother did it lawfully though! She got power of attorney over his finances, and given the infinite amount of life sentences he faced, it looked like he would never get the chance to enjoy that money anyways! My mom felt really strange having such a vast amount of funds, not just because she had never belonged to a higher financial class before that but mainly because her addiction used to make her untrustworthy to have any amount of wealth! She did just fine though! She stayed in Brigid’s Garden since she didn’t want to move her eight cats, but she invested a lot of her money to make it more appealing and safe there! She did a lot more gardening with her free time too, and she was really good at it! She even did the Okelani’s yard and paid for a higher fence to keep their dog safe! She turned the Roadkill diner into a low income rehab center, and it inspired Ben to get counseling certification so he could work there. His death seemed to really have shaken him, and he became a totally new person! I liked him much better as a Fay than I did as a human! I still divorced him, but his change in attitude allowed us to stay friends. I always thought that my mom marrying Wade would prove to be a mistake, but it seemed like it got her and Ben to exactly where they belonged!

Since I helped her obtain all of that money, she insisted that I receive a considerable share. I used a huge chunk of it to pay off the balance on my old house, but after that, the first thing I used it for was to get Travis a new bicycle… with a lock! I still felt bad for how his bike got mixed up in that apocalyptic nightmare! Plus, I didn’t want him to keep asking me about it each time I came to visit. His mom and I ended up becoming friends (her name is Aubrey by the way!), and we had a girls night out regularly from that on. I started to build up a social circle inside of my work too, and I especially bonded with Sandra. We worked on our own cases after closing this one, but we made sure to hang out and catch up as often as we could. Chief Mazarine and I never developed a true friendship, but at least he gave me cases that were a little more complex. It felt good to get that acknowledgment, but if he had gone that route, I would have learned to live with it since I had a life outside of work now. I still felt passionate about my job, but I stopped making it the only thing that mattered.

After we settled the case of the missing bicycle that evolved into a global genocide, Aidan and I took the week off to go on a vacation! My phobia of traveling made me miss out on so much in the world, and after everything that happened, I wanted to see it all! Although, with this particular trip, I didn’t see much outside of the room! That nice old couple in the mountains never did look at us the same after that! When we got back, Aidan dissolved his business. He didn’t feel comfortable toeing the line of legality while dating someone in law enforcement, but after playing an important role in Wade’s case, he also developed an interest in going into that field. He wouldn’t have made enough to gain a profit without doing the side hustles anyways, so he enrolled in the police academy in order to become an undercover officer! He turned the building that he owned for that sales gig into a halfway house for Fay Folks, and we started a non-profit to help them with their civil rights. Giada may have left us, but I still wanted to keep my promise to her! Plus, it didn’t feel right for them to receive such treatment after realizing that the crimes of the fay were nothing compared to what other human beings did to each other! As for my future with Aidan, we’re still dating strong, but unlike with Ben, I actually would consider changing my last name to Maddox…

Up until I wrote this book, all anyone knew about Wade was he went crazy and tried to kill a bunch of people. We made sure the press never reported his story either. We did that partly because we didn’t want to scare people with how close they came to total destruction, but we mostly didn’t want to give Wade the satisfaction of notoriety. He didn’t deserve it! Moreover, we didn’t want anyone to learn just how easily they could destroy the earth! Our top magian scientists repaired the barrier around the Fate Particle, but we couldn’t stop anyone from going in there again! I know that eventually it’ll happen again, but hopefully not any time soon! I wrote this story to have a record of the truth, and I sincerely hope that I’ll never have to write a sequel!

The End!

Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 42

My head felt heavy, and my eyes wanted to shut, but I refused to succumb to these sensations! I couldn’t, not then, not when everything, and I do mean everything, was on the line! It took all of my strength, but I managed to lift my lids enough to assess the situation. I recognized Wade’s face, but it threw me off the view his visage with far less weight and all black clothing! He raised his wand up, and I realized he intended to strike us again! Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my wand had rolled away from me, so I didn’t know how I would stop him! I could see Aidan was unconscious on the ground next to me, and that prompted my instincts to pump adrenaline throughout my body! I had to protect myself, but it felt more important to keep him protected! As Wade cast his spell, I felt electricity surge to my fingertips. Before I knew it, I had created a force field that shrouded Aidan and me! I hadn’t even realized that I could do that until this moment! It took enough energy just to wield magic through wands, and to maintain a spell without the additional assistance that the inherent qualities of the wood we carried took an extraordinary amount of willpower! Now that I had thought about it, I remembered getting advised against using magic in such a way, and I instantly regretted getting myself into such a predicament! I didn’t know how long I could last like that or what would happen when the spell wore off!

Wade had apparently thought along the same lines, and he, too, didn’t think that this boded well for me. He parked himself onto the steps of the stone dais and lounged in a relaxed repose to mock me. He leered, “Go ahead! Use this shield as long as you want! I can wait!” He conjured up a cocktail and delightedly watched me struggle to keep the effect up. After about a minute, I could tell his amusement began to ebb, and I guessed that he would say or do something in an attempt to distract me. Sure enough, he tried to needle me by asking, “So, while we’re waiting, do you have any questions for me?” I gave him no answer, so he pressed me further, “Oh, come on! I know you must have a ton of things you wanna know!” I still didn’t say anything, so he began rambling, “Okay, I’ll help you out. First of all, you probably wanna know why I did it. Well, that’s very simple. I believe that humans are far too sinful to continue to exist.” He paused to see if I would respond, and when I didn’t, he surmised, “Oh, I suppose you figured out as much from all of my messages that I left with the people I liberated…”

“Liberated?” I couldn’t help myself, I felt compelled to correct him, “You killed them!”

“I turned them into Fay Folks,” he debated me. “I picked good people who happened to make bad decisions and brougth them to a form they could survive in. It’s not really their fault, they’re a product of an unjust society! Well, I aimed to change that! In the paradise I’ll develop after you’re all gone, they’ll get treated as they deserve!”

I posed to him, “And what makes you think you’ll survive the apocalypse?”

Very sure of himself, he replied, “I did some ugly things, but it was for the greater good! Once I destroy the last of the Fate Particle’s barrier, we’ll all die, but I’ll come back as a Fay and rule over my utopia in peace knowing that all of you sinners are burning in Hell!”

“Why…?” I didn’t want to risk losing my concentration to engage in the game he was playing, but all I could think to do in order to delay any of his depraved acts was to keep him talking. I hoped that if I could keep him preoccupied enough that I could buy some time for Aidan to wake up and help. I could see him breathing, so I knew he’d get up eventually! The only flaw in my plan was that I found it really difficult to both talk and keep my spell up.

“Why do I bear such a grudge against society?” Wade surmised what he thought I would query about. “Well, after bouncing from one abusive foster care facility to another, I found out that my parents chose their career over me! They had horrible jobs that hurt a lot of people, and they thought that was more important than their own child!”

I inquired, “What did they do that was so horrible?”

He divulged, “They were managers at a Burger Queen.” I stared at him blankly. With the way he phrased it, I expected him to say they were bank robbers or something more criminal, and I failed to see how he could view supervising a fast food chain as so heinous. He accosted me with, “What? Junk food causes obesity, which kills thousands of people every year!”

“If you say so!” I could feel my force field weakening, and I willed myself to both keep up the spell and to let him know, “That’s interesting, but what I really wanted to know is… Why do you smell so bad?”

“Think I’m crazy for that, huh? Well, let me ask you this, with my stench, how often could you stand to look at me?” He glanced at me with the expectation of me giving him a numerical answer, but all I could muster out of myself was to shake my head. He laughed derisively, and then he explained, “Almost never, right? I made myself so offensive both physically and mentally that people avoided me at all costs. If I had shown you any real kindness, then you would have noticed my fat suit, and there goes my case! In order to carry out my plan, I had to make everyone suspect that I was just a gullible hillbilly! It worked! I didn’t have to go into hiding at all!”

I recognized a certain amount of cleverness to his ruse, but it still seemed too outlandish for me to call him brilliant! Yes, he had me convinced for a while, but I felt like he could have achieved the same results with a far less complex scheme! I didn’t voice that opinion though. Aidan stirred a little, and although I could barely keep up my spell, knowing I’d have him by my side again allowed me to push past my pain and keep the force field up. I think Wade started to sense that my energy was waning, and I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of watching me falter, so I probed, “Where’d you get the money?”

He played dumb on that subject, “What money?”

“The bail money!” It irritated me to no end that he knew exactly what I referred to but purposefully claimed ignorance to watch me squirm from my intense discomfort! “You must have a lot to do that!”

“Oh, that money!” He pretended to recall. He eyeballed my weakening shield, but my curiosity gave my mind extra fuel as I awaited the missing piece to the puzzle of my case. I expected something dramatic, but when he decided that my force field would hold up a little longer, he very anti-climatically revealed, “Drugs.” When he saw my unimpressed expression, he pointed out, “What? You didn’t think Dahlia kept the money she made, did you?”

It seemed so obvious after he said it that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought about it before! I cringed just thinking about the money Ben took from our house going into Wade’s greedy hands, and I could feel my magic’s vigor slowly weakening from this upset. Wade’s face twisted into an almost maniacal grin, and he taunted me, “Come on! Quit wasting my time and let’s finish this!” I sincerely hated the concept of giving him any kind of victory, and I knew if I could just hold out a little more that Aidan could step in and help me stop him, but I could feel myself running out of steam. No matter how willing I felt to overcome my anguish, my body just couldn’t do it anymore! I had no choice, I had to relent! The force field faded, and If ell to the floor!

Wade cackled, “You foolish girl! You used up all you had left for nothing! You-!” He observed signs of life from Aidan, and my heart pounded wildly. With a cruel smirk, he informed me, “You don’t have much longer! Lemme make sure you sinners die close together!”

My wand had gone too far out of reach to rescue Aidan in time, and I had no doubt in my mind that I had to save him! Without thinking about anything but saving him, I dove on top of Aidan! I expected to bear some kind of searing pain or dire consequence for my choice, and when I didn’t, I had to figure out why I remained unscathed. Not that I wanted to experience anything so severe, but I felt that I had to investigate my new set of circumstances. I had to give Aidan time to regain his senses so we could prevent Wade from destroying the world, and he had to be the one to do it since I couldn’t get to my wand. Without a proper weapon to defend myself, I had lost hope of success, but with this hesitation, my hopes began to spin some optimism of getting out of this alive! I had to investigate, and I didn’t feel too sure of anything until I faced Wade again…

He just stood there completely frozen, and since no one had been able to cast a spell, I could only assume that he did that on his own. It reminded me of watching an icicle hanging off of a roof- it seemed like a solid stance, but the slightest movement could possibly kill me! I wondered if his state of shock would give me time to retrieve my wand, but just when I twitched slightly in that direction, Wade sputtered, “You… You just…!”

“Are you okay, or…?” It would have been a little to convenient for him to have suffered some kind of medical complication as a result of his inability to process what just happened, and while I seriously doubted that he would remain incapacitated long enough for me to apprehend him, I had to ask! It would have been an unfortunate misjudgment if that did occur and I didn’t take the opportunity!

“Why would you do that?” he raved after everything finally clicked in his mind. “You weren’t immobile! You had the power to get up and go anywhere! You could have gotten your wand and stopped me! You could have ran for the exit! You could have saved yourself and saved your society, and you chose to save this guy? And for what? I would have either killed him right after I killed you or he would have gotten wiped out when I destroyed the Fate Particle, so what would the point have been of saving him? It’s not like he could stop me! He got knocked out as soon as I saw you two, so clearly he’s no match for me. Why would you sacrifice your life just to let this jerk live a few minutes longer? You had so much to gain by letting him die, so why would do something so reckless?”

I coolly retorted, “What makes you so sure that I would stay dead? How do you know I wouldn’t become a Fay?”

Clearly, Wade hadn’t considered that possibility before, and while it shook him for a second, he quickly brushed it off, “No way! You’re too much of a goody-goody to get sent back as a Fay!”

“Oh, you think so, huh?” I really savored the fact that the gesture I made for Aidan truly addled him, and I had no clue if I could push him enough to drive him over the edge, but at the very least, I knew I’d have a bit of fun until he had enough and returned to dooming humanity! I did recognize that any amount of delay I could summon right then would increase our odds of finding a way to stop disaster from happening, so it definitely felt worth it to give it a shot! “Before I entered the police academy, I had friends, and my desire to gain a career outweighed my desire to maintain any important relationship I had! Selfishness is a sin, no?”

“That’s not enough to-!” Wade tried to dismiss my argument.

I interrupted him, “I’m not done! I abandoned my mother during her hour of need ’cause I couldn’t find it in my heart to forgive her for something that wasn’t even totally her fault! And I lied! I lied to my boss, my coworkers, my family, the few friends I have left- I deceived them all! The first thing I did after my husband died was to sleep with someone else, someone who I also deceived and lied to! I swear, I drink liquor, I overindulge in junk food, I am far from leading a perfect lifestyle! What makes you think I’d automatically… get into Heaven?”

I briefly hesitated when I spotted something moving in the distance. I had no way of knowing if that something would end up boding well for us, but I had nothing left to lose, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to discover what slowly drew closer to us. I kept talking to keep Wade distracted from whatever it was, “Then again, Reed Radley wasn’t an angel either, and he got into Heaven!”

“Who?” Wade authentically didn’t seem to remember him.

“Reed Radley!” I actually got outraged by his disregard for one of his victims. “He was the first guy you murdered! He didn’t turn into a Fay, so you dumped him into the river like he was nothing!”

As Wade recalled this memory, my pulse quickened when I realized that the figure I witnessed advancing towards us was actually Giada! I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what she intended to do with her presence around the Fate Particle, but no matter how long she meant to stay, I strove to keep her protected from Wade for as much time as I possibly could! If he had noticed her sneaking into the area, I prepared myself to kick, scream, or do whatever it took to sway Wade’s attention back onto me. Luckily, Wade got too wrapped up in his recollection to have caught sight of her. “Oh, that guy? Psh! He wasn’t the first guy I killed!”

I made a mental note that if we did make it out of the Ploutonion alive that I would bring this revelation up to Chief Mazarine, but I didn’t express my opinion on this Wade. Instead, I argued, “You’ve killed multiple people, and you think you’re not going straight to Hell?”

“So, a few sinners died!” Wade dismissed my slur. “Big deal! I had to sacrifice them for the greater good!”

“That’s the difference between you and me! You’re willing to sacrifice the lives of people you hate, and I’m willing to sacrifice my own life for someone that I love!” I felt Aidan stir behind me, and I pondered what he had in his head in terms of how to get out of this peril. I couldn’t catch sight of his face, so I had no indications fo what he was thinking. I could see Giada very distinctly though, and while I didn’t let my eyes linger long enough to give away her location, but from the snapshot I got, it seemed as though she had been waiting for some kind of signal to take action. I still couldn’t think of any way to escape from Wade’s clutches, all I could think to do was throw one more verbal jab at him, “Maybe neither of us will become Fays- I’ll go one way and you’ll go the other! What a shame- you put all this work into creating the apocalypse and you’ll get sent to Hell before you get a chance to see your utopia!”

Wade bellowed, “That’s enough! I’m finishing this, and I’m finishing you!” He raised his wand, and as he took a step back to strike both Aidan and me at once, I suddenly saw my way out!

Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 41

“If I do this, then I’ll be responsible for your death.” Giada turned and gazed at us with sadness. “If I don’t, then it’s Wade’s fault you died. How could I do that to you? How could I get you killed and still get into Heaven?”

“Well, if it came down to a choice of dying from the apocalypse or dying fighting it, I’d much rather die like a hero trying to save people instead of cowering from fear of the inevitable.” I didn’t actually believe that Aidan and I would perish in this battle; I mean, I knew we faced that possibility, but I had to convince myself that we would emerge victoriously or else I wouldn’t have had the fortitude to even try! Something deep inside of me indicated that we would come out of the Ploutonion just fine, but doubt began to creep in with her level of persistence on the concept, and suddenly I didn’t feel so sure! I pushed those thoughts aside though. I had no time to deal with my emotions, not with so much on the line, and I steeled myself up to see this mission all the way through! I swore an oath to protect and secure, and that was exactly what I intended to do!

Aidan tacked on to my reasoning, “Yeah, the humane thing to do would be to let us end our lives in the way that we choose! Denying us of that dignity would just be cruel!”

Finally, Giada showed signs of relenting. After a fair bit of mental anguish against the idea of it, she gave in, “Okay, I’ll do it!”

“Thank you so much!” Aidan shook her hand in appreciation.

“And seriously, if we do save our society, we’ll make sure that you get treated better!” I promised her.

She didn’t seem very confident about that happening, but she didn’t say that opinion out loud. Instead, she placed both hands on her forehead and instructed us, “Grab on.” Aidan and I each latched on to one of her elbows, and once it seemed like we had a good grip on her, she closed her eyes and concentrated very hard. Within seconds, we disappeared!

I felt like I was getting squeezed through a small tube! Thankfully, that uncomfortable sensation didn’t last long! As fast as we could bat an eyelash, we found ourselves on solid ground again! Aidan and I immediately left our balance and fell to the floor, which dragged Giada down with us. “Sorry!” I mumbled as I tried to readjust my balance.

Giada didn’t seem particularly happy about tumbling, but she held her tongue. After glancing around and verifying that the surroundings didn’t pose a threat to her in that instance, she quickly regarded us with, “Good luck!” before she vanished.

It took Aidan and me a minute before we picked ourselves up again. I still felt sort of woozy as though I had just awaken from a strange dream, but when I started to come to my senses again, I realized the surface we had landed on felt as cold as ice and smooth like glass. When I picked my head up, I attributed the haze I saw to my clouded eyesight, but I soon figured out that the area had been shrouded by fog. I tried to stand up, but I lost my balance and nearly collapsed on Aidan! He, too, had trouble orienting himself though, and bracing each other kept one another from falling down again. Aidan remarked, “You know, they never start an epic adventure like this in the movies! Everyone is just ready to go right away, no problem!”

“If this was a movie, I wouldn’t have shown up to this in my sweats with no makeup on! I, at least, would have worn underwear!” I cringed when I heard myself say that out loud, but in my defense, I wasn’t planning on doing something like this right then! Originally, I just intended to nurse my heartache in bed until morning, and when I discovered the truth about Wade, I could only focus on my own survival. Now that we had come to such a pivotal moment, I couldn’t help but go over all of the things I should have done to prepare for this event. I had never battled with a crook without a bra or panties on, and the prospect of facing a powerful magian without them really made me uncomfortable! I had slipped on some sandals to run to the station as rapidly as possible, but now I wished I had taken a few more seconds to put on some boots or sneakers! I felt like such a hot mess, a sentiment that only grew just seeing how gorgeous Aidan appeared! I almost got tempted to use my wand to doll myself up a little, but a more logical part of my brain prompted me to save my magic for Wade.

The subject of Wade reminded me of why we had come to the Ploutonion in the first place. I visually scanned the area, and the only thing that I could see was an empty plain of steamy vapor. Behind us, I spotted a metal, window-like portal, and when I took a step towards it, a small hole opened up in the center. I noted, “That must be the exit.”

“Why couldn’t they let us come in that way! That doesn’t seem so bad!” He folded his arms and pouted slightly, but then his nose crinkled up in disgust. “I didn’t picture it smelling so bad in here!”

I informed him, “That’s not the Ploutonion, that’s Wade’s stench! He must not be far!” That almost didn’t feel possible since we saw no signs of anything else out there except more of that icy steam!

“There’s definitely more out there!” Aidan appeared to have gotten on the same train of thought as me. “From what my Fay employees told me, there’s a lot more than just your smelly stepdad that can hurt us!”

I almost requested for him to share some of his stories, but we suddenly felt the whole place tremor, and I feared that we didn’t have much longer! I decided to just deal with whatever existed in this realm as we went along, and then I suggested to Aidan, “We should keep a three hundred and sixty degree visual of the area, so let’s walk back to back.”

“Walk where?” Aidan inquired while gazing at the vast emptiness that surrounded us.

I spun around in order to get some kind of direction, and all I could find was that doorway out, but that in itself gave me an idea. “The way out is here, and I imagine the Fate Particle is on the exact opposite side of here, so if we go in a straight line from this point, we’ll probably find it.” Aidan nodded in agreement and then held his back to mine. He felt so warm, and his firm muscles made it so comfortable that I almost could have stayed like that forever! I had to shake that notion from my head in order to concentrate, but his touch did give my jangled nerves so much needed soothing, which helped me obtain the courage I needed to do this without hesitation!

I inched forward while Aidan kept his eye on what was behind me. Our arms linked together, but we both had our wands out ready to defend ourselves against whatever horrors came our way. The extreme distress of walking around in this unfamiliar zone with the expectation of an unknown thing ambushing us put my anxiety on edge, and I could understand why a lot of Fay Folks preferred to take their chances on the streets of Anaknock! I dearly wished that whatever obstacle we would have to face would manifest itself more speedily to get this all over with! I saw a tall expanse in the distance, and I reported to Aidan, “I see something! I think it’s a wall.”

“It couldn’t be the gateway to the Fate Particle!” Aidan responded with a hint of disbelief. “We haven’t come across any kind of setback, and I wouldn’t expect to have it come to us that easily!”

“I agree, I would think Wade would put some kind of barrier up so he could…” As we approached the structure, I observed the interior, and while I thought I understood what was going on, I needed further confirmation to feel sure about what we were about to face. “Pivot to the side so you can see this.” We both tried to spin in opposite directions, so we didn’t actually move. “Let’s both go left.” The same thing occurred. “Okay, let’s go your left then.” Finally, we worked that out! When he finally saw it, I theorized, “I think it’s a maze!”

Aidan studied the depth of the maze and then concluded, “Either there’s some kind of back door or Wade has to go through this maze every day! I highly doubt it’s the latter since I imagine there’s more than just wrong turns to watch out for in there!”

I posed to him, “Do we wanna take the time look for an alternative route, or should we take our chances in the maze?” The Ploutonion violently shook again, so I recommended, “Let’s not risk our time! If we put up markers for what we know is the wrong way, maybe it won’t… What are you doing?”

“The secret third option!” He pointed his wand at the nearest wall and blasted a hole through it. I gave him an impressed expression, and, still walking back to back and sideways, we went through the hole that he made.

Aidan made a few more shortcuts like that, and for a brief minute, I thought that we would have an easy time with this maze. All of a sudden, a tall figure came barreling towards us! It had the torso of a man but the head of a bull, and I wanted to defend against our attacker until I heard him whining, “Hey! You’re cheating! You’re not supposed to-.” I raised my wand to strike him, so he backed away. “Okay, okay! Jeez!” As he slunk away, I felt a little thrown off to see a creature like that! It didn’t seem possible for it to exist in real life, and a part of me wondered if I had hallucinated the whole experience! Aidan and I didn’t have to say out loud how grateful we were that the beast didn’t pose much of a threat, and while we certainly felt surprised that our encounter didn’t involve something more lethal, we simply shrugged it off and kept moving.

After we broke through a few more barriers, we came across an aisle way that went in the direction we wanted to go, so we prepared ourselves to follow it. Before we could go down it though, an ugly creature with the body of a lion, the wings of a bat, and the head of a human rolled a cart with a kettle and two tea cups on it in front of our path. It had a very wispy, song-like voice that disturbed me as much as its grotesque appearance did! “To go forward, you must drink from one of these cups. One has tea, one has poison- choose wisely!”

The beast pushed one cup towards us, and I could tell that he expected us to start fretting over what choice to make. It flabbergasted him when I rolled my eyes and grumped, “Oh, that is so cliché!”

“I’m sorry, what?” the creature responded incredulously.

“They do this in, like, every cheesy suspense film!” I ranted, “You either want me to think you kept the clean drink for yourself so you can fool me into swapping out your poison for my tea, or you want me to think that’s what you did so I drink the poison that’s right in front of me! Unless you’re like that one eighties flick where the trickster poisoned both and could drink either since he developed an immunity to it.”

The beast put his hands on his hips in annoyance. “One is clean.”

I mocked him, “That’s too bad! That would have been way more clever, don’t you think?”

“Well, you still have to pick one if you wanna get by!” The creature stomped one of its feet impatiently.

“Hmm… Do I pick option one or option two?” I picked up the cup in front of me, and then I revealed to the creature, “I pick the secret third option!”

I threw the liquid in its face, which scalded him intensely enough for him to cry out loud in pain! As he covered his wounds and issued a series of curse words at us, we squeezed past him. Aidan glanced back at him and denoted, “Hey, I think he did give you the poison!” I tittered as we continued along our way.

In the distance, we could see an opening that looked as though it led to a very brightly illuminated field, and while we felt relieved to have gotten close to the end of this inconvenient delay tactic, we fully expected to run into at least one more trap, especially since this aisle way had several hallways branching off of it. We saw a strange, cat-like beast peek out at us, but it retreated as fast as it came out! The same thing happened twice more with other beasts in other aisles, and I joked with Aidan, “We must’ve built up quite the reputation in here!”

“I think this maze was designed to scare off Fay Folks than people like us,” Aidan mused. “It certainly hasn’t slowed us down too much!”

“This is way too easy! There’s gotta be something more…” Before I could finish my sentence, we suddenly found ourselves enveloped inside of a giant cage! “…And there it is!”

From the ceiling, a giant spider-like creature with a feminine face came climbing down on a silk rope. She met our eyes and sneered, “You have exactly thirty seconds to answer my riddle or I’ll eat you both alive! Here it is: The cost of making only the maker… Hey!” Aidan and I linked arms, and I did a teleportation spell out of the cage. When she turned around to go after us, Aidan aimed his wand at her, freezing her on the spot!

I commented to Aidan, “I’m so glad you didn’t squish her! It’s messy enough with regular sized spiders!”

Aidan chuckled, and then he remarked, “Too bad we didn’t know our destination beforehand or we could have just teleported out of this shit!” I laughed in agreement, and then we scuttled towards the exit.

The closer we got to the luminous field, the more I could feel a wild static emanating from the area. I would have been surprised if it had been anything else but the Fate Particle! Out of an abundance of caution, we went forth with a very slow speed. We had no way of knowing if that spider would serve as our final obstacle or if we would end up facing more more creature on the way out! Fortunately, we reached the end without any other thing standing in our way!

When peeked out of the maze, we saw a stone dais with a nearly translucent orb covering a small beam of light, and without anyone having to explain it to us, we both figured out that we had stumbled across the Fate Particle! We visually scanned the entire area, and no one was in sight! We we didn’t dare utter a word, but we silently communicated that we were about to run into a trap. I mean, Wade wouldn’t have just abandoned his mission like that! We both knew that there was no way he would have give up without a fight, but we didn’t see any way to avoid getting ensnared in whatever he had waiting for us. We came to stop him, so we had to draw him out of hiding somehow! We had no idea where he had hidden himself, and we saw no signs of him anywhere we looked. Our only option became evident- we had to go out there and let whatever he set up for us come into fruition. We tiptoed forward, and I kept the mindset of immediately attacking any sight of movement. The closer we got to the Fate Particle, the more I pondered about when he planned to ambush us. Just when we could nearly touch the stone dais, and just when I wondered what we would do if he didn’t actually show up, we suddenly found ourselves knocked to the ground!

( For anyone who wants to start from the beginning, click here: )

Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 40

I took a deep breath and channeled all of my concentration into this magic. I couldn’t afford another mishap like the one from last night! Well, technically, it happened this morning, but I did it before dawn when I would have normally been sleeping, so it was nighttime for me! Anyways, I had already wasted time looking up this address only to come up empty when I got there, so I couldn’t afford to waste anymore with conventional travel methods. I had to use a transportation spell! Actually, I didn’t even really have time to do this task, but I wouldn’t have had the right focus to confront Wade if I didn’t do this! The future of the world depended on me getting this right, and if I went straight to the Ploutonion, I would have been thinking about this missed opportunity the whole time, so I deemed it absolutely necessary to carry this out. I felt the warmth of an electric cloud all around me, and then… Poof!

I went through the same sensations that one might feel during an elevator ride, but all I could see around me was gray static. I inwardly prayed that I would land in the right spot, and within seconds, my feet touched the ground. As I reoriented myself, I noticed the familiar coolness of the salty air and I could smell the briny expanse in the distance. Once the bout of dizziness wore off, I saw the ocean waves hitting the sandy shore, and I knew that I made it to the right spot! And, to my delight, I wasn’t alone…

I saw his silhouette watching the natural scenery collide with the unnatural sky above it, and my heart beat wildly as I watched him there! All I wanted to do was run up and hug him, but I held back. I knew he would still have a deep resentment over our fight, and I didn’t blame him one bit! Now that I knew the truth about my suspect, I could only imagine the hurt he felt over how I treated him! For a moment, I simply observed him leaning against his car. I only had one shot at this, and I didn’t want to say the wrong things and go into this pending battle with more heartbreak. I searched for the right words to say to Aidan, but when I saw his back and shoulders tense up, I knew he sensed my presence. If I took too long to speak, I worried that he would hop in his vehicle and flee from me, so I had to abandon all pretense of my not being there. I slowly approached him, and he didn’t make any effort to acknowledge my arrival. He maintained his stare out into the water, and the closer I got to him, the more pronounced his scowl became. I had no idea where to begin with the vast amount of things I had to say to him, and the only thing that I could come up with was, “It doesn’t look the same, does it?”

He didn’t respond to me, and after that sentence came out of my mouth, I berated myself for opening up our dialogue with that! With everything that had transpired between us, of course he didn’t want to discuss the weather! I couldn’t keep wasting precious minutes, so whether he reacted to my message or not, I decided to make sure he heard it. I decided to begin by telling him, “I figured out who really did it.”

“Good for you!” He got up and walked away from me. It surprised me a little to see this response, I thought he would curiously keep some interest in what else I had to say, but obviously my previous actions really touched a nerve with him! I completely understood why he still felt upset, and I dearly wished that I had made the right choice all along, but I couldn’t change the past. I intended to change the future though, and I couldn’t let him go without him knowing everything! So, I chased after him and cried out, “I do trust you! It’s me I don’t trust!” To my relief, he stopped dead in his tracks, so I went on, “All I’ve done is make the wrong decisions! I spent two decades hating my mother for something that wasn’t totally her fault, and I wasn’t there for her when she really needed someone by her side! I alienated all of my friend to devote myself to my work as a police officer, and then it turned out that I didn’t even want that job! I stayed on for over ten years though just ’cause I didn’t wanna look like a failure! Then I ignored all of the warning signs of my marriage’s doom just so I wouldn’t have to endure another letdown, and it almost cost me my dream career! And that didn’t turn out well either! I spent so long trying to impress my boss when he never had any faith in me in the first place! I keep making the wrong judgments about people, so when you came along and I felt like I finally found something good, I thought I was falling into another trap! On some level, I always knew you were innocent, but I subconsciously made myself believe that you weren’t in order to protect myself from getting hurt again. But I failed on that too! Being apart from you hurts worse than anything that I’ve ever felt before, and I’ll pay for it for the rest of my life…

“…Which may not last very long! Wade’s destroying the barrier around the Fate Particle, and once he does that, the entire human race will get destroyed! No one believes me, but I’m a hundred percent certain I’ve got this one right! He’s almost done, you can see it everywhere! The apocalypse will happen at any minute, so I have to go into the Ploutonion immediately! I have no backup, which means I gotta go in there alone. I just wanted to apologize to you for breaking my promise of never going in there by myself! I don’t know if I’ll live through that ordeal, hell, I don’t even know if the planet will survive or not, but whatever happens to me, just know that I’m truly sorry for what I did to you! You can go back to hating me again now. I just had to tell you that before I go!”

I walked away from him so that I could transport myself back to Anaknock without him getting caught inside the spell too. Plus, if I wanted to perform this magic properly, I knew I needed to lose sight of Aidan! He hadn’t moved a muscle during my speech, and he said nothing afterwards either, which just made my whole body ache! The sheer emotions from that made my entire self feel heavy, and since I had gotten out what I needed to say, I tried to shift my focus back to the critical mission of saving the earth from Wade’s diabolical plot! I could still catch a whiff of his cologne, and I needed to get out farther away from him or else I never would have had the will power to defend humanity against that monster! With tears forming in my eyes, I forced myself to separate from him…

Or at least I tried to! I felt one of his strong hands touch the shoulder closest to him, and my heart skipped a beat when he requested, “Wait!” I hadn’t considered the possibility of anything beyond a clear conscious from this, and I tried not to get my hopes up as I turned back around to face him. He stated firmly, “You’re not going in there alone! I’m going with you!”

“You’re…? Oh, Aidan! I…” I almost wrapped my arms around him in pure jubilation of his support, but I got the impression that he hadn’t forgiven me yet. His face didn’t look too pleased when I got too close, so I abandoned that thought. I didn’t much like the idea of me only having a friendship with the man I loved, but the fact that he was willing to assist me even though he didn’t seem to like me much truly demonstrated the strength of his character! He really was a good guy, better than I deserved! I appreciatively regarded him, “Thank you!”

“Let’s get moving!” he gruffly suggested. “Where do we go from here?”

We got into Aidan’s car, and he teleported us to the section of the forest that I triangulated as the killer’s stomping grounds. From our vantage point on the outskirts of town, Aidan could see all of the chaos that erupted since he left the city. He saw various spots of smoke and heard screams radiating throughout the area, and he commented, “People are acting crazy! I mean, I know the end is near, but you’d think they’d wanna enjoy themselves while they still can!”

I let him know, “Actually, no one else really knows how close we are to the apocalypse. Wade has the Fays out wreaking havoc so everyone gets too distracted to stop him from opening the Fate Particle.”

“He’s using them! That’s awful!” Aidan shook his head in disgust.

“Yeah, it’s really sad!” I shared his sentiments. “He knows that they have a societal disadvantage, and he’s manipulating those feelings over that so they’ll do his bidding. They think that if they help him, they’ll be rewarded with a Fay Folks paradise when we’re all gone.”

I could see fury bubbling beneath Aidan’s surface, but instead of spewing over, he appeared to have chosen a more proactive path. “So, how do we stop him?”

I explained, “We need to find a Fay to take us into the Ploutonion. He seems to have most of them under his control, but not all of them took his side. Ben thought he was nuts, but he’s in protective custody, so-.”

“Woah, woah, woah! Ben is a Fay?” Aidan probed.

“Oh, yeah. Did I forget to mention that Wade killed him?” I replied sheepishly. Aidan seemed a little alarmed by this news, but I assured him, “I’m fine, seriously! He’s a Fay, so I don’t feel like a true widow. Anyways, that’s not important right now! A Fay helped Ben escape from Wade in this forest, and she’s our best shot at getting into the Ploutonion right now. She’s somewhere around here, but I’m not sure where. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long to find her ’cause, well…” I indicated to the electric orange sky.

Aidan nodded in comprehension, and we both readied ourselves for a lengthy search. I dearly hoped that it didn’t take more than an hour or two to find her, but with the rate that the horizon changed before our eyes, I doubted that the planet would even that long! Still, we had to do our best to get to the Ploutonion quickly, it was our only shot! As soon as we turned around, we both got a shock to see Giada standing right behind us! Things never usually worked out so conveniently for me like that, so it definitely threw me off to have her there! “Giada! We were just about to-.”

Giada finished my sentence, “Look for me. I know! I was hiding in the bush right by your car.” She paused and added, “It’s really nice! Can I have it after the apocalypse is over?”

“Why would you ask for permission if you think I’m gonna die?” Aidan posed to her.

“I dunno.” Giada shrugged at him. “It just seemed better than stealing it. Whether the humans survive or not, I still gotta worry about getting into Heaven. It’d be a little awkward running into you in the afterlife if I went against your wishes.”

I asked her, “Does that mean you’re not gonna take us into the Ploutonion?”

Giada answered me with a sigh, “If I did that, you’d only end up getting killed in there! I feel bad that you’re gonna die, you seem like a nice human, Detective. And you know how I feel about your kind, so that’s saying a lot! And I don’t know you, but if she trusts you, then I do too.”

“Of course I trust him!” I asserted emphatically. He made a face of uncertainty when I made that claim, and I could understand his skepticism after the topic came up again since yesterday, but I hoped that he wouldn’t express his doubt at such a crucial moment. Fortunately, he didn’t broach the subject any further than that!

“After you’re gone, I still gotta live here! I’m already in hot water for what I did to help you so far, and if I slow down his plan at all, I’ll never survive in his society! It’s just not worth it, especially if it’s just to save the rest of the f’ing humans! They’ve never been kind to me, why should I risk everything to help them?” Giada reasoned.

Aidan argued, “Because it’s the right thing to do! You were worried about that when you wanted to steal my car, don’t you think bearing some responsibility for millions of deaths would be worse? Do you really think you’ll get into Heaven if you let us all die?”

Giada clearly got stung by those words. “Hey, I’m not the one bringing on the apocalypse!”

“You’re preventing us from saving the world though!” Aidan pointed out to her. “There’s no neutrality here. You can either let us into the Ploutonion and give us a fighting chance of survival, or you can sit back and let us die!”

“But you’ll killed in there!” Giada debated him. “What difference does it make if you die there or die here?”

Aidan contended, “But we might live! You won’t know unless you let us try! Do you really wanna spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been?”

Giada seemed to have felt that his argument had validity, but she still hesitated, so I jumped in, “Listen, a lot of humans haven’t treated you with the respect that you deserve, and that’s not fair! But there are good humans out there! Like Aidan here, he’s one of the few who actually gave Fay Folks jobs, and he gave them the encouragement and support they needed to get into Heaven! Wade killed one of his employees, and I saw first hand that she avoided going to Hell! If he can help her, he can help you! And he’s not the only one out there working to help you! There’s a lot of people willing to do the right thing if they get the chance! But they won’t be able to do anything if the earth gets destroyed! No one will be around to help you anymore! Do you really think you’ll have enough Fays to run everything? Can you guys fix the power grid if it breaks? Do you have enough engineers to develop the latest cellphones? Are there plenty of Fay doctors to heal you when you’re sick? We may not be perfect, but don’t you think humans contribute enough to society to make it worth saving?” Giada’s expression softened a little, but she gave no indication of buying into our proposal, so I kept going, “We’re not asking you to do much. Just let us in, and you’re free to leave afterwards if you want. If we do survive, I promise I’ll do what I can to help the Fay Folks lead a better life! So, what do you say? Will you help us?”

Giada looked out into the distance and took a while to contemplate everything. After giving it serious consideration, she turned to me and…

( For anyone who wants to start from the beginning, click here: )

Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 39

“Did you find him?” My mother came outside to ask me. For a moment, I froze. With the shocking nature of this discovery, I had trouble believing it myself, and I hadn’t considered how I would tell her. I’ve had to give people bad news about their cases before, but this felt different. Telling civilians what happened to their loved one was never easy, but at least they had a clue that their family member or close friend had been involved in something dangerous. My mom had no idea that something was wrong until she saw me reacting to it! “What’s going on? Is Wade okay?”

“Wade is…” I had a hard time getting the words out. The truth hadn’t even full set in for me yet! But I knew I had to tell her something, especially with the knowledge I had of his dark intentions. My police instincts started to kick in, and I knew I had to take action! I didn’t want to discuss classified details out in the open in case anyone, namely my new top suspect, overheard how much I knew, so I directed my mother, “Let’s discuss it inside.” My mom’s concern heightened by this request, but she detected the amount of urgency the situation required by the one of my voice, so she complied.

Once we both returned inside our home and I shut the door behind me, I suggested to my mother, “Maybe you should sit down for this.”

She didn’t move far from the doorway, and I could tell from the way she stood that she surmised that something dreadful had occurred. “Just tell me what’s going on. Is he hurt?” she inquired.

“Not yet,” I replied. She looked surprised and confused to hear me say that, so I took a deep breath and revealed, “I’ve been trying to solve a serial murder case, and it looks like Wade did it!”

“Wade?” my mom echoed back to me. She clearly found the news as astonishing as I did, and I could tell she wanted to deny it, but with the somber expression on my face, she attempted to accept this fact. “Are you sure?”

I confirmed to her, “Very sure. His profile matches the killer’s! Neither of us knew the real Wade. He’s not morbidly obese, and he doesn’t talk with a southern accent. He’s not the bumbling fool he pretended to be, he’s actually very intelligent. And he doesn’t just hate eastern Europeans, he hates all human beings!”

My mother probed, “Is that why he kills them?”

“Sort of.” I explained, “He’s trying to destroy the world, Mom. He’s getting very close, and I’ve gotta stop him before it’s too late!”

“So what are you gonna do?” she asked.

I answered very honestly, “That’s a good question!”

I mulled it all over for a bit in order to think of my next move, but before I could think of anything, I heard my phone vibrate from my coat pocket. I picked it up and noticed several messages from Sandra. The first couple had a very casual tone to it, but without my reply, she obviously began to grow more worried. I had forgotten that I hadn’t updated her in a while, and so much had developed since we last spoke! As far as she knew, I went to that banquet and tried to wry information out of Aidan, and I certainly owed her an explanation, but I couldn’t fit everything into a text! I couldn’t call her right now either, not with a potential confrontation in the works, so I simply wrote: ‘Something happened, call you later!’ That response would only increase her anxiety, but at least she would know I’m still conscious! It comforted me somewhat that her instincts were in tune with my situation and her feelings let her know that something went wrong, but I couldn’t fill her in right then, not until I figured out where Wade was heading to!

I glanced at the time on my phone, and I noticed it grew close to sunrise. If Wade hadn’t seen me out there, which I didn’t think he had, then he would probably return to the house to put on the fat suit and maintain the ruse of the innocent hillbilly. If he hadn’t become cognizant of my awareness of his actions yet, then he would likely come through the front door totally unsuspecting. If that did happen, then it would make for an easy opportunity to ambush him! I instructed to my mother, “Get behind the couch!”

We both crouched on the other side of the sofa, and my mom wondered, “What’s happening?”

I whispered, “Shh! I need to hear him come in!” I rested my elbows on an end table and pointed my wand at the front door. I expected him to come in at any second, after all, my mother and I could have woken up early for whatever reason, and I really mentally prepared myself for the spell I would have had to to use to take him down. The longer I waited, the more my adrenaline pumped! I hoped that I could get the upper hand on him right away, but I also prepared myself for a lengthy fight. Now that I knew Wade was my suspect, I realized that he had quite formidable magical skills, so I knew I couldn’t underestimate him! After several minutes had passed by and the sun had started to come up, I started to wonder if I should call for backup or not. I could see the orange hue of the sky had reached a deeper level of saturation, and it made me ponder if he meant to return home at all…

All of a sudden, we heard a know on the door. Both my mom and I jumped, and my heart started to race rapidly. We hadn’t locked the door, so I didn’t think that Wade would knock unless he somehow figured out my plan and attempted to lure me away from cover. I slowly crept towards the window, contemplating who Wade might have sent to the door. A Fay? A police officer? A delivery driver? My nerves were on fire as I slowly peeked out the window…

“Who is it?” my mother softly queried.

“Stay down!” I walked over to the door with my wand hidden behind my back. I steeled myself up, and then I burst open the door…

It was Travis, who, once again, questioned, “Where’s my bike?”

After I searched the perimeter to make sure Wade hadn’t sent this poor boy to me as bait, I let him know, “Now’s not a good time!”

“Why’d you say a hooker stole it?” Travis challenged me.
“Not now!” I hissed. I needed him to go away in case Wade showed back up, I didn’t want his life to get endangered! Assuming Wade did decide to turn up, anyways. If he didn’t come back, then I needed to figure out what to do next, and this kid sure made it hard to think!

Travis persisted, “You said you were still looking, why aren’t you still looking? Why can’t you find it? Why would you-?”

I almost blew up at him again, but fortunately, his mom came running over and scolded him, “Travis, I told you to drop it! Why are you always bothering this nice-?” She took one look at me and then changed her conversation completely. “What’s going on?”

“I can’t…” I almost said that I couldn’t tell her, but her presence gave me an idea. “Get inside! Quick!” Travis and his mother dashed into the house, and his mom gave me her fullest attention. “Do you still know how to do that spell to keep certain people out of your house?”

“Course I do!” she affirmed. “Why?”

I entreated her, “Do me a favor, block Wade from coming back in here! You see…”

She agreed before I could finish my sentence, “No problem!”

“Wait, don’t you wanna know why?” I puzzled at her readiness to do such an atypical task.

“Don’t care why,” she stated, “He’s an asshole, he doesn’t deserve to come back!”

I got the impression that something may have transpired between the two of them, but I didn’t have time to ask. I hurried to my room and grabbed my purse. I then ran to the other bedroom and grabbed the first piece of dirty laundry that I recognized as his. When I came out into the living room again, my mother probed, “What are you doing with Wade’s underwear?”

I grimaced and stuffed it into my purse so I wouldn’t have to keep touching it. “I need it for evidence.” I rummaged through my wallet, pulled out a business card, and handed it to my mom. “I’m going to the station. If I don’t come back within a couple of hours, call Detective Nason. Once the house is sealed, don’t leave, and definitely don’t talk to Wade!” I gave her a hug and swiftly expressed, “Stay safe!”

Although my mother seemed bewildered, she agreed to comply. On my way out, Travis’s mother wished me, “Good luck!” I curtly nodded as I rushed to my car.

Prior to arriving, I wondered if anyone would have turned up to work on a Sunday, especially with Chief Mazarine stressing how most of us needed to cool it down with our overtime. When I walked in, I expected to find a quiet, mostly empty office, and instead, I stumbled into a cacophony of tumult! My colleagues were dashing everywhere, making a lot of harried phone calls, and chasing the various objects that they inadvertently tossed all over. I found Chief Mazarine standing near the break room staring blankly into the cubicles, and if I didn’t have an emergency to deal with, I wouldn’t have bothered him. I had no choice, so I gingerly approached him and tentatively spoke, “Chief?”

“Oh, Detective Vidette! I didn’t realize we called you in for this! Did one of those damn crime scenes match your case again?” Chief Mazarine surveyed.

“No, I-.” I started to explain the crisis at hand, but I couldn’t help but solicit, “What’s going on?”

Chief Mazarine filled me in, “The Fays are going on a crime spree! Nearly everyone on the force has come in to help with it, and we’re probably gonna need more than that! I don’t understand what’s going on with them! I guess they think this f’ing eclipse or whatever it is has given them a right to act like nihilists! I dunno, but our resources are getting stretched to the max! Well, since you’re here, could you hop on the phone and-?”

I interrupted him, “There’s no time for that, sir! I think I found my killer, and he’s-!”

“You found the guy?” Chief Mazarine gazed at me in shock. “Who is he? How’d you find him?”

“Well, he’s my mom’s husband, Wade.” Before he could question me on why I believed he did it, I summarized my findings for him, “He’s been lying to us about his identity! He wears a fat suit and acts like a total moron, but really, he’s an intelligent man with the same body type as the man we saw on the surveillance tape! He disappeared from the house in the middle of the night, and I tried to find him using a footprints spell, and he didn’t leave anything behind! When I found him outside, he was in the triangle talking to dark figures that sounded like Fays! They were planning something big! We gotta stop them before-!”

Chief Mazarine reacted doubtfully, “Please tell me you have more evidence than that!”

“What?” I couldn’t believe he didn’t accept my theory after all of the evidence that I presented to him! “What more do you need?”

“I need something we can present to the jury and get a conviction this time,” Chief Mazarine bluntly remarked. “We gave them circumstantial evidence in Dahlia’s trial, and look what happened! The defense is gonna jump all over the holes in your story! All of those things could get written off as coincidences! He could have been planning anything at that time of day! Like fishing or hunting are usually early morning activities.”

I acknowledged, “He has mentioned hunting for his restaurant’s stock before.”

Chief Mazarine responded, “Yeah, exactly! And don’t hunters sometimes do a footprint removal spell to gain more a stealth advantage?”

“That’s what he told my mom he did it for.. But what about the fat suit?” I argued.

“Having a weird fetish doesn’t make you guilty,” Chief Mazarine shrugged that off, and he could see that I was about to debate him further, so he cut me off with, “What about the bail money? The suspect is said to have paid a lot of money to bail Dahlia out. Does your stepdad make enough money to do that?”

That thought hadn’t occurred to me until right then. I felt sure that Wade had found a way to do it, but I had no proof. He lived in a trailer park and paid the lot rent through the scant amount he made at the Roadkill Diner, so I couldn’t explain where he would have gotten the money. “Well, not that I know of, but-!”

“And how is it that you could live with someone and not have any idea that he’s up to something like that until now?” Chief Mazarine accosted me. “Don’t you think his defense attorney will wanna know that?”

“Most serial killers operate without their family or roommates knowing it!” I refuted his insinuation. “If it was obvious what they were up to, no killer would become serial, would they?” Chief Mazarine didn’t have an answer for that, so I went on, “”And I do have more evidence than just my word! Look!” I pulled out Wade’s underwear from my purse, which made Chief Mazarine practically gag. “All we have to do is test his DNA with-!”

Chief Mazarine ordered, “Put that thing away! You can’t just test someone’s DNA without their consent or a warrant! And unless you have a way to find more evidence, we-.”

I proposed, “We could send a team to the Ploutonion. He’s there right now!”

“How do you know?” Chief Mazarine queried.

“Look at the sky!” I exclaimed. “The enclosure around the Fate Particle is breaking! He’s trying to induce the apocalypse! We have to go in now! We don’t have much time left!”

Chief Mazarine denied that idea. “Absolutely not! Even if I did have some free hands right now, the Ploutonion is out of our jurisdiction. Plus, I’m not about to use precious resources on a lunatic conclusion like that! You actually bought into that apocalypse crap that Dahlia was spewing?”

I waved my hands towards the window in the break room. “Look at the sky! This isn’t natural! Isn’t it obvious that-?”

“That’s enough!” Chief Mazarine barked. “See, this is why I didn’t want you helping with Detective Nason’s case! You’re not ready!”

“But… This is my case!” My heart stopped when he mentioned that. It couldn’t have been true! Sandra always treated it like it was my investigation, and I felt that I had proven myself capable of handling it, so I didn’t think he would have assigned it to anyone else. And yet, something about his tone made me think he told me the truth.

Chief Mazarine elucidated, “Do you really think I’d make a rookie detective the lead on a serial murder case? You don’t have the experience to handle it, and this little spat proves it! As soon as these Fay Folks settle down, you’re going back to petty crimes! Now, make yourself useful or go home!”

He stormed back into his office, and I stood there as still as a statue for a minute. It really hurt me get demoted like that, especially when I knew I was completely right! I wandered over to the break room window and glanced out at the horizon. The skies were getting worse right before my eyes! How could he deny what was happening? At that moment, I knew I was my mother’s daughter; just like she said, sometimes the law is just dumb, I bitterly thought! I knew what I had to do, but before I went rogue, I had to take care of a personal matter…

Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 38

Needless to say, I didn’t get any sleep that night! I laid in bed for hours just staring out my window, watching the unnatural hue of the night sky while cuddling with Aidan’s jacket. I kept wondering where Aidan was at that moment- whether he had gone home to nurse his emotional wounds or if his rancor over our split would prompt him to do something more drastic. I really didn’t want to believe that he had masterminded this scheme to perpetuate this apocalypse, but if he didn’t do it, then I had no clue who else to suspect. I went into the weekend with the resolute goal of saving our planet from destruction, but now it seemed as though I got shoved back to square one! I refused to accept societal destruction as inevitable, but I ran out of ideas on a course of action to take next. I could have searched for Aidan, but he could have gone anywhere after he left my house, so I didn’t know how to narrow it down. The alternative wasn’t much better, go wandering around aimlessly to find a killer who literally could have been anyone else! Plus, it felt so hard to concentrate on a plan while my heart still ached from losing Aidan as a significant other, so if I did actually hatch a halfway decent plot of what to do, I thought that my emotions were sure to cloud my judgment. It didn’t seem safe for me to attempt anything, and yet I had to do something! I couldn’t sit idly by while the earth got annihilated like that! I had so much to do and no thoughts on how to do it, which made me feel more lost than I had ever felt in my life!

I rolled onto my back and gazed at all of the things I stored in my room as if one of them would miraculously pop up and offer me some guidance on how to handle the situation, which seemed like an absurdly childish notion! I didn’t even have that kind of expectation when I was a kid! Whenever I needed advice, I’d just run to my father for some sagely wisdom. This got me to consider trying to message my dad; he probably would have answered me since it was the afternoon in Spain right then, but what the heck would I have told him? Most of the details of the case were classified, and I didn’t know how to explain my argument with Aidan without divulging pertinent details of the case. Besides, he might have thought I went insane if I told him the truth! I could only imagine how crazy I would have sounded if cried to him about a bicycle thief trying to wipe out the entire population and my ex boyfriend may or may not have murdered a bunch of people to make that happen! I could see why they pretty readily institutionalized Dahlia for telling her side of the story in all of this! I wished that my problems were something simple that my father could have assisted me with, but I deemed it better to not say anything.

I caught a glimpse of a small dresser that I had when I lived with my dad during my youth, and I remembered that I stored a bunch of keepsakes and mementos from my childhood in there. I figured that rousing up some nostalgia might have elevated my spirits a bit, and I thought that perhaps this would have cleared my head enough to draw some inspiration on how to handle my dilemma, so I decided to rummage through it a bit. The first drawer wouldn’t open, and I knew I had some greatly treasured photos in there, so I decided to bust it open magically. I grabbed my wand, stood at the foot of my bed, and concentrated on channeling my spell in that direction. I aimed for the drawer and… WHAM!

I used way too much force on it and sent the drawer flying out into the hallway! It almost hit one of the cats, and although I hadn’t actually touched it, I spooked it enough to make it yowl and dash into my mother and Wade’s room! My mom woke with a start since the kitty had inadvertently scratched her as it scurried over the two of them, and I felt so incredibly guilty for causing that! I ran into their room and apologized, “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to do that! I just-!”

“Don’t worry about it.” She forgave me, but I could see her wincing as she reached for a tissue on her nightstand and applied pressure to the gash on her arm. “Could you grab some bandages from the bathroom?”

“Of course!” I almost used my wand, but my guilt over hurting someone else I loved that night really shrouded my senses, so I retrieved them by foot instead. I handed my mother a couple of bandages, and as she leaned closer to the nightlight by her side of the bed to treat her injury, I politely inquired, “Do you need one too, Wade?”

My stomach churned when I realized that I committed an offense against Wade, and I dreaded to think how much he’d yell at me for not only waking him but for causing him to get harmed! After a while though, I realized that more than a minute had gone by and he hadn’t uttered a word! As I stared at him, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen him move at all. I found that a little strange, but then I figured that he could have been a heavy sleeper. I certainly didn’t want to interrupt his slumber and explain what happened only to get an irate lecture from him, so I prepared myself to just leave him alone and keep some peace, but then I started to feel bad about doing that. It seemed somewhat abnormal for someone to be that deep of a sleeper! I didn’t know much about his health, but with his morbid obesity and the laborious way he carried himself, I imagined that he had some issues with his well being. I couldn’t take the risk of forgoing first aid if he really had fallen into distress, so I knew I had to risk getting yelled at to check on him. I crept to his side and shook him, but I got no response. “Wade?” I waited for him to reply, and when he didn’t, I shook him harder and spoke louder, “Wade? Wade!” I feared that we may have had an emergency on our hands, and just to verify the facts of the circumstances, I put two fingers to his neck to check his pulse…

My heart nearly jumped out of my chest! What I thought was his head began to move around in an unnatural way, and I freaked out for a second thinking that he had gotten afflicted with some kind of strange curse. I soon discovered that I had offended one of the cats with similar hair to his! When the kitty jumped off of the bed, I suddenly got stricken with fear- he had no head! “Turn on the lights!”

She switched on the lamp and asked, “What is it?”

I gave Wade’s body a peculiar look as I answered my mother, “That’s a really good question!” I didn’t see any blood, cauterization, or anything that would normally come with a beheading, actually, I didn’t see anything at all! His insides appeared hollowed! I peered at it more closely, and, indeed, it was empty! Very much baffled as to how any killer could pull off such a feat, I touched his skin to gain a better perspective on the crisis. It had a slight rubbery texture to it, and it mystified me completely at first, but then it slowly dawned on me… “It’s a fat suit!”

“A fat suit?” my mother echoed. She got a closer look for herself, and when she could see I was right, she puzzled, “Why would he put a fat suit in our bed?”

“I dunno…” I had an inkling of why he might have done it, but it seemed too far fetched, so instead, I surmised, “He must’ve placed it there so he could sneak out of the house without you knowing it.”

My mom ran to the front of house, and when she peeked out the window, she reported, “He couldn’t have gone anywhere, his car is still here!”

My outlandish suspicions began to grow, but it just couldn’t be right, so I shook them off. “I’ll help you look for him.” I had done this spell so often in my career that it became second nature and, therefore, gave me no cause to worry about any more mishaps. After I used my magic, I saw footprints from my mother and me in the living room but nothing from him until I went into their bedroom. I saw a few that went from his bedside to the closet, which totally perplexed me. I posed to my mom, “What’s in the closet?”

“Just his clothes.” She shrugged before adding, “Oh, and his shoes. He really only wears those ugly boots though.”

“I see…” My concern over the matter started to escalate. One oddity could have gotten written off as a coincidence, but now my far fetched impression began to grow legs! I still didn’t think it was possible for Wade to have the capability of doing such an audacious thing though! Dreading what she may say, I asked my mom, “Why doesn’t he leave any footprints?”

Slightly confused, my mother answered me, “He said he hides his footprints for hunting purposes. Why? What does that mean?”

Panic slowly washed over me. It made no sense for someone as unsophisticated and inept as Wade to pull off something so intricate and complex, and yet the evidence pointed in that direction! My head refused to accept it though, not until I had more definitive proof! As I pushed past my mom and grabbed my coat, I told her, “It means I gotta find him!”

I used the flashlight on my phone to search Brigid’s Garden for any hint of movement or sign that Wade may have passed by. I didn’t think he would hide from me, but I checked every nook and cranny just in case. I held my wand in the ready position just in case he decided to attack me in order to prevent me from gleaning anything else, and it boggled my mind to even consider fighting against Wade! Oh sure, he had a very surly and unlikable personality, but I never thought he would ever stoop to this level! My nerves were spiked to their highest, and I walked on high edge expecting an ambush at any second! Coming from a family member just made it worse! I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought he couldn’t have gone far on foot unless he decided to teleport himself somewhere. My gut persuaded me to believe he was close by, and I hoped that I would find him faster to get this ugly confrontation over with!

When I neared the Okelani’s house, I heard a cough in the distance! I turned off my flashlight and tiptoed through their yard. I saw some figures in the distant forest, and I tried to get as close as I could so I could decipher who they were and what they were up to. One of the figures glanced over in my direction, so I dropped myself to the floor and used some nearby bushes for cover. And I landed in some dog poop, gross! I dearly wished that I could have removed the excrement, but the figures were still scanning the area, and I didn’t want to give any sign of my presence. Fortunately, I could ignore that grossness of the feces since I caught sight of a familiar figure. One of the unknown figures by him complained, “I’m not that dead yet! I still have my sense of smell!”

“Will you shut up?” I recognized Wade’s tone of voice, but he talked differently than normal. He sounded much more calm and measured, and he gave off a hint of intelligence that I hadn’t heard from him before! “I’ve already explained why it has to be this way, so drop it!” He paused to let the other figures respond, and while I couldn’t distinguish any of their physical features, I could tell from their body language that they pouted in reaction to Wade’s order. In a hushed tone, Wade addressed the group, “Listen, I called you here because it’s getting close to being done, and I need you guys to-.”

The lights on the property behind me flickered on, and all of the figures scattered out of sight. “Dammit!” I cursed as I lost my visual of them. I considered running after them, but I could hear someone behind me, and without knowing their identity, I couldn’t verify whether or not they posed a threat. I turned around to see a middle aged man with his chihuahua, and while I felt relieved to see he didn’t seem dangerous, it also annoyed me that now the dark figures had too much of a head start for me to pursue them. I always hated it when criminals managed to elude me, but I accepted it as an unavoidable misfortune that everyone went through once in a while, so I let it go as I picked myself up.

My immediate instincts prompted me to mull over a new plan on how to put an end to their nefarious plot, but I almost forgot about my neighbor whose yard I had trespassed on. They stared at me in bewilderment, and I suddenly felt very awkward. I forced myself to smile, and I nervously greeted the man, “You must be Mister Okelani! Hi, I’m Shannon! I live two doors down…” He stared at me blankly, and I didn’t know how exactly to smooth things over from there. I caught a whiff of something stinky, and then I recalled what had gotten onto my clothes. I used my wand to scrape if off, and as I did so, I noted an unusual quality to it… “Your dog’s poop is green! It’s clearly sick, get it to the vet right away!” Mister Okelani gazed at his dog as if it would verify this claim, and I lumbered off of his property.

Once the bout of gawkiness had passed, the reality of the situation slowly seeped in. Wade hid his footprints, and no meat served at his restaurant had sharp enough senses to detect footprints beyond the surface level. Wade snuck out in the middle of the night to meet with some shady people, and from the sounds of it, at least one of them was a Fay. They obviously had some kind of devious plan that Wade alleged was getting closer to fruition, and he disguised himself beyond recognition in order to achieve it. Now that I could fully process it, Wade’s body that he bore in the forest matched the one I saw on that surveillance tape. I sank onto the front porch realizing that I could no longer deny the truth- Wade was my serial killer!

Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 37

“How do I look?” I twirled in front of Sandra, who I spoke to through a video messenger app on my phone that I propped up on a shelf in the living room. I put on a formfitting black dress, put my hair up in an elegant half do, and made sure to really take my time on my makeup so that I looked flawless all over in order to make sure that my appearance was at its best for a very important night.

Sandra’s jaw nearly dropped when she saw my visage! “You look amazing! You’re getting laid tonight for sure!”

I reminded her, “I’m not doing this to get laid! I just want Aidan to think he might so I can convince him to give me the information I need.”

“Uh huh, sure!” Sandra responded sardonically.

“It’s true though!” I refuted the insinuation of going through all of this just to get him into bed. “Did you see how orange the sky became today? The killer is getting closer to destroying the planet, we don’t have much time left, and I’m not waiting for Monday to roll along to do something about it!”

With a wry grin, Sandra remarked, “That country club you’re going to has hotel accommodations…”

I asked, “Don’t you have to be a member to stay there though?” Before she could reply to that, I caught on to her implication and told her, “Don’t answer that! We won’t need a room! We’re just going to a charity banquet, and I’m gonna get the truth out of him before dessert comes, so I doubt very much he’d wanna sleep with me after that!”

“Isn’t this date number three?” Sandra queried.

“It’s not a real date!” I iterated to her. At that moment, I got a text from Aidan, and suddenly, my stomach got filled with butterflies! “He’s on his way now! Wish me luck!”

Sandra kidded, “Get lucky!”

I sarcastically laughed before I hung up on her. I grabbed my purse and stared at my phone as I paced the living room. I’m not sure what I expected it to do, but I felt so nervous that I guess I hoped for some reassurance to magically pop up. I had hoped that Sandra would provide that for me, but it seemed as though she had a one track mind tonight. I don’t think she really grasped how important this night would be for our futures! If I failed, the world could end the next day! Plus, I had no idea how Aidan would react once the truth came out. I thought he would, most likely, get mad that I uncovered his dishonesty, and who knew how Aidan might have done to try and stop me from turning him in! I spent the first half of my day studying the blueprints to that country club so that I would know all of my escape routes and potential hiding spots, but despite that, my plan involved a lot of dangerous risks, and I didn’t take it lightly! I got distracted on our first two dates, but I felt sure I wouldn’t let that happen this time! All I needed was to catch a glimpse of how orange the sky had gotten and I knew I’d remember how much was at stake and wouldn’t let myself falter! He knocked on the door, and my heart nearly leapt out of my chest! I could hardly move from how petrified I felt, and my palms were so sweaty that I could hardly open the door. The time had come! I had to get to the truth, but I got so scared…

As soon as I saw him, all my fears went out the window! He wore a fine suit, and his sheer handsomeness enveloped my senses! I couldn’t think of anything else, I became instantly mesmerized! His body got so well sculpted by the garments hanging on him, and I could smell an invigorating cologne. He gazed at me with the same astonishment, and slowly he began to examine me with the expression of a voraciously hungry wolf circling its prey. My own animal instincts had taken over as well, and it became very clear that we weren’t going to make it to that banquet…

He slammed the door behind him, and we collided into each other, kissing passionately! As we rolled across the walls in our embrace, I felt my whole body tingle! The closer we got to my bedroom, the more my excited mounted! I unbuttoned his coat, and he threw it off! He pinned me against the wall before my bed, kissing my neck, and as his pelvis met mine, I could feel his desire growing stronger! I moaned in anticipation, and then…

I can’t tell you what happened next. Not because of all of the dirty things we did, no, the line between romance novels and porn is so blurred that I could have spilled the details if I remembered them! I blacked out! That’s never happened to me before, well, not sober anyways! I’ve never gotten into such a place of bliss that I couldn’t recall anything that happened! All I can conjure up from our romp was that I’d never felt that much pleasure in all my life! Never! Ben didn’t even come close! And even before Ben came along, I hadn’t ever had anyone give me that kind of climax! I’m not sure how long it lasted, but I sure felt grateful that Wade and my mom were working late that night! After we finished, we laid in my bed and savored the euphoria of the event. Neither of us uttered a word, but I heard him give a happy sigh before I drifted off into a peaceful slumber…

I heard my phone indicate that I had a text message, and I woke up tosee who contacted me. I opened my eyes and saw that I left a pool of drool on my pillow, and I glanced over to Aidan to make sure he hadn’t seen that. Fortunately, he was still sleeping, so I flipped the pillow over before he could spot it. I scanned my cluttered room, and I saw that we had thrown our clothes everywhere! I had no idea where my phone had landed, and I began searching the area around me for my cellphone. I had almost forgotten how my stored items left no walking space in there, and I vaguely wondered what Aidan would think of it once he viewed it with a clear head. That prompted me to remember my mission for that evening, and I admonished myself for getting distracted again. I still had time since he hadn’t left yet, and I resolved to not let him leave until I had what I needed!

“What are you looking for?” Aidan sleepily asked.

“My phone,” I answered while trying not to turn back towards him. It occurred to me that he was still nude, and I didn’t want to tempt myself again!

He started kissing my hand closest to him, and he suggested, “Just forget about it until tomorrow morning!”

It was so hard not to melt into his arms again! It took all my will power, but I resisted! “It could be work. If we got another crime related to my case, I gotta go right away!”

“Okay, I’ll help you find it.” He began searching on his side, but he added, “Once we find it, back to business.”

“Speaking of business…” I really hated to break up this amorous mood, but now seemed like as good of a time as ever to do some grilling. “I keep wondering, how far do you go when you do those hustles? Do you ever have to hurt anyone?”

As he reached down between my stuff and the bed to search the floor, he grew puzzled. “Why would you ask me that when…?” He saw something on the ground that made his face sour, and before I could ask what happened, he picked up my phone and confronted me, “What the hell is this?”

I saw a text from Sandra that read: ‘How’s your night going? Did you find any evidence yet?’ My insides plummeted! I couldn’t believe I got caught at such a crucial moment! His eyes blazed, and I could see intense anger brewing in him! I now wished I hadn’t thrown my wand in a fit of ectasy, andI didn’t know how I’d defend myself it came to that point. Right now, he just seemed to want answers, and honestly, I didn’t know what to say! I never planned on getting caught in such an abrupt manner! I debated on whether or not to attempt to say something that could deny the truth or if I should show him the same honesty I did with Travis’s mom and Sandra. “I… I just… uh…”

“You lied to me!” Aidan grabbed his pants and moved to the space in front of the foot of my bed to put them on. “You acted like my side hustle was no big deal, but you were investigating me all along!”

“No! I really don’t care about that!” I wrapped a blanket around me in case I needed to quickly run after him. “This is about my murder case!”

He huffed, “Oh, that’s so much better!”

As he grabbed all of his things, I explained, “No, it’s not as bad as it sounds! You just, sorta, fit the profile of our killer, and I was just seeing whether or not you did it. If you’re innocent, you got nothing to worry about!” He couldn’t reach his jacket, but he didn’t want to stay any longer after hearing that, so he dashed towards the front door. I chased after him and tried to smooth things over, “Please don’t go! I really do like you! I just-!”

“You just wanna keep investigating me!” he finished my sentence.

“No, I… well…” I didn’t want to lie again and say I wouldn’t keep looking for clues. I still needed proof one way or the other so I could stop the apocalypse from coming.

He turned around, and beneath the ire, I saw a tremendous amount of hurt, which just gnawed away at my soul! I felt so guilty for putting him such a state! He posed to me, “Do you trust me?” I could see the hopeful glimmer in his eyes that I would say yes, and I knew if I did, he might have considered forgiving me. I couldn’t do it though! I was at such a heightened state of emotion that I became incapable of deception, and honestly, a part of me did trust him right then. However, something else wouldn’t let me affirm that to him. My lack of a response gave him the answer he needed, and he stormed out of the house!

Rain poured down on me as I called after him, but he just ignored me. I kept trying until he got into his car, but he wouldn’t even look at me! As he drove away, I panicked as if something very valuable got stolen away right in front of me! It became imperative for me to get him back! I ran back inside and immediately grabbed my phone. As I called him, I prayed that he would pick up! He had to, I couldn’t lose him forever! It went to his voicemail, so I hung up and tried again. No answer. I tried again and again, and I got the same result each time. After about a dozen attempts, I decided to leave him a voice message. “Aidan, we need to talk! I’m so sorry! Please call me! Please!” I stared at the phone for several minutes, giving him some time to listen to my message and call me back. I now thought that he didn’t want to sue the phone while he drove. I approved of this measure and decided to give him some time to get home before I expected his call. I got dressed in my sweats and looked back to see if I had accidentally missed him, but my phone stayed blank. I decided to make myself some tea, but when I finished and dashed back to my phone, he still hadn’t written or called. I drank my tea, still nothing. I found my wand, still nothing. I pet a cat that wandered into my room, still nothing. I didn’t understand why. I felt sure he’d sense my desperation and would come when I needed him the most…

I heard a sound at the door, and my heart flooded my body with relief! I thought it had to be him, and it would have made sense for him to not contact me if he was driving back here. Just when I began thinking of all of the ways that I’d apologize to him, I saw who actually came in, my mother and Wade. “Hey, how ya doin’ there?” Wade cheerily greeted me. I stood there as stoic as a statue. It finally started to sink in, Aidan didn’t plan on coming back!

“Shannon, what’s wrong?” my mom questioned. I couldn’t utter the words, that would have made it real. The reality of it stung and inflicted every fiber inside of me! My breath grew rapid, and my throat closed in. I could stifle the tears, so I dashed into my room and cried my heart out! My mother ran into the room and sat at the foot of the bed beside me. “What happened?”

“He’s gone!” I wailed. “I lost him!” There. I finally said it out loud. I couldn’t focus on anything else but my pain and kept crying harder and harder.

My mom gently stroked me as she comforted me, “I’m so sorry! I didn’t know Ben meant that much to you!”

It threw me off to hear her mention Ben. “I’m not crying over Ben! I’m talking about Aidan! He’s gone!”

“Aidan? That guy I saw dropping you off that one time?” She saw me nod, so she changed her consoling tactics. “This guy was really special to you, huh?”

“Yeah, I guess he was!” I choked. It hadn’t occurred to me just how much he meant to me until right then, but I didn’t cry that hard over my marriage failing, and I didn’t even shed a tear when I heard my husband died. I thought the fact that he became a Fay ebbed the sadness, but it didn’t strike me as odd that I didn’t emote that much over that loss until I saw what a train wreck I became over losing Aidan. “He was a criminal, but I cared about him so much! Oh, why did I have to pick him? Why couldn’t I have picked someone normal? Someone who wasn’t destined to break my heart!”

My mother probed, “Is that why you married Ben?” I hadn’t really thought about that before. I supposed that she was right, but it seemed like there was more to it than that. She didn’t need a verbal reply from me on that, she simply went on, “Oh, honey! We can’t control who we fall in love with!” We both heard a loud belch from Wade in the kitchen, and she whispered, “That’s not love! Anyways, let’s not talk about that. I’ll get you some wine, and you can tell me everything.”

As she left, I gazed up with a realization slowly dawning on me. I hadn’t known Aidan for as long as Ben, but my feelings for Aidan were so much stronger than my feelings for Ben. I did love Ben, but my affection for him didn’t run as deep as my attachment to Aidan. I always thought the concept of a romance like that only happened in fairy tales, but as I sat up so I could drink the wine my mom planned to bring me, I spotted his suit jacket and grabbed it. It still smelled like him, and it made me feel a spark of joy to have a piece of him with me! At that point, I knew my mom’s words were absolutely true- I had fallen in love with Aidan!

I could see the sky through me window, and even with the cover of darkness, I could see its orange hue. It seemed so unfair to have finally found my soulmate only to lose him right before the world was about to end! It vexed me to have to deal with the apocalypse when all I wanted to do was to have Aidan come back to me! I had no idea if this upset would propel Aidan to finish that mission sooner or if someone else entirely took on that sinister plot. The only certainty I had was that I had no idea what to do now!

Rebels of Darkness, Available for Purchase

A deadly pandemic has plagued the earth, & the government has been infiltrated by people actively trying to spread it. No, I don’t mean the corona virus, I’m talking about my novel, Rebels of Darkness. I wrote this a few years ago, it used to just be a science fiction concept to me… But Gwynivara leads a band of rebels to find the cure & save the world! Find out what happens here: