Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Madness of Crows: Part Six

ANNIE'S MORTAL FRIENDS, most of whom were older, would instantly shift into protection mode if they knew what was happening. She didn't want that -- they had been through enough. So she went to Absalom Askew, who was used to trouble and actually thrived on it. She rode her bike to Xo's Buffet Banquet and pushed through the black door which led to the upstairs. After tugging her bike into the dingy hall, she loped up the stairs before she lost her nerve.
    As she raised a hand to knock, the door opened and a boy in tattered jeans and a T-shirt appeared and smiled at her. The black T-shirt was scrawled with red, dripping letters: I ____ Vampires. She could hear Tom Waits growling from the stereo.
    "Annie Weaver." Absalom's honey-colored eyes were not a boy's. His scarlet hair glinted as he tilted his head. "What brings you to my door?"
    "I need to speak to the Cailleach Oidche."
    "And what makes you think I'll be allowing that?" The lilt of another time and place slinked through his voice as something ancient moved behind his eyes.
    "They've come as a court of birds. You might want to tell Phouka. Or not."
    "My queen is otherwise occupied. I'll help you, fair girl. Come back before midnight. That is the Cailleach's hour."

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