stock: typewriter

fic:far roaming/original/gen

Title: Far Roaming
Word Count: 1315
Prompt: #450 Gorgon@ tamingthemuse
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: Original work, none required.

Synopsis: Demigods had long ago faded into legend. Pity, no one thought to tell them that.




Demigods had long ago faded into legend—though no one thought to tell us that—which makes for interesting times in the here and now. It also explains why I find myself in the city of Elder following the summoning in my gut. It’s a subtle thing, made up of intuition and pain, and it led me to a bookstore that stinks of wolf and old magics.

Buildings of brick and mortar surround me with a few maple trees trying their best to survive in an overpopulated city. The red leaves, more common to this area of the country, were turning amber this time of year. Circling the block several times over had given me a chance to enjoy the ambiance. The circling had little to do with trepidation and more because parking in the area is limited.

At long last a Jeep, filled with young people and too much laughter, departs and I snag a spot just a few spaces away from the shop’s entrance. A grey cat watches me from the display window and my brow rises at the fact that it fades from existence rather than jumping down when it catches me staring. Removing the helmet frees my hair and it settles around my shoulders with the familiar whisper of scales and leather.

It tangles around my fingers as I run a hasty hand through it in an attempt to tame the unruly beasts before giving up. When irritated my hair can, and does, move of its own accord, but while in my mortal form they tends to behave themselves. For the moment they’re limp at my back and I take advantage of their compliancy by making my way towards the shop. The sign on the front door states that they’re closed, but the tugging in my gut sharpens and, behold, I find the door unlocked.

The scent of sage is nearly overwhelming and I feel the static charge of a ward a moment before I pass through it. There’s a twitching at my scalp that tells me my beasts are restless and the shop I’ve entered is owned by someone at least marginally competent in spell casting. Immortal creatures tend to avoid witches—they’re far too interested in our bones and other bodily fluids—and the truly immortal like to forget everything has a weakness. Sometimes several, and yes, I consider pride a weakness.

We tend to believe the hype of our own legends and fall into bad habits that could lead us into a cauldron if we’re not careful. Some of those legends foolishly paint my sister, Medusa, in a flattering light. They make her a victim of the once-gods and imply she was mortal. She wasn’t, but, like I said, we all have our weakness and Perseus exploited hers. I’d never thought of him as particularly clever for it—beheadings tends to incapacitate things, immortal or not.

Why mortals thought her dead when her gaze, and the gaze of her beasts, still petrified the living is beyond me. A shrug lifted my shoulder and I settled more comfortably into my own skin as I allowed the door to close behind me. Claws tapped against wood, echoing in the near silence of the shop and I took a moment to study the darkened interior. There were too many shelves sagging under the weight of the books and, if the signs were accurate, every genre known to man and some not.

I frowned at a sign along the fair wall that to humans would look at and see a doodle—possibly done by a toddler—but I’d seen it before, many centuries ago. The repetitive tapping turned me away from the sign and towards a bookshelf three aisles away. The summoning tightened my abdomen and brought a slickness to my flesh before a wolf slipped around the shelf, followed by something more interesting.

The witch was bleeding—summoning spells require a sacrifice for the duration of the spell—and I inclined my head in acknowledgement of her dedication. It’d take me nearly a month to travel from Bali to the United States and in all that time the summoning hadn’t wavered. The witch was clever and dedicated.

I’ll admit that didn’t bode well for me.

I was being studied, which allowed me to return the favor, and her blue eyes crinkled at the edges, but her face was carefully blank. Delicate features made her more pretty than beautiful and they would’ve made me think pixie, but they’ve been extinct for several centuries—just kidding—pixies aren’t real. Those are figment of Walt Disney’s imagination. Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney’s movies, but they really do bastardize us magical creatures. I don’t know of one genie that would sing and dance while granting your wish and their Ursula just pisses me off.

The wolf’s head dropped, lips peeled back in a silent snarl as she flashes her teeth at me. My brows rise at that bit of fluff and fang thinking she has a chance against something like me. I might be out of my element while on land, but I’m more than a match for a mongrel which is why I choose to ignore her rather than give into the petty temptation to bare my much sharper teeth.

“Euryale?”

My name is a question and it draws my focus back to the witch. The wolf follows my lead and looks to its master as my brows inch towards my hairline. “If I were Stheno you’d be dead,” a growl escapes the wolf and it rolls my eyes, “Statement of fact.”

“Agreed,” the witch offered, “I am Lotte.”

I stare at her blankly and she returns the favor. I don’t know if I’m supposed to have heard of her or not, but she seems content to let the silence spread—the wolf however is not. A whine escapes her and those grey eyes stare up at the witch, willing her to do something other than stare at me. It’s as endearing as it is annoying. There’s a reason I don’t have pets.

The witch sighs and rolls her eyes before setting her gaze back on me. “I am in possession of one your sister’s serpents,” I cross my arms and wait for her to continue, “It managed to find its way out of its container,” that bit makes me smile because those beasts have a mind of their own, “And petrified her brother.”

A chin is thrust towards the wolf and suddenly the urge to do me violence makes sense. It’s foolish, but I’ve a soft spot for siblings who actually care for one another. I might not always like my sisters, Medusa’s senseless hatred of mortals and Stheno’s blood lust would drive anyone mad, but they are mine and I’ve spent the better part of the last three millennia attempting to collect all of Medusa so, like Humpty Dumpty, I can put her back together again.

Something tells me the witch knows this and intends to use it to her favor, but she’s nattering on before I can get a word in, “In exchange for the serpent I ask for the cure of Emerson.” My brows rise, apparently the witch knows quite a bit.

Rather than inquire as to how she knows this truth of my existence I counter, “The cure is not without chance.”

“Better a chance than none at all.” Her smile turns condescending, “Euryale, the only child of Phorcys and Ceto with a conscience.”

“The sea is rarely a forgiving mistress.” The hair at my temples twitches and I shake my head to settle the beasts. “Let’s be on with it. Where is the patient?”

Two hours and quite a bit of magic later I am left with three impressed mortals, a new respect for wolves and one less serpent to locate.

Six down, three to go.



The end.
I'm glad you enjoyed it. One day I shall get all these concepts ironed out and actually create the world I'm dabbling in. One day.