Now I’m annoyed.
I hate the dark. I hate not being able to see further than my own nose. I hate that what is supposed to be my dream house is a field of rancid nightmares. I hate that my father is tricky, lying, trickstering liar. And most of all, right now, at this very moment, I hate Bob.
Bad Ghost Dude Bob, making me hate him this way.
I stamp my foot to get his attention. I can feel his eyes narrow, strange as that may sound. I stomp again, and the lights flicker on, lighting up my mangled, blood spattered bedroom. A third floor shaking thud has Bob swinging Jackie away from him. He releases his hold on her, and she lands with a harsh thump on my bed. She coughs and rubs her throat, and I face down this (alleged) god before me.
His gaze flickers to the staff in my hand, and I smirk. I know what I am capable of. I can hear my power whispering instructions in my ear. I nod to it, never removing my eyes from the tall, dark, delicious –
Damn, girl, I tell myself. Focus. I must focus.
Inhaling and bracing myself for the pain, I take the four fingers of my right hand, and press them against my left forearm. With a hiss escaping my teeth, I drag the razor sharp nails across my arm, opening the flesh to release my own blood. From the way it wells up and starts to run, I’m pretty sure I nicked a vein.
Trying to ignore the fact that I am spilling my lifeblood (maiden, mother and crone, it hurts!) onto the staff I hold in my shaking left hand. With my right hand, I roll the wooden piece across my arm, coating it with my blood (that’s a lot of blood, I notice. I won’t die. Right? RIGHT?!).
Closing my eyes against the beauty – erm – threat in my face, I can hear Sinan wiggling away. I command the drying red streaks (that’s all Jackie’s blood, isn’t it? Gonna have to make her chip in on cleaning costs) to rise and form. I aim crimson spikes at my father as I demand to know, “Where the hell do you think you’re going, Old Man?”
He freezes. “Layla girl, I was going to find medical suppli-”
“Don’t move,” I order him.
His tone becomes patronizing. “Layla girl, as your papa, I can’t let me girl bleed to de-”
I release the crimson spikes. They fly through the air and land dangerously close to his hands and feet. “I said,” I repeat, “not to move.”
By now, that staff is completely soaked in my blood, and I start to sway. I feel cold, but I know what I must do.
I feel Bob breathing on my face. “You know not what you have wrought,” he hisses.
I clear my throat and say loudly – and weakly – “I refuse to be your vessel. I refuse to be your mate. I refuse your offer of protection in this life. And,” I open my eyes, “I rebuke you, Sinan Slaughter, for entering this agreement. You tricked my mother, and her mother, and her mother before her. You are not my father. You are an ancient curse, and I refuse to let you walk this realm.”
Sinan chokes on air and Bob growls. I raise the staff over my head, and slam it into the floor. The house shudders, and the drying blood trails rise from the surfaces they were splattered on. They form a shining net, and move to envelope Bob and Sinan.
“Layla girl!” Sinan shouts.
“You are a fool,” Bob barks. “I can save you. My token of office -”
“Is now mine!” I am shivering now. There are black spots in my vision. Worse, the longer Bob stares at me, the more I feel a curious burning in and on my lower belly. It makes me grunt and clench my teeth, but I have to do this.
“Honeychile, what is going on?” Jackie asks. She sounds concerned. I should reassure her. I can’t move. I can’t speak. My limbs feel so heavy. I’m sleepy. So sleepy.
“This is not over,” Bob promises me as the net closes around him.
I give one last, lingering look at his face before the red swallows him. I close my eyes, and fall forward. I have not idea what the hell just happened, but I hurt. And I’m sleepy. So freaking sleepy. I, faintly, hear Jackie calling my name, and then, I hear nothing at all.