Sunday, April 6, 2014

Snippet: Memory Dust

We've settled into the new normal of little sleep and insomnia around here, so we've agreed that I need to focus on work. It reminds me of when the kids were little, actually. That was a productive period of my life, so let's see if chaos is the flame to my tinder.


Sleep sounded good, except they hadn’t hammered out the arrangements. She didn’t want him in her house, but was hesitant to send him on his way. He had answers about what she was and she needed him, but by his own admission, he was dangerous.
“You should sleep with a weapon tonight,” he advised as he followed her inside. “I’ll be on watch, but it’s best to be prepared.”
She halted. “Do you expect trouble?” She’d had enough brushes with death today.
He shook his head. “I don’t know why the Fates freed me and bound us, only to allow you to nearly be killed. It doesn’t make sense.”
“Which is why we’ll explain this once,” Destiny interrupted. Her red dress swirled around her as she crossed the yard, ignoring the way Tremor swept Cara behind him. It was impossible to tell if she’d teleported or simply walked out of the dark, but as one would expect of a seer, her timing was impeccable.
Cara tried to look around Tremor, but the man was actually made of rock, and impossible to budge. She resorted to tugging his arm and hissing, “Please! I want to see.” It gained her two inches of viewing space, but his grip on her wrist prevented any more. He seemed to be old school, a warrior who stood between the women and children and danger.
At the moment, she didn’t mind. She’d had enough of the Fate’s brand of “helping” today.
The Fate raised a brow at their little tussle. “Congratulations, Earth. Your sentence has been served and your probation approved. You might wish to know that the Oracle has discovered your awakening; it was her men who attacked you earlier. While she doesn’t yet know about your bride, it’s only a matter of time. You might wish to find a more secure place to stay.”
“Who’s the Oracle?” Cara demanded, but Tremor shushed her impatiently.
“Later,” he growled. “Where do you recommend we stay?” he asked the Fate, his gaze distrustful. He might not like her, but she would know the safest place for them. Fates might seem fickle, but they were excellent advisors. He needed time to teach Cara how survive life as an elemental. If she didn’t even know how to feed without instruction, then she would be helpless without him.
She canted her head. “You might try the Garden of the Gods.”
“Why are you asking her? She’s a…a smotherer, that’s what! She drowned me in mud!” Cara said, outraged.
Tremor gave her a little shake. They didn’t need to provoke Destiny. “Hush.”
Destiny looked amused. “I’m not going to harm your wife, Earth. We went through a great deal of trouble to arrange her threads, and you need her sweet nature to balance you.”
“I’m not his wife!” The “sweet natured” Cara shrilled. “You can’t just come in here and push people around like some kind of diva… Will you stop that?” she told Tremor, tired of the way he shook her arm. She had no intention of shutting up.
Tremor’s eyes narrowed as he realized that. Seeing no alternative, he clamped her in front of him with one arm. As soon as she opened her mouth, he squeezed, cutting off her breath. Ignoring her outrage, he made one more request, though it galled him. “It would help if I understood how the world has changed.”
“Certainly. My sisters are updating your friends, but meanwhile…” She blew glittery dust into his face. “You’re welcome.” She disappeared.
Tremor jerked, accidently squeezing Cara, then went so still she became alarmed. “Tremor? What did she do?”
“Just a moment.” He sounded strained.
Cara squirmed, but without knowing what was wrong she couldn't do anything for him. It was difficult remaining quiet in his arms. She wasn’t used to being held like that, and his arm was curled possessively right under her breasts. It made her aware of an attraction she hadn’t expected and didn’t particularly want.
When he finally released her, he looked very tired. He let her open the door for him and collapsed in her father’s recliner, which creaked alarmingly. How much did he weigh? By the sagging look of the chair, his body really was solid stone. She managed to contain herself until he was seated before demanding, “What happened? What was that stuff?”

“Memory dust,” he said with his eyes closed. “It's pouring the last eight centuries of history into my mind.”

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