Author: Sam Gale PM
Humans and demons lived together once, evolving side by side, until demons were exiled to their own world over a millenia ago. Now the barrier is crumbling and demons aren't the only thing coming back across. Chicago is in a state of alarm as demons are appearing in the streets. And those with ancient blood in their veins are going to be caught in the middle.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Supernatural - Chapters: 48 - Words: 85,152 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 11-16-12 - Published: 07-01-12 - id: 3037856
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Monday the 24th – 9:00 PM
The room was a mess. Zoe set down the boxes she was carrying, a little roughly, and ran her hands over her short hair. There was just so much stuff. Books were stacked all around the room, new books, old books; she thought she had even seen a scroll or two at one point. It wasn't as if there weren't enough bookshelves built into the walls, there were, those were just covered in other things.
Most of it was memorabilia, things her grandmother, Celia, had collected from all over the world. That had been her grandmother: traveler, scholar, second rate art dealer, and then maybe mother went down at the bottom of the list.
But really, it was a wonder one of these stacks had not fallen over and killed the old lady. But the police had ruled that out as the cause of death. It was definitely murder they had said. A knife to the chest was hard to disagree with, even one of those fancily decorated blades was the weapon. She could see the empty hook now, the blank spot on an upper shelf where it had gone, before the police had bagged it as evidence. And that was about the only lead they had, though not for lack of trying.
Zoe had her alibi. She was in Denmark at the time, as she had been since she was seven. That was when her father had died. Natural causes at least. And her mother had whisked her off, away from her nutty mother-in-law who didn't seem to care, back to her homeland, and the ties she had there.
But now the old lady was dead and had left Zoe to clean up her mess. She had inherited that along with the one bedroom apartment and the little art gallery it sat over in suburban Chicago. Zoe glared around the room. Feeling rebellious, she kicked over the nearest stack of books. No matter how intentional, the crash the fall produced made her wince and she knelt to repair the damage.
Near what had been the top of the pile, something caught her eye. A half sheet of paper had fluttered loose from one of the books and lay on the floor, pinned down. Zoe freed it and glanced over it, making sure it was not important before throwing it away. But she stopped. And stared. Her eyes widened.
It was the top half of a printed email, sent by her grandmother the night of the murder. She re-read it confused, looking for a clue as to who it was sent to. Downstairs, something pounded at the front door. Zoe froze, eyes moving to the open stairwell leading down to the back of the gallery. The pounding came again, then a heavy thump on the roof outside the widow looking out over the street.
Slowly, she moved towards the curtains, moving softly in the breeze from the open window. Zoe had opened it to try and air out the musty room, from the smell of old mold that hung heavy in the air, and from what she thought she smelt, lingering in the dead air. She moved to close the window now, and quickly.
The window slid open as she approached and the curtain billowed wide in the draft of chilled air. It was almost March, and winter had not relinquished its grasp on the weather. Zoe did not know whether to try to run or try to attack. She could always throw a book at him and then run, she supposed. She took a step backwards, involuntarily, and knocked into another stack of books, sending it crashing to its doom.
Her hesitation was all the stranger needed to climb through the low opening and drop onto the floor.