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For My Girls Ch 5

Yes dear readers, it’s time for the next installment of the trilogy that nearly was. I tell ya, the more I read through these old scribblings, the more I yearn to finish the story. Maybe Erica needs to be heard after all.

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, here is Huntress Ch 5!

5

I know I must have seemed a completely different person when I returned home. I feared that I still had the mead on my breath and avoided my mother. Night had fallen and I could hear my father talking to someone in his study. I so wanted to go to him, to ask his opinion on this mission but I knew better. Father is many things, but one thing he would never do is go against the orders from Asgard. If they told him to ravage the earth, burn the buildings and enslave the humans in the name of Odin, he would ask where they preferred him to start.

I tried to sneak past his office when the doors suddenly opened and his right hand man, Tex, stepped out. He held his dusty old cowboy hat in his hands and shot me a crooked smile.

“Miss Erica.” He tipped his head to me and stepped toward the door.

I always held a soft spot for him. For my entire life, Tex had been there to assist my family in whatever they needed and now he was the direct line between my father and the vampires he worked for.

I fell into step behind him and caught him at the front porch. “Tex. Can I pick your brain for a moment?”

He turned and gave me his full attention. “I’m afraid there ain’t much in there to pick through but you’re more than welcome to whatever I have.”

“I need advice.” I searched his weathered eyes and he hid much more wisdom behind them then he ever let on.

“I’m not so sure I’d be the best person to ask.” He nodded toward the door. “Your pappy is in there and I’m sure he’d be a lot closer to the answers you need than I ever could.”

I watched him slip the hat back atop his head but he made no effort to leave.

“I don’t think I could ask father what I need to ask you.”

He seemed to ponder what I said for a moment then nodded. “Okay then. Shoot.”

“If you were ordered to kill somebody but…”

“But what?” His hand reached out and lifted my face to his. “What’s wrong?”

I shook my head slightly. “Thor wants me to hunt down and kill another demi.” I found my head shaking stronger. “But something inside tells me not to.”

He stepped back and studied me for a moment. “What seems to be the issue?”

That’s one of the many things I really like about Tex. He had never judged me for who I was or what I’ve done. To hear him say it, we’ve all done things we may not be proud of. It’s what we do from then on that matters more.

“I can’t put it into words. There’s just something about him.”

“Him?”

I nodded. “He’s so pretty. And there’s something about him that makes my power sizzle.” I shrugged. “I can’t put it into words.”

He nodded and chewed at his lower lip, the gears in his head spinning. “I can’t say for sure, but girlie, it seems to me that you need to talk to somebody who knows more about demigods.” He gave me a sad smile and a shrug. “I’m sorry I can’t help you, sweetie. I just don’t have the kind of knowledge you need.”

I sighed heavily and gave him a quick hug before he drove off into the night. I don’t know why I thought he would have the answers I needed. Perhaps because my father trusted him in all things?

I sat on the front porch and stared out into the night sky. “Where are you Alejo?”

 

*****

 

I tried to sleep. Usually a visit to the realms left me drained and sleep was a welcome reprieve. It allowed my body and mind to rest and my energy stores to recharge. But sleep wouldn’t come.

I tried searching for the history of demigods on the internet but found the misinformation and uninformed assumptions made by humans to be laughable. It was no use. The gods had destroyed most of us in the past and according to Hildy, it was because of our potential.

If we are so damned dangerous, why had Thor allowed me to live? Why had he gone to such lengths to keep me hidden from Odin Allfather? Was it just to be their hunter? A destroyer of my own kind? Were there really enough of us that he needed to take that precaution?

Alejo was the first demi that I knew of beside myself. And having touched his power and feeling what happened to my own I could possibly understand their fear. But if another god had spawned offspring what was to stop them all from doing the same?

I sulked around my room while these and a thousand more thoughts bounced around in my head. I began to question everything I knew and everything I thought I knew.

I braced both hands on my open window seal and stared out into the night sky. “I need answers but I don’t know who to ask.”

“Ask me.”

I nearly jumped and my head whipped around looking for the source of the voice. I recognized it almost immediately and my eyes finally focused on him.

Alejo stepped out of nowhere and became visible, standing in my yard and staring up at my window.

“When…how did…why are you…” My mind raced faster than my mouth could form words.

He laughed and it made my insides dance.

“That only leaves ‘what’ and ‘where’.” His smile was radiant and I found myself smiling back.

I appeared before him, standing on the soft grass of the lawn and noted that he held no fear of me. Perhaps because my weapons were stowed away? Maybe he knew something I didn’t.

“How did you find me?”

His smile faded, but only for a moment. “I searched you out.” He spread his arms wide and spun a slow circle. “Something…I don’t know what, pulled me here.”

I nodded, knowing exactly what he meant, but was still unable to put it into words.

“Why did you search for me?”

His smile faded and he crossed his arms. “I think because I was curious why you would try to kill me.”

I felt my cheeks flush. I think it was embarrassment.

I lowered my eyes and couldn’t meet his gaze. “I had orders.”

I could see the shadow of his head nodding from the moonlight. “I see.”

“I don’t.” I suddenly looked up and for a moment was lost in the swirling amber pools of his eyes. “I don’t understand at all. Why would they want you dead?” I had to stop myself from saying, ‘You’re too beautiful to kill’ and was glad I was able to.

“I suppose that depends on who ‘they’ are?”

I opened my mouth but something in the back of my mind was screaming at me to not tell him. I swallowed hard and tried to think of something convincing. “My bosses.”

“M-hmm.” He cocked his head to the side and continued to stare at me. “That’s pretty vague.”

I swallowed hard again and avoided his eyes. “Would you believe that they’re vague?” I cracked a sheepish smile but he didn’t return it.

I heard him sigh and he dropped his arms. “What aren’t you telling me?”

I shrugged. Everything.

“Well, I was hoping that we could clear the air and maybe move on, but…” he trailed off. I watched him slowly turn and I knew he was about to disappear.

“You said you had answers.” I blurted out, hoping to stop him. I took a step toward him and he paused.

He barely glanced over his shoulder as he spoke. “Why should I help you if you can’t be open with me?”

He had me there.

I sighed and walked toward him, stopping by his side. “Talk with me.” I placed a hand on his shoulder and felt the power surge between my fingertips as we touched.

He hiked a brow and turned slightly, watching as blue ribbons of electricity darted between us. “Interesting, isn’t it?”

I nodded. “I’ve never seen anything like it before.” I slowly pulled my hand back and watched as the blue licks lifted, trying it’s best to maintain a connection.

“Nor have I.” He turned and faced me. I saw his eyes harden slightly and he seemed to huff. “Okay. We’ll talk. But talking is a two way street.” He raised a brow again and I saw his mouth form a tight line. “That means you enlighten me as well.”

I heard myself say, “Agreed.” I was a bit shocked not only at how quickly I said it, but the fact that my mouth spat it out before my brain could think about it.

I seem to recall my father having trouble holding his tongue as well. Perhaps it’s genetic?

He turned and walked slowly toward the concrete bench my mother placed near the edge of her flower garden. The sweet smell of honeysuckle and wild flowers greeted us as we sat and silently stared at the night sky.

“So, what do you want to know?”

I didn’t know where to start. “Everything.”

He chuckled and it made my insides do flip flops. “Everything, eh? That’s quite a bit.”

“Okay, start with what you know. Who spawned you, where do your powers come from?”

He raised both brows at that. “Who ‘spawned’ me? I’m not a frog.”

It was my turn to laugh. “I realize that. It’s just…our parents were gods.” My voice was barely a whisper but I don’t know why. There wasn’t anybody nearby who could hear us.

He nodded. “Perhaps spawned isn’t such a bad word.” He pulled his legs up and sat cross legged on the bench. I found myself following his lead and staring at him as he spoke.

“For the longest time, I thought Poseidon was my father. My mother finally told me that it was Zeus who… ‘spawned’ me.” He gave me a crooked smile.

“Why did you think it was Poseidon?”

“I love water.” I watched as he got a faraway look in his eyes and he breathed deeply. As if he could smell the ocean air from here in north Texas. “I found myself constantly at the shore, diving to depths that nobody should be able to stand, practically able to breathe under water…”

“That sounds amazing.” I was lost in his voice and could almost see him, muscles rippling under the waves, sea life surrounding him and worshiping him as he frolicked in their world.

“It is.” He shot me a brilliant smile and I found my breath catching in my throat.

“Were you disappointed that Poseidon wasn’t your father?”

He shook his head. “No. Not at all.” He shifted on the bench and faced me. “But I was surprised that my mother withheld the facts surrounding my birth from me for so long.”

My face scrunched and I gave him a quizzical look. “How old are you?”

He blushed and turned his eyes away. “Nearly six.” He shot me an embarrassed smile. “My mother raised me away from others so I didn’t know that I was different.”

I nodded. “My parents do the same.” I lowered my voice and leaned closer. “And I’m almost six, too.”

We shared a moment of silence before he continued. “When I sensed you, I honestly felt that the gods had sent me a…”

“A what?” I honestly didn’t know what he was about to say.

He shrugged slightly. “A friend.”

I nodded. At that moment, I thought he meant, ‘just a friend’. Somebody who understood what he was going through. Somebody who knew the problems and the joys of being a demi.

I watched as he slowly met my gaze. “So, your turn.”

“Practically the same story as yours. Except my father sired me while he held the stolen powers of a Norse god.” I shrugged. “Thor knew that he couldn’t raise me without that power so he shared his own.”

Alejo nodded. “If he shared his power, then…technically, isn’t your father Thor?”

I shook my head. “No. Remember, it wasn’t Thor’s power he held when he sired me. Technically, I think Loki would be my father.” I scratched at my head, trying to figure out my own lineage.

“No, I mean, if he shares Thor’s power, then they are equal, yes?”

I shook my head again. “My father’s power has grown since Thor shared it, but Uncle Thor is still more powerful. And he has millennia of using his power under his belt. He’s much more comfortable being a god than my father ever will be.”

Alejo nodded, pretending to understand. “Either way, you’re of Norse lineage.”

I smiled. “Didn’t the strawberry hair and the blue eyes give it away?”

He shook his head. “You could have been Irish.”

I opened my mouth to inform him that the Norse had settled Ireland centuries ago, but decided not to. I simply nodded.

He continued to stare at me and I finally had to ask, “What?”

“So who are your bosses that they want me dead?”

I had forgotten about that. His question actually struck me like a blow. I wasn’t expecting it.

I inhaled deeply and let it out slowly. “Thor.”

It was his turn to be confused. “Why would Thor want to kill the child of a Greek god?”

“It’s not that.” I struggled to find the correct words. “It wouldn’t matter where you came from. I was allowed to survive in order to ensure that no other demigods were allowed to live.”

Alejo looked as though he had been struck. “Allowed to live?” He shook his head and pulled his legs free, standing and staring at me. “Who are they to determine who can and cannot live?”

I stood and know that my eyes held the sorrow I felt. “If Odin Alfather knew that I existed, he would send his best to bring him my head. Thor allowed—”

“It is not up to him!” He began pacing, his hands waving as he spoke. “We live. We have a right to live.”

I stepped in front of him and stopped his pacing. “They fear us.”

“No shit!” He stepped around me and continued his pacing. “They know what we’re capable of.”

I stepped in front of him again. “Speaking of…”

He shook his head at me, not understanding. “What?”

“Tell me. What are we capable of?”

I saw him smile and his eyes narrowed to slits as he broke into laughter. “Oh you have no idea, do you?”

I grabbed him by the shoulders and ignored the jolts of power that coursed through me. “Tell me.”

His laughter faded and his smile turned to a sly grin. “You’d better sit down for this.”

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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For My Girls Ch 4

Now that the dust has settled around the release of MS10, The Final Monster Squad novel, let’s get back to the unfinished stories that lay in the shadows of my computer’s hard drive.

Huntress was a continuation of Sven’s Hunter trilogy. Erica, his daughter, is demigod and must be hidden from her grandfather, Odin. She is an assassin, trained by the best of Asgard and she has only one mission…to destroy any demigods that may arise.

But what happens when the demi she is sent to kill captures her heart? Read on to find out more…

4

I learned that her name was Hildy. Short for Hildegard. Not a pleasant name to have roll off the tongue, but I’m told it was considered a blessing to have a female named Hildegard amongst her peoples.

She spoke of the gods and the great battles that they had amongst themselves. She explained to me how the less honorable of them would come to earth and walk amongst mankind. It cemented their faith and gave them great strength…for a short time.

When men think about their gods, it ‘feeds’ them. The power of the spoken word or unspoken thought, prayers and meditations, it all concentrates into a mental energy that the gods feed from. They use that power to increase their own strengths.

Gods like the zodiac used to cheat the system and go to those people who had multiple gods. They appeared to them and they would assume their god’s mantles. They cheated the ancient people of their true gods and it was looked down upon by the other gods. They were soon blacklisted and it was the Greco-Roman gods that finally broke them of their bad habits and left them banished from the realm of the gods.

This was immediately after the zodiac had tried to assume the Norse gods positions from their people. Odin led the battle and kicked the zodiac’s asses. They had just returned to their own realm when the Greco-Roman gods struck the final blows. Zeus banished the zodiac and they hadn’t been heard from in millennia.

I listened intently, taking in the lessons of my people that I had never been taught. I learned how the demigods used to be common until Odin, Zeus and a few other leaders among the gods declared the demigods heretic and slayed them all.

This caught me off guard. I was suddenly afraid to even be in her presence, yet…she knew I was a demi before I ever spoke to her. I think she noticed my apprehension because she gripped my hand and soothed me with her voice. “Easy child. Not everyone believes as the Allfather.”

“Aren’t you afraid what might happen to you if they ever discovered you helped me?”

She laughed and it was a deep throaty laugh. I hate to admit that it was contagious, but she had me chuckling right along with her. “Really? And what could they possibly do to this old woman that hasn’t already been done?” She wiped the tears from her cheeks and patted my arm. “No, child. You need to know what you are and why.”

I wasn’t sure I understood but I nodded. “Please, explain it to me.”

She leaned back and took a deep breath. “Child, you are the product of two completely different worlds. The world of man and the world of the gods.” She stared intently into my eyes and I felt as though she could read my very soul. “The gods fear you because you have the potential to be even greater than they are.”

“I don’t understand. If I’m only part god, how can I be greater than they?”

Her smile set my mind at ease and I believed every word that escaped her. “Because you can combine the best of both worlds. It’s the very nature of what you are. The real quandary is, why were you created.”

“My parents say it’s because they loved each other and I came into being.” I glanced over my shoulder towards Asgard. “My uncle says it’s to serve the gods and do those things that they have sworn never to do again.”

Her brows hiked and she stared at me. “Truly? And what have they sworn never to do again?”

I cleared my throat, almost afraid to repeat the words. “To appear before mankind. Even to do what needs doing. That is why they act through nature.”

She laughed again and shook her head at me. “Silly child. They simply want to use you. You are their enforcer. Much like your father is for the vampires.”

I gave her a shocked stare. “How could you know what my father does?”

Her face sobered and she stared back at me. “Child, that is what I do.” She pointed to herself. “I was the oracle.”

 

*****

 

Hildy explained to me how she had been the oracle until she met her true love. She knew he was coming and she had been ordered to turn him away.

She couldn’t do it.

Instead, she ran off with him, abandoning her post and her responsibilities. It had taken them nearly two generations to find another who could do what she had done.

In her prime, Hildy had advised kings and gods, paupers and trolls. She was highly sought after and although the legends say that once she was deflowered, her gifts would fade, they never did.

The only thing she never saw coming was the king’s men taking her only child from her. She assumed it was her eternal punishment for abandoning her position. She had spent many lifetimes questioning whether she would have still left with her love if she could have known the pain she would feel later. Part of her claimed that she would have never known love…the love of her husband or the deepest love that only a mother could know. Another part of her would argue that knowing love and losing isn’t worth the pain. She had long ago given up on the ‘what if’ arguments.

“What it all boils down to is, what are your intentions?”

I shook my head. “To serve. To protect the nine realms. To do what I was created for.”

She sighed heavily and shook her head. “Child, if you learn nothing else from me, learn this…it’s a far more noble thing to live your own life than to live the life expected of you.”

Her words caught me off guard and I debated whether she was speaking from her own experience or channeling my future. “I’m not sure I know how to live my own life.” I poked at the dirt with a stick, unable to look her in the face. I was too embarrassed to admit that I was too young to know what I might want to do with my life.

She nodded as though she truly understood. “You will know when the time is right.” She suddenly stood and stretched.

“We’re not done are we?” I was honestly worried that she was going to send me away. I felt like there was so much more I needed to know and only she could enlighten me.

“I need a drink. And not some weak tea brewed from bark and leaves.” Her eyes glimmered with that mischievousness that I had seen earlier. She disappeared into her tree trunk and reappeared moments later with a leather flask. She pulled the cork with her teeth and took a long pull from the skin. She took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “That will tighten the skin on your backside.”

She handed me the leather skin and I held it close to my mouth, unsure if I should partake. My mother would have a fit if I did. She wouldn’t even let me drink coffee.

Now I know why my father enjoys his mead. The honey wine she offered me was sweet and savory, but it burned all the way down my throat. The warmth it left in my stomach was not unpleasant.

It didn’t take long and the trees were swaying without a wind to blow them. Everything we spoke of was much funnier and I suddenly didn’t care so much about the problems I had arrived with.

“So tell me child. What really troubles you?” She sat beside me, passing me the skin.

“I’m supposed to kill this boy.” I took a swig and felt my head spin. “He’s a man, really, but…he’s a demi, like me.” I handed the skin back to her.

“Ahhh. Let me guess. The gods sent you to kill him, yes?”

I nodded. “They did. Oh, but he’s sooo cute.” I batted my eyes at her. “Surely they must have made a mistake to want to kill somebody so…”

“Handsome?” She gave me a wink as she took another pull from the skin.

“Oh, very. He has the prettiest eyes. Like liquid pools of the purest amber.” I sighed heavily and leaned back against her tree. “And his smile is brighter than the sun.”

She laughed as she handed me back the skin. “Sounds to me like you’re in love.”

I gripped the skin and stared at her. “How can I be in love? I’m not even six years old yet.” I snorted and took another pull of that sweet nectar.

“Child, age is nothing but a number.” She pulled the skin from my grip and pointed to herself. “How old do I look?”

I was starting to see two of her. I leaned closer and tried to gage the wrinkles around her eyes. “Which one of you?”

She laughed and fell back against the tree. “Either of us. Both!”

“Oh, well, then….you must be at least fifty years old.”

She laughed so hard she fell over. For a moment I feared she might spill the mead, but she held the flask high and upright. When she finally composed herself, she handed it back. “You’re too kind.”

I shrugged. “Fiftyfive?”

She shook her head at me and pointed a finger. “Much, much…much older than that. But nevermind.” I felt her hand cup my face and she pulled me closer. “You’re a woman. You may not have many years in the realms, but you are grown. And a grown woman can…and often does, fall in love.”

“But I don’t know this boy.” I pushed the cork back into the skin and set it between us. “I just know that he’s pretty.”

She nodded. “That’s all I knew of my husband when first we met.” She gave me a sad smile. “Sometimes that’s all you need.”

“But I’m supposed to kill him.” I tried to sober and found it increasingly difficult to keep my eyes open. “He’s a demigod like me. He can’t be allowed to…to…”

“To live?”

I had to think about what she had said. I found myself nodding, but still questioning the ‘why’ he had to die. “They never told me what he’d done to deserve death.”

She shook her head and turned my face to hers. “Because he exists. They cannot suffer a demigod to exist. It could upend their entire creation.”

“How?” I tried to stand and quickly realized that was a mistake. I sat back down and placed a hand firmly against the trunk of the tree to keep the realm from spinning out of control.

“Did you not listen to what I told you? You and he…you have the potential to be even greater than they are.” She sat upright and seemed to sober immediately. “Child, they are old. Nobody prays to them any longer. They survive off the energy of those who are already here. The humans? They’re all enjoying their form of the afterlife. The rest of us? We were moved here when mankind broke the treaties with us. The elves, the trolls, the dwarves and giants…we all came here when mankind decided to hunt us down. We’ve been here ever since.”

“Sounds to me like mankind isn’t worth the trouble of saving.” I reached for the skin and she pulled it away from me.

“You’ve had enough. You need to be able to think now.” She snapped her fingers and I was suddenly clear headed. I have no idea how she did it, but something told me that she was more of a witch than an oracle. “Now pay attention.”

“I am.” Although it was very disconcerting to suddenly sober.

“You and he are different. And not just because you are demis. No. You two could simply walk the earth and reveal yourselves to men and you would have worshippers falling from the trees like leaves in autumn. Think of the power you would be stealing from the gods if you did that!”

I shook my head. “But we wouldn’t do that.” Could I truly say that for Alejo? “I mean, I know I wouldn’t.”

“Child, what is the worst thing that can happen to a god?”

I shrugged, truly unsure of the answer. “Death?”

She shook her head solemnly. “No. To be forgotten is a fate worse than death.” She stood on shaky legs and stretched her hands upward. “When those who once worshipped you suddenly forget that you even exist? That is truly a fate worse than death.”

“Then why don’t they reveal themselves to man once more? Prove that they are real and let-”

“Man doesn’t think he needs the gods anymore.” She stamped her stick into the ground and the dirt seemed to swirl. Within moments it faded and became a portal. I could see people walking the streets of a large city, their faces down, staring at the phones in their hands.

“Man worships things now. They don’t need to pray to the gods to fix things when they can do it themselves.” She caught my attention and I saw the fear in her eyes. “The gods chose to use nature to speak to mankind, but man isn’t listening any longer. That’s why they use every gadget they can possibly dream up to ignore nature. They don’t care what they do to the land, the waters or the air.” She sighed and sat back down, the portal to the earth closing. “Some think they are saving the planet by picking up trash or recycling the things they buy, but they aren’t. They don’t listen to nature. They don’t feel what nature is offering them. They don’t…care.”

Her words struck a chord with me. I felt my own phone bulging in my pocket and I knew she was right. I had been just as guilty of losing myself in some game or social media thing when I could have been doing something productive. Anything would have been more productive.

She patted my hand. “These things are just man’s most current distraction. They lost sight of what was important a millennia ago. Before they broke the accords with us.”

“Okay.” I swallowed hard and dreaded her next answer. “What does that have to do with me? How does this help me with Alejo?”

She sighed and closed her eyes, suddenly appearing very tired. “Child, if you and this Alejo were to suddenly show them what you truly were, a grand portion of mankind would follow you. Worship you. You’d be the center of attention for as long as you wished. All of that power focused on the two of you would make you stronger than…”

“The Jewish carpenter?” I knew that was a long shot.

She nodded slightly. “That’s entirely possible. It’s been at least two millennia since he made his walk with them.”

“But that’s not what I would want and I don’t think Alejo would either.”

“That doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that you could.” She suddenly stood. “You look like them but you have the power of the gods. If Odin Allfather suddenly appeared on earth, would they fall to their knees and love him or would they fear a ten foot tall Norse god with one good eye and a penchant for shoving lightning up their arses?”

I could see her point, even though I’d never met my grandfather. This all seemed too much for me to accept at once. The different thoughts racing through my mind all came to one conclusion…if I allowed myself to be the weapon of the gods and destroyed Alejo, who then would protect me from their wrath?

I turned to her and she had that knowing look on her face. “Exactly. Who would protect you, child?”

 

And that’s where chapter 4 ends.
If you’ve been following the blossoming adventures of young Erica Svensdottir and you like what you’ve read so far, know that there are a few more chapters waiting to be shared.
All in good time, faithful readers.
All in good time.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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