Strange Visitors

A couple of days later, Lina stood in the living room of her grandmother’s, now her, house. She shook her head. How had this happened? Just a few weeks ago she was a wildly successful lawyer, on track to make partner next year, and now, she was finishing up the paperwork to open her own law office in the small town of Hidden River. Even though she’d grown up here, she’d never expected that she would give up city life and Big Law to come back and deal with the much less momentous problems of a small town population.

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Paper Roses

The house smelled musty. Lina thought it could have been worse considering the place had been shut up for about a month. Hopefully there wasn’t anything growing in the fridge. She glanced around the entry hall. She marveled at how it all looked just the same, but nothing was the same. Gran was gone and not coming back. Her chest heaved and she braced against the wall until she regained her equilibrium. No, Gran wasn’t coming back and she couldn’t change that.

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She was floating… no, that wasn’t quite right. Yes, she was floating, but in a boat… there was a tall, good-looking man (how did she know he was good looking? his back was to her… she just knew) at the helm. He braced himself as he brought the little boat around to head into a wave. He turned to her, smiled, and said…

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The old man glared at her. “You must treat this instrument like your child,” he growled.

“I will, Pop-pop. I will. I promise,” K’niethra told him.

“Hmph. This came on one of the first arkships with my father’s father. He hoped to start an orchestra… but it was not to be.” K’niethra thought she saw the shine of tears in the eyes of the crusty oldster. She laid a gentle hand over his where it rested on the neck of the graceful instrument.

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A Laughing Llama?

Kyra shoved off the wall and staggered toward the overturned table, collapsing behind it. Around her she could feel the tavern pulsing as it tried to maintain the protective wards. She put her hand flat on the floor and fed as much power as she dared into the surrounding structure. This wasn’t the best way to reinforce the wards, nor would it last more than about a day, but this was an emergency.

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Sam stared down the hallway. Broken bits of light came in through the room on his left. He quickly glanced around the door frame and verified that the light was coming in through the now rotting wood nailed over the window. Dust motes danced in the fading light, but there was nothing else in the room. Sam returned his attention to the hallway stretching in front of him. He closed his eyes and brought up his memory of the outside of the house. This hallway should end about ten feet in front of him. But his gut told him it stretched out for an impossible distance.

Continue reading “Passages”