Date Published: 08-31-2020
Inara Caan is an embittered vestal to The Order of the Avenging Hand. Her job, traveling worldwide with her demon partner, using magic to destroy monsters and mythological creatures wherever the Order finds them. Her next hunt takes her to Boston. She expects to find villainy beyond compare. Instead, she has been tasked with killing a happy family with a young daughter.
For reasons she doesn’t understand, the Order betrays Inara and sends a winged assassin to kill her. She goes on the run, taking the family with her. She battles her way through the streets of Boston, finding help in the unlikeliest of places. As enemies close in from all sides, she stretches the limits of her power trying to save everyone. She may escape the Order but not the demon bound to her soul.
Once the monster was well gone, his body shimmered, changing back into the tall Korean man in the same running attire. Except this time, he wore a bright yellow headband.
His mouth twisted into a crazed smile. The laughter rolled out of him hard and fast for thirty-some-odd seconds before he wrangled his outburst back under control.
What a lumbering idiot.
Having calmed himself, he ran through a series of standing stretches in the manner of someone loosening up for a long run. He leaned against the side of the church. Air slipped from his lips. The whistle turned into words as he sang the Taylor Swift song “Shake It Off,” culminating in a moonwalk away from the wall. He finished with a spin.
His giggles almost knocked him over. A challenge to rein in this time, he came down off his fit only to fight off another burst of laughter.
A homeless woman stood at the corner of the church and gawked at him.
“Seems you need to go back on your meds, Alice.” He morphed into a giant red devil with horns and scales, then pointed an accusatory finger at her.
Alice screamed as she fled into the rainy night.
The man changed back into a jogger. He stood upright and straight. The cursed laughter threatened to retake him, but he fought it back valiantly. He jogged in place, bringing his knees up higher than necessary. Ready, he jogged out into the street, shooting a glance to the sky one last time. The rain resumed with a bit more gusto.
“All it takes is a little nudge sometimes,” he informed no one as he turned the corner before sprinting down the street.
About the Author
Martin Cullen has been a musician, bouncer, infantryman, and worked in museums. He immigrated from Ireland at a young age (sorry no accent). Martin walked the storage rooms of the American History Museum, worked backstage for a magician, drank more than he should, and sang more than most folks would have liked. Now he brings some stories into the world for your enjoyment.