[Greetings Urban Fantasy Fans! The long wait is over, and I can now share the exciting 12th and 13th chapters of Allen’s adventures with you all! Fecal matter hits the proverbial rotary spinning blades in this ACTION PACKED section! For those of you who are new to the ALLEN TOMBES universe and haven’t read the chapters before this section, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of this page and I’ll post links to the first eleven chapters! For those of you who have been waiting with baited breath for the next part Allen’s story, feel free to proceed!!!! —RFY]
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 12)
Allen dialed the number on the back of the card. It rang and rang—so many times that Allen almost hung up, but before he did the line connected.
“Who is this?” Chaz said in a quick voice that Allen found terrifying.
“It’s me, Allen! Your note said to call A.S.A.P.!”
“Oh, Allen! Jeeze! I didn’t recognize the number,” Chaz said.
“This is my sister’s phone,” Allen said.
“Okay, okay. Right. So here goes, kid. We got bad business ahead of us. Did you make it to the safe-house okay?”
“Yeah, I’m…” Allen started to say, but Chaz cut him off.
“Don’t say it! Jeeze, kid, who knows who could be listening,” Allen flushed, switched the phone to his other ear.
“Keeping you alive is going to be tougher than I thought. Anyway…” Chaz is caught with a small coughing fit. “Sorry, anyway, did you look through the bag yet? ‘Course you did, that’s how you got this number. Sorry, man. I’m packing stuff while we chat. Kinda scattered.” Chaz shuffled the phone around.
“Where are you going?” Allen asked, not liking the idea of Chaz being out of reach.
“Secrets kid, secrets. You gotta get better at keeping them. Anyway, the goodies. You saw the flares?”
“Yeah,” Allen said. He dug one out of the bag.
“Those are military grade, magnesium flares. They are super bright, but they only burn for about a minute. Use those to scare off the Shadows. It won’t kill them, but the bright light hurts them pretty good and blinds them. Might give you a chance to make a quick gettaway, if you need to. Here, just a sec!”
Allen heard Chaz set the phone down. He waited. A few seconds later, Chaz returned. “Sorry kid,” Chaz said. “I’m gettin’ the Hell outta Dodge. Probably meet up with you in a few days, though.”
“Meet up where? Where are you going?” Allen’s asked.
“Never mind right now. You see the knife in the bag? The one with the bone handle?”
“Yeah,” Allen said.
“Be careful with that. The blade is laced with a neuro-toxin. If you cut somebody with it, even just a scratch, it should paralyze them for twenty, thirty minutes or so, depending on who, or what, you cut. If you stick Haro with it, it’s just gonna piss him off.” Allen didn’t imagine that would be a pleasant sight. “But anything roughly human sized,” Chaz continued, “will be knocked out for a while.”
Allen could hear Chaz breathing hard, like he was moving fast or carrying something heavy.
“Next, the little red box. I’m proud of that one!” Chaz laughed. Allen found the ornate box and lifted it up. Again, he felt something moving inside and heard a scratching sound.
“There’s a Lightning Bug inside, a sprite,” Chaz said. “It’s name is Kitsle. When we get off the phone, set the box down and tap on it a couple of times. Not too hard. When he gets out, be very polite, and mention that you’re a friend of mine. Sprites can be pretty shy at first, and downright vicious if they don’t like you, so be nice to it.”
“How did he get through the shield spells? I thought only humans could come into the house?” Allen said.
“The box. It’s like a portable doorway linking our world to Kitlse’s. Very ancient magic,” Chaz said.
“A doorway? You mean… Could other things come through?” Allen asked. He was uncomfortable with the idea of having a doorway between worlds in his bedroom.
“Not unless Kitsle wants them to. It’s his space. I wouldn’t worry,” Chaz said laughing. “Oh, and it might help to bribe him every once in a while. He loves candy. Wouldn’t hurt to toss him a chocolate bar when you go knocking on his door.
Allen picked up the box, gingerly, and the “bug” inside continued to tick and scratch. Allen carefully set the box back on his bed.
“I can’t believe any of this,” Allen said, shaking his head.
“You mean you don’t want to. Well believe it, kid. Last thing—the sword. It was made for a special class of samurai who fought demons. The sword was designed to help demon hunters focus their mental energy, tap into sources of power that most people can’t access. Keep that sword safe—it’s going to be your lifeline!” Allen heard Chaz grunt like he was lifting something heavy, and then what sounded like a car door slam.
“Okay, kid. That’s the short course. Stay put until Chris comes for you. Don’t try to call me again unless you absolutely have to! It’s too dangerous. I’ll see you pretty soon!”
Allen said goodbye and push the “end call” button on the phone.
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 13)
Allen looked at the little, ornate red box again. He swallowed and tapped gingerly on the top with his finger. The box jumped and something fluttered inside. Allen took a step back, and for a few seconds nothing else happened. Then Allen heard a soft click and one of the side panels swung open like a door, and a thin insect, about as long as Allen’s finger, peered around the edge of the box. It was silver, and reflected the room like a mirror, but with a bluish tint. The bug twitched and cocked its head looking at Allen, then it spread a pair of wings that had been folded on its back and fluttered them, sending sparks in all directions. The wings began to glow with a yellow-green light. The bug stretched all its limbs wide, like a sleeper just getting out of bed, then folded the wings against its back again, and the glow faded.
“Um, hello,” Allen said, awkwardly. He bowed just a bit, uncertain of how formal he had to be. The bug clicked and ticked a few times. Allen wondered if it was laughing. Then the bug did a little curtsey. Allen laughed, but nervously.
“My friend, Chaz, said your name is Kitsle?” It was a statement, but it sounded like a question. The bug nodded. “He also said I should introduce myself. My name is Allen. Allen Tombes. The bug curtsied again, clicked and ticked. It tilted its head, moving its nose in the air. It walked a few paces on Allen’s bed then its wings flashed out again and, glowing brightly, it sizzled into the air. It looked a bit heavy in the air, bobbing and weaving like a thick bumblebee, its body swaying under the bright wings. Allen moved back a few steps, trying to get out of Kitsle’s way, and the bug flitted over to Allen’s desk. It landing near his schoolwork and a small paper bag. Kitsle reached up toward the edge of the bag, leaped into the air, and pulled the bag over with a thin, delicate claw. The bug stepped inside the bag then backed out dragging a chocolate bar.
“Oh! You’re hungry!” Allen said. Kitsle looked at Allen then tapped the candy bar.
“Of course! Help yourself,” Allen said and laughed.
Suddenly, Kitsle’s head turned toward the window. In a cloud of sparks, the bug launched off the desk and landed on the windowsill. It paced back and forth a few times, then tapped the glass.
“What is it?” Allen asked.
Kitsle put a claw up to the glass and began writing on the window in thin, spidery letters made of pure, silver light. Kitsle spelled out: “Someone coming—Magic” The letters hovered for a second, then faded.
Allen reached for his gargoyle charm and found it. It wasn’t warm.
“Is it the Simmerons? We have friends outside guarding the house.”
Kitsle wrote: “No”
Allen shivered. He didn’t know what to do. He heard the door open and close downstairs.
Kitsle flew back to the desk and scooped up the candy bar in a pair of claws, then fluttered back to Allen’s bed. Kitsle held the candy bar up to his box, but it was clearly too large to fit inside. With one claw, the bug slashed at the candy, slicing it cleanly in half. It tossed half into the box, snatched the other half under a thin, silvery arm, then gave Allen a little wave and dove into the box. The side panel closed with a click, and although the box seemed to be made of nothing but thin wood, Allen had no doubt in his mind that nobody he knew would be able to open that box if Kitsle didn’t want them to.
Allen heard voices outside his door in the hallway, and his doorknob began to twist. Rose walked into the room followed by two girls her age, both dressed in standard goth attire: black pants, black shirts with fishnet mesh on the arms and necklines, and black leather boots with little skull buckles. One girl had dark purple hair, and the other had loose curls of deep, emerald green. Following Rose and her two friends was a tall woman, perhaps in her late twenties, maybe older, wearing a simple but elegant black dress, not too low cut at the top. Her hair was black, very straight, and fell to her shoulders. Unlike Rose and her friends, the woman wore very little makeup.
“Krystal, this is my brother, Allen, and that’s the charm I told you about. There’s something really odd about it,” Rose said. Allen’s hand involuntarily reached up and grasped his necklace.
“Hello, Allen,” the woman said, smiling brightly. “It’s good to finally meet you. Your sister is a good friend of mine. She’s told me all about you and your family.” Her voice was soft and comforting, but it made Allen feel very nervous. The charm in his fingers began to feel very warm.
“Rose tells me you’ve found an interesting necklace. May I see it?” she asked.
“It’s a protection charm,” Allen said. “I’m not supposed to take it off.”
“It’s okay, Allen. I’m not going to take it from you. I just want to look at it. Who told you it was a protection charm? They’re very rare.”
Allen felt himself moving toward the woman, his legs dragging him forward against his will. The charm began to burn against his fingers and he stopped. The woman reached toward the charm and Allen took a step backward away from her.
“You moved away?” Krystal said, looking confused. “How very curious.”
“I can’t let you have the necklace,” Allen said.
“I’m impressed. I’ve never met anyone who could resist my spell,” Krystal said, smiling brightly at Allen. “The charm must be very powerful,” her grin grew very wide and sinister.
“How did you get past the protective barrier outside?” Allen asked, his voice shaking. “It’s supposed to keep anything that isn’t human away.” The woman laughed. Allen backed further away from her. She was now between him and the bed where his bag and all his weapons lay.
“Silly little boy, do I look like some kind of monster to you?” She laughed again. “Witches are human, too, you know. I’m just a sweet lady who’s been promised god-like power if I kill a certain family. Can you guess which one?” Krystal’s evil grin returned as she reached into the sleeve of her dress and pulled out a large black blade, with a curved, jagged, edge.
“Wha—what’s going on,” Rose said sleepily, snapping out of Krystal’s spell.
“Run, Rose! She’s here to kill us!” Allen yelled.
“What are you talking about,” Rose said. She glanced at Allen, then at Krystal—and spotted the black blade in Krystal’s hand. Krystal raised the knife and dashed at Allen. Rose screamed.
And then the room exploded in light and sparks. Rose continued to scream, and Krystal stopped, her smile melting as Kitsle buzzed over to her and landed on her shoulder. Krystal twisted, trying to brush the bug off, but Kitsle held on, then fluttered his wings, wildly, sending showers of sparks into the air. Krystal staggered and dropped her knife. The bug, wings glowing brightly, stabbed a needle-like claw into Krystal’s neck and shot lightning into her body, which jerked violently, then went rigid. Her eyes rolled backward and her mouth opened as if she were about to scream, then she fell to the floor and lay still.
Kitsle fluttered over to Allen and pointed at the sword on his bed then toward the door, then the bug flashed back to his box and the panel clicked shut.
“Oh my God! Is she dead? What was that thing!?” Rose said, waving her hands frantically.
Allen leaned over the body on the floor. The eyes were still open, and swiveled to look at him.
“She’s not dead, just paralyzed,” Allen said. “We have to go.”
“Go?” Rose said. “Go where?”
Allen looked at the girls standing by Rose, then back at the witch on the floor. “I don’t know,” he said. “For right now, we need to get away from her!”
[SEE! Didn’t I tell you!? Weird alien bugs and creepy witches and assassination plots… I hope you don’t start biting your nails! Anyway, to help support the author (that’s me, Richard F. Yates) and the society of weirdos who make great stuff like ALLEN TOMBES, head on over to our Patreon page and kick us a couple of bucks! We’ll be grateful, and you’ll feel like you’re doing something worthwhile with your dough! I promised a list of links to the earlier chapters in the story, and you’ll find those below the signature! That’s for stopping by!!!]
—Richard F. Yates
(Commander in Cheap of The Primitive Entertainment Workshop)