Nothing is typical. That’s a mantra that I constantly reminded myself of from the moment I was turned. People carry on hoping for the different and we sit on the other side of that mirror, wondering what it’s like to be them. For the most part, this leaves us in a constant state of yearning—we live in extraordinary times… no matter what time we’re alive in. What a curse.
My guest was sitting at the island in my kitchen enjoying a glass of wine. He was older, salt and pepper hair carefully combed back. His goatee was immaculate though they didn’t match his bushy eyebrows set over eyes so brown they appeared black. I stepped in and folded my arms over my chest, inviting him to say his peace.
“I’m glad that you’re being reasonable, I was so afraid that this would be… unpleasant at first.”
“Yeah, crazy that someone might defend their home from an intruder.” I rolled my eyes. “Whoever would think that could happen? What do you want?”
“I represent certain interests… interests that have very long memories.” He took a long drink from his glass, leaving just a puddle at the bottom, hardly enough to sop up with a finger. “They had dealings with you… oh, sometime in the early nineteen-hundreds. I believe it was just before the Great War.”
“Don’t tell me, you’re a collection agent that just realized you could catch up on a debt some hundred years old.” I leaned against the wall. “Who is it?”
“Very amusing but no… it’s a friend of yours named Harrison Blythe. Do you remember him?”
I hesitated but it wasn’t necessary. I wouldn’t forget Harrison for as long as I lived. The man was a particularly potent necromancer and a bastard to boot. When I was still in England, I met one of the men who was in his little circle of influence. The resulting relationship drew Harrison into my life and I had regretted it ever since.
“What about him?” I kept my voice carefully neutral.
“He has something that he thought you might find intriguing… something that might benefit you both.”
“It’s generous of him to think of me, but really Avon isn’t my thing…”
“The sarcasm is growing old.” My guest glared at me. “We both know that you carry the Essence. Your old friend Percy made certain to tell us all about it.”
“What is this, a who’s who of my life?” I shook my head. “Get to the point. What’s he got that I would care about?”
“A soul… a very old one… something that he thinks you would barter for.”
“Um… what? What soul? And what does he want? It’s not like I can extract this… whatever you think I have. It’s in me, it’s not a pair of panties.”
“The person is someone very dear to you, I assure you,” The man said, smiling for the first time. “She’s a long lost friend of yours, someone that you haven’t seen since… well, since she supposedly passed away. Sometimes we operate rather quickly and can make sure things don’t… you know… make their way needlessly to the other side.”
“Very cryptic. I’ve known a lot of people. Who do you think you have?”
“We have your creator, Aria in our possession. Her soul, living out countless moments of torment in a soul orb…” He seemed to take glee in my narrowed eyes, the look I couldn’t quite hide that said I’d happily kill him then and there. “I’m glad I have your attention. Perhaps now we can begin negotiations.”
“For what? I just told you that I can’t give you what you want!”
“Oh, my dear Annette… we don’t need you to give us that in particular.” He chuckled. “No, my dear. We can take care of everything. You simply have to give us your life. A fair trade, don’t you think?”
Wake up early… enjoy a home invasion… welcome a psychopath to my wine… and have him ask for my life. Couldn’t anyone just send chain letters anymore? I mean, really.