Mid-week Blues Buster 14

Prompt: http://thetsuruokafiles.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/mid-week-blues-buster-week-14/

The dull grey paint on the handrail was flaking, and Allie grimaced. With so much power available, was it too much to ask for a shaman to live somewhere that got a little upkeep from time to time? She wiped her hand on her jeans and opened the door at the bottom of the stairs. The room was dim, lit only by whatever wan light that could make its way through the dirty windows.

He sat behind a large faux-wooden desk that had been reclaimed out of a bank or insurance agency, the front lined with dents and a bit of rust around the edges. She looked into his eyes and grinned darkly. Here was power – as pathetic as this basement was, the man’s spark positively radiated from within. Allie was reminded of seeing some second-rate Elvis impersonator in a diner outside of Vegas. He had been decorated from neck to ankle in rhinestones, and the fluorescent lights made him sparkle brightly enough that she was briefly blinded. This was like that, only real. Maybe Elvis wasn’t dead after all – his spark was somewhere, in someone. She wondered if she’d get to find out. She certainly planned on trying hard enough.

He pushed his chair back and stood, slowly. Allie realized that she’d been staring too long and had given away her advantage. He would have been cautious, but not wary, if she had just come in and done what she had come here to do, but now his defenses were up. The kill just got harder.

“I see you are no accidental wanderer into my office, young lady. Please, sit, and let us talk.” She’d expected him to speak with a thick accent from Shanghai or Bangkok or somewhere like that, but he sounded more like her grandpa than anyone else. The shaman indicated the folding chair in front of his desk, and she settled into it, its legs wobbly and uneven, just as he clearly hoped she’d be. He followed suit, and his eyes grew vague, as he looked both at her and through her. The effect was much more disconcerting than his rickety chair, and she wondered for the first time if she had taken on a challenge that was too big for her. Only one way to find out.

“No, I’m not here by accident. I learned of you from a young woman you knew in Tuscaloosa. She was trying to stop me from killing her, but you and I both know how futile that was.” If Allie was trying to get a rise out of him, she clearly failed.

“My daughter was strong, but foolish. She believed that there was good in all people, even after her life with me.” His eyes cleared, and he was fully in the room with her again. Allie felt his power more deeply now, and she ached to learn its secrets. “I cannot mourn her, nor do I seek revenge. There is only what has happened, not what should have happened. The question is whether or not you are as big a fool as she was.”

“I’ve been called worse.” This was the moment – any longer, and he’d be too strong for her. He wouldn’t kill her for revenge, that was true, but she didn’t think that dying for any reason interested her. He was expecting her to move now, and she did. Given the opportunity, Allie would have relished taking her time with this kill, but the power she would gain was going to be incredible either way.

Her knife throw would have killed most men, but he blocked it easily, dismissively. Bullets, on the other hand, were not so trivial, and as her right hand readied the knife, her left drew her pistol and fired, the bullets reaching him before the knife hit the floor. One in each eye, as she’d hoped, and while she didn’t see his life passing from them, she felt it, a great concussion of strength bursting out of his corpse like a nova. Allie drew it to her, as with all the others, but it was too much for her conscious mind to take.

It was a year before she woke up.


700 words


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