Flying Blind Ch. 07byEvil Alpaca©
This story is a bit wordy and fairly long, so if you are looking for immediate gratification, you might want to look elsewhere.
The following story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between these character and events and any real person or events is strictly coincidental . . . and pretty darn impressive seeing as it is a science fiction story. Do not reproduce or copy this story without the consent of the author.
This story is based in an alternative universe, where history took a different course than the one depicted in my other stories. It also takes place at a fictional town in Colorado called Crystal Pass and a fictional school called Four Corners University.
The following story contains lesbian sexual activity.
"We feared the heartlessness of human beings,
all of whom are born blind,
few of whom ever learn to see."
~ Georgia O'Keeffe
"How's he doing?" Heda asked, sitting up on the sofa the moment her brother and Kevin walked into the house. It had been two days since Neil Reichert, King of the reptile shifters, had collapsed in his own home, the target of a nasty spell undoubtedly instigated by Daryl Mosley, resident serial kidnapper, murderer, and all around psychopath.
It was Kevin who spoke this time, though he sounded tired. Kevin was an alchemist of some repute, though his normal concoctions consisted of various recreational hallucinogenics. But whatever was afflicting King Reichert was magical, and it required magical medication.
"Honestly? Not what a monarch is supposed to look like. We've got stuff in his veins that is keeping his blood warm, but his organs are trying to freeze all by themselves."
"We need to find him. This isn't even blood magic, or at least nothing that I've ever heard of," Ed added, flopping down on one of the couches with a profound lack of dignity. Joanna, Heda's buxom best friend, quickly moved into sympathetic shoulder-rub position.
"And we don't have the slightest idea where to look," Heda said.
Edgar looked a bit red in the face. "Yeah, about that," Ed said, "the council has decided that they don't want student participation in the investigation anymore. Except for Kevin's particular expertise, everyone is supposed to back off."
"What?!" came Heda's voice overriding the sudden clamor from her friends. "Why? We found Detrius or Daryl, or whatever the hell he is calling himself, the first time. We can find him again."
"Heda, don't bust my ball about this. The World Council has sent in the best investigators and sorcerers in the world here. If there's a way of tracing this guy, they'll do it. I'll be lucky if I'm allowed to stay on, seeing as I kept you all in the loop, thereby putting you in danger."
Heda let out an undignified snort. "Like you could've stopped me."
"I'm serious," Ed replied, as sternly as he could, "Putting you guys in danger is not going to win me any points with the powers that be. Heda, I might be able to bring you in on any actual hunts, just because of Mom's rep, but --"
"To hell with that," Heda said angrily. "That son of a bitch kidnapped and tortured Carla and Madison. You saw what she looked like when we pulled her out of that damn lair."
"Yeah, I remember. And I don't want anyone else here to get found like that." He sighed, then looked a little sheepish. "And since I know you're not normally inclined to let things go --"
"Ed, what did you do?" she asked, her voice dripping with suspicion.
"I kind of called Mr. Hannity and had him suggest to Madison that they should have ALL of you guys out there for a weekend."
"Why the hell would you --"
"Because once Madison calls and starts with the girlfriend pleading, you won't be able to resist."
Heda's eyes were slowly growing wider. "You complete asshole!"
"And then you'll be out of my hair for a few days --" Ed had to scramble to get out of the way as his sister lunged across the coffee table and attempted to throttle him. Billy, Anthony, and Peter had to grab her, put her on the couch, and sit on her to prevent her from causing serious mayhem.
"She's stronger than she looks," Billy said.
This time, Edgar's eyes shot open. "Oh crap. I forgot about her --"
He did not even get a chance to finish the sentence before Heda's Gift kicked in. The eagle-shifter's eyes were glowing and she promptly bucked, causing all three men on top of her to go flying off of the couch. Heda's Gift made her insanely strong and fast.
"I told Mom too," Ed said, running for the door. "She's going to meeting with you guys out there."
"You told Mom? You candy-ass, chicken-shit, piece of --"
"Gotta go!" he said, slamming the door in his sister's face. The rest of the gang managed to cause enough interference to keep her from getting to him before he got to the rental car. She was getting ready to give chase when her phone started to ring. A quick peek made her sigh.
"Hi Madison," she said, trying to keep her voice steady, aware that she was being watched by the rest of the crew from the doorway. "Yeah, about that trip . . . no, of course I want to see you," she said through gritted teeth as she plotted her brother's death. "No, I don't have a game this weekend. I don't know if he can. You'll have to ask him." She stormed back to the house and handed the phone to Billy.
It was the wereturtle's turn to sigh, then put the phone to his ear. "Hey psycho. Yeah, I just heard. Well, I'm in charge of the station --" He rubbed his hand over his face. "No, of course we want to see you --"
That weekend . . .
As she kicked back next to the pool in a hot little two-piece swimsuit drinking a flavorful fruity drink, Heda accepted that maybe taking the weekend off was not such a bad idea. Most of the gang had been able to make it out, all on Mr. Hannity's dime, though Kevin and Peter were still back at the university.
Joanna was in a suit that might better be described as green dental floss, and she was quite the center of attention. Once Morgan had realized that her sister's cool college friends were coming to visit, she had invited all of her "super cool" high school friends over, and things had turned into a party pretty damn quickly. Both Joanna and Anthony had been strictly warned against "hunting underaged game" by everyone who knew them, though they both certainly relished the attention.
Heda's parents had indeed shown up. Her dad was talking with Mr. Hannity about investment properties, the famous Jessica Adler was in the kitchen (of course) with Carla and Mrs. Sanchez, the voodoo priestess cook. Heda doubted she'd see her mother until dinner.
Mostly, she just let herself unwind. Sure, a few of the high-schoolers hit on her, but most of them were either staring at Joanna's chest or grilling Madison and Carla about their times in captivity. For Carla, it had become a kind of therapy. For Madison . . . well, she was still getting there. For Madison, the real reward was being the center of non-hostile attention. It was another thing that was going to take some getting used to. But Heda noticed how much she glowed when people talked to her in friendship rather than about her in malice.
"Would you stop doing the googly eyes thing at her?" Joanna said with faux sternness. "It's kinda sad."
"Hey, I am not making googly eyes. I'm just happy to see her enjoying herself." Heda sipped her drink. "Besides, you're just jealous because my brother isn't here for you to drool over."
"That's beside the point. Hmm, I bet your brother looks hot in swim trunks, especially when he's doing that slow motion walk out of the water . . . yummy. Don't ya think?"
"I hadn't thought about it," Heda replied dryly. "Being related by blood and all."
Joanna dismissed the excuse with a wave of her hand. "Mind putting some lotion on my back?"
"Get one of the boys to do it. If I did it, we'd probably put some of these youngsters through puberty.
"I'd say a few of them already made it," the werecobra replied, staring over her sunglasses at the captain of the football team.
"I know, I know. Stay away from the veal."
Heda laughed. "Slut."
"You say it like it's a bad thing." Joanna looked around. "Oh Anthony," she called adoringly.
Heda got out of her chair before the hardcore flirting started. True, Joanna was bonking Edgar those days, and Anthony was more often than not in Carla's company, but the two just enjoyed playing with each other far too much. Instead, she headed to the waterslide, grabbing Madison by the hand as she walked by.
"I guess that means we're leaving," Madison said, hurrying to catch up. "You know, if you're just gonna interrupt me, the least you could do is --"
Heda turned around and planted a kiss that had Madison up on her tippy-toes in no time.
From somewhere across the property, two fatherly voices shouted, "A little decorum!"
Madison looked confused, her eyes scrunched behind her sunglasses. Because many of Morgan's friends were human, Madison was having to keep up the "blind" act. "How do they know?"
"It's like radar for fathers," Heda explained. "Don't ask me how it works. I just ignore it." Then she gave Madison another kiss, just to drive the point home. When she broke, "Damn, you look good. No problems?"
"Nah. Last of the burns cleared up the day before you called. Now, I'm just under house orders to drink lots of fluids. Really, a fish would be on a twelve-step recovery program from all the water I drink."
"I'm glad your internship interview went well."
Madison lit up like a bulb, her grin shining for all the world to see. "I'm mostly just co-hosting, but still . . . I'm gonna be on a big-time station!" She started to bounce up and down and spin in circles.
"You're making me dizzy. Stop."
"Sorry," Madison said, more out of breath than actually apologetic. She threw her arms around Heda again just hugged her girlfriend for a moment. Her smoking hot, hard-bodied girlfriend. Her –
"Let go, or at least buy me dinner first."
Madison blushed. "Your Mom's helping make dinner. Making you a cheap date."
"I like to think of myself as easy rather than cheap."
"Easy? You call yourself easy? I had to repeatedly kick your ass before you would take me seriously."
Heda raised an eyebrow. "Repeatedly?"
"Okay, mostly in my head --"
"Fine. But in my head, it was always a complete butt-whooping by me."
Heda kissed her girlfriend again. "You're crazy."
"Duh." Madison placed her head on Heda's chest and sighed. "I miss this."
"Me too. But it's just for the semester, then you can come back."
Madison let out a growl. "I hate him."
"I know," Heda replied, stroking Madison's long, soft hair. "But you can't let him control your life. Enjoy being with your family and your kickin' new gig, and you'll be back with us before you know it."
"Bah. No logic. Entertain my bitchiness."
Heda grinned. "I'm in too good a mood. Wanna try to do some flying?"
Madison made a face. "I promised I wouldn't fly off the property until this guy gets caught."
"Even if everyone else went with you?"
"Dad's thinking is that we would all be too vulnerable in our animal forms, and we couldn't switch to half-form out of fear of exposure."
"Your father is too smart for his own good." Heda's grin got broader. "So, have you gotten used to calling him 'Dad' then?"
"I practiced saying it for twelve years before I figured that I'd never get to say it for real to anyone. I like the sound of it."
Heda's lips sought out Madison's again. It was a warm, lingering kiss, and it left both girls tingly in all sorts of places. To help cool off, they both took any number of rides down the slide, followed by . . . well, more sliding. Then they headed over to the kitchen to find some snackage.
Heda's mother was having a lively discussion with the cook, Mrs. Sanchez, when the two girl's arrived. Something about sauces and temperatures and other things that neither younger woman really had any grasp on.
"Staying out of trouble?" Jessica Adler asked, her eyes not even searching out the object of her question.
"Mom, what possible trouble could I get into sitting at poolside drinking fruity drinks?"
That was when the elder Adler woman's gaze shifted. "Need I remind you of the incident at the resort on our Disney vacation of 2001?" She looked at Madison. "There's a reason why it is no longer the 'happiest place on earth'."
"YOU were the one who got us kicked out Orlando studios," Heda countered. "The name of the restaurant was 'Margaritaville'! Of COURSE they were going to play that song over and over again."
And just like that, the conversation was off. The two Adler women could not be in each other's presence for more than ten minutes or so without the Debate, capitalization and all, starting up again. Apparently, it was all part of some weird ongoing conversation/argument that the two had been having since Heda was six years old. They both enjoyed it far more than they would admit.
"Can I have a popsicle?" Madison asked of the cook. "This could be a while."
"You need to eat more," Mrs. Sanchez replied gruffly. "You're too skinny."
Madison knew better than to talk back on this. Mrs. Sanchez believed that all woman should have "more meat on them," unable to grasp that there were reasons you never found a fat changeling.
"Two popsicles then?"
"I'll fix you some profiteroles."
Madison had no idea what those were, but she was sure they would be incredibly delicious. Mrs. Sanchez believed in taste over health. The bat-shifter glanced over to where the Debate had turned to which of the two women were in fact more stubborn. Madison almost smirked, enjoying the irony of it.
About then, Mr. Hannity and Mr. Adler walked into the kitchen, holding bottles of expensive imported beer and talking about sports. Not the athletics of them, mind you, but about the architectural garishness of the new Cowboy stadium. Mr. Adler gave his wife a peck on the cheek, careful not to say anything that would get him sucked into the Debate. He was a referee in that tradition, not a participant.
"Should we say something?" Mr. Hannity whispered to his daughter, he eyes on the heated exchange.
"Not if you value your life. Interfere and, from what I understand, they'll both turn on you."
Mr. Adler leaned up against the encounter nearby and nodded. "She learns quickly."
"She's a smart girl."
It was a small compliment that most people would barely notice. Madison's entire being glowed. Apparently, paternal affection mattered to her, whether she would ever admit it or not.
A few hours later, after the humans had gone home and an amazing dinner had been sampled, the Adlers, the Hannitys, and assorted company were lounging around the family room, which Morgan continuously claimed had its own area code. Billy, Jessica, Mr. Adler, and Heda had found a Scrabble game and an audience. Madison's father had made sure that there was a braille version around, so this time she could actually follow along. Sort of. She had no understanding of more than half the words that got played, and she could not pronounce about a fourth of them.
"Okay, what the hell does 'yanquis' mean?" she asked when the game finished up, with Jessica Adler winning by a mere two points.
Heda was glowering at the pieces, attempting to see if something might have been miscounted. "It's a translation of 'Yankee,' from a perspective of someone from Latin America about those not from Latin America."
"And that counts?"
"It's in the Scrabble dictionary," her girlfriend sighed, sinking into her chair and accepting defeat. "I should have seen that coming," she muttered. "I knew that the 'q' and the 'y' were still out there --"
"No one's perfect," Jessica replied smugly.
"Oh crap," Mr. Adler said, as the Debate began again. "She just had to rub it in --"
Madison retreated to the kitchen, carrying dishes with her despite being told repeatedly by her father that he had a staff for that. But she had always taken care of her own things, and it was a hard habit to break.
Mrs. Sanchez let out a huff when Madison came in. "You, you crazy girl. Let me wash up."
"I got it. My girlfriend is gonna be arguing with her mother for a while, so I might as well make myself useful."
Mrs. Sanchez moved over to help rinse. "That woman of yours should've been Mexican. Too full of fire to be a white chick."
Madison laughed. "I think she'd take that as a compliment."
"She should. We hot."
Madison had often stopped to talk to Mrs. Sanchez, but this was the first time she had spoken to her like they were both normal people instead of boss's daughter and boss's employee. Madison snickered. "Could I be Mexican?"
"Nah, you too cranky to be Mexican. Cuban, maybe, but not Mexican."
The two of them chatted for a while, doing dishes and discussing the finer points of raising a large family. Mrs. Sanchez had seven kids and ten grandchildren, and she was the undisputed matriarch of the whole damn thing.
"You . . . you should think about having children. They be beautiful, just like you."
Madison blushed. "I do believe that lesbians have a relatively low rate of reproduction."
"Bah. Between the magics and the science, it can happen. Maybe use part of that bird girl. Those would be some gorgeous youngin's."
"Can voodoo do that?"
"Maybe. Never tried. Offerings to Erzulie Freda Dahomey might do it."
Madison cocked her head. "Hey, I thought voodoo was from Haiti, not Mexico. How'd you get into it?"
"What you gringos call voodoo is actually a whole bunch of different ways of believin' from a bunch of different places. Personally, my momma spent a bunch of time in northern Louisiana, then moved back to Mexico. She learned it there, and taught me."
"How does it work? It's the one discipline they don't teach in any of the schools."
"That's 'cause it ain't a discipline. Ain't you listening?" Mrs. Sanchez flicked her ear playfully. "It's a set of traditions and beliefs. Some folk say they're ain't no one way to do it. It's a matter of will, directed through the right focus, with the aid of the loa . . . hell, you can do just about anything."
"What about voodoo dolls? Are those real?"
"Can be. Most people don't know how to do it right, but it can work. Nasty dangerous though. The most dangerous kind of sympathetic magic. To attach someone's soul to a doll so you can affect one through the other? Serious emotion there. If it's bad vibes, you can kill someone, and no one could even trace it."
Madison slowly put a dish in the sink. "Why not?"
"Sympathetic magic like that only exists in two places. Where the doll is and where the target is. Ain't nothing to trace."
"Mrs. Sanchez, is it just sticking pins in someone or --" Madison's hands were trembling. "Could you . . . freeze someone? Like sticking an ice cube in the doll?"
"Sweetie, that's just plain sick," the older woman said.
"I'm not saying it's a good thing. I was just thinking about what's being done to King Reichert . . . Oh who am I kidding? If that was it, someone smarter than me would've thought of it." She did a quick scan of the room, and saw that Mrs. Sanchez was looking at her with strangely somber eyes.
"Madison," the woman said, her voice reflected her age, "don't ever sell yourself short. I'll tell you a couple things. One, you're a sore sight better to have around here than Alvin or his mother. You make your father happier than either of them ever did and, quite frankly, I've got half a mind to put a hex on that woman for giving up a child like you. Second, you yourself said it . . . voodoo ain't exactly run of the mill magic. 'Cause what you're saying isn't crazy. Hell, it even kinda makes sense."