Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 3.2

Posted by harmony0stars on January 18, 2009

Glory sat on the bed of her new home. She’d been sitting there for several hours. Her tears had stopped after a while, but she felt hollow and unable to move. Why? Why had Aaron done it?

It was obvious to her that the sword had somehow sustained his life and that after he gave it over to her, he’d begun to age, rapidly. That was the only explanation for why Mr Blitzer had called him old. So why had he done it? She couldn’t make sense of it and probably never would. It was something she might have done, but not something she’d come to expect from others. And then he’d thrown in over $500 million as if immortality wasn’t enough. As if she needed the money without any physical needs. But that was probably the point. He hadn’t needed the money either, so he gave it to her…. all the money he’d saved not needing food and the other essentials of living all his long life.

She didn’t deserve it, but she couldn’t refuse it. Not only was it too late for her to return the sword or refuse the money, it would cheapen the sacrifice he had made for her to even try giving away the latter. These thoughts finally motivated her to get up, though she had no desire to do anything. Glory began at the front door and systematically worked her way through the house, putting her wards on doors and windows.

It was only a matter of time before her sister found out she had a new home. Unlike the woods where she could wander and sleep in different places if she felt threatened, it wasn’t as if she could pick the place and take it with her. Though that gave her an idea. Even if she couldn’t move her home, maybe she could inspire any enemies who came near to beat feet.

It was late enough, or early enough depending upon one’s point of view, that no one was about, though she could hear noises of habitation from some of the houses…. someone was having a party. A woman was shouting angrily from another, possibly about the party. She dragged a chair through the open door and positioned it in the doorway. There was no sense in weirding out the neighbors already though. Glory scanned the streets carefully before climbing up on the chair. Summoning the barest sliver of her sword, she used it to carve three symbols into the dark wooden lintel above the door. First the Hraethigalder, then the illsusionary rune , and finally Ottastafur. Hraethigalder and Ottastafur would put fear into any enemy that came near and the illusionary rune would only increase that fear, giving form to their vague unease. For good measure, she bit her finger till it bled and rubbed the blood into the lines she had carved. It would do until she could get more concrete defenses in place around the building. She hopped down from the chair and looked up, satisfied that the runes were small enough not to be visible to anyone who wasn’t looking for them.

Glory went back inside and took her first shower in months, staying under the spray until long after the hot water ran out. She barely noticed, though she imagined her cleanliness would put others at ease. As she dried off and got dressed in the clothes she’d purchased with the money Mr Blitzer had given her, she had to admit that she did feel a little better. Though whether that had to do more with the shower, her protective sigils, or time she could not say.

*               *               *

Mansion was a bit of a misnomer. She supposed that at some time in the past the building might have stood alone on a large patch of land, but as in any older city, space was a commodity. Whatever family had built and owned the mansion had probably been forced, over the years, to sell off the majority of land attached to the building. In front, there was only a long stretch of marble steps leading to a wrought iron gate where Leonid gargoyles perched over the street. Beautiful and elegant, yes, but there was no front yard to speak of. Porch might have been a better word for the column lined walkway in front of the house. There was a “backyard” with a pool surrounded by a high brick wall and a garden area on the tiered roof of the mansion.

The ancient brick wall which surrounded the property was so close to the building, she could have opened any side window and leaned out to touch it. Other mansions were within walking distance of her front door and smaller houses stood between them, sometimes two or three, so that there was hardly space for a walkway between them. Around her property though, there was an alley of sorts which is what she supposed qualified it as a mansion in such a built up area.

Glory didn’t like it. The place did not feel secure. The wall only had one gate, at her front door, but anyone could park a van in the back and climb over the wall. That is, if they couldn’t just climb the wall itself. Her first day as a new home owner, she’d taken a walk through the alley and surveyed the wall. It was crumbling. In some places, there were bricks missing or the mortar had decayed enough to make them sag. She didn’t know how long the place had been empty before Aaron bought it, but she imagined the neighborhood kids made use of the pool in the summer simply by climbing the wall.

The building had a security system, but considering what she was up against, it really didn’t seem adequate. Even if someone illegally entered and the police were called, what were they going to do against a vampire or a demonically empowered corpse? Even if her sister got bored playing with the supernatural and decided to send some guy with a gun, there was not a lot a screaming alarm was going to do about it.

This was not the kind of place she would have chosen to live. She’d felt safer in the park, and there she’d had no walls. She knew she could sell the place if she felt like it. There was really nothing holding her to living there…. aside from the fact that Aaron had bought it for her. Actually one of the last things he had done before dying… because of her. Which meant she couldn’t sell the place and live elsewhere because that would be disrespectful to his memory and kindness.

Glory had the wall repaired. She felt bad about installing four foot cast-iron spikes in the top and having the exterior covered in paint to make it harder to scale, but if it was a matter of security, she had to opt for function rather than aesthetics. At night, she carefully climbed the scaffolding before it would be taken down the next day and carved minute warding signs into the wet cement holding the spikes in place. It took an entire night, but it wasn’t as if she needed to sleep.

Now that she had her own library, and electricity, she could stay up all night doing her research. Unfortunately, while the books were all quite old and exquisitely kept, they were not really of the appropriate subject matter. Still she was anxious of bring books of magic into her home. If her sister did manage to get at her, that’d be one more thing for her to take and use.

There was a small closet on the other side of the library wall and a much larger walk in closet connected to her bedroom below, practically a small room. She hired a discreet construction company to build a safe room slash secret passage way running from her room to the library above. It was more of a vault really, but the company that built it did not need to know that. They hid one entrance behind a wall of shelves and built a spiral stair case to the floor below. The entry from her room was covered over and a flat screen TV and entertainment system hid the door.

The entrance in the library could only be accessed via a palm scanner hidden behind the books in the bookshelf. When her hand was scanned, the shelves would slide into the wall and to the right. The other entry was controlled by a retinal scan hidden in the entertainment system. Lori might be her identical twin, but one thing they would never have in common were fingerprints and retinal patterns.  Short of finding someone with super human strength to rip the doors off her little panic room, and that was providing they could find it first, there was no way for someone to gain access without her assistance.

to Book 3, page 3

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 3.2”

  1. Miladysa said

    Excellent 😀

    And so… the scene… is set!

  2. Seriously, this is a invaluable web site. http://bit.ly/2f0xJ92

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