Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5: Miskatonic Wants You

Posted by harmony0stars on November 9, 2009

Glory walked down the street, happy to be home. Though she was incapable of physical fatigue, emotionally she was exhausted. She’d taken Jess home where the girl had basically collapsed, retiring to her room with barely a word to her mother. Well, it was just logical that once she was in a safe place, she‘d conk out. Her mother had been taken back by Jess’ strange behavior, her quiet, introverted demeanor. This was not the daughter she remembered.

It was left to Glory to take Jess’ mother aside and explain to her what had happened. The woman stared at her incredulously, despite the fact that she’d come to Glory specifically for her expertise in dealing with weird crap. Even after Glory showed her the gold and jewels Arawn had gifted to Jess as a kind of act of contrition for the pain and suffering caused by Neirin, the woman couldn’t quite wrap her head around it. Finally though, she agreed to keep her questions to herself and allow Jess the time she needed to heal. If Jess was ever going to recover from her ordeal, she would need her mother’s love and support more than anything else.

Glory also admonished her not to pressure Jess ino seeing a psychiatrist, since there were very few doctors who wouldn’t see her story as delusion. Jess really didn’t deserve to be institutionalized after all she’d been through. Glory hoped that her experiences would dissuade her from any more suicide attempts however. Jess had worked so hard to survive. It’d be a shame if she threw that all away in a moment of despair. And though obviously money didn’t solve anything, hopefully the bounty she’d received would give her a bit of a buffer between herself and the world while she recovered.

Glory had to laugh though when Jess’ mother actually offered her payment for her services. Again, she pointed out the sack of treasure. Did she really think a reward was necessary? Glory left her believing that the gift she had been given by the people of Annwn was at least as large as Jess’, despite the fact that she’d taken next to nothing for herself and passed most of it along to Jess.

It was summer, but rather closer to autumn than spring. She hadn’t checked a calendar, but she could see some people in light jackets as she made her way home. Glory was glad she didn’t have any pets or plants. Both would be dead by now. She’d been gone at least six months, if not more. She didn’t even know if it was the same year she’d left, having neglected to ask Jess’ mother the date.

As she approached her building, Glory could see someone sitting on the front step. “I know you,” she declared in surprise as the boy stood up.

“Yeah,” he laughed. “Maybe this will help.” He pulled his sleeve down to display a long, sinuous scar roping around his bare arm.

“Robert,” she said, recognizing him as one of the children Tacita Ruggles had kidnapped in order to prolong her own life. “What can I do for you?” she asked, casually attempting to get past him to her door. Glory didn’t mean to be rude, but she’d just gotten home. She really didn’t want to become embroiled in another adventure so soon.

Robert grinned at being recognized. “You’re a hard lady to find!” he announced happily.

“Yeah, I do know.” she sighed. One of the urns she’d meant to plant a tree in for protection was shattered. How annoying. Well, she’d been gone for several months. Obviously the natives had gotten restless.

“Hey, um, look.” He followed her up to her door, catching her by the arm as she put her key in the lock. “Can I talk to you? About stuff?”

“Stuff…?” she responded, pausing to look at him askance.

“Well, I…was wondering, could I come stay-?”

They both heard the faint pop at the same time, though Glory was the first to realize what it was. A sudden sharp pain invaded her shoulder, though it faded to a nasty burning sensation almost immediately. Blood blossomed as the bullet went straight through and embedded itself in her door. If Robert hadn’t made her stop, she probably would have been leaning into the door to open it. Even as she ducked and looked around for the shooter, Glory wondered if a bullet to the head would kill her or just annoy her for a couple hours.

Robert had just enough time to say, “Wha…?” before Glory grabbed him by the arm and yanked him down where hopefully there would be some cover from the assassin, though it all depended upon where they were firing from. Turning the key in the lock, she pushed the door open and pulled him in after her. Slamming it shut behind her, she leaned her back against the door and waited for her shoulder to finish healing.

Consoling herself with the fact that at least she wouldn’t need to dig the bullet out of her shoulder later, she relaxed as she planned what to do next while Robert went into hysterics. He crouched against the wall as if fearing her attacker would come through it at any second. Of course, he didn’t know the place was protected by various spells, but he was starting to get on her nerves.

“Robert!” she finally shouted. “You almost got eaten by a gigantic furry toad-thing. This is just a bullet!”

“You- You just got shot! You should be freaking out too!” He asserted, crawling towards her while keeping as low to the floor as possible.

“Robert?”

“Yeah?”

“There are no windows for the shooter to see you. You don’t have to crawl around like that.” She pulled the bloody wet shirt away from her shoulder and looked at the wound. It barely hurt now. There was barely a dimple on her skin, though she was grateful the shooter had missed all of her tattoos.

“Oh, um… yeah, okay.” He straightened a little, though he didn’t stand, and crawled towards her. Probably easier at that point, since he was only about a foot away.

to Book 5, page 2

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