Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5.2

Posted by harmony0stars on November 11, 2009

Glory dug her cell phone out of her bag, though of course the battery was dead. It was more than could be expected that it would still have a charge after so many months. And of course, the charger was upstairs.

“Sh-should you be moving?” Robert queried as she pulled herself to her feet. He slowly crept to his feet as well, but his posture reminded Glory of a rabbit trying to scent a predator.

“I’m fine. Stay here. I have to go upstairs.”

“Why?!” he cried as if she’d just told him she was going to open the door and walk outside.

“Because my charger is upstairs, and if I want to call the police, I need to plug my phone in.” Without waiting for his response, she approached the stairs. Unfortunately, there was a huge window which pretty much encompassing the entire lower half of the staircase. If only she’d added a secret passage from the first to second floor like she had between the second and third. She stepped from the foyer, edging up to the tall floor to ceiling window in front of the stairway. The stairs curved ever so slightly so that she would only be visible up to a certain point, but in those few moments, if the shooter was any good, he could conceivably pick her off. Of course, if he did try, at least she would know if he was still there or not.

Darting to the foot of the stairs, she took them two at a time and had just cleared the patch of light filtering in from the setting sun when she heard the ping of another bullet striking the window. She heard the bullet hit one of the steps somewhere below her feet. Thankfully the plate glass was thick enough not to shatter, but she made a mental note to replace it with bullet proof glass or Plexiglas at her earliest convenience, or maybe just something tinted darkly enough that anyone inside would be obscured. But yes, apparently the shooter was still there. How good a shot was he? Hopefully she wouldn’t have to find out by having a second bullet find its way into her flesh.

Glory made it up the stairs to the relative safety of the hall running the width of the house, but once she hit the turn to her room, there were two huge windows she’d have to avoid to make it to safety. She darted past the first without a shot fired, but she heard a bullet crack off the outer wall as she bolted past the second. Hopefully that meant her assassin was a poor marksman. She didn‘t like to think she might be calling a friend, or acquaintance, into danger.

Luckily there were no more windows for her to pass in order to get to her phone’s charger. She dropped into the plush chair tucked into the alcove just inside her bedroom door and plugged her phone in. Flipping it open, she dialed the police.

“Hi… is Officer Hart there please? Tell him it’s Glory. I’ll hold, thank you.” She could have called the emergency number, but then how to explain the blood they would surely find on the bullet lodged in her door. Besides, he owed her after what she’d been through in Annwn.

When Hart picked up the phone, he didn’t sound happy. Well, his day was about to get a whole lot worse. After explaining what had happened, Hart promised that he would be there as soon as he could. It was unlikely that the shooter would remain in the vicinity once a police officer arrived or take any more shots at her, and with Hart’s unique abilities, perhaps they could pinpoint her attacker’s location.

Peeling off her bloody shirt, Glory tossed it in a wastebasket and grabbed a fresh one from the closet. She washed up quickly in the bathroom, her mind on other things. Specifically, her spells and charms. They were meant to ward off this kind of thing. She considered Robert for a moment before discarding the idea. The poor kid had been scared out of his mind down there. She kind of felt bad about leaving him, but she’d hadn’t had much choice.

It was possible that whoever had shot at her had tracked her progress up the street and waited for her to get to the door, but where was the sense in that? It seemed much more likely that whoever had shot at her had been watching the house. Robert was lucky he hadn’t been shot for hanging out on her front step, and she wondered if her broken urn had been an early victim of a practice shot or frustration. So how could her shooter have waited and focused their attention on the house long enough to get a clear shot? The point being, whoever was firing the gun shouldn’t even be able to wrap his or her mind around her location if they meant her harm. Which meant, it had to be someone who was so crazy her wards didn’t have an affect on him or possibly someone who had already been near her house…

That narrowed it down to the workmen she’d had in to construct her “panic room”… and that bat-shit crazy Miskatonic professor who’d been stalking Gozala and Mike. What was his name? Jacobs? No, Jacoby. That was it. Though she couldn’t rule out one of the workmen, her intuition told her that they were not responsible. If it was Professor Jacoby though, she hoped he wasn’t crazy enough to take a shot at a cop.

Glory heard the sound of a police siren and decided to make a break for the front door, hoping her hidden assassin would be too distracted to watch the windows. She was in luck. Either he’d run off or was waiting to pick her off once Hart left. Robert was missing when she got downstairs. Perhaps he’d decided to escape out the back, and she hoped that he was okay wherever he was.

As Hart knocked on the door, she opened it, keeping most of her body hidden. She glanced at the dark haired officer beside him, but Hart smiled slightly and said, “It’s okay. He’s one of mine. Officer Walsh, this is Glory.”

Walsh nodded with a smile and raised his hand in a shy half-wave, obviously uncomfortable with an outsider knowing their secret. He inhaled deeply through his nose and announced, “I smell blood.”

“Yeah, he got me in the shoulder. The bullet’s in the door there,” she replied, gesturing to the hole in the wood.

“Are you okay?” Hart asked with some concern.

“Yeah… I heal fast,” she said, nonchalantly tapping her shoulder. “There’s another bullet in the stairs and one upstairs that hit the outside of the house.”

Hart dug the bullet out with a penknife and examined it, then scanned the buildings across the street, trying to gauge its origin. They stepped into the house, and Walsh did his deep inhale again. She wondered what his other form was… something with a good sense of smell she supposed. Frowning, he walked towards the kitchen, but stopped at the doors to a closet and a small bathroom. He wavered between one and the other before whipping the closet door open. Robert shrieked in fear, cowering in the back of the nearly empty space.

to Book 5, page 3

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