Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5.5

Posted by harmony0stars on November 18, 2009

Drawing a large circle on a blank piece of paper, she quartered it and wrote “Lori” in one section, “Jacoby” in another, and “known” and “unknown” in the third and fourth. If it turned out to be neither Lori, nor Jacoby, which was completely possible considering her checkered past, then she supposed she’d have to make a more thorough list of people she might recently have ticked off.

The next part was tricky. Making a loop at the end of a piece of twine, she attempted to slip it around the bullet.

“Hey, what’re you doing?” Robert asked from the doorway as she growled in frustration on her third failed attempt. “Is that a bullet? Are you doing magic?” he queried, crouching down on the other side of the table so he could watch. “Can I help?” he breathed softly, ready to be awed.

“Uh, yeah, actually,” Glory replied in disgust, her shoulders sagging in defeat. Having someone living with her was going to take some getting used to, especially if Robert was always this chatty. But he could actually be useful in this one instance. “Don’t–!” she shouted quickly as he reached for the slug with his bare hands. “Here, use these.”

She handed him the tweezers and he made a face as he concentrated. “I feel like I’m playing Operation,” he muttered ironically, his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth.

As he held the bullet up, she slipped the looped twine around it and pulled it tight. “Good, thank you,” she sighed in relief as she held the makeshift pendulum over her chart. “Now please be quiet so I can concentrate.”

Holding the pendulum at the center of her chart, she concentrated on the shooter. Who was he or she? Who’d sent them? She emptied her mind of all but the question of his or her identity.

“Is it supposed to do something?” Robert whispered, already disappointed after only a few seconds had passed.



“If you can’t be quiet, I’ll have to ask you to leave.”

“Well sorry!” he sulked, slouching down so only his eyes sat above the edge of the table.

Starting over, Glory cleared her mind of all but her question. After a few seconds, the slug began to twist on the string and then swing in a widening circle. She slowly moved the pendulum over the different sections of the circle. There was no change as she moved the pendulum over the “unknown” quarter, which was a relief. She didn’t want to have to worry about other enemies when she already had so many.

And as easy as it would have been to pin yet another assassination attempt on Lori, her instincts and the pendulum said otherwise. Just because she hadn’t heard from Lori in several months didn’t mean her sister still wouldn’t like her dead. Hating Glory was practically the only way Lori could show her any affection. The best Glory could hope for was that Lori had called up something particularly nasty with her book and had been torn limb from limb for her troubles, but Glory tended to doubt she’d get off so lucky. Wherever Lori was, she was biding her time while Glory apprehensively waited for her next move .

However the pendulum finally changed its pattern over Jacoby’s quarter, its gyrations becoming smaller and smaller until the slug merely spun clockwise over his name. Glory breathed a sigh of relief, her intuition confirmed. There was no need to continue on to the last quarter of the chart.

“Is that all it’s going to do?” Robert asked in disappointment. His eyes peered up from the edge of the table like a small child who’s been told there is no Santa Clause.

“Most magic is not flashy,” Glory replied gently. “It’s as mundane as turning a dial on a radio.”

Robert harrumphed sourly as she set the pendulum down and used the tweezers and a pair of scissors to remove the twine loop. Unrolling a map of Sybar City and the surrounding areas, she lay it out on the table and then set a clear plastic tray over top of it. Since she’d had to track Mike and Gozala, she’d improved upon the design of her spell, though she had not had any means of testing it out until now.

“Will you go downstairs and get a pitcher of water for me, please?”

Robert shrugged and left since magic was apparently not as exciting as he’d hoped. Taking a piece of cork, she gouged out a space in the middle until it was large enough for her to wedge the bullet inside. Taking a black sharpie, she drew the compass rune with the bullet at its center.

“Thank you,” Glory said as Robert returned with the water. She poured it into the tray slowly until it was full enough that the cork would not drag along the bottom and skew the results, then waited for the small waves to diminish. Gently setting the cork over the map roughly around where her house was, they waited to see what would happen.

The corked bobbed for a moment or two in the still water before slowly turning and drifting in a southwesterly direction. “It’s a trick, right?” Robert asked. “There’s a slope in the floor or something?”

“No, look, it’s following the streets. He’s in the Lincoln tunnel. Jacoby is leaving Sybar City.”

“Jacoby? That’s the guy that was shooting at us?” Robert asked uncertainly, peering at the cork as if it might jump out of the water and bite him.

“Yeah… I wonder if he’s going back to Miskatonic…” she mused.

“So that solves our problem, if he’s leaving.”

“Not really. It doesn’t mean he won’t be back. He was probably just scared off by the police. Skittish is a good word for him. Paranoid schizophrenic is better. Now he’ll be thinking the police are some kind of undercover alien hybrid ninjas planning to turn his brain into guacamole dip to poison the president or some nonsense,” she adlibbed. “No, whether or not he’s going to MU, that’s where I have to go too, if I’m going to get them to put a leash on him.”

to Book 5, page 6


2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 5.5”

  1. Alderin said

    Heh, MU. I’ve heard there are Tales about that place. 🙂

    Ok, sure it’s in another dimension and probably time and definitely universe… but it made me smile anyway.

    I love the return to the “real world” jumping right into more trouble and action, and Lory really could use a sidekick/pain-in-the-ass to keep her a little more in-touch with human kind.


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