Guide to dating the undead
“Good as new.” A gust of heated air swirled up my leg from a nearby floor register. Or I did until the magic rebounded, delivering a slap to my skull that left my ears ringing and startled me into shifting a mental eye toward checking the perimeter.
“You’re welcome.” Thanks to my late start, my usual bowl of strawberry oatmeal was off the table. But whatever had left the wards singing near the garden hadn’t breached them.
Grier Woolworth spends her nights weaving spooky tales of lost souls and tragedies for tourists on the streets of downtown Savannah. The pay is crap, but the tips keep the lights on in her personal haunted mansion and her pantry stocked with ramen.
Life is about as normal as it gets for an ex-necromancer hiding among humans. Shallow pants fed my lungs and fueled my racing heart.
A wobbly question mark cut through the condensation fogging the window above my desk. “Just a bad dream.” The same one, night after night after night, since my release from the black stone prison called Atramentous.
Each dusk I expected to wake to iron bars, a grate in the concrete floor, the constant of water and other fluids as they fell from the ceiling into the drain.
All the what-might-have-beens gathered on the fringes of my memory, tightening my throat until a ragged cough sounding too close to a sob broke free.
I blamed the dust and choked down the burning ache before it consumed me, fisted my hand and let the burnt flesh sharpen my focus.
Until the society that excommunicated Grier offers her a second chance at being more than ordinary. I tasted copper in the back of my throat, and it hurt when I swallowed.
Too bad no one warned her the trouble with being I jolted awake sitting on the hardwood floor in my bedroom with my back wedged into a corner. Starting my nights with a crick in my neck and a numb tailbone was getting old fast.
Curls of steam gamboled around my ankles, chasing me back into the bedroom, where I dried off and got dressed in jeans and a faded tee.