My characters name is Grace Hunter. She works for a secret society, who deals with keeping the balance in the world by keeping the offspring of the titans – demons – under control. Grace is a demon hunter. She works with Cassie, who is born into the society – while Grace is physically strong and knows how to fight, Cassie is the planner and the diplomat. Grace sleeps with Vincent, who is possessed by a demon, which Grace keeps at bay by tattooing wards and other magical signs on his body. Along with Mackenzie, her brother Niall, the gadgetmaker Maximillian and the scholar Henry Haggart, they make a group of investigators sent out by the society, when foul things are in play.
Grace is really a changeling – she is an onead, a sort of nymph connected to rock, cliffs and mountains – but she doesn’t know. All she knows is that she can see magical things and that she is very good at fighting demons. The first demon she killed was her stepfather. That cost her 5 years in an insane asylum – a terrible place, which Cassie and her father got her out of.
I have written a background story, but our tales truly begin when Grace is 30 years old – 11 years after she got out of the asylum. Here goes:
I am 5 years old and my foster parents take me to the park for the first time. They are not my real parents, obviously, as they repeatedly tell me. I am not worthy of them, and should be more grateful. The park is wonderful! I play with the butterfly fairies and I talk to the lady in the brook. She tells me that we are related, but when I ask if I can stay with her, she says no with a sad face. ‘I belong to the water, little one, and you to the rocks and cliffs and stones’. I don’t understand. When I tell Foster-Mama about it, she strikes me hard across the face. And when she tells Foster-Papa, he whips me so badly that I cannot sit nor stand for a week. I don’t tell them anything after that.
I am 13 years old and he never touches the poker. I have noticed. Whenever he wants the fire stoked, he orders me or Foster-Mama to do it. I don’t much like the poker either. It stings a bit to touch it. Like when my fingers fall asleep, only without getting numb. He doesn’t touch any other things made of iron, either. I have noticed that his stench increases, and his skincolor is changing. It is like he can’t keep the demon within much longer. Every time I anger him – and I apparently anger him a lot – he seems more and more ready to burst. His eyes turn red, his skin greenish and his muscles ripple underneath the skin. I know I must do something. That he beats me is one thing. He has always beaten me. But the other day it was the newspaper boy and the day before that it was the cripple down at Market Square.
I am 14 years old and I stand over my Foster-Papa with the stinging poker in my hand. His arms are twisted in unnatural angles, as are his legs. His chest is flat and bloody and his face has caved in. I shudder a bit when I think about how it felt when the poker struck through his skull. It is how I imagine it would be to strike a melon. I have never struck a melon with a poker, so I don’t know for real. Foster-Mama sits in the corner. She is still screaming. The noise is deafening. ’Shh’ I say ’It is all right. He is dead now’. She stares at me, and continue screaming. Someone knocks on the door. I cross the room, trying not to step in all the blood, and open the door. A police officer with a formidable moustache looks at me with a very strange look. Whatever he was about to say seems to die on his lips. He looks me up and down. I look down myself to see what he sees. Well, I do look a mess. There is blood all down the front of my dress. There is blood on my arms and my hands. Blood drips from the poker. I wipe my forehead and a gunk of his brainmatter falls to the floor. The policeman turns pale and turns aside to vomit. I put down the poker and go to fetch him a glass of water. I wipe my hands first, so there is hardly any blood on the glass when I hand it to him. I smile reassuringly.
I am 14 years old and I am in an asylum. Nobody listened when I said that Foster-Papa was a demon. Nobody listened when I said the iron is the only way I know to kill a demon. Foster-Mama had screamed at me, and told them that I had always been insane. The judge and the solicitors had all looked at me gravely, but none of them believed me. Before giving judgement someone whispered in the judge’s ear, and when he gave me my sentence, he said ‘Asylum. For life’. I don’t understand. I killed a demon. Is that not a good thing?
I am 16 years old and I am in an asylum. So is a demon with red eyes dressed like a nurse. And one that has horns that is committed like I am. He is mostly harmless, but he has terrible outbursts. I could cure it with iron. I have told them, but they always put me in a straightjacket and lock me away for a week, when I say it. There is also a scaly one, who runs the place. He looks at me funny, and he snickers every time I get any sort of treatment, whether it be cold water or electricity or naked week or whatever. I can sense others. Inmates like me. Maybe they know I killed a demon because they all want to fight. I got beaten up a lot in the beginning, but I am much better now. I am good at breaking bones. And when I do, they leave me alone for a while. I guess they don’t like to have broken bones.
I am 19 the day she comes. It begins like any other day. They wake me early, and the red-eyed one hoses me down. I get a chunk of bread, which I crumble and eat by the crumb to make it last longer. I go with the old man, and the sisters and the other loonies into what they call the living room. It is just a room, really. There are two chairs for 30 people, and it is always the sisters who get to sit in them. I sit in a corner and hug myself. I try to keep the screams out, and the sense of the red eyed one, and the horned one and the scaly one. Then she comes. I sense her before I see her. She feels different. There is something lurking in her, but she shines like sunshine. The darkness is barely visible. But I see it. She comes straight for me. She kneels in front of me. She says: ’Hello, I am Cassie. Who are you? I have come to take you out of here’. She takes my hand and despite the darkness, I feel safe for the first time. I hold on to her hand. Her father comes over, and she introduces me. He is a doctor, which make me shiver, but his hand on my arm is warm and feels safe. ‘You are not staying here one more minute’ he says. I close my eyes. I am afraid to wake up and find out I have been dreaming. I am afraid that maybe the darkness will come out of her and devour me. But the darkness seems contained. I am not afraid. Not really. His hand on my arm and her hand in mine, and I close my ears to the sounds. I will not listen to the scaly one, who will not let me go. I will not listen to the yelling and the talking and the protests. I say nothing. I feel only her hand and his hand, and I know that the nightmare is over. She leads me down hallways and through doors, and when I feel surrounded by fresh air I open my eyes. I take a deep breath. And I look at her and I smile. She smiles like sunshine back at me, and I laugh and I hug her. I am so happy. I am free.
I am 20 and hear sounds of fighting in the gymnasium. I peer in. I see the girl Mackenzie that Cassie introduced me to. She is beating the crap out of a dummy. She is swirling and ducking and is fast as lightning. I step into the gymnasium carefully, and then into her view and she stops. ‘Hello’ she says, brightly. She is like Cassie in that aspect. Sunny. ‘Would you…’ I ask ‘would you teach me that?’ She looks at her weapon ‘Fighting? Sure. Have you any experience?’ I think about the poker and the bloody mess of Foster-Papa. I remember the sound of breaking bones and the splatter of blood and brain. I remember the poker lodging itself in his ribcage. I also recall breaking noses, breaking arms and breaking fingers in the asylum, and poking at eyes and hitting kidneys and groins. ‘A little’ I say, and she nods ‘Come along’ she says and show me the weapons.
I am 22 and return from my first solo mission. I am proud. I killed the demon and covered it up so no one knows what really happened. I am called to the masters, and I hope to be praised. They look at me sternly, except Dr. Edward who has a look of concern on his face. The grand master says ‘Miss Hunter. Do you know the word discretion?’. ‘Yes sir’ I answer and smile brightly to appease him. He only frowns ‘Please tell me, Miss Hunter, what discretion means to you’. I stand up straight and recite from the rule book: ‘Discretion must be observed at all times. Enter discreetly and exit discreetly. As not to frighten the common man it must not be known that a demon had been eliminated’. I smile. I know I remember it correctly. The grand master looks at me for at long time. ‘And you did enter discreetly, Miss Hunter’. I nod ‘Yes sir! No one saw me enter the house. Except the demon’s son’. The grand master removes his glasses and pinches with two fingers the place right between the eyes. ‘Yes, Miss Hunter, the son. What happened to him?’ I clear my throat. I am aware that this point is a bit tricky, as I was not told to kill the son specifically. ‘I’m afraid I killed him, sir’. ‘Grace, did you really kill an innocent man?’ Dr. Edwards look at me with a very disappointed look. ‘He was half demon, Pa’ I say ‘And he attacked me. I saw no other way out. He sprouted fangs’. The masters look at each other. The Grandmaster asks ‘He sprouted fangs?!’. ‘Yes sir!’ I say ‘He even got in a good bite!’ I show him the slash in my sleeve. A minor cut on my arm is visible through the tear. ‘So you killed him?’ I nod ‘ Yes sir’. ‘And the true demon?’ I tell them the full story. How I trapped him and how we fought and how I ended up killing him, all by the book. ‘And your exit, Miss Hunter?’ the grand master asks. ‘No one saw me leave the house, sir’ I say. ‘No’ he says ‘I expect they were too busy looking at the fire that you set’. I smile ‘Yes sir!’ He looks at me silently for a long while. I begin to feel a little uncomfortable. Dr. Edwards is hiding his face in his hands. ‘You lit a fire, Miss Hunter?’ one of the other masters speaks very quietly. ‘Yes Madam. To cover my tracks. The demon sort of… exploded. It was a mess, so I sort of had to improvise’. ‘The fire burnt down the house, a barn, two neighbouring houses and a chicken coup!’ the grand master yells at me. I stand back a bit ‘Yes sir. I am sorry about that. It was an accident. I was unaware that the houses were so dry. It was like kindle, sir, positively dry like kindle!’ Dr Edwards speak up ‘May I remind everyone that no one was actually harmed. We can rebuild the houses for the tenants or relocate them – I realize that there is a certain cost involved, but most importantly: no innocent lives were lost’. I nod and smile worriedly. ‘I did actually save a few people myself’ I put in. ‘Yes’ the grand master sighs and confers with his papers. ‘Apparently you lifted a wall off two trapped children?’ I nod ‘ Yes sir, I did that. A few bruises, that’s all they suffered!’. ‘Miss Hunter, we had to make up a blatant lie about how distressed mothers gain the power of three men, when their children are in danger, and that that was what happened here. Miss Hunter, that is NOT discretion!’ I bow my head. In hindsight I do see a few miscalculations on my part.
I am 22 and I return from my third solo mission. Like always a success. I wait a while outside the masters’ chambers before I am let in. I stand at attention and see Cassie at the high table. She gives me a big smile and a little wave. I wave back. I wait for someone to speak, but the grand master just looks at me. After a while I start shuffling my feet. Cassie is looking at the ceiling. I am glad she does. If our eyes meet we would both burst out laughing, and that is probably not proper behavior. I am guessing. Then finally the grand master speaks ‘Miss Hunter… Congratulations on killing yet another demon’. I stand up straight ‘Thank you, sir!’. He clears his throat ‘Miss Hunter, do you recall our last conversation about discretion?’. I do actually. It was a very long and tedious talk in his office. Many repetitions on his part and quite a few hidden yawns on my part. ‘Yes sir’ I say ‘And I was very discreet this time! I swear that no one saw me at all’. ‘That is in deed what the report says’ the grand master replies ‘Only do tell me why the gilded carriage of the high priest of Zeus is now in the Thames?’ I hear Cassie stifle a giggle. I try to explain: ‘The demon was the high priest’s carriage driver, a wonder the high priest hadn’t noticed that by the way, and the fight ended up – oh, it is a long story how exactly – inside the carriage. It got rather banged up. Plus the demon had acidic blood, and that completely destroyed the upholstery. I judged that the most discreet thing to do what to get rid of the darn thing’. A splutter of giggles from Cassie cheers me up considerably, because the masters glare at me at length after that. Then the grand master sighs. Deeply. ‘Miss Hunter, we are most impressed by your ability to destroy demons. But we are very concerned about your methods, especially the consequences to surroundings of the battle – I will not even begin to get into the business with the sheep on your second mission. We are also rather concerned about your clean-up techniques. Dr. Edwards and his daughter Miss Edwards are adamant that you are a great asset to the Organisation, but you cannot go on as you have. We have therefore decided that you henceforth will team up with Miss Edwards. She seems to be both reasonable and sensible, when we disregard her urge to giggle, and we believe that she will put some sense into your recklessness. What do you say to that?’ I smile broadly ‘Awesome, sir! Pardon, sir, I am very happy about that decision!’ He looks me straight in the eye and points at me sharply ‘But remember, Miss Hunter, this is your last chance! If we continue to see the sort of messes you have made previously, we will have to confine you to the grounds. Is that understood?’ ‘Yes sir’ I salute him, and he shakes his head at me. Bloody awesome! I get to hang out with Cassie! It will be great!
I am 23 years old and I am at my first ball! There is wonderful music and the lights are beautiful and there are people and colors everywhere! Cassie has lent me a dress and she has done my hair and has painted my face. I am completely overwhelmed! There are so many people and they all talk and laugh and the music plays. I can smell sweat and perfume and powder and food. It’s a little bit too much. Cassie holds my arm in hers and Mackenzie is at the other side of her. They both look radiant and happy. They seem at home here. They wave to people they know and says hello and introduces me to many, many faces, that I forget again. A handsome young man comes over to us, and Mackenzie and Cassie greet him. They know him and he kisses their hands and he grabs my hand too, but I snatch it back. ‘It is alright’ Cassie says ‘He is only going to kiss your hand’. What is with the hand kissing? Why does he want to kiss my hand? I don’t know him. But I let him kiss it, and he smiles at me and winks. ‘May I have this dance?’ he asks me. ‘I don’t know’ I say. Can one own a dance? Can I give it to someone? Mackenzie smiles at me ‘He wants to dance with you, Grace’ she says. ‘Oh’ I say ‘No’. He looks at me like he doesn’t understand. ‘You don’t want to dance with me?’ He asks. ‘No’ I say and remember my manners ‘Thank you, no’. He raises his eyebrows and does a strange wriggling thing with his nose and stand back. Mackenzie laughs ‘I will dance with you’ she says and takes his arm, and soon the two of them are doing intricate dance steps on the dance floor. Many couples are on the dance floor and it looks very complicated how they walk around each other, and grab each other’s hands and let go again and turn around. I can’t do that. ‘Why didn’t you want to dance with him, Grace?’ Cassie asks and walks with me along the dance floor to the buffet ‘He is the most sought after bachelor at this party. Everyone wants to dance with him’. ‘Not me’ I say ‘He smelt green’. She looks at me ‘He smelt green? What does that mean?’ I shrug ‘I don’t know exactly. But it makes me uncomfortable’. She smiles at me ‘It is alright. You can choose whether you want to dance or not’. A little later she is also dancing and I stand by the musicians and watch them play. The music is so wonderful! I close my eyes and I let it crash over me like waves on a beach. My head and my body fill with it and I start moving to it. I sway and twirl and turn and let myself get swallowed up by it. My body and the music becomes one. Then the music stops all of the sudden. I stop and open my eyes. Everybody is looking at me. Someone snickers. I hear whispers in the crowd. ‘What a commoner’ someone says. ‘Highly inappropriate’ says another. ‘She must be onsane’ says yet another. The whispers and the names they call me echo in my head – harlot, who does she think she is, dancing like that, who let her in here? I hold my hands to my ears. I don’t want to hear. ‘Well, she looks like a prostitu… au!’ a voice in the crowd says. I look up, and see Mackenzie smile smugly as she passes a young woman looking around in bewilderment and cradling her arm. If I am any judge, Mackenzie has administored one of her famous hidden pinches to the woman. Cassie and Mackenzie reach me at the same time and get me out of there. Mackenzie smiles grimly and Cassie glare at the people around us. Cassie is dissapointed in her peers, I can tell. ‘I’m sorry’ she says to me. when we are out of the ball room ‘I shouldn’t have left you alone’. I feel hot tears flow down my face ‘What did I do wrong? Why were they so mean?’ I sob. Cassie takes me into her arms. ‘It’s not your fault’ Mackenzie says ‘They are very… particular about following the rules. Dancing like that is not something one does at a ball like this. We should’ve told you’. ‘Balls are really complicated’ Cassie says ‘We forgot, because we have known all these rules always, it’s like second nature to us. Come, let’s go home, and we can dance anyway we want there!’ ‘Wait up’ Mackenzie says ‘Let me get some of the food and wine, and we can have our own party at home! No rules!’ I smile at them. I think I like private parties better.
I am 23 years old and Cassie and I are returning from Langdon by post chaise. We were sent to investigate rumors of a witch master. It turned out to be a rather fanciful and bored grandfather who told his grandchildren tall tales with an impressive sleight of hand. He did not in fact make coins come out of childrens’ noses and he could not communicate with the children of the forest. On the way to Breckenhall where we plan to spend the night we see the local sheriff by the roadside bully some rather disheveled gypsies. Cassie orders the carriage to stop, and goes to their defense and I back her up as per usual. The sheriff backs out of the situation: Cassie is truly frightening when faced with injustice. The gypsies thank her and run about their way. Cassie is still angry with the sheriff when we arrive at Breckenhall. For authorities to behave like that! We eat at the inn. The food is alright, but I don’t eat much. I rarely do. Food has never interested me. It all tastes the same. As the night approaches we go to our room. I open the door and in our room are the four gypsies from earlier. All my alarm bells are ringing, but Cassie puts her hand on my arm. ‘What are you doing here?’ she asks calmly. I look around me desperately. I have no weapons. They draw their knives and say: ‘Give us your valuables!’ I shake my head and grab a chair – the nearest thing to a weapon I can find. I suddenly find myself with a knife very close to my face. I can smell their sweat and the stench of lust on them. I hate them. Cassie holds up her hands ‘But we helped you!’ Her voice is full of wonder. She always thinks the best of everybody. I walk backwards towards her and try to get her out of the room, but then they attack. I hit them with the chair. It turns out to be a rather badly made chair, for it breaks on their heads. I stand back with only the back of the chair and though I fight desperately I find myself struck with fists and slashed with knives. A fist to my face brings me to the floor and hands grab at me and I shriek. I am afraid. I cannot beat four and they will hurt Cassie! I hear her yell ‘Stop! Stop! You are hurting her, let her go!’ A hand grab hold of my hair and my face is smashed against the floor. Strong hands have my hands on my back and I cannot defend myself. Then something happens. The room grows dark and icy cold. Through my half closed eyes I see a darkness pulsing out of Cassie. Tentacles of dark matter streams out of her and reach out for my attackers. When the darkness touches them, their skins burns with a bluish light and they bleed. They scream and let me go. They try to brush the darkness of their skins, but the skin comes of and they bleed terribly. My head is spinning and I look up at Cassie. Her eyes are completely black and she holds her head in her hands and I hear her whisper ‘Don’t hurt her, don’t hurt her. Let her go!’ The gypsies scramble out of the door leaving trails of blood. When they are gone the darkness gets sucked back into Cassie and she falls. I am on the floor and I stare at her. I look at the slick blood around me. Cassie did that. A smile breaks on my face and I look back at her fallen shape. The smile fades and I get on my feet and stumble to her side, and grab her. We must get out of here. We have to get away, before they start asking questions. They will ask so many questions and I can’t answer them truly. People always get upset at the sight of so much blood. Once we are safe in a small B&B down the road, Cassie wakes up a little. The widow owning the place have made us tea. I lied to her and said we were attacked in the street, and she helps me. I pour some whisky in Cassie’s tea and make her drink some. I look at her, as she seems to come around. I ask her ‘The darkness. What is that?’ She looks really groggy and her voice is thick when she asks ‘Grace, are you all right? What happened? Where are they? Where are we?’ I say ‘It was the darkness. It came out of you’. I bite my lip ‘It wasn’t pretty. I have never seen anything like it. Or… I have, but not quite like this. You saved my life, Cassie!’ I hug her hard and don’t like to let go. Cassie’s voice is sad ‘The darkness came from me. I am sorry. I didn’t mean to. But I am glad I helped you’ ‘It was positively wild!’ I say ‘Don’t you know what it is? I could only see the darkness coming out of you and I saw it… do things’ ‘No, I… I didn’t mean to’ she says again ‘I don’t know what it is. But something good did come out of it, if it saved you’. She smiles, trying to put her happy face on, but fails ‘I don’t like that it hurt somebody. I swear it doesn’t happen often at all. Only sometimes. When I get really angry! I want to tear them apart and smash them and break those apart that I get angry at. And I think they deserve it!’ She look terrified at her own words, but I hear her. ‘But I don’t know what it is, Grace. It just happens. Do you think there is something wrong with me? Mother and Father have always said it isn’t my fault, but I still think…’ I grab her arms – not hard, but firmly. ‘There is NOTHING wrong with you! Do you understand? There is nothing evil in you. You are the sweetest person I know! I assume that you – your parents and you – have already tried to find out what it is? I could only sense the darkness, but… Maybe it isn’t evil at all?’ ‘They tried when I was very young. Tested me for a lot of things. I can hardly remember. That was when we found out that I could heal and stuff, but they never really found out what it was. So we don’t talk about it. I hate it! It is evil and I don’t mean to and I don’t want it to hurt anyone!’ She is really frightened. She looks at me pleadingly ‘Don’t tell anyone, please? I’ll make sure it won’t happen again!’ I try to assure her ‘If it was evil, it would have destroyed us all. But it didn’t. I didn’t get a scratch’ My head is pounding and my left eye stings like anything ‘Apart from those I already had’ ‘But still!’ she isn’t convinced ‘It might have! Other things have happened and people get angry. I don’t like it. Though I am glad it saved you’ I smile at her ‘I won’t say a word about it. I am grateful it is there. It saved us both. But let’s say in the future that I am the one to wreck havoc – and not you’ ‘Deal!’ she says ‘You are after all much better at it than I am’ She winks at me and seems happier. I will not tell her that her havoc is rather more impressive than mine, but I sense it would not cheer her up. ‘Remind me to carry weapons in the future’ I say ‘Chairs are no good for defense. And now, I think, we need tea and chocolate!’
I am 26 years old and she returns from the ball. She tells me everything. I hear all about the lights, the music, the food, the dancing, the dresses, and the young men she danced with, while I help her out of her clothes. She is so full of joy that it is contagious. I laugh out loud, when she grabs me and waltzes me around her bedroom. Her stories are so detailed that it is almost like I was there, like I was an elegant lady dancing with handsome young men to splendid music. I do so enjoy music. In my imagination I float beside her, and I converse with people without inadvertenty insulting them, and I dance like I’ve understood the intrigate movements dancing is. She sits in her chair before the mirror and I remove pin after pin from her elaborate hairstyle, until all of her golden hair fall around her shoulders. I like brushing her hair. It is like silk. She tells me about how Mackenzie danced with one particular young man half the night, while she herself changed partners frequently. When her hair cannot get any smoother, she grabs the brush and says ‘Your turn’. She puts me in her chair, and she begins to brush my hair. I close my eyes in delight. I love the feeling of the brush through my hair and against my skull. I love her fingers in my hair and down my neck and over my shoulders. She hugs me from behind and put her head on my shoulder ‘Hey, look at us’ she says. I open my eyes and see us in the mirror. Such opposites. Her cheeks are still flushed and her hair is gold and her eyes are skyblue. I look pale by comparison, and my eyes and hair are dark. My mouth is small and smiles timidly. She smiles at me. ‘How pretty you are, Grace’ she says, and she plants a kiss at the corner of my mouth, where it tingles for a long while, as she pulls me to her bed. I fall asleep in her arms, curled up against her.
I am 28 years old, when he comes. He looks terrible and I can sense the demon right under his skin. I can also feel him fighting it. Dr. Edward and one of the custodians drag him between them. He is sweating profusely and his eyes are rolling in his head. Dr. Edward calls for me ‘You have studied this, Cassie, I know. Can you help him? He has trapped a demon inside, but it is trying to take over’. I grab my ink and a brush. They put him in a chair, and I kneel between his legs. I wipe his bare and sweaty chest and start to draw. I can feel the magic flowing through my arm and the brush as I form the demon trap I have practiced. He seems to relax after a while and I can feel the demon drawing back. It is angry, but trapped and it cannot take him. His eyes open and he looks at me very intently. ‘Thank you’ he whispers. ‘It won’t last’ I say ‘It is only ink. It will fade and wash off’ He closes his eyes again and I think. ‘I know how to make it more permanent’ I say and he opens his eyes again. ‘I can tattoo it on your skin. It lasts a lot longer. It will hurt, but it is much better than the alternative’. He looks at me a long while and my heart does a strange and a little sickening summersault in my chest. He nods ‘Do it!’ he says hoarsely. Dr. Edward grabs my arm as I rise to get my things ‘Are you sure about this, Grace? Do you think that will work?’ I nod ‘I don’t see how it shouldn’t. We can’t keep painting it on’ ‘But the demon will fight it’ he says ‘You will have to tattoo him over and over again to keep it trapped!’ I catch the sitting man’s eye and he merely smile at me ‘I always wanted a great many tattoos’ he says in a low voice ‘As long as a pretty girl makes them’. My face suddenly feels very warm and the heart does the summersaulting again. What a strange phenomenon! I get my things and I sit down between his legs again. I can feel his eyes on my face as I pound ink into his flesh with my needle. I like his eyes on my face.
I am 28 years old and Max comes up to me. He has grease on his face and hands and his hair is a mess. He is still wearing his leather apron and his welding goggles is on his head. ‘I have made you something’ he says ‘A machine’. I am fascinated by his machines, though I don’t really understand them. He has made me many intrigate weapons over time, but I work best with something basic. I can never remember which lever to pull or which button to push. My cane – his simplest invention – has always served me best. He shows me the machine. It is a needle set onto a device that fits my hand perfectly. ‘It is for tattooing’ he says ‘I’ve noticed that your hands hurt, when you’ve tattooed Vincent. I thought this might help’. It is an electrical device for tattooing. I can charge it myself, if I can’t find an electrical outlet. It is brilliant!
I am 29 years old and I sleep with my back against him. Today I gave him his 22nd tattoo. I put this one on his thigh at his own request. I know his body by heart. I have seen every inch of him and I know every muscle, every scar – and he has many – every miscoloration of his skin and most of all: each and every tattoo. I have made them all. I think about the things we have talked about during the months I have known him. He grew up just as unloved as me. He has fought his own battles since he was a child, just like I have. He is hard inside, just as I am. And I think about how safe he makes me feel. Even though I know that there is a demon inside of him. One that I battle one tattoo at a time. We fight over him, and so far I have won. He makes me feel safe and loved, just as Cassie and her family makes me feel safe and loved. I lie with my back against him and I feel his arm coming around to hug me, and I feel his sleeping breath at the back of my neck. I like it here. I like it very much in deed.
I am 29 years old and Mackenzie’s brother is back from Nanga. I don’t know what to make of him. Mackenzie introduces us. He looks at me with a frown, like he sees something he is not sure of. He is older than us, and his skin is dark. White lines near his eyes betray his original skin color. His clothes are well made, but worn. He is a bit gruff, and he is probably the manliest man I have ever seen. I can imagine him wrestling the lion cats in Nanga. He has stubbles instead of a beard. I reach out to touch them, but he pulls back. ‘Stubble’ I say. He looks at me – again with a frown – and lets me touch the stubble. It feels sharp and hard under my fingertips. Like a sort of armor.
Her følger de sager, som gruppen involveres i:
- The case of the cursed heiress
- The case of the gates of Tartaros
- The case of the chinese whispers
- The case of the ruined city
- The abduction of Henry and Niall
- The trial of Grace Hunter
- How to exorcise a demon
- The case of the sister and the zombie fish
- The case of the haunted B&B
- The case of the demon and the baker’s wife
- The case of the laughing corpse
- Winter season and the evaluation of Grace
- The case of the ghost in the machine (Breve fra Cassie)
- Grace in the pit of monstrosities
- Over water, under hill
- Weeks of leisure in Straithclyde
- Rescue mission
- Grace and the oneads of Terra
Jeg var ikke den eneste, der skrev om Terra. Hjemmesiden er lavet i fællesskab med Pia, som spillede MacKenzie, og siden Villemo. Der er meget mere at læse om Terra-kampagnen, også efter jeg forlod dem. Man kan også læse ganske kort om min karakter, Kate Wossname og The case in the sanatorium. Kate var spændende at spille, men ikke holdt længe i kampagnen. Der er også lidt skriverier om Varalaksmi, som jeg måske giver sin egen side, selvom hun heller ikke holdt så længe. Hun blev min sidste karakter i en gruppe jeg havde spillet med i 20 år (- men hun var vildt skæg at spille!).