Saturday Short: Close Enough, Part X

“Listen well and quickly.” I paused, feeling a lump in my apron pocket. I pulled out a teaspoon and frowned, then the house shook again, it fell from my hand back into my pocket and I turned my attention to more important things.

“The man you met has your blood, he will try to command you. He is very powerful, but the Mountain and the River have held him back for years, perhaps even centuries. We forget what true evil is when it is out of sight.”

“That makes no sense.”

“More quickly,” Silas said. “Your gate is next.”

“The Sisterhood is here not only to teach things to grow, but to prevent the Inversion. Do not believe his lies. Remember your lessons. Stay close to me. Do as I say. Do not touch anything on the Other Side.”

“What?” Sami’s question was more of a strangled cry. “What is the Other Side?”

Silas jumped from the window ledge to the counter nearest Sami. Eye-to-eye he stared at her and her trembling stilled. “She’ll try to keep you alive, but you are blood bound. Don’t be a simpering kitten. Fight, if you want to survive.”


“And don’t be a parrot. They’re nasty birds.” He jumped down. “I will see you—“

“—on the Other Side,” I finished.

He flicked his tail and walked into the Other Side, though it appeared he’d simply disappeared.

“Where’d he go? He vanished!”

“No, he is waiting for us.”

The house shook again as the gate exploded. “Well, clearly I was had.”


I laughed, picturing Sami as a parrot. Panic and terror rendered most next to useless, at least for a while. Sami would recover or not, but that was not our current problem.

“I paid for Elder ash. Clearly that was counterfeit.” I took a deep breath, my panic and terror could be saved for later. “Come, let us face him together.”