Read Modern Sorcery: A Jonathan Shade Novel Online

Authors: Gary Jonas

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Contemporary, #Urban, #Paranormal & Urban

Modern Sorcery: A Jonathan Shade Novel (9 page)

BOOK: Modern Sorcery: A Jonathan Shade Novel
13.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Not that.”
Kelly nodded toward the parking lot.
“Al Davidson is here.”


“I didn’t call him.”


“Maybe you used the Bat Signal,” I said.
“Regardless, you let him know he needed to be here.”


“I did no such thing,” Cantrell said.
“But I eat here every day, so maybe he’s just dropping by to chat.”


“Come on.”


“He does that a lot.”


“That’s true,” Naomi said.
“I’ve eaten here with Frank a few times when Al just showed up.”


“Fine,” I said.


Cantrell looked at Naomi.
“Your dad had the Alyshian Crystal.
He inherited it from his grandma when his folks passed.
Normally it would be passed on to you, but that ain’t gonna happen this time.”


“Let me guess,” I said.
“The clowns at DGI thought they could bring back some magic by putting the three crystals together, and in so doing, they unleashed Ravenwood.”


Cantrell shook his head.
“They ain’t that stupid.”


Al approached the table.
“Frank, please tell me why you’re associating with these people.”


“Have a seat, Al,” I said.


“I think not.”
He turned the leave.


I stood and blocked his path.


“Mr. Shade, I can destroy you with a flick of my finger.”


I punched him in the nose.


He sat down.


He blinked his eyes a few times then checked his nose to make sure it wasn’t broken.
“You hit me.”


“And I’ll hit you again if you start to pull up any magic.
Five-second rule,” I said.


I used to think the five-second rule was the length of time a piece of food had to be on the floor before you couldn’t eat it.
Back when I was engaged to Naomi, she told me it was actually the amount of time the average wizard needed to pull up any strong magic.
Al didn’t know about my immunity to magic, and I saw no reason to reveal it.


“Point taken,” Al said.
“Am I bleeding?”


“I didn’t hit you that hard.”


“I may press charges.”


“And I may kick your ass.”


“You’ll go to jail.”


“Your ass will still be kicked.”


“Or I might kill you,” Kelly said.


“Careful, Al,” Cantrell said.
“She wields a mean toothpick.”




“Can we get back to the subject at hand?”


The waitress started back toward us, but I caught her eye and shook my head.
She rolled her eyes and moved to another table.


“Which subject might that be?” Al asked.


“Frank was filling us in on Ravenwood,” Naomi said.


“That’s right,” Cantrell said.


“This is private DGI business, Frank.
We’ll handle it.”


“You’ve been doing a bang-up job so far,” I said.
“David and Kathy Miller are dead, a civilian was slain by a Sekutar, and that same warrior tried to kill Naomi.
Your private business is now our business.
Got it?”


“I disagree.”


Cantrell sighed.
“Al, you gotta tell them the truth.
Maybe they can help.”


“Mr. Shade is a common thug, and this woman”—he motioned to Kelly—“is an abomination that should have been destroyed with the rest of her lot.”


“Well,” Cantrell said, “this common thug and this abomination have handled two reasonably powerful wizards before breakfast with no sweat off their balls.”
He turned to Kelly.
“Pardon the expression.”


Al fumed.


“I may not be part of your company,” I said, “but I need to know what’s going on.
What did you do with the crystals?
Did you unite them?”


“Only a moron would unite them.”


“I ask again, did you unite them?”


“Do I look like a moron to you?
Don’t answer that.
I wasn’t assigned to the Crystal Project.
That was David’s project, but he would never unite them.
They haven’t even been on the same continent in four hundred years.”


“Why not destroy them?”


“And unleash Ravenwood?
Are you daft?”


“That’s the word on the street.”


“Listen closely.
Destroying the crystals is bad.
They must be protected.”


“Fine, I’ll treat them like Faberge eggs.
Where are they?”


“One is in Brazil, another in Australia.
The third, the Alyshian, was in David Miller’s possession.
I had hoped to procure it from him after he killed Kathleen, but he didn’t have it on his person.”


Cantrell looked surprised.
“You were going to touch it?
What the hell were you thinking?”


“I wasn’t about to allow it to end up in some evidence locker.”


“Touching it is bad?” I asked.


“If you ain’t descended from the Three, it is.”


“Color me lost.”


“If you ain’t from the Three, you’re easy to control.
Ravenwood can get you to do his bidding.”


“That’s ridiculous,” Al said.


“I doubt you need to touch it,” I said.
“After I talked to you yesterday, a Sekutar showed up to kill Naomi.
He was looking for the crystal.
So you had to tell him where to look.”


“There’s only one surviving Sekutar, and she’s sitting at this table.”


“Bullshit,” I said.
“I fought one yesterday.”


“Utter nonsense.
You’d be dead.”


“He’s telling the truth,” Naomi said.


“And I should believe you?
After all, you were willing to spend your life with this hoodlum.
You told him things you should have never shared with an outsider.”


“He wasn’t an outsider.”


“He’s genetically incapable of magic.”


“That doesn’t make him an outsider.”


“Technically,” Cantrell said, “it does.
But that ain’t our concern here.”


“I assure you that Blake Ravenwood is not a threat.
His soul is still trapped.
Even if the Alyshian Crystal were destroyed, the others are so far away that after a few days, his spirit would dissipate and things would return to normal.”


“Normal?” Naomi said.
“My parents are dead.”


“I feel the pain of their loss too.
But if Ravenwood were actually free, we’d all be dead.”


“So you think the crystal was destroyed?” I asked, thinking about what Naomi had already told me.


“I don’t know.”


“Are you operating on that assumption?”


“As I told you, if that were the case, his spirit would dissipate.”


“Or maybe it would seep into another wizard through osmosis,” I said.
“For all I know, Ravenwood is already controlling one or both of you like little wizard puppets.”


“That’s stupid.”


They didn’t have Sekutar warriors back in the 1600s, so how did he know to send one if you didn’t tell him?
How would he know where Naomi lived if you didn’t tell him?”


“First of all, Ravenwood is not free.”


Then why are you here?”


“I came to discuss something with Frank.”


“But you’ve shared more with us than I ever would have expected.
You’re either afraid or you’re hoping I can handle this for you.”


Mr. Shade, you can’t handle anything that involves magic.
I looked you up.
According to DGI records, both your parents were wizards, and yet you have no magic.
Of what possible use could you be to us?
Naomi and Frank, on the other hand,
have magic and would be of great use to us at the moment.
Even Ms. Chan could prove useful, but you, sir, are completely worthless to us.”


I tried to ignore the pain his words caused me.
My thoughts vanished as Kelly moved.


She jerked Al’s chair backward and jammed the toothpick up to his eye.
“I don’t work for wizards,” she said.
“And if you speak to my friend like that again, I promise you that I will pluck your eyes out one by one, eat them, then slit your throat and watch you bleed out.
Do you understand me?”


Al’s eyes widened as he stared at the toothpick.
He was better at hiding his fear than I would have expected, but his voice sounded small when he said, “Yes.”


“Told you she could wield a mean toothpick,” Cantrell said.


Kelly righted the chair and tucked the toothpick back between her teeth.
She gave me a look that told me she would always have my back, but then, I already knew that.
She leaned close to Al.
“Play nice or play dead,” she said.

BOOK: Modern Sorcery: A Jonathan Shade Novel
13.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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