“I never thought you were a unicorn, you know that, right?” said Ace.
“Yes, I do know that,” he said, laughing.
“Smokey was here last night. He said he was sorry he missed all the fun.”
“Where was I?” asked Tim, frowning.
“Asleep. He said California is a nice place to visit, if you like forest fires.”
“Do you think he knows Smokey the Bear and Boo Boo?”
“You can ask him when you see him.”
“Can we get rid of Benny so we can move on to the Darklings?”
“Actually, we’re going to hit Benny tonight. Well, I’M going to hit him.”
“You know I can fight.”
“Smokey is going to blow up his car, hopefully, with him in it. I’m going to kill the guys who work for Benny. And yes, I know you can fight so, wanna come along and play?”
“Do pigs fly at night?” said Tim, happily.
“No. Actually, they don’t.”
“Well, I mean yes.”
“Think before you speak next time,” said Ace, kindly. “You do know that everyone dies in the end, right?”
“What? The end of when? You mean tonight? We’re going to die, tonight?”
“No, I mean everyone dies at the end of their lives. See, we don’t know when we’re going to die, so it’s silly to waste time thinking about it. Dying is something we all do. Life kills us, so do bullets and blades and fire…”
“I get it, thank you. If that was supposed to be a pep talk, think before you speak, next time,” said Tim, staring at her.
“You’re no fun at all,” sighed Ace.
“That’s not what you said an hour ago.”
“That was an hour ago,” said Ace, slipping two knives into her boots. “What have you done for me lately?”
“Do we have time?” he smirked.
“We do not,” said Ace. “Queenie has troops around the warehouses. They’re waiting for us.”
“I want to save all of them,” said Tim. “Every single one.”
“Then let’s do it,” she said, just as the crow flew into her chest and knocked her over.
“What the….” said Ace, scrambling to her feet,
“How many men are on the stairs?”
“Did he just say, “Duh?”
“Pretty much,” said Ace, heading toward the kitchen window. “My place is warded but since I’m not sure who’s coming at us, we need to move.”
“Great. They couldn’t wait until tomorrow?” snapped Ace.
“The Darklings have found you. You must have become traceable once you remembered who you were.”
Tim smiled and pulled the modified .357 Sig 1911 from behind his back. “I like this gun.”
“I’m glad. Now be quiet, please. Leo,” Ace said, into her phone. “We’re at my place and we’re under siege. Get to the warehouse on Addison. Queenie should be there. Do what you can to stop tonight’s shipments from going out. Hopefully, I’ll be there soon.”
“What’s he saying?” asked Tim, facing the front door.
“No Leo, they’re not Benny’s guys. They’re Darklings.” Ace waited. “Leo? Are you still there?”
“We either need to go, or we need to star shooting through the door,” said Tim. “They’re here.”
“The door is reinforced steel but the first ward just fell. I felt it go,” she said, calling to the crow.
“Caw,” he said, landing on the windowsill.
“Tim, hold on to me,” said Ace, as she grabbed a tail feather. “NOW” she said, and the crow threw himself into the air. The bird’s magic flowed over them and they were airborne.
“Uh, Tim. Remember about not looking at the light?” asked Ace.
“Well, this time, don’t look down.”