Part 5: The Strength of the Wolf
“Good. So, you know why I’m here. I was wondering how I would discuss the particulars of ending your life,” I said. I needed to buy some time and figure out a way to close the physical distance between us on my terms.
The advantage was his: enhanced night vision, superior reflexes, and enhanced auditory perception. He could smell fear. Any movement I made from a fixed position would betray me. Though disadvantaged, Rasool prepared me well for this encounter. Always keep moving and bait the jackal. Or, in this case, I’d have to bait the wolf. It’s not enough to visually deceive a Lycan, you have to fool all of its senses at once. Make them attack based on reflex, and then strike.
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Part 4: Gavin Whitley
It was cold in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Rasool ensured I had a place to lay my head, at the Constitution Inn. It was a far cry from the luxurious abode I had grown accustomed to in Seattle, but it reminded me of the temporary nature of my assignment. Charlestown was small and rather clean. I didn’t see homeless camps along the freeways or city streets; a view that became more and more common in Seattle over the years. What was Charlestown doing differently? The Emerald City might learn a thing or two from the New England town. But, I wasn’t here for civic admiration. I was here to reap.
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Part 3: David’s First Hunt
“Get up, or give up. You won’t beat Brogan with wishes imagined on the flat of your back,” Rasool said.
I felt the weight of my falling chest with every exhale. Laying on my back, I saw Rasool’s face peering down at me. Every muscle in my body ached. I willed myself to imagine Rasool’s dark skin and jet black hair were Brogan’s fair skin and red beard. It’s not over. Not yet. I rolled on my side and then staggered to my feet, my breathing still heavy. I activated La Mano de los Segundos accessing the use of my affinity. I had one fleeting second of control. I dashed toward my frozen Master, my body slowed from exhaustion. As the second passed, and my short-handled wooden scythe approached within inches of Rasool’s body, his form shifted into sand. Damn. My weapon passed through his formless shape.
“You’re ready,” Rasool said as the sand coalesced back into his body.
Having exerted the last ounce of my physical strength with the missed blow, I collapsed.
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Part 2: The Watchmaker’s Son
You’re probably wondering how a young man from Detroit ended up the Apprentice to one of the physical manifestations of Death. I don’t often like to recall the tale. Mostly because Rasool loves to point out how weak and pathetic I was. Mind you, I was eight. Yet, sharing it helps to strengthen my resolve. It was winter, seventeen years ago, when I lost everything.
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Part 1: The Fire Druid
I loved walking into places like this with Rasool: seeing all the Preternatural squirm in his presence. He could turn heads in a human bar well enough: the Egyptian was a handsome man, even if he was around five thousand years old. He didn’t look a day over thirty. But, in these Preternatural bars, you’d think he was a god. I guess, in a sense, he was. You see, Rasool Ahkenaten was a Reaper. Or, as he would put it, one who is charged with ensuring the balance of the Preternatural population. To them, he was the personification of Death. To me, he was my Master.
Continue reading “Reapers: The Apprenticeship of David Mancia – Part 1”