Light A Single Candle




Amy Chan pulled into the traffic jam at 43rd street, and as she inched her way toward the bridge and home, she suddenly noticed the birds flocking to the cars ahead of her.

          Huh?  What’re those?  She thought, and then realized there was more ahead than a simple accident.  Reaching for her jacket in the back seat, she swung out of her car, and into the chaos of the accident scene.

          As she ran, she pulled a stethoscope from her pocket, calmly thanked the Gods of Medicine yet again, and assessed the scene in front of her.

          For the man, she could do nothing.  His face, and most of his head, had been hollowed out like a clam. 

          What the hell could do something like this…?

          She pushed the thought from her mind: she’d come back to it later, but for now there were injured to deal with.

          The woman lay about fifteen feet from the man, shaking, with the pale blue skin of oxygen deprivation.  Amy looked her over impassively, checking her airway, feeling for a pulse.  She noticed the woman’s bulging stomach, shook her head sadly for the mother and child about to die.

          Then she noticed a small piece of black glass lodged in the woman’s neck.  With deft fingers, she plucked it out.

          The claw twisted in her hand, trying to pierce her skin.  She smacked her other hand down on it, and it splashed, as if it had been nothing but water.  It left an oily puddle on her palm.

          Chimerical weapons? She thought with a start, then turned to the woman again.  What she saw then rocked her back onto her heels in the street.  Webs, like fine threads, had begun to sprout from her eyes, her nostrils, even her mouth.  Amy knew they were chimerical, that ordinary humans couldn’t see them, but she could.  But, despite their Fae nature, the webs were capable of doing real damage.  Of causing death.

          Amy didn’t waste the time wondering who this woman was, or how she had run so afoul of a slugh assassin.  She swept the webs from her mouth and bent over her to begin rescue breathing.  As the webs tried to worm their way from their host and into Amy, she bit at them, and sent them curling back upon themselves.

          Do not interfere with the churigan of House Liam, she thought.

          She continued the breathing as the sharp wail of sirens pierced the crowd, and stopped only when she was assured the ambulance was equipped with life-support.  Then she sat back, exhausted, as the attendants loaded the young woman, now hooked to bright blue and yellow tubes, into the back. 

          And have I done the right thing?  She thought briefly, as they pulled away from the snarl of police cars and wrecked vehicles.  She wiped dirt from her cheek, pushed her long black hair back behind her ear.  Then she made her way back to her car.  With shaking hands, she pawed around in her purse, until she found her cell phone.  She dialed a number from memory, and then bit her lip when her husband answered, hoping her voice was not too weak, or too shaky, that it would alarm him. 

          “There’s a case coming in, right now.”  She repeated the ambulance number to him.  “It is … one of us, I think.  Please, my love, do all that you can for her.  This is strange.  She was attacked by the inner spinners,” this last, she said low, and in Korean, so that anyone listening would not hear, or understand.  “I am coming back in.  I will take this patient, if she even makes it to MICU.”

          She hung up before her husband could protest her return.

          Honestly, she loved Scott from the bottom of her heart, but sometimes, he was such a worrywart.  She turned her little car around, wading through the traffic, then used one of her Fae magicks to clear a lane for her to return to the hospital quickly.

          Some days, it’s good to be Fae. 

          And then she thought of the woman, now fighting for her life because of a fae talent, and she shuddered.