She threw the front door open and slammed into Cat, who had been about to pull her inside.

“Guns-” she said.

“I know,” he hissed, “where’s Kirk?”

“I thought he was behind me.”

They both peered out the window. More people approached- a visibly armed woman with the aspect of a pheasant walked onto the porch along with the mouse-headed man. Bluebell ran down the hallway. “Get Julia and hide!”

But the noise had already brought her downstairs, hands full. In one she held her shotgun, and in the other her tranquilizer.

“There are two coming ‘round back. I’ll take care of the ones in front,” she said. She handed the tranquilizer to Cat. “There are still animal darts in it, should work on these guys. But here,” she fished a box out of her pocket, “these are ironweed ones. For fae. Any ‘animal’ still around, any ‘human’ trying to hide their aspect- shoot on sight.”

“Of course,” he nodded.

The shotgun went to Bluebell. “I’m sorry,” said Julia.

He stared down at it before looking back up at her. “Don’t be. It’s what we agreed on.”

Image: Julia hands Bluebell her shotgun. They’re standing in the hallway near the front door, with the rest of the hall and the stairs behind them. End description.

“Phoebe, you need to hide,” Cat turned to her. “If these men are with Connell they’ll be after you, too.”

“But-” she started.

Julia strode down the hallway. “Listen to him. I’m going out, see ya.” She winked before disappearing around the corner, empty-handed.



Well I hate to leave you guys here, but Katabasis is taking a 2-week break, and will be returning Feb 4.