Day 25: Wax Blood
Cassio held up a hand. “First,” he said, “there’s a few things we should probably discuss.”
On cue, a sourceless bang shook the room. A brass candlestick in the shape of a woman hurled itself off the desk, the temperature plummeted so fast their breath showed. Cassio dove after the candlestick. James and the Witches followed a second behind.
James scanned the room furiously for gunfire, adrenaline blazing, but Cassio was on his feet again in a moment.
“Nothing to worry about,” the Aurelius assured them, setting the candlestick back in his antique menagerie. Warmth wafted into the space again. “Happens all the time. You can get off the floor, kids, don’t be shy.”
James rose slowly from his knees, casting glances at the Witches. They were casting glances at James. Never a good sign.
Cassio aligned three skull-shaped shot glasses around the brass figurine with the love and care most people put into knitting sweaters for their dozen cats.
“Just ignore Tom,” he said. “She’s happy to have visitors, is all.”
Tom had a wide, screaming mouth and tarnishes on her metal features. One breast hung out her windy dress with an iron spike skewered through from behind. James wasn’t sure she could really be called happy or Tom. But if Cassio was whistling Dixie about his fucked-up curios, was probably safest to follow suit.
“Sorry about that, old girl,” Cassio said to Tom the candlestick. “I’ll give you a fix, and then we’ll get down to business.”
He plucked a lighter out of his coat and swiped it over the candle her chained arms held. Right away, the wick let out a puff of smoke and began to bleed towards the ceiling. Real blood. James, Triston, Argent, and even Lizzy practically broke their necks staring after the gravity-defying droplets, which somehow never touched the paint.
The hell. The hell? James was too stunned even to lose his temper.
Belatedly, a huge book with a marred burgundy binding slid off Cassio’s desk. It landed on with an ugly crunch on its old, yellow pages, and then stood up on two covers.
“Damn kids,” it swore in a drunken, masculine voice, and scuttled off between their frozen legs.
The backdraft of whiskey odor sent James coughing into his hoodie. “Bus driver,” he rasped, horrified.
“Oh,” said Triston. “Oh, that’s illegal. That’s so illegal.”
The Aurelius simply rounded his desk, squeaked into the chair, and winked over his collection. “You ever need something angry and magical extracted from your property or person, you give Fallavollita a call.”
“Awesome.” Argent’s face now was rabid when he peered at the trinkets piling the desk. The candle continued bleeding.
Cassio reclined. “That aside. What can I do for you?”
I have no excuse for this one. I just really did have a lot of fun with the Fallavollitas. They hardly show up at all, but they milk the hell out of it every time they do.