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 plummeting so fast their breath showed. Cassio dove after the candlestick.
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.
“Just ignore Tom,” Cassio said. He aligned three skull-shaped shot glasses around the brass figurine with the love and care most people put into knitting sweaters for their cats. “She’s happy to have visitors, is all.”
Tom had a wide, screaming mouth and tarnishes on her metal features. One breast hung out of her windy dress with an iron spike skewered through it, and James wasn’t sure she could really be called happy or Tom. But if Cassio was whistling Dixie about his fucked-up curios, it was probably safest to follow suit.
“Sorry about that, old girl,” Cassio went on murmuring 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. Dripping upwards. James, Triston, Argent, and even Lizzy practically broke their necks to stare after the gravity-defying droplets, which somehow never landed.
The hell. The hell? James was too stunned even to lose his temper.
As an afterhought, a huge book with marred burgundy binding slid off Cassio’s desk onto the carpet. It landed on with an ugly crunch on its old, yellow pages, making them all jump again, and then stood up on two covers.
“Damn kids,” it swore in a drunken, masculine voice, before scuttling off between their frozen legs. The backdraft of whiskey odor sent James coughing into his hoodie.
“Bus driver,” he rasped. “That was the bus driver, wasn’t it.”
“Oh,” said Triston reverently. “That’s illegal. That’s so illegal.”
Cassio 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.”
I have no excuse for this one. I just really 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.