A Tale of Three Pixies: Scene Five
The three pixies in disguise rushed outside. Fen looked around, her eyes blue hard. “That way,” she said, pointing down an alley. “I have his scent.”
Petal looked at Lapis, and they both nodded, and followed their sister. “I can’t see him,” Petal said as they hurried.
“He’s fast. Who knows how much of a head start he has on us. I never should have let him go that long.” She frowned and shook her head. “We’re going to have to fly.”
“But what about the bats? And the gnomes?”
“We’ll have to risk it. If it comes to a fight it comes to a fight. Glamours down, girls, and let’s go.”
Lapis and Petal exchanged another look, but complied anyway. Where three women had stood there were now three pixies, and their gossamer wings began to beat as they took to the air in a tight formation.
“That son of a bitch,” Fen muttered again. “I’ll cut him to bits. Tiny little prophet bits.”
“Have you ever considered,” Petal said from her right flank, her breath already starting to go, “That perhaps if you were a little less full of threats, they might not always run? Just maybe perhaps a little honey instead of vinegar?”
“I like vinegar,” Lapis said. “It’s sour.”
“Not helping,” Petal said.
“They wouldn’t run if they weren’t all cowards,” Fen replied.
“Right. They’re all cowards.” Petal rolled her eyes. “That makes sense.”
“You have a problem?” Fen snapped.
“Oh no ma’am, bloodhound ma’am. Not me.”
“Good. This way.” Fen banked right down another alley, climbing a little for a better vantage. The New Tamsbridge fog was a thick blanket that was hard for even faerie-sight to penetrate. “I can’t see him. I can smell him, he’s not far, but…” One shadow passed over them. Then another, then another. Fen swore. “Damn it. They found us! Dive, girls!”
They tucked their wings together and dove down into the alleys, just as bats swooped by, narrowly cutting through where they would have been. Each one had a small figure with a red pointy hat on top of it, each carrying a long spear with gleaming tips. “Redrums,” Fen swore again. “Damn it all! Hurry girls!”
They tucked their limbs together and began pouring power into their speed, ducking through alleys. Bats were normally faster, even with the red-capped gnome riders, and they knew the city streets better, but each of the pixie girls had a store of power from the faerie kingdom in the otherworld, and they could use it to add some extra speed to their beating wings. They had used some already with the glamours, and if it came down to a fight it would take even more, but it was better than if the gnomes caught them. Their red-capped warriors liked to make their war-drums with the blood-soaked skins of their victims, adding some of faerie’s magic to their music. That’s where they got their nicknames.
The stories said they peeled the skins off while the victims were still alive. There was more magic that way.
They zipped around another corner, but there was already a bat swooping down at them, the gnome on its back howling a savage battle cry. The girls split formation, dodging out of its way, and as Fen banked she slid her sword from its scabbard and its edge flashed through the alley. There was a perfect arc of crimson blood and the gnome screamed. Another swooped, looking like it was about to snack Petal out of the air, but Lapis’s hand flickered back and forth and the bat sprouted a dagger hilt right above its neck. It made a terrible noise and veered off, and the three pixies darted around one more alley and into a parking deck and they were out of danger.
(What happens next? Find out In Scene Six!)