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   Chapter 15 15

Brownie Oxford and the Seabridge Surprise: Brownie Book 4 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 11248

Updated: 2019-06-11 15:13


Chapter 15

I looked at the beast as it stood behind the body of Halloran. My heart was still racing. Anzu stretched his spine like a cat that just woke from a nap and then stretched his wings flapping them gently. A feather dislodged from one of them and drifted in lazy spirals to the floor. By some miracle it landed in a clean spot instead of the blood. Its feet made scratching sounds on the tiles and I noticed the lion's paws and the eagle's talons both left marks behind, albeit different ones.

Anzu was solid.

Real.

Here.

I wondered if anyone else would be able to see him now or if it was just me. Unfortunately, there was no one around to ask.

"My thanks for my freedom, little warrior. The evil one was most delicious a repast after so long being denied. We are even now and I owe you nothing. Still, for your service, I will not kill you on sight should our paths cross again. Should you attempt to trap me once more, my kindness towards you will end."

He stared at me as though expecting a response.

"Okay, " I managed to say. My voice sounded rusty. He tilted his head to the side as though confused. "I understand." I added for clarification.

"Good. " The confusion, if that's what it was, faded. "I suspect one day we will face each other. I almost look forward to testing you on the field of battle little warrior. You might prove an interesting challenge."

Before I could think of anything to say, the beast turned into smoke and disappeared. I looked down at the tiles and saw the deep grooves left behind.

"Didn't imagine it, " I told myself.

Unfortunately, my shock and conversation weakened my shields and I saw Dr. Harding twitch. I tugged against my bonds and realized that even if the end of the duct tape flapped against my wrist, I couldn't actually get myself out of the chair. I looked back to Dr. Harding and sighed, knowing what I was going to do.

"At least you don't smell yet, " I said. I cautiously lowered my shields and the body rose as though attached to strings, my power flowing into it regardless of my not actually calling it.

"I guess I know what the symbols do, " I said to myself as all of Dr. Harding's attention was focused on me. Despite no one attacking me and Anzu leaving, I felt my fear beginning to rise.

'Hold it together, 'Nie, ' I ordered myself. 'Collapse once you are home safe.' I took a deep steadying breath and stared at Dr. Harding.

"Untie me, " I told the zombie. The thing that was Dr. Harding shambled forward, eager to comply. The duct tape was peeled away from my wrists, leaving red wells behind like poorly designed bracelets. The sight made me think of Anzu and the rending metal, but I pushed it aside for more practical concerns as the Dr. Harding zombie peeled the tape away from my torso. The chair spun wildly making me dizzy but when it stopped I had rolled beyond the puddle of blood his death left behind.

I was free and there were things I had to do. The zombie stopped and waited for further instruction as I rubbed the circulation back into my wrists. I looked at Dr. Harding, more specifically his chest. The symbols were glowing around the edges.

Now that I was ordering the zombie about, I felt no pressure from the symbols. 'Maybe they are just designed to get me to raise the zombie and once I do and put him to work they

flash drive was still inside and then zipped the purse closed. Even though I slipped my keys between my knuckles as I learned in a prior self-defense class, I mostly wanted them out before I got to my car in case someone else tried to grab me. I didn't want to look for them in my bag only to end up tied to another chair.

Or duct taped as the case might be.

'Besides, I'd have to flash the dress to reach the purse.' Since I went to so much effort to cover it, exposing the blood stains in the parking lot seemed counterproductive. I zipped the cover all up all the way and gripped my used paper towel in the hand not holding the keys. I used my shoulder to push the door open as I left the bathroom behind.

The bodies were where I left them and I moved to Dr. Harding's medical bag. I added my used paper towel to its jumbled contents, snapped it shut and moved towards the door marked exit. I pulled my sleeve over my hand, thankful that the back door had a bolt lock and didn't require a key. I had no desire to search the bodies for the keys to escape. I pushed the door open. I stepped outside and felt a coil of tension I didn't realize I had inside begin to loosen. I managed to escape.

'Not done yet, ' I reminded myself. I gripped my keys hard enough to leave imprints in my palm as I looked around, expecting a lookout of some sort to jump out from behind the nearest stack of tires. None did and I cautiously moved forward.

'They really did just take me next door, ' I thought as I tried to move quietly.

When I left the restaurant the sky was darkening and happy hour was just beginning. While the sky was now night black, the party was still going on if the lights and full parking lot were any indication. The soundproofing blocked all noise from reaching me across the lot. Amazingly, only a few hours passed.

I skirted around the edge of the garage and its walls of tires and saw the hood of my car. It was parked exactly where I left it. I walked forward and found there was one difference to my vehicle. Standing next to my car, looking around as though newly arrived on the scene was Swift. He spotted me at the same time I saw him and I froze like a rabbit hit between the eyes with headlights.

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