Fable Page 18

Mina stared at Reid. Really looked at him for the first time since she’d put on the 3D glasses. He looked different through the red and blue filter. The glasses made his copper hair seem to crackle in the light. His eyes even had a reflective glow in them. Then she saw his fingernails, and her heart caught in her throat. They were copper-colored. Not painted with nail polish, but really copper-colored. She’d seen only one other person with colored nails before…and he hadn’t been there to help her.

She whipped off the glasses, and he was back to looking very human again. It was another Fae glamour. A trick. The Fae had learned long ago to hide their true natures from the physical plane. Just to be sure, Mina put the glasses back on, and once again she could see Reid’s true form.

He turned his fiery eyes on her and smiled while he popped another copper-laced popcorn kernel in his mouth. She could hear the sound of metal crunching between his teeth.

“Ah, I see you’ve finally taken notice of me. Tonight is about to get so much more interesting.”

He reached toward Mina, and his hand crackled with electricity. A loud popping sound was heard as the movie film stopped reeling. The lights went out. As the theater plunged into total darkness, the screaming began.

Chapter 11

The popcorn bucket flew in the air as Mina stumbled backward onto the person sitting next to her and half flipped, half slid over the row into an empty seat in front of her. It was ultimate chaos. He had somehow killed the electricity. She was sure of it. But her main worry was getting as far away from him as she could.

People were screaming and heading toward the emergency exits, the way lit by safety lights on the floor, but even those began to flicker and die out. She crawled along the filthy floor and was able to slide under the bar for the handicapped seating.

A panicked moviegoer stepped on her hand, kicked her in the stomach, but she was afraid to show herself. She needed everyone to get out of the theater, and fast. This was not the place for a fight between a Grimm and a…what?

Someone yelled her name, and she carefully peeked between the seats. She could see Nan by the emergency exits, refusing to leave the building, even though Brody was pulling on her arm. Nan screamed her name again, but thankfully Brody got her out the door to the left of the screen. People were still fighting to get out and trampling each other, but Reid was waiting for the same thing.

Mina looked back up a few rows and saw Reid standing exactly where she’d left him, smiling crazily. His hands let off a few more sparks, and he reached out to touch the person closest to him, the large bearded man still sitting and eating his extra-large tub of popcorn, undisturbed by the commotion around him. But once Reid’s hand touched him, he froze and turned to stone. No, not stone, metal. His sparks lit up the theater like a strobe light.

Her heart stopped beating. “Jared,” she whispered. He heard, he answered. He came out of nowhere like an avenging angel, springing on Reid’s back, and they both crashed into the row in front of them, breaking chairs in the process.

Mina pulled out the Grimoire, knowing that she needed help but also needed to keep her distance at the same time. The book glowed, and it elongated into a crossbow.

Holy buckets! Mina thought. She’d better get it right on the first shot. She popped up, steadied the crossbow on the back of a seat, and took aim, but a body was being thrown at her—Jared’s. She barely had time to turn before he landed on her full force and she became pinned between the seats.

“Jared!” Mina yelled at him. “Get up. Move.”

He didn’t answer—he couldn’t. He was unconscious. All she was able to do was solicit a small groan from him as she struggled to free herself. In the commotion, she’d lost the crossbow, and it had skidded under a seat.

More flickering lights, laughter, and screaming mingled in the air. Her cheek rubbed against something sticky, but she gritted her teeth and stretched out her arm as far as she could. She could just barely reach the butt of the crossbow.

She could see him, Reid slowly stepping down, row by row. He was almost to her, and she was still wedged underneath Jared’s prone form.

“Come on,” she grunted, but it was too late. He was there.

He jumped the last row and stepped on her hand to keep her from touching the weapon. His confident smile faltered into a frown. “This was too easy. Too easy to manipulate the human. Too easy to make myself one of you. I was expecting more from the newest Grimm and her protector. I’m greatly disappointed. Oh, well, maybe your friend—Nan, right? Maybe she’s got some fight in her.”

“Hey, scumbag!” a voice yelled from behind him.

Reid looked up and received a kick in the face from Ever’s big black army boot, catching him by surprise.

“You want a fight, you got it!” she cried out in full Fae glory, wings and all, as she flew just beyond his reach. Ever looked furious, Ever looked glorious. She was gone in a second, hidden in the dark theater. The emergency lights finally went out, and Reid was forced to use whatever magic he had to create crackles of light to illuminate the theater to try to find her. But light wasn’t his strength, Mina discovered. It was turning things to copper, and copper conducted electricity.

Mina struggled again, and was able to flip Jared onto his side and slide out from under him, but her weapon was now two rows down. She crawled low on her knees and tried to make it down the stairs without being seen. Ever was doing her best against the Fae, but without the element of surprise, she was obviously outmatched.

He lunged toward her and caught ahold of her boot. She screamed as it slowly turned to metal. Her wings beat wildly as she tried to pull out of his reach, but he laughed and held on, reaching with his other hand to grasp her leg.

She was out of time. Mina stood up and ran for the crossbow, cocked the string, and loaded the bolt. Without thinking she yelled out his name.

“Hey, Reid, over here.” She released the arrow and prayed. With the luck of Fae magic, its aim was true, and it pierced Reid in the chest.

“Thanks for the great date. Don’t call me—I’ll call you,” Mina chanted.

He gasped in pain and let go of Ever’s leg. Her momentum made her crash into the wall, and she slid to the ground. Reid grasped the arrow protruding out of his chest. He started to laugh. “Now, there’s the fight I wanted. It makes for better storytelling.” More sparks danced from his fingertips, and the arrow slowly turned to copper.

“How about this for your ending?” Mina asked, holding the crossbow. She tossed the crossbow into the air toward him, and it began to glow and radiate light and slowly turn back into a book. His face froze in horror, and he tried to pull the arrow from his chest. The copper on the bolt stopped spreading and began to recede in the face of the Grimoire’s power. The arrow of light became brighter and began to pull him toward the pages, like a fish on a hook.

He whimpered and turned to grasp onto something, anything. He dug his hands into the chair, but it began to give in to the powerful vortex created within the pages. Reid’s body floated in the air and was slowly getting pulled into it. He worked himself hand over hand until he was holding onto the metal head of the large man he had turned to copper, but he was no match for the Grimoire.

With a final scream of defeat, Reid lost his grip and was sucked into the Grimoire. The book continued to pull, drawing popcorn buckets, drinks, candy boxes, and even a few lost cell phones into its pages. The book closed with a snap, and the theater was once again clothed in darkness. Mina could feel a suffocating sensation of power fill the room. It felt heavy, like a pressure on her chest, and she knew that in the darkness something magical was happening.

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