Amanda knew that she was the heart of the household, even if the others didn’t know yet. As her goddess’s greatest spy, her reports and even solitary demon slaying contributed significantly to Middleburg’s safety.
The difficulty of her duties had changed when HE showed up. He who’d succeed the universal throne. At least he was supposed to be the heir, but the idiot somehow messed things up. Amanda figured the others, including Amelia, knew that Epex’s presence attracted an array of impurities. Not to mention the idiot got himself a job with Secure Corps, the witch-led organization doing a piss-poor attempt at locating Sunset.
Amanda sighed, as she patrolled the city on foot. She typically hovered near areas where Sunset sightings were somewhat common. Well, she’d spot a member about once bi-monthly. Her orders were to never engage, just watch and then report patterns and routines. Amanda had to assume that they knew she was watching. Her presence could keep the organization on the edge, mitigating the chances of attracting any Fallen. Amanda had never seen one in her life, but she understood Amelia’s warnings and the ugly rumors about them. If they terrified the divine and demons, she could only hope she never met one.
She sat in the outside seating area of a coffee shop and ordered a medium coffee when the waitress approached. A few minutes later, it was just Amanda, nice outdoor lighting, and a notepad. Everything appeared to be normal for an eight-o-clock evening. In fact, it felt too damn normal and that’s what worried her. Sunset had two phases: predictable and unpredictable. Tonight seemed to be the latter. Great. It was either going to be detective time, or witness something horrible time.
Amanda took a nice sip of her coffee. The warmth made her appreciate her place in life. It helped her to forget the days when she had nothing, believed in nothing. Amelia had given her the push to find a calling in life. She hoped Amelia’s influence would spread to Epex, who probably needed it the most. Too bad he wasn’t the successor anymore. Amanda figured with the flick of a wrist, he could make anything happen. Her goddess could have him magically change the world into a peaceful society. She wasn’t sure how the divine powers worked, but the ruler was supposed to have the most, right?
Just then, a feeling of dread made Amanda nearly drop her coffee cup. A man dressed in an expensive grey suit was arguing with someone on his phone, in a language she knew wasn’t human. The variation of Latin, plus a hint of darkness gave it away.
Time to get to work. She pressed the button of an electronic, high-range recording device in her pocket. The device combined with Amelia’s blessings allowed her to not only pick up plots from any demon or devil speaking in the language, but she could successfully predict at least thirty percent of their movements.
When the demon hung up, someone or…something appeared in front of him. The figure was a shadow from Amanda’s vantage point, but she could vaguely make out the shape of a woman. They spoke for a short time, then walked off.
Feeling that her job for the night was done, Amanda hurried off to the car.
She gathered the others as she soon as she got home and urged them into the usual meeting spot: a hidden room that only she and the other women knew about. Amanda placed the recording device on the center of the table, pressed the play button, focusing intently on the voice of the Sunset demon.
“The Drifter is going to kill us if that transaction doesn’t go through. No-no-no, you will get it done, you bastard, and do it right.” Pause. “Yes, moron, I’m well aware of the misthangers in the area. The only reason Jow the dumbass failed was because he ran into that bitch.” Pause. “Just hurry up, we can’t perform the damn the rituals without it.” Pause. “You’re sending who? Oh fuck, why her? She creeps me the hell out.” Pause. “Don’t act like the Black Agnes doesn’t give you shivers too—she’s so goddamn weird.” Pause. “Fine, whatever, I’ll stand by.” A minute passed, with a simple background noise and passing cars. “Holy tits, you scared the shit of me,” the Sunset demon said.
“Forgive me,” said an amused woman’s voice in an English accent. “It is a pleasure to meet you. Now take me to the Drifter. I’ve got something he’d like to see.”
“Please tell me you’re not offering him stewed child. Because he eats normal food,” the Sunset demon said.
The Black Agnes laughed a kindly laugh. “Of course not. This isn’t the good old days of being nearly mindless.”
“Let’s get going, then.” The Sunset demon muttered something that the Black Agnes wouldn’t hear but Amanda’s device would. “Small fry like you are no threat to us, we who have eyes in all places. If you know what’s good for you, girl, you’d stay as far away from Sunset as possible. Ta-ta, child.” The recording ended. Everyone stared at Amanda, silent.
“He doesn’t scare me,” Amanda finally said after a minute. “Like you said before, Amelia, assume they’re always watching.”
Amelia nodded her approval. “Keep up the good work, Amanda.”
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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