Broommates – Episode 4
Author: Valerie Valdes
Title: In Which Dragons Are Dueled
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Beatrice centered herself, reaching deep inside to find the still ocean floor within the whirlpool of her surroundings and emotions. The house was shaking; she let this thought pass through her mind as a fish might swim through a bare reef. People were scurrying about and shouting at each other. This, too, was noted and… not ignored, but gently set aside. Down she went, chaos swirling around her, threatening to break her concentration and suck her back into the world. But she would not be deterred. She sank like a stone to the calm place at the center of her being, and then, she began to move.
“Is that tai chi?” Anthony asked, watching Beatrice trace invisible pathways around the foyer.
“Something like that,” Miranda said. “Ha! Here’s the camphor balm.” She handed a small bottle to Kitty, who liberally spread its contents over Parker’s face and now-bare chest. His purplish color faded to a sunburnt red and his breathing grew less ragged.
Anthony, meanwhile, was doggedly holding the wards in place like Atlas shouldering the world. He didn’t have Parker’s finesse, but brute force made up for it in this case. The dragon, having failed to secure entry thus far, was being more methodical about searching for weak points. This meant fewer attacks, but those few were more surgically precise and increasingly difficult to fend off.
Booker stood next to Miranda and generally held the things she shoved in his direction, giving them back when she asked. He followed Beatrice’s movements with admiration; her muscles flexed beneath her smooth skin, a slight smile on her otherwise peaceful, emotionless face. He was the only one watching when she brought her graceful kata to a close, bowed as if at someone only she could see, walked over to the front door and opened it.
“What the–” was all Booker could exclaim before Beatrice stepped outside to dance with the dragon.