She needed a Ghost Hunter to help her save her world from self-destruction.
A plague was killing faery folk of all types - or they were simply disappearing. Soon her world would be empty, and she might become one of the terminal-infected herself.
She had to do something, or there would
be nothing left.
Her decision was to go to the source of the infection and find the one person who could help her figure out an antidote - the mystery writer John Earl Stark.
It's not like
he wasn't affected by faery folk, or didn't know they existed. Because their world is just a step from the human one. And that's why the humans were infecting the worlds nearby - because they were too arrogant to believe thatanything except their Science could explain things. So nothing else existed.
outa detective-fiction writer was a logical solution.
His fiction was
eithergoing to save her world, or help her leave it quickly, if not painlessly...
It wasn't the first time Lori woke and thought
she was coveredin blood.
Her own blood or other faery folk, didn't matter. She dreamed about being drenched in it. Dripping. So far, it was only a dream.
But that dream was coming more and more often. Most often the night after she found more of her kind had disappeared. Couldn't
be foundanywhere in the Faery Kingdom.
Even the worst of the faery folk, like trolls and goblins, all vanishing without a trace.
This morning, it was a nightmare too far. She got fed up with everything. All her life was getting wrecked around her, so she decided.
It was time to call for help. From the humans. Or at least the one human she trusted - to at least try. In all the multi-verse, he was the only one she knew who could.
- - - -
I saw her sitting on an old log under a tree. Like one of its biggest branches had
been blowndown not too long ago.
for some reasonthat problem we had with a troll sometime back came to mind. I never looked at a tree the same way after that - particularly ones that broke off about 10 or 12 feet off the ground. Shoulder height to a rampaging troll. But if it was the only one, you figure the wind caught a weakness just right. If there were several like that - well, I had to count my blessings thatit had never happened again.
While I was talking to myself in my mind, I got closer. And something in this girl's smiling face seemed familiar.
Then I got it. No wonder I was thinking about trolls - this was Lori in her human form.
My step got
a bitquicker and my eyes got a bitmoist when she stood, waiting for me.
My walking stick seemed to fling itself down to give both my arms room to hug her and lift her off her feet. Not that she was heavy, and her blond 5-foot plus frame barely filled my arms.
But made me happy to see an old friend. One I loved as much as any, more than most.
She hugged me back until I let up - and then she grabbed my head with both hands to bring it down to her level for a big, long kiss. Not that I minded at all. Some people you could just stay that way forever if you got the chance. Especially where it
wasn't going tobother anyone. (Cows just keep grazing - only another stupid human trick to them.)
At last we came up for air and went back to hugging.
With her head tucked under my chin, I had to profess. "I
had no ideaI'd missed you this much. Of course, Iran out of stories from you long ago - and was hoping for a refill."
She said nothing, just hugged me tighter.
At last, she sniffed, and raised one hand to wipe her eyes...
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