Read Orphan of Mythcorp Online

Authors: R.S. Darling

Tags: #urban fantasy, #demon, #paranormal abilities, #teen action adventure, #school hell, #zombie kids, #paranormal and supernatural, #hunter and sorcerer

Orphan of Mythcorp (5 page)

BOOK: Orphan of Mythcorp
11.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Well, maybe I gasped a little. But it was a
manly puff of air. More of a grunt, really.

The spook-horde was milling around Sanson and
Ash, and they did not look happy. Not like my spooks. These were
hard-core phantasms, poltergeisty haunters. They were clearly upset
about something and I suspected poor snarky Sanson knew what that
was—even if he didn’t know about them.

I retreated. Headed for the fountain and
sipped water. Mmm, flavorful.

You shouldn’t drink that, it’s
swimming with germs.”

I jerked away from the fountain. Spat. “Holy
crack man, don’t sneak up on me like that.”

Whoa, you’re wound tight,” Galahad was
smirking, scanning our surroundings.

I checked the gym door—still closed. “What
are you doing here?”

Ava said you were up to no good.” He
leaned in close as if revealing a super-duper secret. “Are we in
some kind of pisser?” with a smile.

From over Galahads shoulder a raggedy spook
phased through the gym doors, back first. It—he—looked as if he’d
spent his last day as a pig, wallowing in the dirt. His neck
sported a mean red ring. I stole three steps towards the spook. It
turned, noticed me noticing it.

Oh crap!” I grabbed Galahad by the arm
and started yanking him away, back down the window-lined path we’d
come from.

What are you doing?” His white
ponytail flapped around, slapping me in the chin.

I heard something, all right.” I
couldn’t tell him that I’d just seen a spook tear its head off and
give me the evilest evil-eye in evil-eye history. Good grief, I was
starting to miss the Home!

More running and panting. Some sweat. Galahad
was dry and breathing fine. The Morai don’t sweat; something to do
with low body temperature and special glands or something. I never
really paid much attention in Morai physiology classes back at the
Home. By the time we reached the doors situated near the stairs, I
was hacking up a lung.

Hands on my knees, cramped and damp with
sweat, I tried to make light of what had just happened. “Who’s . .
. the . . . man?”

Are you okay?” Patting my back. If
anyone else had done that, I would’ve taken it as condescending.
But Galahad is not like other people. Not even like other Morai. He
has no guile, no conceit. He was genuinely concerned. “Yeah, I just
feel like a fatty-patty after a marathon jog. Woo.”


We dropped to hands and knees as glass
exploded and clattered all around. When the tinkling sounds
stopped, we braved a glance behind us.

AH!” Galahad echoed my cry and we
scrambled to our feet to run. I slipped on a few shards and slashed
my right palm as I caught myself.
the pain. Just run
. Galahad was already on his feet,
eight yards down the hall. Morai are superhumanly coordinated, like
cats. He paused, glanced back.

Run,” I ordered, swiveling to see the
thing behind me. Just then, Marie popped into sight. She brought
her hands up to her mouth and shrieked. What was she so worried

It’s the Hunter,’ she said, pointing
at him.

Ya think?” I couldn’t move to run.
Frozen by fear, or fascination? He
fascinating. But he didn’t let me goggle for
long. The Hunter, framed by the devastated door behind him and the
growing shadows in the distance, stepped forward and grabbed me by
my flannel.

He was beefier than he was tall, still
dressed in that same ugly bearskin cloak. He hoisted me so my feet
were inches off the floor and, with the faint whine of
servo-motors, drew me close. It was nasty. He smelled of oil and
burnt rubber.

His red augmetic eye dilated at me. “Where is

I think he wants to kill you,’ Marie
declared. Sometimes not so helpful.

The Hunter shook me, paused, and then dropped
me. I fell on my bum and tried not to cry out. Galahad was there,
gazing into the Hunters freaky peepers. “You, leave now.”

The Hunter seemed to consider this command.
But then his right hand, the metal one, went for the blade nesting
in a sheath on his belt. He gripped the hilt and drew it out.

And then he was gone. Yanked by the scruff
and dragged off into the shadowy night.

Whatever had just happened, the Hunter knew
who I was. I raced outside after him.

Chapter 6

Muted arguing. I realized I was lying on my
back. What the flip had I missed?

With a mighty effort I pried my lids open. A
mini sun was beaming down, trying its darnedest to blind me. I
struggled to a seated position, shielding my peepers as I rose.


Oh good, you’re awake,” a soft voice,
female, youngish. “Here, drink this.” She shoved a glass of water
in my face and I drank, closing my peepers to the light glinting
off the water.

What happened?” I asked. I was working
on the assumption she was the school nurse.

She took the emptied glass and felt my

We were hoping you could tell

Once more I pried my lids open. The
nurse still had her hand on my forehead, her face inches from mine.
Her perfume invaded my nose. I could taste her flavor.
. I
was starting to get a Naked Charlie. I know; it seems like every
female I run into revs me up. But come on, what guy hasn’t had a
Nurse Fantasy?

She gazed into my peepers.

Her hazels reminded me of my golden
butterscotch candies. I pulled one out of my front jeans pocket,
noticing with fiendish delight that the nurse followed my hand with
her hazels.

She backed up and watched as I popped the
b-drop. Course, she had no idea it was laced with doojee. In
moments my headache began to retreat and I relaxed, neither tired
nor peppy, but just divine.

The nurse smiled. “How are you feeling?”

Like . . . dynamite,” I muttered. “I’m
great, Miss . . .”

Miss Little,” she said. “Now, are you
ready to tell us what happened? Mr. Dodds found you out on the
baseball diamond, passed out.”

The Iconocop found me? That figured. Good old
Wes Dodds was going to be a problem. “Second base, specifically,”
Wes clarified, suddenly appearing over Miss Little’s shoulder. He
squeezed between me and the nurse. Good thing I was flying or
this’d be a total drag. “What were you doing out after curfew, boy?
Did you bust those doors up? Don’t lie to me.”

Tell him you were chasing the man that
busted the doors,’ Marie ordered. ‘No,’ Castor interrupted. ‘Tell
the old fart the truth; that you’re just a young idiot out looking
for his marbles. Because, idiot, you’ve clearly lost

I scowled—which probably seemed loony-tunes
to the two adults standing over me.

When I hopped down off the bed, pain exploded
in my left knee. “Holy frigging—”

Pain like that, while on doojee, means
someone has seriously fudged you up. Wes hoisted me, plopped me
back down on the bed. I inspected my knee. The bottom half of my
black jeans had been cut away and replaced with a dressing that was
distressingly bulbous.

I could only gawk. Miss Little walked away
and reappeared with a cripple-stick twenty ticks later. It was a
plain-Jane wooden deal, curved neck, rubber foot.

You sprained your knee, which is a
hard thing to do. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say someone
twisted it. See the bruises on your calf, and here,” higher up on
my thigh. “Almost like someone grabbed you and twisted. But the
strength it would require to do that—”

What were you doing outside after
curfew?” Wes interrupted.

Nurse Little cringed. “Mister Dodds,

I was . . . I tried to catch the kook,
ah, the man I mean, who busted the doors. I know it was stupid but
I just got the urge.” I moved my hand to probe the dressing, but
Miss Little slapped it away.

Wes grunted. Fingered his sick-stick. “That’s
just what Galahad said. Word for word, in fact.” He loomed over me
and pointed a finger in my face. “I catch you out of line again,
there’ll be consequences, boy.”

Alright, that’s enough for now,” Miss
little said. “I think he was a little heroic.”

Hero is just a synonym for stupid,”
Wes snorted. “What was this alleged ‘kooks’ name?”

I shrugged.

Mr. Dodds huffed, swiveled, and left the

When we were alone, and when I could stand
without blatantly displaying how I felt about Nurse Little’s body,
I slid down off the bed and tried out my toy. The pain wasn’t as
bad now that the doojee was flowing. “How long do I have to use
this cripple-stick?”

A few weeks,” Miss Little answered.
She was following me around on my test toddle, her hands out, ready
to catch me should I fall. I considered falling. Right into those
dainty hands.

Marie interrupted my dirty thoughts. ‘You
look just like him with that cane.’


Excuse me?” Miss Little asked.
“Listen, if you’re feeling up to it, you can go on back to your
dorm. Someone is waiting for you in the office.” She smiled and
ushered me away. “That’s right, through those doors there. I’m
sorry to rush you out but I need to look in on my other

Who’s that?” I was only somewhat
curious about Miss Little’s other patient. Much more pressing was
of whom I reminded Marie.

The spook followed me, staring, looking as if
she’d just seen a ghost. Uber-creepy.

Alice, er, Mrs. Deem,” Miss Little
answered with a sigh. “She passed out as she was walking to her
car. I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I call an ambulance?
What a silly woman. I know I’m just a school nurse, but Alice—Mrs.
Deem—regained consciousness almost immediately and insisted she was

I nodded, wondering if Mrs. Deems’ feinting
spell had something to do with Ash.

In the outer office I found Galahad sitting
on a hard-backed chair, hands in his lap. “Jeez G, you didn’t have
to wait for me.” I was grateful for his comradeship, but I also
wanted to be alone so I could ask Marie my question. “How long have
you been sitting there?”

A couple hours,” he said, rising to
stretch. “I thought that kook was going to kill you.”

Prolly shoulda,’ Castor snickered.
‘What good is a bum-legged scumbag who can’t even keep his willy
under control?’ More spook laughter. I didn’t respond, and so
Castor shoved off.

How come he didn’t kill me?” I asked
Galahad while watching Marie.

Galahad glanced around as we headed down the
hall, he darting and weaving around like a Jack-in-the-box, me
hobbling, a bum-legged scumbag, sure as sure. “There was someone
else out there,” he whispered, and I noticed his hand

What? Who?”

A demon.”

I froze. Looked at Marie for
confirmation. She was losing interest though; her essence fading,
twinkling, gone.
Well that’s just
. Good thing I was high or this would be a
total bummer. “What do you mean a demon?” I whispered, so as not to
be overheard by the Iconocop pacing the hall behind us, making
certain we didn’t wander ‘off course’.

Galahad shrugged. “I don’t know what else it
could’ve been. He sort of blended into the shadows. But I caught
glimpses of him, whenever he came under the moonlight or the
bleacher lights.”

At the stairs I restrained Galahad. No sense
revealing our bizarre conversation to the other Morai—Ash in
particular. Sheets of plywood were concealing the evidence of the
Hunter’s illegal entrance into the school.

He was huge, like . . . a demon,”
Galahad continued. “And he fought that kook off of you. I think he
might’ve slipped something into your pocket, too, which I thought
was a strange kind of thing to do during a fight, but then, who
knows why demons do the things they do. Man,” a deep sigh and a
long stretch. “This whole day has been one long pisser. Come on.
Sleep time. Ava’s got a nice niche picked out for you.”

I’d always suspected Ava had a nice niche for

And that was definitely a niche I intended to
scratch one day.

That night in my cot I dug in my pocket for
another B-drop. In the dark I twisted the wrapper repeatedly,
pulling the edges of the golden plastic apart so the candy/drug
threatened to fall into my mouth with every turn. Mr. Bors had been
my supplier back at the Home. I needed to find a new cook, some
little genius willing to infuse candy with heroin for a small

Shouldn’t be too difficult; this was high
school after all.

One last B-drop. How had I managed to let my
stash get so low?

I shoved the golden idol back into my
pocket—and felt a slip of paper there. I’d forgotten all about
Galahad’s bizarre note-dropping-shadow-hopping-demon.

Had to lean over to my right, near to
Ava and the back of the room where hazy yellow light was leaking
out of the kitchen. I unfolded the slip of paper. It emitted a
whiff of piss. In script devoid of curves and humor, it read: See
Dex at Number 13, 21
Watch your back.

Chapter 7


All I know is what my folks told me
about it,” I answered Ash. We were in Theorics class two days after
that mysterious break-in and Ash had developed one heck of an
obsession with all things Mythcorp. I couldn’t blame him; he was,
after all, the offspring of Mythcorp products.

BOOK: Orphan of Mythcorp
11.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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