Fair to Middlin’: Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Sixteen


Demons are bastards, perhaps even in the religious sense. My head spun, and my stomach tried to empty its contents as though I’d been out on a tequila bender. Solid ground met my feet, and my legs would have collapsed even if someone hadn’t yanked me down to the ground.

“What the hell?” a familiar voice yelled, and my knee smacked the pavement when I fell. It hurt like a son of a bitch, and tore my knee up. “Sophie?”

“Oliver?” I strangled out, and pressed my palms against my eyes to try and orient myself. There was shouting all around, mixed in with sirens, the smell of ozone, exhaust, and blood. It was a noxious cocktail of smell and sound, and though my balance and stomach reoriented, I didn’t want to remove my hands and have the sights to go along with it. Of course, I didn’t really have a choice.

“Yeah, what are you doing here?” he fumed.

I removed my hands and tried to focus on the ground in front of me, my vision still somewhat blurry.

“Drai sent me. I’m here to help.”

“The demon? You went to the demon?” he yelled. It might have been equal parts anger and being heard over the noise, but I doubted it.

“Yes, I did, to try and get you help. I don’t know if you noticed, but there’s a seriously pissed off god up there trying to skewer you!” I countered.

“I just need to get to–”

“Daphne? Been there, done that, and she ain’t buying what you’re trying to sell,” I said, frustrated and short with him.

“Fuck, are you serious?” he asked, incredulous. I finally got a good look at him. He was bleeding from various cuts, scrapes, and bruises over various parts of his body, and his clothing was ripped and dirty.

“You look like hell,” I said, instead of answering the obvious.

“Well, wonder boy’s done a bang up job on us.” The car shook as another arrow impacted it, and I made myself as small a target as possible.

“Here’s the plan. I help you get through his crazy light illusions so you can take better shots at him, and hopefully that will keep him occupied until someone from his pantheon takes him out,” I finished, and another arrow hit a different car with a cop behind it. He dove to his left, just barely getting out of the way as an arrow embedded in the asphalt.

“How are you supposed to help us with your Sight? Especially with a god?”

“I can focus my power on him to help bring him into focus. If I use enough power I can influence what other people see, too.” Well, at least in theory, but he didn’t need to know that. I’d never been through any kind of formal training, and I wasn’t the strongest Mid out there.

“Is he going to know what’s happening?” Oliver asked, and took a peek back over the top of the hood.

“I don’t know, but we won’t know until we try.”

Oliver pulled back and considered me, scowling. “This isn’t a good idea.”

“But it’s the only one we have,” I said, persistent. He shook his head, but not in disagreement, in defeat. It was the best I was going to get.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and then turned toward Apollo. When I opened my eyes I could understand why they were having so many problems hitting him, aside from having arrows shot at them. It was like looking through a faceted gem, or crystal, where the images were multiplied and different sizes.

I formed a diamond with my hands with my thumbs together and pointing down. Normally, a Mid’s power is evenly distributed through both eyes, and sits at an average level of power. It’s much like a river’s normal water level, but just like a river the flow can be manipulated through various means: dams, droughts, canals, levees, and so on. I held my hands over my left eye–my dominant one–so that I could peer through the formed diamond. By utilizing the diamond, it was like adding a scope to a rifle; it enhanced my powers and gave me the ability to focus it all in one eye. Or, more accurately, it went from wearing a pair of glasses to bring my vision to normal, to that of a magnifying glass over one eye.

I tilted my hands and head upward to get a good look at Apollo. I shut my right eye, and began focusing my energy to my left eye. Apollo started to come into focus, like a camera, but not as fast or precise as those digital ones. My forehead beaded with sweat, and a slight tremble started in my hands and limbs. My left eye watered, but I couldn’t risk blinking and breaking the power I’d built up.

“How much longer?” Oliver asked, and I could have throttled him.

“Shut. Up,” I ground out from between clenched teeth.

Slowly, after what seemed like hours, but was minutes if not seconds, he came into focus. Now came the difficult part. To be able to project my power onto Apollo, so that Oliver and the other officers could see what was going on, I had to ‘throw’ the power at him. If my aim was off, if I hadn’t built enough power, or if he dodged, it would all be for nothing.

Thankfully, he wasn’t moving around much, since no one could hit him, and he was doing more damage to the officers and agents than they were doing to him. Not to mention that whole immortality thing. The bullets wouldn’t do much more than annoy him, but it was their best shot.

“Get ready.” I barely managed to say it under my breath, and my shaking was worse. Oliver said something into what I guessed was a handheld radio, but I could look at him to know for sure.

Then, as I was getting ready to throw the power at him like a net, his fiery blue gaze focused on me. My heart stuttered in fear, but instead of making my magic do the same, it sent a surge of energy through me, bolstering my resolve. I was getting fed up with these supernatural powerhouses throwing their weight around like wrecking balls, and demolishing the little guys like me and the dog shifter kid. Or, hell, even Daphne. As Apollo materialized another arrow, nocked it, and pulled back on the string, I couldn’t blame Daphne from covering her tail and keeping her head down.

However, I might be able to do something about the flying dirtbag who drove her to live in a sewer.

I shoved outward toward the god, and threw my power with all the force I could muster, like a basketball player throwing a ball from their chest as fast and hard as they could. Just before my power hit him, he let loose the arrow. My power slammed into him, and shattered the light illusions around him, like someone crystallized the sun and smashed it on the ground.

It blinded my left eye, like a camera flash but a hundred times more intense, but not before one final image widened my eye further. Apollo let loose the arrow, and it was headed straight for me, but hitting him with my power took everything from me. I couldn’t move, and the arrow was moving too fast. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a job anymore.


Author: lotwordsmiths

Hello, there! I'm Toni, and I've been writing and reading primarily fantasy stories most of my life. What really set me on the path to be a writer was my 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Thomas, who told me she could see me as an author some day. I made Legends of the Wordsmiths to share my stories, and hopefully, (someday), the stories of others, too.!

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