So AJ doesn’t know what to post for today. And we don’t have a list of drabbles we could write yet, so instead we’ll share with you over the next couple of weeks the Prologue to the Call of the Dragon.

Enjoy!


A warm, westerly wind tossed Brandon’s dark locks. A hint of magic and smoke where-no-fire-burned floated on the breeze, whispering, touched in the womb. 

Brandon growled and bolted out of his purple velvet couch on his penthouse balcony overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. He grabbed the black iron railing. His knuckles white from the strain. Brandon stared out into the open water. Somewhere to the west He made another agent — a child yet to be born. “Sticking your fingers in the pie again. I will see to that,” he said in a heavy Italian accented English to the aether.

A faster-than-human whirl and Brandon strut inside the modern penthouse he kept in Ostia. 

An old black 1920s-replica rotary phone sat on the nightstand. 

Brandon grabbed the perfectly polished handset and dialed 0. 

The soft hum of the dial ending with a voice, “How many I help you Mr. Holt?”

Brandon sat on the golden comforter of his four-poster canopy bed and kicked off his fluffy slippers. “I’d like to book a flight to The United States of America.”

“Where exactly, Mr. Holt?” the voice asked cautiously.

“Anywhere, whatever lands first. My opponent has a head start. The faster the better.” Brandon said, then slammed the handset on to the base.

The replica cracked down the middle, revealing the modern electronics where gears and older technology once hid. 

“Fuck!” 

Brandon sighed. “Harold,” Brandon bellowed.

A man wearing a black suit and cleanly pressed white shirt entered his bedroom with a stoic expression. “What can I do for you, master?”

“Three things.” Brandon held up the first finger. “Pack my bags, I’m leaving for the New World.” Brandon ticked up the second finger. “Inform Valence I’m leaving, and he is to remember the plan. I will send him the signal when it’s time to act.” The third finger ticked up and Brandon let loose an embarrassed, fanged smile. “I broke the phone. Replace it.”

“Again, master?” Harold chided with a smile.

Brandon raised an eyebrow.

Harold’s expression fell to his usual stoic expression. “Is there anything else?”

“Yes.” Brandon nodded to himself. “There is. I will need a bit to eat before I am among the other pigs in a flying death trap.”

Harold cleared the space between him and his master, unbuttoning the cuff of his left sleeve and pushing up his sleeve. “My master, it would be a pleasure.”

Brandon waved off his man-servant. “You have duties to attend to, send in a girl.”

Harold frowned, but he complied with his master’s wishes. His sleeve returned to its former state as he left the room in search of his master’s wishes.

Fifteen hours and a petite brown-haired girl later, Brandon stepped foot out of the Boston airport. The smell of human pigs rotted in his nose, and even the polluted air of the Americas did not wash it away. But with his feet firmly planted on the ground, the connection to the child was stronger. The stench of cinnamon permeated his nose. No one else could smell it, the joys of the mundane life. 

Brandon ground his teeth as he raised his hand to hail a taxi. He would not put himself through the torture of flying again, now that he could travel in luxury on land.

Brandon bought a luxurious Lexus convertible, the plush leather seats molded to his bottom as he sat behind the driver’s wheel. The seats had warmers, but the Spring day hardly required such amenities. The flashy yellow paint drew the eye immediately. Brandon was a man of style, of luxury.

The journey took Brandon to a hospital maternity ward in Boulder, Colorado. The nurses ignored him. The families of mothers didn’t see him.

Brandon stared through the nursery room window. Twins…

The magic of the umbra wafted from their shared cradle. 

Brandon sneered at the boy and girl swaddled in appropriately colored blankets. His fists clenched, the trimmed fingernails biting into the palm of his hand. “Which one?” Killing both would certainly be the easiest method. 

A woman with blonde hair and green eyes snuck into the nursery. Brandon watched curiously as she slipped in beside the sleeping twins.

“Curious.” Brandon waited — maybe she’d do the work for him? One could only hope.