Title: Pele’s Story
Chapter: Part III
“What’s going on out here?” The doors ripped open and Dius stood in the space staring at the scene.
Pele stood between her desk and her brother. Don lay on his back, sprawled with his head lolling to one side; eyes closed and mouth open slightly. His breathing was loud, like a wind vane.
“Is it too difficult to take care of him?” Dius slammed one of the doors shut behind him and walked over to glower down at his son. “Can you not handle him, Pele? Is that too much for you?”
Peles lips became two hard lines as she focused on calm breathing.
“ Well, what are you standing around for? Can you not do this simple job?”
“I’ll take care of it, sir.” Her tanned cheeks grew red; Pele looked down, feeling anger and shame. No, she hadn’t taken care of things. Don had made a mess and it was all her fault.
“Sometimes I wonder why you’re still around.”
Dius turned on and stalked back to his lair. “Clean up this mess or it’s you that’ll be cleaned out of here.”
The darkness hugged her as the wind whipped her like her father’s words.
The hover bike navigated the streets with an almost sentient eagerness. Pele idly wondered if she had endowed the contraption with magic at some point but dismissed it. Granting life was not an interest of hers.
Pele was glad for the time alone on the bike. It gave her a quiet time alone with her thoughts where she could shed the proper creature she had to be for Daddy, and what she became nocturnally. By the time she pulled up into a crummy looking garage, hoses and tools hanging from the wall, a large sedan parked in the bay next to her. Pele lifted her helmet off and shook out her long black hair as the garage door slowly descended, shutting out the street traffic.
“Hana mana Akau.” Pele turned and nodded at the greasy woman standing by the doors.
“Hana mana Pele.” Akau nodded and turned towards a yellow painted door, preceding the younger woman.
Sitting on the floor in a small room buried under the obvious structure, were three women, all with islander features like Pele; hair so dark it was more than black, brown eyes that smoldered, and skin that glistened from the sun. The sat knee to knee around a small bowl of incense, only a few candles providing light to see by.
These were Pele’s mentors; her teachers. They had taken her on because they shared a nationality, but they kept her because she had become one of them.
“You killed the wolf?”
Pele nodded to Akau and accepted the cup of pungent juice she was handed.
“Did you strip the magic from him when you were finished?”
“Yes, Kahoku.” Pele held the cup just under her chin. “I took back all that was mine. The magic and the chains. I left nothing.”
Kahoku nodded and prodded a bowl with her finger. “Death will bring the Alaka’i. He will want to know why someone was killed. You did not do it cleanly, did you Pele?”
She didn’t respond at once, but looked between Akau and Kahoku before shaking her head. “No, no I did not.” Neither showed signs of approval or disapproval and Pele was uncertain of their opinion about what she had done. With disgust, Pele continued talking, “Lord High-and-Mighty has other things to deal with.” She grimaced and sipped the juice. “Other holdings are having problems. They know that here the rules are more relaxed. He will have to deal with an influx of new people. Where to put bodies when we already occupy all of the space within these walls?”
“I heard that the Council wanted to request the expulsion of all demons.” Akau swirled her own cup, dark eyes staring at a flickering flame.
“The vampires want the demons gone.” Kahoku shrugged and picked up the bowl, fishing out bits of dried fruit and slipping them between her lips.
“The vampires want demons, animal-shifters, and all creations gone except for humans. It’s rumored Springtown was destroyed because the vampires drove out everyone but the humans and those they kept like dumb sheep for the slaughter.”
Kahoku and Akau looked at Pele with skepticism that thinly veiled fear. Fear. The reason so many of them did anything at all.
“How do you know this?” Leave it to Akau to be direct.
“Because a whole crew arrived two months ago, asking my dad for permission to stay in Lost River. He told them to take the western northern slums around that werewolf pack. They told us what happened in Springtown.”
“So some new toughs move in. So what?”
“Kahoku,” Akau put a hand on the older woman’s knee, “think about the others on that side of town. Have we heard anything from them?”
Kahoku’s brow furrowed and she shook her head. “They are a silly group. They are not smart, either. They get themselves into too much trouble; it doesn’t bother me if we haven’t heard from them.”
“You mean Jessica and the others, you haven’t heard from them recently?” Pele sat her cup down sharply and looked at the old woman with large, serious eyes.
“No, but it’s not uncommon for them to get lost in their drink and their men and.”
“I’m going to go check on them.” Pele stood up, kicking over her empty cup as she stood.
“Pele, wait.” Akau held out her hand, the gesture enough to still the younger woman. “You should not go near that pack. What if they smell you? That alphas corpse will smell like you.”
“I don’t plan on playing with the dogs.”
The two women did not try to stop Pele when she left the garage, the night yawning over her as she weaved through the evening traffic to the other side of town.