Dresden Files: Black Court

A snippet from a WIP – the same as this one, actually.

“Right,” the Knight says. “The Blacks probably know we’re here, so we’re not going to be subtle. Let’s whack them as fast as possible.”

“At the cost of the victims?” Grey objects. “We cannot get every vampire at once. They will kill their prey as soon as we approach.”

“They haven’t yet. We can’t get all-”

I put my hand on his arm. “It’s my turn.”

The Winter Knight turns on me. “You can’t-”

“You had your fun.” My eyes are bright; I’m awake, alive, with Summer flaring through me in a golden river. “Black Court respond best to fire.”

He scowls at me.

I point at Marta. “Do you trust her?”

The Winter Knight, unexpectedly, responds immediately. “Yes.”

My smile deepens. “Then put your Mantle away. It’s my playtime.” I don’t wait for his response, and turn to Marta. “Shall we?”

She gives the first proper smile I’ve seen; a wolfish, feral one.

“And me?” Grey says.

I wink at him. “You’re always welcome.” The priest next to him is already re-wrapping the cross around his fist, so he’s in.

The Winter Knight is staring at me with something wistful crossing his face despite the crinkle of irritation around his eyes. And then he lets Winter fade, and Summer blossoms. I spin out, whirling in glee with my hair and bloody clothes flying as I let Summer fill me. The fire and life is mine to command, and I’ve got a scourge to destroy.

“Let’s go!”

I am in the cornfield, my Queen’s lips on mine, her voice in my head and life surging through my veins.

I am alive.

The cavern’s large, with a slippery floor and dripping walls. The river’s close to the surface here. There are humans here; battered and dull-faced people who don’t look up at the noise. It’s also full of Black Court, and they descend on us as soon as we enter the space.

I let my colleagues deal with the nearest ones, just focusing on getting as far out into the cavern as I can. I duck under a grasping hand, slam into three more, and then I’m spinning with the memory in my head and Summer flaring through me, my hands going out, laughter and sunlight following my movements. I light up the cavern with warmth and life.

It’s the equivalent of an atom bomb. The vampires die; the sunshine turns them to dust as it passes across them, their arms reaching and faces screaming soundlessly.

I feel a brief moment of pity for them. Were they human, once? But they’ve chosen their actions and their natures. Summer isn’t always kind, and my fire is burning through me.

Summer is here.