Heroines of the Night
Tripping the Light Fantastic
by Bevie James
Episode Six - Clouded Thoughts
Alanna brought Masked Wizard’s Staff of Renewal along. If she was still alive she was probably going to need it. Meanwhile, she had to find a way to get inside and find out.
She opened her wings and flew down the hill, hovering over the warehouse where Mr. Manners and the others were meeting. From the river side she could see a light glowing from inside. Since the building was abandoned she doubted there was an active electrical connection. That meant Mr. Manners was providing the light himself. Perhaps she could use that to her advantage.
There were plenty of places to land without being seen and she chose one at the building’s corner. Taking out her Whip of Ice and Snow she activated it into a wand. Then she held it with the Staff of Renewal. As she hoped, the Staff of Renewal fed her new strength which she passed on to her wand. This was going to make the effect all the more powerful.
Pointing both the wand and the staff at the river she conjured up and thick fog bank. Then she moved it against the warehouse, shrouding it in a cold and clammy darkness. The light in the building seemed to falter. Her sensitive hearing told her the men inside were alarmed.
“What is it? What’s happening?” said one.
“I don’t know. Jason. Take a look outside.”
The sound of heavy footsteps across a planked floor. A door opened, letting faint light escape. But the fog was too thick. The pitiful rays were swallowed up in darkness. The door closed.
“Fog. Lots of it. It’s all over the river.”
“Damn! Your light doesn’t work in fog, does it? I didn’t bring a torch.”
“Never mind that. Jason. You said the fog’s all over the river. How can you tell how far it stretches? Is it just a thin mist?”
“No. I couldn’t even see the river.”
A growl of anger. “Then how do you know how far it goes?”
“What’s the matter, Benig? Do you think we’ve been caught?”
“Shut up, Latham. And don’t call me Benig. You know I hate that name. I’m Mr. Manners.”
“Telling me to shut up is hardly mannerly, Benig.”
“Shut up! Let me think.”
Alanna continued the fog generation for another minute and then relaxed, letting the Staff of Renewal refill herself with strength. Then she made her way around the corner and to the door. By now the fog was pouring through broken windows and cracks in the walls and roof.
“Where’s that damned bat?”
“Bat? What the hell do you want with a bat? Benig-“
“Don’t argue, Latham. Where did it fall?”
“I don’t know. The only thing I can even see anymore is the glow around you.”
“Never mind, Latham. Jason. Do you know where it is? Jason? Jason? Where are you?”
Alanna smiled as she reloaded her dart gun. Jason would not be answering. Now, where was this Latham character? Oh, yes. His fearful breathing sounded like thunder. She took aim and let the silent sleeper find its target. She knew she should have got close, like with Jason, and caught Latham before he fell, but she was in a hurry. Apparently Mr. Manners had knocked Masked Wizard out of the air for amusement and not because he knew what she was. But now he was suspicious. If he found her first he might use her as a hostage.
“Latham. Something’s happened to Jason. You don’t think he ran, do you? Latham? Latham, damn you! Where are you?”
Alanna let the dart fly, but she had miscalculated. Mr. Manners was still projecting his light, and even though it was diminished by the fog, it was still strong enough to repel anything thrown at him. The dart fell harmlessly to the floor.