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About the author:
Robyn Bachar enjoys writing stories with soul mates, swords, spaceships,vampires, and gratuitous violence against the kitchen sink. Her paranormal romance Bad Witch series, historical paranormal romance series Bad Witch: The Emily Chronicles, and spicy space opera romance trilogy Cy’ren Rising are available from Samhain Publishing.
Her books have finaled in PRISM Contest for Published Authors, the Passionate Plume Contest, and twice in the EPIC eBook Awards. As a gamer, Robyn has spent many hours rolling dice, playing rock-paper-scissors, and slaying creatures in mmorpgs.
I opened my mouth to ask for a volunteer, and noticed just a fraction too late that a priest’s collar peeked out from under Manuel’s overcoat and that he was eyeing me in an unfriendly manner.
He spat at me in Latin and pulled a cross that exploded with blinding light. The image seared into my retinas as holy fire hit me full blast.
I’d rescued a damn priest. What a fucking way to die.
My inner demon shrieked, and I hissed like a pissed-off alley cat and bolted. I slammed against the roof ’s edge and toppled over it like a drunk after the bars close, then crashed through the plastic top of a Dumpster in the alley. For a moment I was relieved to be out of the burning, but it was quickly followed by the sudden onset of the what-the-fuck pain of my landing.
The world had ended before garbage day, so I was up to my ass in trash bags that stank like rancid vomit. Mobs descended on my Dumpster in a sea of arms outstretched to grab and devour me. Like sharks in a feeding frenzy, they were programmed to bite first and ask questions later. My pink Chucks had no traction as I tried to climb atop the Dumpster, and I slipped and struggled. Ugh. Death by fashion. I should’ve gone for the Doc Martens.
Mobs weren’t good at ladders, but they could handle climbing short distances, and two toppled over the edge and into the garbage. I tried to kick myself into flight, but my magic fizzled and refused to cooperate. No fuel, no magic. One of the trash zombies’ rotted teeth sank through my jeans and into my leg, and I screamed at the top of my lungs.
I ripped my leg away, losing a chunk of flesh and muscle in the process, and with a rush of pure terror I vaulted out of the garbage and into the alley. When I hit the ground my wounded leg buckled and I collapsed. The dead closed over me like an ocean wave and clawed at my cashmere coat with frostbitten fingers until I wriggled out of it and broke free. I booked it as best I could, ducking and weaving through the crowd.
Despite my fear, I had enough sense left to run down the alley away from the spot the humans had been. I emerged into the street opposite, found it likewise occupied by mobs, and cursed as I headed into the next alley. A metal fire escape clung to the side of the building to my right, and leapt, pulled the ladder down and hustled up it as my wounded leg fought me the whole way.
When I reached the roof I sighed with relief and lay flat, staring up at the full moon as hunger raged through me like a slavering, rabid dog.
I needed to feed, and the only living humans in Chicago were traveling with a priest with a grudge. I wouldn’t make it home without blood—hell, I wouldn’t make it off this rooftop. In a few hours the sun would rise and I’d be Lizzy Addams flambé.
It sucked to be a vampire at the end of the world.