“The. Ginger. Apocalypse.” Ara repeated slowly, one hand raising absently to brush her own scarlet locks behind a dainty ear, and exhaled the anger she had been holding on to. “You would. You fucking would.”
“Dibs on offing Ginger-head. Someone give me a battleaxe and clear the way for a running start.” Sal backed up as he spoke, squaring his shoulders and readying himself to charge. Widening his stance, he sank low into a runner’s crouch before halting in place. “What are you gits staring at? Can’t you take a bloody joke?”
Shemo looked up from her dark broodings long enough to tilt her head toward the fireplace, above which two axes were crossed on a plaque. Ara caught the motion and replied with a scowl sharp enough to slice through steel. Shemo answered only in silence, though the creature in her lap paused in its purring long enough to contribute a hiss to the exchange.
“Have synchronized cycles, do we?” Sal stated blithely, abandoning his preparations for the charge. Clearly uninterested in whatever retort Ara offered, the Scot busied himself taking a long draught from his ever-present flask. The man only slowed his consumption long enough to mutter ‘snide bitch’ before resuming his pursuit of inebriation.
“It’s not being snide, it’s being snarky.” Aerie shot back defensively.
“Snark is the idiot’s version of wit.” Quoted Aethon without looking up from the fire as he prodded the logs listlessly.
“Har har. Are we through ganging up on me?” Ara took a deep breath and shot Rani a withering glare that made Shemo’s early stare seem like a clay spoon in comparison. “If you dare try to slide in a ‘that’s what she said’, your nonexistent descendents will be plagued by nightmares of the damage I would inflict to you.”
The silence that followed was pregnant enough to spawn octuplets and tangible enough to club a troll. The tension may have boiled over until the proverbial steam stripped flesh from bones were if not for Donut’s characteristic immunity to the warning signs of the provoked female. The narcissist raced to snatch an axe from above the mantle and toss it urgently to a Sal that almost missed the catch in his shock.
“Quick! Cut off its head and kill it with fire.”
Rani stepped forward with a calming hand raised, exhaling a sigh that would inspire the envy of the combined cast of Twilight. Closing his eyes and taking in a slow breath, the sporadic writer took a moment to quell the urge to savagely butcher his friends and partners in crime. When the blood lust no longer tinted his vision red and his pulse slowed to a mere ninety miles per hour, he cleared his throat as loudly as he could without damaging his throat.
“We can bicker and banter after we get this show on the road. This is a serious mission and the stakes are high.” Donut’s comment on vampires died a painful and premature death due to the scorching gaze Rani fixed upon him as a preventive measure. “The situation is more complex then we all thought. Not every redhead is the enemy, surprisingly enough, nor do all our enemies have red hair. The redheads that have forsaken their soulless ways and joined our side are called ‘Short Souls’. Ara is a Short Soul. Treacherous non carrot-tops that have joined the ranga agenda are known as spirit gingers. Make no mistake; while they may not resemble Pippi Longstocking, they have no souls. Most of this I can fill you in on a need to know basis, but that is something you need to know going in. Now let’s get this scene wrapped up and I’ll fill each of you in on your role in the off-screen transition.”