"Uh, pleased to meet you?" I offered, trying not to breathe.

I'd found many times over that my sense of humor had the potential to get me out of trouble.

Wasn't really working this time, seeing as the sword was still levitating, unmoving, in front of my face.

"Dr. Steiner," a smooth voice sighed, "What in the Nine Realms do you think you're doing?"

Thing shifted uncomfortably beside me.

"My apologies, I was just bringing over the new recruit."

The sword moved and I sighed in relief.

"Oh. So this is the leech. I must say, she looks rather unassuming."


"And who are you, exactly?" I asked, craning my neck up.

My gaze was met with the sight of a tall woman, dressed completely in black. She had startling yellow eyes and fangs protruding over her lower lip that told me instantly she was inhuman.

Pointed ears poked out from behind a curtain of lush black hair, studded with multiple earrings.

"My name is Laila, young one."

She offered me her hand and I took it, nearly having my arm pulled out of its socket as she helped me up.

"I'm Bridget." I managed, "You...have a strong grip."

"Thank you." she smiled, "Dr. Steiner, would you be so kind as to show Bridget the camp?"

Thing got up awkwardly, nodding.

"Uh, yeah...sure. Follow me."

He started walking and I did as he said, trotting to keep up.

"What species is she?" I asked in curiosity, "Djinn? Pixie? Vampire?"

"Don't be crazy, vampires don't exist," he chuckled, "They went extinct after the advent of global warming."

"Oh, right." I muttered, feeling stupid. 

Being on the run meant that I was seriously out of it. Didn't even keep up on major news anymore.

"She's one of the Falinn," he explained, "Pretty secretive race, so you probably wouldn't have heard of them."

I hadn't heard of them, as a matter of fact.

"Oh yeah, the Falinn. Cool."

Thing looked at me as if he totally knew I was pretending to be smarter than I was, and kept walking.

"We'll be getting to the carnivorous hedge soon. Keep your arms and legs on your person, Mathilda's vicious to strangers."


"You named a bush?" I asked incredulously.

"Her parents named her, Bridget. Don't be plantist."

Okay, now this was getting ridiculous.

"Are you trying to pull my leg?" 

We actually came upon a large hedge, running as far up and to the side as the eye could see. 

I reached out and touched it.

The End

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