**Author’s Note: Vincent’s Descent is a continuous story that began on April 1st, 2023, as part of the AtoZ Blog Challenge. Most chapters are not designed as stand-alone. I’ve done my best to keep each chapter a touch over 500 words each so they are not too dense to follow along, IMO. For the entire story, please start HERE. Comments are always welcome.
Chapter 21: UKI-E
“I wish I knew where Vincent is, but I do not,” Faye repeated as a mantra, fighting to remain composed. Her face wan, eyes bleary, the lawyer wanted to crawl into a bottle of single malt. She shook her head, looking down at her notepad filled with legalese gibberish as if the answers were there.
What could she say without finding herself locked in a BBHPC room for observation?
Oh, Vincent grew feathers, and he and his shrink flew away.
As it was, Faye had been questioned ad nauseam by hospital security. After that, the police detective. Lawyer Fayed knew how to concoct a story out of the shock of the situation. She pled the fifth without invoking it.
Vincent was more, and she knew that, but not in this reality. Her experience with him when he portalled; glorious and terrifying. Where Vincent took her, what they did, and what he did. Blood rushed to her cheeks but washed them down with the memory of what had occurred in the room. Watching him shifting in confinement, seeing Maria toss herself on him, and then…poof!
They could not detain her. A single text waited for her when they finished with her. Faye gathered her things. Before she left the hospital, she found her way to a visitors’ women’s room. Locking the bathroom stall, she sat and finally allowed herself to shake.
Settled, she unlocked the door, went to the sink, and splashed cold water on her face. Looking at herself in the mirror, she grimaced before fixing her face. She was summoned.
“I wish I knew where Vincent is, but I do not.”
“Ms. Smythe, that is not going to cut it. Where the hell is my son?”
Sitting across the carved oak desk at Vincent’s father, Fayed shook her head.
“How many times do I have to tell you? I. Do. Not. Know.”
“Bullshit.” He leaned closer, his hands in a tight grasp of air above his desktop. “Bullshit. You don’t have many tells, lawyer, but even you can’t control your micro-expressions.”
Faye straightened her already straightened back.
“Last time before I fire you: where is my son?”
“Fuck you,” and then she told him. Everything.
He did not interrupt her. No nodding of understanding, no shaking his head in disbelief. His tell? Vincent’s father sat back in his chair and listened.
When she went over every last detail, Ms. Faye Smythe stood, wanting to push her chair back so it would topple. Instead, she pulled down her suit jacket, picked up her briefcase, and turned her back on Vincent’s father.
Out of the corner of her eye, Faye looked at the shelf of snow globes, the last vestiges of Vincent’s mother. A space was vacant. Dust motes swirled under the LED lights.
The door slammed in her wake.
“Vincent!” Maria screamed to him as the rain turned from freezing rain to deep, heavy snow.
Her voice, useless, drowned out. The birds. The battle, the destruction, the death of the Condor. Its body smashed those who had remained on the ground. The screams cut off. The inner circle tried to take wing but found the icy storm tucked around them, weighing them in place. Those on the outskirts of the vortex scattered as best they could.
Maria paid them no attention. She was freezing, drenched from her swim through the soupy mud. Teeth chattering, body shaking, she wished for arctic-strength clothing.
Vincent! His gaze shifted to Maria. She was dry and warm in an instant, encased in proper gear.
Then the wind howled between Her Lavender Grace and The Grackle Lord. Her Grace lumbered large, buffeted by the driving icy sleet. Her ebon wings gained a brief coat of white, sloughing off each time she shook herself. The drippings turned to icicles at her pinions. They hung with growing weight.
Her Lavender Grace’s determined eyes never left her Grackle Lord until
Neck twisting, Her Lavender Grace searched for the nuisance. To her left. She honed in on the tree line, eyesight still razor sharp. As she turned her attention back to The Grackle Lord, she thrashed her left wing, snapping the needle-like icicles off and sending them hurtling toward Maria.