Beast’s blood splattered Luna’s face. “Pegged him!” she cheered as Kelly braked the car.
“Good girl.” Kelly took a crystal ball from her daughter and smeared the dog’s blood on her own face and shirt, then sent her mind questing. First, she found Beast, still alive in the middle of the road in spite of the ball Luna had planted in his head. He would be up and after them again if Kelly didn’t take action. Second, she followed the dog’s blood to its master.
Kip was closing the distance quickly, but he hadn’t yet passed them.
Kelly left her seat and walked back to Beast, holding out the ball Luna had given her, using it to illuminate her path. She said. “You used to be half mine.” Beast rolled onto his belly and whined. He laid his ears back against his head. “I know. It’s been a long time. You’re his dog now. But I need a favor. Do you understand what he sent you to do to us?” Beast growled. Even a hellhound was only a dog, and this one had orders.
Kelly had reached him now. She held the ball tightly, then scooped up the other one where it had landed beside the monster. She gave herself over to the peculiar ecstasy of a commanding trance. She rubbed the second ball along the oozing gauze on her own leg, mixing her blood with Beast’s, and with the dirt and asphalt of the road. Turn the spell on its master. “I need you to find him, Beast. Before he finds us. Rip out his throat if you can get to it.”
Beast staggered to his feet, his skull already healing where Luna had cracked it. He stretched his front legs out long, not a bow nor an admission of Kelly’s authority, but an acknowledgment. She held his blood. She could compel him.
Kelly shook off the trance and returned to the car. She hoped for nothing as she began to drive.
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.