Of Swords and Holes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short fan fiction piece inspired by a writing prompt. It is based on the characters of Jim Butcher's Dresden series. I, of course, do not claim any ownership of the characters or the series.
The prompt given was: "After a long, hard day of work, you return home - the only problem is, your front door is wide open, all your lights are on and there's a sword stuck in the ceiling. The rest of your house looks normal, but you also notice several holes dug in your backyard..."

Submitted: August 26, 2016

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Submitted: August 26, 2016

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It’s been a hell of a day. I had spent it chasing a couple of ghouls all over the city after they had conducted a brazen attack in Millennium Park. It seemed this kind of thing is becoming the new normal for Chicago’s only professional wizard.

“Gah. I can’t believe they actually attacked the park in the middle of the day,” I grumbled as I pulled into the parking lot in my trusty steed, The Blue Beetle. I frowned as I killed the engine. The front door to my apartment was wide open.

That was just a touch concerning considering it was a solid metal door that rested on bent hinges. It never worked correctly due to the undead horde that tried to bust in almost a year ago. It was almost impossible to open it more than six inches so how the hell is it ajar that much? My staff was in hand before I slid out of the car.

Cautiously, I approached my home and felt for my wards.  I was surprised that they were mostly intact. Mostly. The ones covering the door itself were missing or damaged. Very faintly, I could sense the remnants of dark magic. I was surprised my dog, Mouse, wasn’t guarding the vulnerable threshold. I clenched my teeth. If anything had happened to my dog…

I started willing power into my staff as I came down the stairs until I realized I wasn’t sure where either of my pets was. “Easy Harry. Don’t want to fry Mister accidently in the… dark,” I muttered. Apparently, I needn’t worried. A fire was blazing in my hearth and every candle in my basement apartment was lit.

This was very odd indeed. If it wasn’t for the door and my wards, I would have sworn my apprentice, Molly Carpenter, had shown up for some study time.  As I crept into the living room, I noticed the couch was overturned before a huge shadow blocked the light of the fire. A soft half growl, half whine followed the movement.

“Mouse,” I whispered.  He simply stood in place and looked at me. I should probably mention that Mouse isn’t any ordinary dog. He’s a 200-pound Foo Dog who might be smarter than Lassie. “What are you doing?” I hissed as I tried to figure out if the threat was still inside the apartment.

Mouse lifted his head and gazed at the ceiling.  I did the same and stared. Amoracchius, one of the Swords of The Cross, was sticking out of my ceiling. I couldn’t tell if it had gone through the floor of the apartment above me. What was even more impressive was that the European broadsword hadn’t fallen under its own weight yet. Frowning, I looked between the sword and the dog. This was quite the trick, even for him.

“Hells bells,” I said as a knot of apprehension settled in my stomach. Amoracchius was only one of two of the swords currently in my custody. A quick glance at my umbrella stand revealed what I feared. Fidelacchius was missing. “Damnit, damnit, damnit.” My eyes desperately swept over the room. “You let the bad guy get away with the sword?” I asked sourly.

Mouse tilted his head and curled his lip slightly in what appeared to be contempt. He woofed once and then seemed to ignore me. I glared at him. What the hell was that supposed to mean? I stepped towards my bedroom when a shimmering of air next to the closed door caught my attention.

“Harry?” a female voice said timidly from the shimmer. A second later my young apprentice appeared in the corner, clutching the second Sword of the Cross tightly against her. “Thank God you’re home!”

“What the hell is going on here?” I exploded. My dog looked nonplussed but Molly winced. A closer look revealed her right cheek and arm were bruised.

“I came over to work on those spells and was attacked as I was disarming your wards. If it wasn’t for Mouse, they would have been able to follow me inside. Their struggle is what did that to your door. It was Denarians. They were after the swords.”

“Of course they were,” I said. “What else would fallen angels be after here?  What I want to know is how the sword got stuck in the ceiling?”

“Magic of course,” Molly said.

I leaned against my staff and frowned at her. “Need more explanation than that, grasshopper.”

“I only had moments to act, Harry.  Amoracchius was too heavy for me to hold under a veil indefinitely. So I used a little kinetic energy to stick it there and had Mouse guard it while I hid with the other one.”

I smiled. “Good thinking. I think I need to take a look around and make sure they aren’t still lurking around.” I headed for the door again when I heard Mouse’s warning growl. Instantly, I flooded both my staff and shield bracelet with power, expecting a foe to come crashing in.

Instead I heard Sergeant Murphy’s voice say, “Dresden, were you or your neighbors doing some gardening? There’s little holes dug everywhere in the yard. Oh, there’s something shiny in this…”

Before I could react, Mouse had shoved me out of the way and bounded up the stairs. I heard Murphy’s startled cry as the giant canine guardian knocked her down. I had also deduced what those holes meant and raced after him after regaining my balance.

When I got to my side yard, Mouse had the tiny woman pinned under him, just out of reach of the hole in question. She was protesting loudly, complaining my dog had lost his mind. I ignored her for a moment, pulling a piece of warded cloth out of my pocket. Carefully I picked up a coin partially buried in the hole. “Mouse just saved your soul, Murphy. There are Denarian coins in all of these holes,” I said.

“As in the Coins of the Fallen?” she asked, sounding horrified. “There’s dozens of holes.”

I nodded. “Mouse, let her up. Don’t touch them, Murph. We need to get Father Forthill here right away.” The huge temple dog got up and stood protectively near the edge of the yard, growling at anyone who strayed too close from the sidewalk.

Murphy got up and pulled out her phone. “I’ll call right away,” she said as she walked a few feet from me. It was a safety measure to make sure I didn’t accidently blow up the phone. Technology and wizards do not get along.

“I guess my night isn’t over yet,” I said with a sigh.

 

 

 


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