Harpy Redux - Ghost Hunters Mystery-Detective
Publisher: Midwest Journal Press
An old enemy found me, and left me powerless - when I was only trying to help her.
We'd met year ago, and she became trapped in the mystic world she'd created, on of evil and retribution for imagined offenses.
I had my own problems at the time, so became the target of her wrath.
When she disappeared, and became trapped for thousands of years, I had almost forgotten her.
Meanwhile, life had changed. Lessons had been learned. People moved on.
Then she showed up again - even more bitter and vile than ever.
She left me to die. But karma was on my side. And payback, well...
(Part 2 of 3: contains cliffhanger ending...)
One thing I knew. We had released an evil priestess to roam the earth after 12,000 years secured in an underwater trap.
OK, that's a bit thick for our day and age. She was in charge of worshiping old gods when she sank with Atlantis. And "evil" is always in question (particularly in our PC days, and what politicians think they can get away with - and often seem to.) Let's say "ethically-challenged". It just means we let someone loose who didn't have a lot of respect for the rights and beliefs of others. In a dangerous way. Like, might be on the side of terrorists if she gets a chance.
So we needed to find her and somehow fix what we had done. How, I hadn't a clue.
All I knew was that I was in the Ghost Hunters Library and everyone else had left to go research or hunt down our missing priestess.
As much I wanted to go research, I only knew a handful of paths inside that maze of shelves. A few wrong turns and I'd be completely lost. And unable to get anyone to find me.
For the moment I sat here. Comfortable dark leather cushions on this mission-style couch. Unfortunately, I was down to the last of the delicious brownies and a few swallows of spiced cocoa that Granger had left for us.
And no books to read, not that I wanted to focus on anything besides the problem we had. Because I had helped to create that mess. That priestess had gotten into my dreams.
How to find this priestess was the next question. Gaia was somewhere in the stacks doing research, Sal and Jude were already on the hunt - I didn't want to bother any of them.
Then I thought of the other one person who had the power of a goddess and maybe even as long a history - Harpy.
So I touched the turquoise stone on a lanyard around my neck and thought of her.
One unexpected side effect, though. Instead of Harpy appearing before me, I began shimmering out of the Library...
- - - -
And found myself in a dark dungeon room, very close if not the same room as Harpy had originally brought me to. Dark, with a tall ceiling and vertical slits for windows, all in the dark gray hewn rocks. Thick columns rose to a ceiling far above, lost in the shadows there. Where the thin light was coming from, I still didn't know.
"Harpy? You there?"
I heard a rustling over to my side.
And a quiet whimper returned. Whatever that was, it wasn't in good shape. My humanity made me go to find out, for maybe it was something or someone in need.
I kept calling and listening. Either whimper or rustling sounded in reply, or by just being quiet and listening. I closed the distance by trial and error. At last, rounding a corner, I found a huddled shape in a dark corner.
"Shhh. There, there. It's OK. I'm only here to help you. Can you show me your face?"
And she did. Tears, blood, scratches and all.
Shock was an understatement of how I felt.
It was Harpy...
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