Sorceress, Interrupted - By A. J. Menden


I stared at the glamorous woman in front of me. She’d never looked more lovely than she did at the moment, her long, dark hair curled in waves down her back, a stark contrast to the long white dress that draped her perfect figure and somehow managed to avoid the dirt and dust passing chariots and horses kicked up in their wake, her arms bare except for the few golden bracelets. Her otherworldly beauty was almost terrifying. I struggled to find my voice. “You’re leaving?”

She sighed. “I never should have come. This isn’t my place, you understand. I should be with my own people. I don’t belong here. I never have.”

I tried to process her words. My mind wouldn’t let me. “You can’t just leave.”

“My family’s come back for me,” she said, glancing over to the small group of equally extraordinary-looking people who were watching the scene before them like they were watching animals fight for scraps of food: insignificant, and not worth their time.

“I must go with them,” she said again, as if addressing a small child. “This was a mistake.”

It was as if she physically hit me. “This was a mistake? I’m a mistake?”

She looked back to where her family stood waiting, embarrassment obvious on her beautiful face. “Don’t be like this.”

“How am I supposed to be?” I bit back the tears that threatened. I didn’t want her to see me cry. Not because it would upset her, but because she wouldn’t care and that would be worse. “What am I supposed to do now?”

“You’re a big girl, you’ll be fine.” She glanced over to see the bearded man motioning to leave. “I’ve got to go now.”

My hand shot out. She looked down at where I gripped her arm and then back up at me. Her eyes narrowed, and I waited for her to slap me to make me let go.

“What about him?” I hissed. “What am I supposed to do with him?”

It was the wrong thing to say. A coldness settled over her features. “You should probably take care of him. Someone should.” She yanked her arm out of my grasp. “Good-bye.”

“You selfish bitch!” I screamed at her retreating back. “If I ever see you again, I swear I’m going to cut that cold heart of yours out of your chest!”

She disappeared with her family, to whatever glories awaited them in the far-distant land where they had sequestered themselves.

A handsome young man, dressed in the garments of the wealthy, came out of the dwelling behind me, passing by one of the altars to the gods in the vestibule. “Who were those people?”

I gritted my teeth. “No one important.”

He nodded as if he understood, even though I knew he didn’t. “And . . . who are you again?”

I fought down the urge to strike him. “No one important either, apparently.” Dad.

I woke up momentarily confused. I took in my surroundings, expecting to see the decor of the ancient home that I had just revisited in my dream but instead was met by lush contemporary furnishings. Repulsed by the dream, I shivered. At least this time I’d called her a bitch and didn’t just cry and beg her to stay. If you’re going to dream about past events, you might as well act how you wish you had.

Remembering I wasn’t alone, I glanced over at the man lying next to me in bed. He was snoring loudly, as only someone drunk could. I remembered all of the booze we’d tossed back together in my bar last night. At some point we stumbled to my “throne room,” the chamber where I met with my patrons who wanted to ask for favors, and I had transformed it into my bedroom. No wonder I’d dreamed of the past: I always get depressingly sentimental when drunk. Which is why I don’t get drunk very often. But the knowledge of today’s significance had begun haunting me last night, and at the time having a drink or two in the company of a man with scruffy good looks seemed like a good distraction.

With a hangover and a man in my bed whose good looks were decidedly more questionable in the cold morning light, things were different. This was just another reason why I flirted outrageously with anyone male but usually went to bed alone: the letdown and aftermath are always too much. I’d had my heart broken more than a few times in my long life and it never got easier. Which was why I