Harden Lowell abandoned the usage of his voice recorder. Whatever had hit the Yard during the ascension had sent the thing out of whack. It had righted itself around the same time that Harden’s equilibrium had ceased to swim and he was back on his feet, pumped with adrenaline for the story.
But the closer he got to Etta Castle Teague, the more the lines crossed, rendering his device useless. It was okay. He liked to write by hand anyway. He scribbled in short hand everything that he’d witnessed from the Yard, but even more so what he’d witnessed from Etta after she’d made her exit.
Hiding several feet from her, he watched her with a keen eye, watched her toss up her accounts by the side of the road before engaging in a conversation with herself. He couldn’t hear what she was saying, could hardly read her lips for his own pounding head.
But he could tell that she was far worse for wear than she had shown back on the Yard.
He clamped his eyes shut as she got into her car, a searing pain slicing behind his eyes and making his ears ring. He pressed the heels of his hands into his temples and waited for the assault to cease only to find that it had robbed him of his query. Etta was nowhere to be found, her car not even a blip on the horizon.
He cursed, shoving his notes into his coat pocket before jogging back to his car. He’d catch up with her later for sure. In the meantime, he had a story to report.
* * *
Pastor Wesley Ambrose felt his stomach knot with a sickness and revulsion he hadn’t felt for nearly a decade. But with each word that spilled from Talitha’s lips over the phone, broken by her nervous stutters, Wesley had no choice but to relive the feeling.
“I don’t know how she d-did it s-she,” Talitha paused, calming herself as best she could, but she couldn’t deny that she had been shaken. Everyone at the Yard had. “She killed the Mayor, Pastor! And she controlled Lotus, Lotus.”
Wesley’s hand was so tight around his cell phone that he heard its casing moan from the pressure. “Are you sure the Mayor is dead?” He asked as if that were the more relevant query.
“I saw her fall. She never got back up again.”