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The Fey by Claudia Hall Christian

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Genre/Category: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
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The Fey by Claudia Hall Christian
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Released from Walter Reed Hospital, Sergeant Alexandra Hargreaves settles in her hometown of Denver, Colorado. With her family and friends close, and her enemies closer, she strives to collect the pieces of her shattered life.

Then everything falls apart.

Haunted by the past, and terrorized in the present, Alex must reach past pain, through memory and beyond the grave to find her self, and her future.

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“This is it?”

“We thought you’d like to see a familiar face,” her childhood friend said. His bright cricket smile flashed across his face.

“Well, they got it wrong in Catholic School.”

His top hat bounced on his head when he nodded. Adjusting his ascot, he held a white-gloved hand out to her.

“Take my hand.”

“What about the others?” She pulled her hand to her chest. “Don’t you have to take them first?”

“Except for one, they have moved on,” he said. “It’s your time.”

“I think I’ll stay here.”

Jiminy Cricket’s head fell back in laughter. The buttons on his vest strained against the gale.

“I am thirty years old,” she said through her teeth. “I am a Special Forces Intelligence Officer. I am a Sergeant in the United

States Army. They call me the Fey. My name is….”

The lights came on. The cricket faded.

She was sitting cross-legged with her best friend’s head in her lap. Touching his face, she confirmed what she already knew.

Sergeant Jesse Abreu was dead. She collapsed back against the door to the limestone vault. She would join him soon.

Her heart jumped. There was movement to inside the vault. Someone survived! Shifting her torso toward the vault, Jesse’s

head ground further into the gaping wounds in her left hip. She clamped her mouth shut against the scream forming in her


Overwhelmed with pain, her focus slipped. The cricket’s smiling face came into view. She screwed up her face and squinted

her eyes.

She was not dying.

Not yet.

Her beloved childhood friend laughed and fanned her with his umbrella.

She was sitting in the doorway again.

“I wondered if you were alive,” a slight dark-haired man said in Arabic. “Don’t move.”

Pressing the muzzle of a handgun against her forehead, he kneeled in front of her. His hand reached under her jacket.

Pulling her dog tags from under her T-shirt, he jerked the secondary tag from the longer chain.

“From the look of things, you’ll be dead soon enough.”

He rummaged through Jesse’s shirt ripping his secondary dog tag from its chain. The man held eleven dog tags in front of her face.

“You’re quite valuable.” Holstering the handgun, he stood and looked back into the vault. “Now, where can I find that security token? No token, no payment.”

“Gosh, I wish I could help you.” She replied in Hebrew knowing it would make him angry. She opened and closed her eyes in an attempt to bat her large brown eyes.

“Yes, f**k me.” The man sneered then kicked Jesse’s dead body. Continuing in Arabic, he said, “I’m not the one who is f**ked. You should be grateful. Death is preferable to what is planned for you. Just give me the token, and we’re even.”

She glowered at him. Under Jesse’s body, she slipped her hand into her pocket to find her Zippo lighter.

“No matter. You’ll be dead in a few minutes.”

Drawing on her deepest reserves, she jerked her torso left causing the man to look into the vault. With a quick flip of her >right hand, the lighter bounced down the dark limestone hallway. When the man jumped after the lighter, she pulled a small journal from inside her jacket. Tucking the journal deep into the front pocket of Jesse’s shirt, she sagged forward.

“Nice try, Fey. I have the token.” The man bent and kissed her cheek. “Thanks. With this, I can afford that house in the South of France.”

The man’s expression turned to disgust when he noticed he was holding a St. Christopher medallion on a secondary dog tag. Spitting on the medallion, he threw it into the pool of blood forming around her. She grabbed for the St. Christopher, the only gift Jesse ever received from his mother. With his foot, he moved the medallion just out of her reach and smirked at her.

“I am sorry. I did like your team… and you.”

“If you like me so much, why not just kill me now?” she asked in Hebrew.

“I am not a killer. I am merely a business man.”

“You hire people to do your killing. You must have known that I would kill him.”

“In fact, I predicted that if we left you alive, you would kill our associate. But you were to be left alive.” He shrugged as if to >say that the shooter’s death was a reasonable business expense. Looking into the vault, he said, “Did you have to shoot him in the head? So messy.”

Pulling a neck gaiter up over his mouth and nose, the man retreated into the blood-drenched vault. He glanced around the vault, and then began rummaging through a stack of clean clothing. Finding what he needed, he wrapped the shooter’s head with T-shirts.

The man jerked to a stop.

Footsteps in the hallway!

Through drooping eyes, she watched him press into a dark corner of the vault.

“Take my hand,” Jiminy Cricket said. “It is time.”

She took the gloved hand and looked into the cricket’s beloved face.

“Can we sing?” she asked.

“Of course,” her cricket began singing her favorite song, “When you wish upon a star.”

They sang as they rose through five floors of limestone tunnels and into the building above. They were floating through the bright fall Paris day when a male voice joined in their song.

“Max,” she whispered the name of her identical twin.

A strong deep voice, with a distinctive London accent, joined the song.

“John,” she whispered her husband’s name.

Like a beacon, their voices called her home.

Turning to Jiminy Cricket, she let go of his hand. With death on her tail, she dove back to the pain. She leapt toward the horror. She pushed her spirit back into her broken body.

Feeling a brush across her lips, Alexandra “The Fey” Hargreaves opened her eyes.