out for blood

A rift opened in the Midwest.

We first heard about it Friday night. Rook mentioned there was a rumor going around about an open rift, just casually. I didn’t think of it again — I felt a little twinge of anxiety wondering what might come through, decided that until it was my problem I wasn’t going to worry about it, and went back to feeling sorry for myself.

But then the next day Beverly called.

“Did you hear about the rift in Wisconsin?”

“Yeah,” Neal sighed. “What horrible thing is coming through now?”

“Nothing,” Beverly said. “It’s just not closing.”

I didn’t get it at first, kept scrolling through my phone until Julian said, “just say it Bev,” in this calm, even tone that scared me.

“We haven’t heard anything from Palefish yet,” she said. “But the Allens started making a scene. They called the Walthers yesterday and demanded to know why Lana hasn’t mobilized.”

“Mobilized for what?” I asked.

“Have you talked to Cara yet?” Neal asked, ignoring me and that’s when I finally understood.

“They wouldn’t,” I said. And when no one assured me they wouldn’t I added, more loudly, “you all said she’d never actually do it!”

“I don’t know what Lana’s gonna do,” Beverly said. “But the Walthers —”

“We already know the Walthers are for rifting,” Neal said.

“It’s not that simple,” Beverly sighed. “20 people died in those caves — many more would have died if it weren’t for witchcraft. Fuck Neal, you were almost among them. All because Cara wanted to make a few dollars?”

“So we should just shove her through a rift? Jesus Christ Bev,” Neal said.

“I didn’t say that,” Bev said, and her voice hitched an octave up, at which point a saw the boys become actually alarmed. Beverly took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, shit. You just should hear the way everyone’s talking, they’re out for blood.”

We were all quiet.

“Lana won’t let it actually happen,” Neal said after a minute, which is the kindest thing I’ve heard him say about Lana, ever. “She’s a controlling, power-hungry dictator, but this was a deal she made to try and convince hunters to stop killing civilians, she never meant to actually do it.”

Which actually did sorta give me some hope — if Neal’s saying nice things about Lana, you know it means something — but Beverly said, “I hope you’re right,” and she didn’t sound convinced at all. She added, “The Allens are on a war path.”

At which point Neal went on a long tirade about all the things the Allens could do — none of them pleasant. We’re on our way to the Midwest. None of us have been able to talk to Cara.

On the one hand I’m full of terror and outrage. On the other hand, like — I’m sorry, no one is putting anyone through a rift. We see what comes out of those lmfao. There’s just no way.

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