When we last left our gang of seven, they were in a Lowes parking lot surrounded by bloodthirsty coyotes controlled by Sanderson, who has appeared out of the shadows, closer than ever to the one thing he has been after for too many years to count, The Cup. All the pieces are in place, will Sanderson’s plan finally come to fruition?
Raj began to growl low at the unexpected sound of Sanderson’s voice.
Melissa tightened her grip on Raj, terrified. The entire group turned toward Sanderson as one, his words echoed around them, as if they were bouncing off mountains, his eyes greedy on the box Ephraim held. The Cup continued to dance in the air, hypnotic as it glittered, calling like a Siren and Sanderson a sailor, mesmerized.
“Yo, Sandy, you’re starting to drool.” Blue couldn’t resist, she was itching to punch the son of a bitch.
Spence grabbed her hand as Meaghan nearly stopped breathing at her daughter’s bravado.
*Samantha, not now!* Meaghan thought at Blue.
Drawing his eyes slowly from The Cup, Sanderson looked at Blue like a disappointed parent.
“You had such potential little girl, sad really, such a waste,” he shook his head as he walked closer to the group.
“Yeah it is kinda sad I have to waste time killing you dead asshole!”
*Chill babe* Spencer’s fingers tightened around Blue’s hand. *Try not to rile up the crazy man keeping the hungry coyotes at bay, ok doll?*
*Don’t call me doll and stop trying to take the fun parts away* Blue squeezed his hand back for reassurance that she’d behave. For the moment.
“I have to keep reminding myself that you’re just a child,” Sanderson spoke to Blue but kept his gaze on The Cup, “but you will do what I say, when I say. Those two may have provided your DNA,” he waved his hand carelessly at Meaghan and Sam, ” but I made you what you are.”
Sam lunged at Sanderson but Sanderson was faster, throwing up a hand before Sam reached him, emitting an electric blue pulse that threw Sam back a good ten feet.
Blue winced as she heard her Father’s head crack against the concrete ground of the parking lot. She also intentionally ignored the fact that she’d just thought of Sam as her Father.
Meaghan was torn between checking on the man she loved or staying nearer their daughter. Thankfully Sam jumped to his feet, more embarrassed than injured.
Thousands of vicious coyotes smelled fresh blood. They began to moan as one, whining for their Master to let them go, let them at the source of the scent driving them to instinctively push forward, the fence ready to give under their collective pressure.
“Silence,” Sanderson commanded the coyotes and they quieted down, as if he’d thrown a switch.
All but one. Raj continued to growl at Sanderson.
“You always were one to talk back Khalid, ” Sanderson’s voice could almost be called affectionate. Almost.
“No one will stop me from fulfilling my destiny. The Cup is meant to be mine and she”, he pointed dramatically at Blue. “She will get it for me.”
““She” ain’t helping you with shit,” Blue spit back, trying and failing to keep her temper in check.
“That is your only purpose in life little one, and you don’t even understand what an honor I’ve bestowed upon you. The Cup….”, Sanderson’s voice trailed off, reverently.
He stiffened up, looking each one of them in the face.
“Not one of you realize the power The Cup holds. And it’s mine. I have waited years, decades, centuries to get what belongs to me. I will drink from The Cup and have all the power of the First Man. I will delight in destroying each and every star in the heavens and putting them back, one by one, the way I want, no one will stop me and I will rule not only this world, but the three other worlds below, as well as the endless skies above.”
“Dude, how come you’re talking like some kid trying out for a high school play, all dramatic and stuff? Never mind. Don’t care. What I do care about though, is kicking your ass. And these people here. Well, most of them.”
*Oh Spence, stop yelling at me, I’m kidding. Mostly. Now shut up, I love you.*
Spencer had to bite down on his cheek to keep from laughing. His Blue was amazing, he thought with wonder.
*You too babe* she let him know she heard him and sent him an image showing him what she had planned for him after they got through this. He immediately handed over the reins to his girl, she knew what she was doing. She always had a plan, and if she didn’t? Well if she didn’t have a plan she’d make believe she had a plan and improvise. Hadn’t failed yet.
“You can be a part of it still, feisty as you are, you amuse me, my little creation,” Sanderson continued, ignoring Blue’s outburst. “You are the only one who can open the box for me, and that is only the beginning of the power I have bestowed upon you. Together we will rebuild the world, my world, with the power of The Cup we will-”
“We?” Blue had had enough. “You’re out of your fucking mind old man!” She stood in front of him, furious, hands planted firmly on her leather-clad hips, as Spence backed her up, his eyes locked on Sanderson waiting for a sign from Blue, who had become the de facto leader of the group.
Raj continued to growl, showing his teeth as he strained against Melissa’s hold. Sam, Meaghan, and Ephraim stepped forward, all of them ready to battle as the shock of Sanderson’s appearance began to wane.
No one noticed Jose standing off to the side, his palm open as he chanted low, eyes raised to the heavens, calling on the power of Anansi.
Tiny web-like strings, barely discernible to the naked eye, quietly began to slither from the black spider Jose held in his hands, spilling onto the pavement. First one, then another, each individual strand glimmering blue, each strand sliding unnoticed and in unison, headed in the direction of Sanderson.
Authors Note: jeez Boss-man, you’ve got me doing actual research! 😀 Ok so in my attempts to reach the bar set by TRG, KC, and all the writers who came before me, I had to read up on the Creation Story re: The First Man, and Anansi, credited in some legends as the god of all stories, as well as the god of all wisdom. And possibly the first Spider-man. Wikipedia told me everything except suggesting Anansi was the first Spider-man; although he was said to be a spider/man, I prefer to think of him as your friendly neighborhood Spider-man.
You know the deal, go here:
for the summary of the story so far, and here:
for the links to each chapter.
We’re almost to the finish line folks, so take it away twin o’mine, KC is up at bat.