Meet Kite

“In my dream, this was the beginning. Errol said the domino is a figurative thing. He said the events of this dream signal Newton’s third law. The domino that topples the rest. The start of a new war.”

kite coll4

Kite first appears in Of Blood and Oil, the third book in the series. A trans nephilim with a gross and scaly green coat, a fondness for fire and Doritos, the inability to eat while sitting, and an apocalypse cupboard in their room.

Violet’s twin sister has gone missing while looking for someone who was believed to be dead. The only clue is a shrine of surveillance images of the London Underground, where Violet encounters vicious, hairy panic.

***

From Of Blood and Oil …

A station platform passed by in slow motion, its curved, tiled walls reflecting the yellow lights above. Standing on a metal bench, fists bared, was a tall, skinny somebody in a black hoodie, a curtain of moss green hair covering half their face. They roared at a vaewolf, one fist finding its throat, the other its nose. It yelped when its attacker leant to the side, aiming a kick square into the beast’s chest. It staggered backwards across the platform where two more vaewolves lay unconscious. The somebody jumped down from the bench, but more vaewolves were pouring through the archways behind them.

“Violet,” Daniel whispered, turning his head sideways to get one last look before the platform disappeared from view. “They’re like us.”

“Go get them then.”

***

A tangle of flailing limbs and scratching hands landed with a thump on the carriage floor.

“Hey!” I bellowed at the stranger, whose nails were sinking into Daniel’s neck. “A thank you will suffice.”

She scrambled to her feet. She was taller than me and built like a pencil. The corner of her mouth quirked into a half smile, and she snorted at me. She had curious hazel eyes, mostly a mossy green flecked with honey. She pulled her hood back revealing short, jet black hair. Dyed black hair if the greenish tinge was anything to go by. A thick green fringe, the exact colour of mushy peas, fell forward, covering half her face. She was striking, her long face giving the impression of being reflected in the back of a spoon.

“What would I be thanking him for?” she said, her raspy voice low and incredulous.

“Rescuing you,” I said, scowling up at her. She was like an exceptionally tall pixie.

“Did I look like I needed rescuing?” she said, leaning forward as her hands went to her hips. She winced.

“Yeah, you did. You’re hurt,” I said, reaching for her waist. She swatted my hand away and glared at me. “Let me see,” I said, reaching out again.

“I’m not hurt,” she said, taking a step back.

“If one of those things bit you …”

“Fine,” she said, pulling up the back of her jacket and turning her back towards me. “See, no bites. I had a tattoo coloured this morning and it hurts when I touch it, that’s all.”

The lower portion of her back on her right side was covered in gauze, which disappeared into the waistband of her jeans.

“Wow, how far up do they go?” I said, tracking the column of tattoos until they disappeared beneath her jacket. I caught sight of a bandage wrapped around the middle of her back, before she hastily tugged her jacket down.

“All the way up and over the opposite shoulder to here,” she said, chopping at her left arm at a point midway between her elbow and shoulder.

***

“You can sit, you know,” said Caleb, nodding at an armchair.

“Nah, it’s alright,” said Kite. “Have you got any food? I’m starving.”

Caleb sauntered off to the kitchen, coming back with an armful of snacks and dumping them on the coffee table. Kite opened a bag of tortilla chips. Perching on the very edge of a chair, so she could escape at any moment, she stuffed the snacks into her mouth, packing her cheeks and rolling her eyes.

I laughed. “When was the last time you ate?”

She choked on her tortillas. Caleb handed her his beer bottle, and she grabbed it, taking a large swig to clear her throat. “It’s been a while,” she said. “I got fired.”

“Where did you work?”

“Scuzzy little café at Elephant and Castle.”

“Why did they fire you?”

“Punched one of the customers and smashed a plate on his head.”

“That’ll do it,” said Caleb.

***

From Cascadence of Truth …

“This is like that crazy old shop in Gremlins,” said Kite.

I laughed. “Gremlins?”

“What? I’ve seen movies. Darryl had a really bad addiction to shitty eighties films. Don’t go near anything that moves. Or sings. See, look, a gremlin.”

Kite pointed across the room at a creature perched on top of a teetering stack of suitcases.

“It’s a cat,” I said. “A very bald and reptilian looking cat.”

“Fuck, if that’s a cat,” Kite said sceptically.

***

When Kite arrived to a full drawing room, a statement was made. Without a word, or any thought for the assorted ornaments on Uriel’s fireplace, Kite unfolded his wings. They were the colour of charcoal, with silver tips, and huge, knocking stuff over left and right. Kite stood, hands on hips, chewing his lip ring, and glaring around the room. In the usual black skinny jeans and vest, and with a newly-shaved undercut, freshly dyed a dark silver, he looked exactly like he was meant to. Like an angel with the devil’s attitude.

A few minutes later, everyone started to filter outside, where it was warm and breezy. Kite nodded sideways at the French windows and set off.

I followed. “Uriel said you had balance issues.”

Kite’s voice was deeper than I was used to. “I did. I do. Everything’s the wrong size since the wings came in. And I feel … heavier. In really weird places.” Kite shrugged. “I’ll get used to it.”

***

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