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 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.”

They scrambled to their feet. They were taller than me and built like a pencil. The corner of their mouth quirked into a half smile, and they snorted at me. Their curious hazel eyes were mostly a mossy green flecked with honey. They pulled their hood back, revealing short, jet black hair — dyed black hair if the greenish tinge was anything to go by — and a thick fringe the exact colour of mushy peas. They were striking, their long face giving the impression of being reflected in the back of a spoon.

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

“Rescuing you,” I said, scowling up at them. They were like an exceptionally tall pixie.

“Did I look like I needed rescuing?” they said, leaning forward, hands on hips. They winced.

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

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

“If one of those things bit you …”

“Fine,” they said, pulling up the back of their jacket and turning their 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 their back on their right side was covered in gauze, which disappeared into the waistband of their jeans.

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

“All the way up and over the opposite shoulder to here,” they said, chopping at their left arm at a point midway between their 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 they could escape at any moment, they stuffed the snacks into their mouth, packing their cheeks and rolling their eyes.

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

They choked on the tortillas. Caleb handed them his beer bottle, and they grabbed it, taking a large swig to clear their throat. “It’s been a while,” they 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 (at this point, Kite’s pronouns are she/her) …

“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.

***

Later (Kite’s pronouns are now he/him) …

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 they were huge, knocking stuff over left and right. Kite stood, hands on hips, chewing his lip ring and glaring around the room. Kite didn’t usually dare people to look; Kite usually shrunk so nobody saw anything. 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.

I’d messaged him when I left Uriel yesterday, trying to be subtle when I asked about blood loss and feathers. Apparently, I wasn’t subtle enough.

Kite: Are you trying to ask if you should call me sir now?

Me: Did you mean to send me your kinky shit?

Kite: Call me sir, bitch.

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. And you know what else is weird? My voice. It keeps going high when I get excited … not falsetto or anything, just … fuck knows. ” Kite shrugged. “I’ll get used to it.”

***

Pinterest board for Of Blood and Oil.

kite coll4

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