Hanging Around

Valkyrie Cain hit the ground and unable to keep her balance, she fell with a panicked gasp, and disappeared off the edge. The church tower was high and proud looking out over Dublin City. The night breeze was brisk and carried snatches of laughter from the street below. It was a long way down. A man in a tatted coat peered over the edge. He smirked.
“This is insulting,” he said. “Don’t they know how dangerous, I am? I am very, very dangerous. I’m a killer. I’m a trained killing machine. And they send you, a child.”
Valkyrie felt her grip on the ledge loosen. She ignored the goading of the man standing above her, and looked everywhere but down. Down was where the street was, where the long drop and the sudden stop was. She didn’t want to look down. She didn’t want anything to do with down right now.
“What age are you?” he said continuing.
“What kind of responsible adult sends a thirteen year old child to stop me? What kind of thinking is that?”
Valkyrie swung herself gently towards the tower, planting her feet against the wall. The fear started to work through her and she felt herself freeze up. She closed her eyes against the upcoming wave of paralysis. The man was Space Grace, currently wanted in five different countries for attempted murder. He yanked himself down to the edge and smiled happily.
“I’m turning murder into a form of art! When I – when I kill, I’m actually painting a big, big picture, using blood and, and… messiness. You know?”
Below Valkyrie, the city twinkled.
“I’m an artist,” Space Grace continued. “Some people don’t recognise true talent when they see it. And that’s fine. I’m not bitter. My time will come.”
“Dusk tried to bring the face-less-ones back,” Valkyrie managed to say. Her fingers were burning and the muscles in her legs were killing her.
“We stopped him, we can stop you too.” He laughed, “What, you think I want the old Gods to walk on Earth once again? Is that it? You think Dusk was my leader? I’m not one of those nut bags, all right? I’m my own man.”
Valkyrie had one chance, but she had to be calm to take advantage of it. Her powers, limited though they were, were Elemental- the manipulation of Earth, air, fire and water. But at this stage of her training, they didn’t work when she was panicking. “So if you don’t want the face-less-ones to return,” she said, “What do you want? Why are you doing this?”
He shook his head. “You wouldn’t understand. It’s grown –up stuff. I just want a little appreciation for how I am, that’s all. That’s not much to ask, is it? But of course, you don’t know. You’re just a kid.” He shrugged. “Oh well, time to die.” He reached down to shove her.”
“Have you killed anyone? She asked quickly.”
“What? Did you miss the whole turning murder into an art form?”
“But you haven’t actually killed anyone have you? I’ve read your file.”
He glowered. “Technically, yeah, all right, maybe I haven’t but tonight’s the night. You’re going to be my first.”
She readied herself, controlled her breathing. “Find the space where everything connects,” she murmured.
Space Grace frowned. “What?”
Valkyrie kicked upwards, taking her right hand from the outcrop and feeling the air, against her palm. She pushed at it like she’d been taught, and it shimmered and hit Space Grace, throwing him off his feet. Valkyrie clutched at the edge of the parapet, her legs swinging in open air. She grunted and pulled herself up, then flung her left arm over across the edge and hauled herself the rest of the way up. She got to her feet, her arms and legs trembling with the strain, and moved away from the edge. The wind whipped her dark hair across her face. Space Grace was already getting up and Valkyrie saw anger mottle his face. She clicked her fingers, generating a spark that she caught in her hands. She tried to focus, tried to build it into a flame but Space Grace was coming at her like a freight train. Valkyrie jumped and thrusted out both feet. Her boots slammed into his chest and he hit the ground again and went sprawling. He turned to her just as she lashed out a kick into his jaw. He fell backwards, off the roof and he fell into tiny little pieces!


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