404 words tonight while Catherine was at the dentist getting a cavity filled. For some reason I had “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister on repeat. Some more magic, and some characterization that should make readers wonder what exactly Isaac Magnin saw in Annelise Copeland.

Don’t forget you can read the entire draft whenever you like.

Brooklyn - Annelise Copeland (continued)

An hour later, Annelise followed Isaac down the paths of a cemetary to which she had once been denied entry on account of her civilian status. The ordinary soldiers’ headstones had unsettled her because of their sheer number, but it was the Adversaries’ stones that sent dread worming through her guts. Though she lacked any notion of what the mottos enscribed on the basaltic grave markers meant, she doubted it was anything uplifting about awaiting one’s friends and families in a better world than this one.

Lost in such thoughts, she walked into Isaac’s left arm as she raised it to bar her way. “What’s wrong?”

Without waiting for an answer, Annelise looked ahead to find a basalt statue of a Greek god holding an eternal flame, and a tall, snow-blonde woman standing before it with a naked sword in her hand. “Look. Naomi’s just up ahead.”

At least, Annelise thought it was Naomi. She knew few other women as tall as the soprano with whom she had worked in a former life, and she recognized the cut of the other woman’s burgundy wool overcoat as being her own design. However, she did not recognize the sword she held. “That is Naomi, isn’t it?”

Isaac nodded. “Yes, but somebody else is there with her. Somebody inhuman. Stand back, please.”

As Annelise complied, Naomi sprang upon the pedestal and thrust her strange gray sword into the statue’s breast. Its jawbone unhinged and fell before the rest of the statue crumbled into dust. Naomi sprang backward, and Isaac chuckled.

What’s so funny?”

Isaac glanced at Annelise. “I never cared for that sculpture. I always thought the artist was pussyfooting, trying for an inoffensive compromise, but the unconquered lightbringer is not Prometheus. Prometheus submitted to Zeus and accepted his punishment.”

Not knowing what Isaac Magnin was going on about was nothing new for Annelise, so she accepted that this was one of those conversations and tried to go along with it. “Then who is the unconquered lightbringer?”

Rather than answer, Isaac waited for Naomi to leave before snapping his fingers. The dust whirled as if lifted by a breeze, but instead of dispersing coalesced into a statue of an angel with broken wings staring silent defiance at the heavens with eyes of fire. Annelise gazed upon the statue, and thought she recognized it. “Is that Morgan?”

No, but close enough. Come along. Naomi won’t be far off.”