Beauty (Fantasy Masterworks 14) by Sheri S Tepper

By Sheri S Tepper

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It was a security station, the wall lined with flat-screen monitors. Inside, a young man spun in his chair, like he’d been caught surfing porn sites. “Why don’t you go grab a coffee, Rob,” Dr. Davidoff said. ” He turned to me as the guard left. “You’ll be seeing more of the building later. ” Did he think I was stupid? I knew what he was really doing: showing me how well guarded this place was, in case I was planning another escape. But he was also giving me a chance to study what I was up against.

You can’t do anything. You’re a silly, useless Barbie, just like my sister. I’m smarter, tougher, more popular. But does that matter? ” She towered a head above me, staring down. “All anyone cares about is the helpless little blonde. ” She lifted her hands. Sparks leaped from her fingers. When I fell back, she grinned. “Why don’t you call Derek to help you now, Chloe? ” Tori advanced, the sparks swirling into a ball of blue light between her raised hands. She whipped her hands down. I dove. The ball shot over my shoulder, hit the wall, and exploded into a shower of sparks that singed my cheek.

Maybe, way back in history, people had known about necromancers and witches and werewolves, and those stories are based, if very loosely, on old truths. My method—if I can call it a method since I’ve only used it twice—came from trial and error and a few grudging tips from Derek. As a guy who was taking college-level courses at sixteen, being confident of his facts is important to Derek. If he isn’t sure, he’d rather keep his mouth shut. But when I’d pushed him, he’d told me that he’d heard that necromancers summoned ghosts either by being at a graveside or by using a personal effect, like Liz’s hoodie, so I was sitting cross-legged on the carpet, clutching it.

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