Read Thaumatology 101 Online

Authors: Niall Teasdale

Tags: #Magic, #Vampires, #demon, #sorcery, #Vampire, #demons, #Paranormal, #thaumatology, #Fantasy, #Supernatural, #dark fantasy, #sorceress, #fairy, #succubus, #Urban Fantasy

Thaumatology 101

BOOK: Thaumatology 101
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Thaumatology 101

The First Novel in the
Thaumatology
Series, Second Edition

By Niall Teasdale

Copyright 2011 Niall Teasdale

Amazon Kindle Edition

 

 

Contents

Part One: T-Null
Part Two: Power
Part Three: Sorcery
Part Four: Doomsday
Part Five: All Hallows’ Eve

 

Part One: T-Null

Kennington, London, August 20
th
2010

Lily’s bare feet slapped on the slate-tiled floor of the kitchen as she walked in, quite naked, as usual. Her thick, silky, chestnut hair was tousled from bed at two in the afternoon and she yawned as she walked to the coffee maker to check the pot. Finding it hot enough, she took a mug down from the tree by the sink, poured herself some of the aromatic, dark liquid and turned, resting her perfect behind against the counter and crossing her long legs at the ankle. She sighed as her first taste of coffee of the day ran down her throat, kick-starting neurons and sparking awareness, and that led her to the contemplation of Ceri sitting at the kitchen table.

Lily had unnaturally perfect, pale-yet-beautiful, porcelain-smooth skin, gorgeous breasts which had absolutely no sag to them despite their size, a trim waist, wide hips, and perfect muscle tone. She had just exactly the right amount of flesh over her muscle to look hard with enough feminine softness to take the edge off. In short, she was absolutely stunning; she knew it too and still managed to act as though she did not. She was used to being looked at, stared at in fact. One of the reasons she lived under Ceri’s roof was that the other girl treated her like a human rather than a sex doll. However, under normal circumstances she expected at least a “hello” when she got up. Lily’s gaze followed Ceri’s to the table and the brown envelope lying on it. Suddenly the lack of recognition had a reason.

A shimmering stream of sparkling light flew in through the kitchen door, resolving into a nut-brown, human-shaped creature with bobbed, purple hair about the size of Lily’s hand, her feathery, blue and white wings beating rapidly to keep her in the air. ‘She still hasn’t opened it yet then?’ Twill said, alighting on Lily’s shoulder, heels tapping on her collarbone.

‘How long’s she been sat there?’ Lily asked.

Rolling her tiny body over and pushing Lily’s hair aside, Twill looked up at the clock over the kitchen window. ‘About three hours,’ she said, rolling back. ‘She’s been to the loo once, so not
all
of the three hours.’

Lily ran the tip of her tongue over one of her fangs. ‘You going to open it then, Ceri?’ she said.

‘Yes!’ Ceri replied, the word coming out as a squeak. She did not move, and her eyes remained fixed on the envelope. In one corner was a digital stamp and the logo of the Metropolitan University. That made it look rather institutional, but the address had been handwritten, in a fairly delicate hand.
Miss Ceridwyn Brent, High Towers, St Agnes Pl, Lambeth.

‘You can’t actually read it through the envelope,’ Lily pointed out.

‘I know,’ Ceri squeaked.

‘It took me three weeks to talk you into applying for a job you knew you wanted. The least you could do is open the letter.’

‘I will.’ Still Ceri remained quite still.

Lily shrugged, dislodging Twill. ‘I’m going to go sunbathe on the roof,’ she said, heading out through the door followed by the fairy.

Ceri continued staring at the envelope as though looking away might suddenly make it do something of its own accord.

~~~

Lily’s four-inch heels clicked on the slate floor as she walked in dressed for work; if you could describe it as dressed. It was just after eight pm, the sun would set in about fifteen minutes, and an hour later the more nocturnal members of London’s society would be emerging. It was Friday night, and that meant the norms would be mixing with them, and Lily would be catering for both. She worked at the Jade Dragon, a club in Soho which attracted the rich, the famous, and the exotically dangerous, and those who wished to hang around with them. The “uniform” she wore was a skin-tight silky dress in black with a gold, red, and blue Chinese floral design. Mostly it consisted of holes, however, and the panels at front and back which formed the skirt barely covered her dignity.

Ceri was making toast, still dressed in the same, oversized men’s shirt she had been wearing at two o’clock. Lily paused and sucked on a fang. She checked the table. Sure enough, the envelope was still there, unopened, unmoved. ‘So you got the job then?’ she said.

‘Nope,’ Ceri replied, not looking around.

‘I wish you’d told me you’d become psychic. I might have bought a Lottery ticket.’

‘I flunked the interview,’ Ceri said. ‘I know I did. Tennant didn’t like me knowing as much about quantum thaumatology as she did. I know it.’

‘Well, yes,’ Lily said dryly, ‘because the last thing she would want is a
competent
research assistant. Open the letter.’

The toaster popped up, causing Ceri to jump. ‘It’s a rejection,’ she said. ‘I don’t need to read a rejection letter. I’m just going to go find another job.’

‘It’s not a rejection,’ Lily said, her voice starting to carry a hint of irritation. ‘You are the brightest thaumatology student anyone’s seen in years. Tennant would be insane to pass you over and the only thing keeping you from knowing that is your own widderwise insecurity!’

‘It’s a rejection letter,’ Ceri mumbled. A tiny red spark flickered in the back of Lily’s black eyes and she was across the floor and grabbing the envelope faster than a woman in high heels had any right to. ‘Hey!’ Ceri yelped, darting forward, but Lily bent over at the hips, fending her friend off with her behind and slitting the envelope open with one, long, red-painted nail. ‘That’s private!’ Ceri added by way of protest. It was no good; she backed off as Lily scanned the letter inside.

Lily straightened up now that she was no longer being attacked, her eyes flicking down the page. She tossed the single sheet of paper and the envelope back onto the table and started for the door. ‘You start on Monday, Rejection Girl.’

Soho

Ceri sat at the bar of the Jade Dragon, a glass of white wine in hand, watching Lily work her tables. The woman was an artist, it had to be admitted. She almost got more in tips than she did in regular pay and Ceri had actually seen people ask to be seated at one of her tables. Of course, she had something of an advantage; Lily was a half-succubus. As she walked toward Ceri with more grace than anyone should be allowed to have, the tiny pin-prick of red in her pupils showed that she was using her aura. One of her auras, to be precise; she had a couple and this one was meant for hunting. The only norm in the room who could not feel the sheer eroticism pouring off her was Ceri, and even the supernaturals reacted to it.

‘Need another drink?’ Lily asked as she reached the bar and waved to Alec, the bartender.

Ceri raised her wine glass, which was still a third full. ‘I know you’re paying, Lil, but I don’t really
want
to get smashed, okay?’

Lily giggled. ‘Got to celebrate your new job, hun.’ She turned as Alec arrived and smiled. ‘Table six wants two red wines, a double of the Glenmorangie, and a Vee-Bomb.’

Ceri looked over at the table the drinks were for. Three humans, the two women dressed in clinging, sexy mini-dresses, the man in a suit. Between the two women sat the vampire, leaning back to keep his face in shadow. A Vee-Bomb was a vodka and Red Bull with a shot of warmed, synthetic blood. Ceri had always found it mildly ironic that something created by the drinks industry to allow vampires to absorb alcohol had proven so useful in medicine. Not only did “Syn” allow vampires to use some legal drugs like painkillers, it had almost entirely replaced the use of donor blood in operating theatres. The one thing it could not do was replace living blood in a vampire’s diet.

Alec placed four glasses on a tray in front of Lily and she picked it up, giving him one of her smiles before turning and strutting away. Alec watched her behind move as she walked. ‘That is one crazy sexy girl,’ he said.

‘Yeah,’ Ceri said, ‘I guess she is.’ She tried not to take it as an insult, seeing that it was not, all things considered. Ceri was hardly unattractive. She worked out. She was slim. Slightly too masculine of feature to be called “beautiful,” she was still very far from ugly. She was also fairly ordinary; only the tattoos on her inner wrists and the red streaks in her short black hair gave the impression of any lack of conformity. Compared to Lily’s exotic beauty, Ceri was a dog.

‘And you live with her, right?’ Alec added.

‘Technically, she lives with me. My house.’

Alec’s grin was rather more like a leer; Ceri could see his fangs. ‘Bet she keeps you warm in winter,’ he said.

‘She’s got her own room,’ Ceri told him. ‘We’ve never…’

‘Never!’ The barman sounded entirely incredulous. ‘Seriously? You’ve
never
slept with her?’ Ceri shook her head slowly and Alec raised an eyebrow. ‘You got some kind of mental condition?’

Ceri sighed and turned to look back at Lily as she moved among the tables. ‘Yeah,’ she said, ‘something like that.’ She realised she was rubbing at her wrists and stopped, picking up her glass again. The slight tingle continued and she looked at one of the intricate patterns marked out in what looked like black ink. Tiny flickers of light moved along the lines.

‘Nice tats,’ Alec commented.

‘Thanks,’ she replied, folding her arms to hide them. She had had them since she could remember. Her parents had placed them there to protect her, they had said, and they worked. Lily’s magic did nothing to her, no spell could touch her; when a demon had escaped onto campus two years earlier, it had taken one look at her and run the other way.

The tingling got worse and she looked up to find Lily standing beside her. Her fists clenched and Lily looked apologetic; she almost never had her aura on in the house. ‘Sorry,’ Lily said.

‘You’re working,’ Ceri replied, shrugging. ‘How’s business?’

‘The guy at table four’s got wandering hands,’ Lily said matter-of-factly, ‘but he’s going to leave me an
enormous
tip and then his girlfriend’s gonna drop him like a hot penny.’

‘Guess that’s something,’ Ceri said. ‘Not sure how you put up with it.’

The half-succubus shrugged. ‘Gives me a buzz,’ she said. ‘Maybe you should try it. It’s nice to feel appreciated.’

Ceri snorted. ‘My dad wasn’t an incubus and I don’t think they’d appreciate me the way they do you. Alec doesn’t.’

‘Pfft! Alec’s a lick. Total horn-dog.’

Ceri glanced at Alec. Now she knew to look, the signs were there. The fangs should have been a dead giveaway really, wrong for a vampire and half-demons like Lily were rare as hen’s teeth. He had the smooth movement and the muscles rippling under the black, silk shirt. Yeah, he was a were; “lick” was a corruption of lycanthrope and there was no way the club would employ a one of
those,
but a true were was different. Probably a wolf when he changed. Foxes were more common, but they were universally ginger.

‘Oh,’ Lily said, ‘table three’s looking dry. Time to go to work.’ This time it was Ceri watching Lily’s barely covered arse as it followed a complex procession across the room. She had to admit, aesthetically it was a really nice arse.

Her attention was drawn away from the view as her wrists continued tingling even as Lily moved out of range. Over on table six, the vampire was watching her.

~~~

The long, black coat Lily wore to cover herself outside the club flapped in the slight breeze as the two girls walked toward Charring Cross Road. It was four fifteen and the club was closed, the tables cleared, the only people left behind were the manager and Alec, checking the till and closing up. In a little under two hours the sun would come up and the night air was as cold as it was going to get. Ceri could not feel it.

Overhead the Northern Lights flickered in the sky; blues and greens and purples shimmering in the upper atmosphere. Ceri’s parents had once told her that they had never come as far south as London before the Shattering. Now they were brighter, especially on the waxing moon, energised by the Earth’s magic field. It looked beautiful, but you got fairly used to it.

‘Nice take,’ Lily said. ‘Three hundred in tips. Not my best Friday night, but not bad.’

‘Cool,’ Ceri said. They had a good arrangement; Ceri had inherited the house, but she was a student. Lily’s rent gave her the pocket money she needed to run her life, and paid for food for the three of them. It was still way cheaper than renting a flat in London. The job Ceri was starting on Monday would be the first paying work she had ever had.

‘You have a good evening?’ Lily asked.

Ceri grinned. ‘I’m not really much of a clubber, Lil,’ she said, and then relented as her friend pouted. ‘It was cool. I drank a bit too much, and I
really
have to get back into a daytime rhythm before Monday, but it was relaxing.’

BOOK: Thaumatology 101
9.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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