Cara Michaels

Cara Michaels

Cara is a dreamer of legendary proportions (just ask her about the alien pirate spaceship invasion). Her imagination is her playground and nothing is quite so much fun for her as building new characters and new worlds with at least an edge of the fantastic. She’s writing whenever the opportunity presents itself and can typically be found tinkering with half a dozen projects. Occasionally all at once.

She calls Florida ‘home’ when she’s not busy swearing about giant bugs and humidity.

Follow Cara on Twitter or at her blog.

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Winner Round 11 

Untitled 

Once upon a time, this place had been a castle. Or a fort. Something medieval and foreboding. Now a hazard of crumbling masonry overgrown with ivy and lichen, it inspired little more than a sense of time’s hold on us. Nothing—and no one—lasted forever.

A woman lay in a broken sprawl at the bottom of what had once been a tower, the walls climbing high around her. I photographed the details. Bruising and scrapes on the side of her face she hadn’t landed on. She’d lost her shoes on impact. A metal spear pierced her from back to front. Along the shaft of the spear I noted two clean spots. As though someone had held the spear through the ages, protecting it from weathering.

“Got a time of death on the vic?”

“She’s in full rigor,” I said. “We’re within six to twelve hours. Doc will temp the liver at the lab for a more precise time.”

“There’s a statue at the entrance to the grounds.”

“And he’s missing his spear?”

“She.”

“Oh.” I glanced up. The detective stuffed his hands in his pockets and studied the square of sky framed above us. I focused my camera lens once more. “Any chance she’s more than she seems?”

He blew out a breath. “Oh, yeah. She’s definitely moved, and recently.”

Damn. I hated the magical cases. Shit always got weird.

“What are you thinking?” I snapped a picture of a slender snake tattooed around the dead woman’s wrist. “Enchantment, curse, possession—”

“Enchantment.”

“Guardian of the Gate?” I clucked my tongue. “An oldie but goodie. Don’t see that one too much these days.”

“Someone doesn’t want trespassers here.”

His precise tone caught my attention. I glanced around us but didn’t spot anyone out of uniform or identifying jacket.

“There are over twenty of us—trespassing,” I said. “Right this very moment.”

“I know,” he said. “So does she.”

A heavy clang sounded as the spear was yanked from the body. I rolled away with a yelp of surprise, scrambling to my feet. A Medusa statue stood ten feet away. Around us, people screamed and shouted.

“If you kill us,” I told her—and I held no doubts she could easily kill us all—”They will destroy this place.”

She rammed the spear through the detective’s head. There’s no reasoning with enchanted metal.

I’d have to rely on bullets then.

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