“How do you know, Jo?” Petunia asked, taking her hand.
“I just do, I feel it. We’ll have to move to the first floor. We have to move quickly, there isn’t much time.”
Petunia had to admit this whole situation was freaking her right the fuck out. Things had gone from bad to worse: First Samantha drops her bomb, then the building goes to hell, Sam comes back to life (a thing she would have thought impossible before today) and now Jo becomes some sort of seer woman.
Thinking of Jo brought a spot of warmth to her heart. Even though she was with Samantha, it had always been Jo she had carried the torch for. Always. But Jo seemed too good for her, too perfect. That she had Jo’s love now, after all this time…she wasn’t about to lose her.
Ignoring the others, Petunia kneeled on the ground in front of Jo. “You’re scaring me.”
“I’m scaring myself.”
“How do you know that LaWanda is in trouble?”
“I just know, Tunnie. I just know.”
Well, Petunia knew that Jo wasn’t being completely truthful, but there would be time enough for that later. “What do you need me to do?”
“Can you call her?” Jo asked.
“Home phones don’t work,” Shane said. They haven’t all day. Cells might work though.”
“Try Diane’s number.” Jo said.
Digging her iPhone out of her pocket, she dialed Diane’s number and got a ring tone. She put it to her ear and waited for her to pick up. Instead of Dian’s voice, a man answered. It was a voice she knew already.
“Why, the people who are cut off from the others finally realize they have technology! Why, it’s a miracle! At least that idiot gamer girl was smarter than you lot.”
“What have you done to Elaine?” Petunia said.
“The same thing I’m going to do to you.”
“I’d like to see you try!” She screamed at him.
“Petunia, do you think it’s wise to piss off the guy who’s killing everyone?” Justin asked.
“Oh, I won’t have to try. It’s already happening and you each have a visitor coming.”
“Now listen here, you son of a bitch”
“Tunnie, look!” Panic in her voice.
Petunia followed Jo’s pointed finger and stared down at the phone. Huge black beetles were streaming out of the mouth piece and streaming over her hands and skin. Petunia dropped the phone with a loud scream. “That’s it! That’s mother fucking it! I’m not taking any more of this, I refuse to be a victim!” She stood, clutching her fists in the air. “I’m not going to be a victim anymore! Do you fucking hear me?”
All of the lights in her apartment shattered at once, leaving them in the dark. Shards of glass fell and sounded like music. In the darkness, she could hear them moving around her. “I’d say he heard you, Petunia.” Shane said.
“What do we do now?” Justin asked. “I mean, it’s not like we can go down the stairs in the dark, is it?”
“I can help there.” Jo said. They all turned to her and watched as she started to glow. First her eyes and then the arm that had touched the black fire was glowing as if lit by embers caused by an internal fire.
“How are you doing that, Jo?” Petunia whispered.
“I don’t know.” She replied.
“Well we have our light source, let’s go.” Petunia moved towards the door. When she turned back, everyone except Jo was staring at her. “Guys? Downstairs is this way.”
“Shouldn’t we map out what we’re going to do?” Corey said.
“Corey’s right. I mean, we can’t just go charging down there.” Justin said.
“We don’t know what he’s capable of.” Shane said.
“Are you fucking men? Are we going to just sit here and wait while he picks us all off one by one?” Petunia was furious. “I have waited my whole life for this woman and I’m not going to let some magic asshole take her or any of you away from me! Do you all understand me? Am I perfectly fucking clear?”
“Yes ma’am.” The three men said in unison.
“I love it when you’re bossy, it’s quite a turn on.” Jo said.
“All right then.” She threw open her apartment door and stepped out of the apartment, followed by Shane, Justin and Corey. When Jo held up her hand of black fire, it revealed not steps to the first floor, not even Petunia’s apartment door. Instead what they saw were walls of stone and, where the steps should be, an entrance to what looked like a forest full of trees.
“Well shit.” Petunia said.