When Garrick the Gatekeeper snatches Lena from her world only to drop her onto another, Lena does what any red-blooded American girl would do. She screams bloody murder—especially when a pack of wild dogs trap her on a bridge. Is it a dream or a nightmare come true when a real live superhero flies in to save her?
Smiling, she thought about one of her friends from college. Maria loved men to the point that she wasn’t happy if she wasn’t dating at least two at a time. Ultimately, Maria ended up living with two men. Maria seemed happy enough. Yet, while a ménage relationship sounded intriguing to Lena, she wasn’t interested. Pleasing one man was difficult enough. Why in the world would she want two? It seemed like way too much work to her.
Reaching the bridge, she ran lightly up the ramp and out onto the arc that stretched across the river. Lena checked her watch again. By her calculations, she should be home in less than an hour, and she’d finish with her shower just in time to watch her favorite TV show. After that, she would go to bed and soon start a new day all over again. She wasn’t even finished with this one, and already, she looked forward to her next run.
Just as she reached the halfway point of the bridge, the ground shook violently and the sky became dark. If she didn’t know better, Lena would have thought that perhaps there was some truth to some of the movies she’d watched with Maria about extraterrestrials.
Bright light and a swirl of brilliant color surrounded her right before the bridge pixilated and broke apart. With a silent scream, Lena fell into the ensuing darkness.
“What’s happening to me?” Finally, she could hear her own screams.
“You are getting your wish, young one.”
“Young one?” Lena could have laughed if she wasn’t scared silly. “I’m nearly thirty-five.” She glanced around, seeing only darkness.
“That is young to someone like me.”
The darkness abated and Lena could see. What she saw nearly made her drool, but the man was way too young for her.
“Right,” she said with a snort. “You can’t be a day over twenty-five.”
“I am many days over that age, madam.” He smiled at her, revealing a little dimple in his right cheek that was so appealing, it was all she could do to not touch it.
Lena frowned at the thought. What was coming over her? She never had thoughts like those. She peered out into the darkness surrounding them before returning her gaze to the man before her.
“I am Garrick the Gatekeeper. I have been what you would call a fairy godfather for close to three thousand years.” He bowed slightly. “I am also called Garrick the Good.”
Lena glanced around her, looking for an avenue of escape, but she could still see nothing outside the circle of light that surrounded them.
“I am a messenger of the Wyrd sisters, the sisters of destiny. You might know them by their Greek name, the Fates.”
“Right,” Lena said as she backed away from him. “Don’t try to impress me with myth and nonsense. It won’t work. I’m not gullible.” Not anymore.
She refused to attribute this to some sort of intervention by the gods. She wasn’t even sure she believed in a higher power, let alone a bunch of gods running about sticking their noses in everyone’s life for their amusement.
“Look, mister, I don’t know who you are, and I really don’t much care. Just take me back to the bridge and we’ll forget this happened.” She nervously licked her lips. “Really. I don’t have time to fill out police reports, so if you’ll just take me back, I’ll run on home and we can both go our separate ways.”
She didn’t mention that she wouldn’t report what happened, because if she told anyone, they would most likely lock her up in the loony bin. Who would believe the bridge disintegrated and turned into little more than little square pixels like a computer-generated program before she fell through it into darkness instead of the river?
Garrick pulled something from the inside of his leather vest and checked it. “The thread locator does not lie.” He showed it to her as though she could make sense of the kaleidoscope of colors swirling around its electronic face.
“It also doesn’t say anything,” she said with a snort. “Of course it can’t lie. It’s a piece of electronics, not a person. Only people lie.” Of that, Lena was most aware.