If it hadn’t been for that army of evil black mice, I wouldn’t have ruined my sister’s wedding.
Look, full disclaimer: I was fourteen at the time and had been in demon-slaying training only a year, so I was a beast with a short sword…the wooden kind, at least. But Kido wouldn’t be a great master if she hadn’t taught her apprentice how to deal with a small army of demonic mice with a kitchen cleaver and a can of hairspray.
I crouched behind the thick shrubs my mother had so painstakingly trimmed for my sister’s backyard wedding. The sun was hot on the crown of my head, sweat building under my hair and in the crease of my knees despite the breezy blue dress I wore. I carefully balanced so I didn’t tread on the hem as I tipped forward to peek under the edge of the hedge at the pencil straight line of twenty or so mice marching in the shade of the hedge towards the front of the wedding area aka the altar.
I clutched a butcher knife in one sweaty hand and the industrial sized bottle of my sister’s hairspray in the other.
“What are you doing?”
Kido would’ve thwacked me on the head for the squeal I let out–startling several people on the other side of the hedge–and for dropping my weapons at the same time. I whipped around to find Max Gilbert looming over me in his stupid blue bowtie and stupid long hair.
“What?” I demanded, turning away. I lunged for the hairspray that had rolled under the hedge and froze–twenty pairs of eyes, glistening and glowing in the shade, stared back at me.
I gasped one of Kido’s inappropriate words and grabbed the hairspray just as they sprang at me. Falling back, I raised the can and slammed my finger down on the nozzle, catching three of them full in the face, immobilizing them. They dropped onto the grass around my head with soft thumps. But I couldn’t stay on my back, vulnerable. The rest were coming. I kicked to my feet, sprayed two more as they sprung out of the shadows, and shoved Max away. As much as I wouldn’t have minded leaving him to the rodents, Guardian law forbade me from leaving any mortal in danger while I had the ability to help them.
The two of us ran like scalded dogs down the length of the hedge. I didn’t know what Max had seen but he was moving and with an appropriate level of panic on his face and that’s what mattered.
I glanced over my shoulder–I’d get another thwack for that one–and there were the remaining mice. Undeterred from seeing their comrades immobilized by Garnier Fructis, they skittered through the grass, the sun bringing out the purple tones in their fur.
What happened next could’ve been prevented if it hadn’t been for stupid Max. He grabbed hold of me as we reached the path, throwing off my balance and reflexes so instead of keeping me from colliding with it, his awkward grab, my instinct to jerk away from him and my momentum all but flung me into the caterer’s cart and right on top of the six-tiered, intricately decorated and ridiculously expensive cake that had started more than one argument between my sister and parents. My velocity was so great that my feet left the ground and I cleared the cake off the cart like a linebacker.
“Oh my god!” My sister and her new husband stood over me and somewhere Max was saying, “I tried to stop her” and the mice had disappeared and I didn’t have to explain the can of hairspray still in my hand because I was covered in cake and no one cared anyway.
This one was a lot of fun. Again, trying to play with that idea of magic being normal in a modern setting. Every day magic, as it were. I like this girl’s ferocious voice and how her relationship with Max Gilbert might evolve as they get older lol sounds like a decent start to a YA tbh