Ghost of Doors (City of Doors)

Ghost of Doors (City of Doors) by Jennifer Paetsch Read Free Book Online

Book: Ghost of Doors (City of Doors) by Jennifer Paetsch Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jennifer Paetsch
Tags: Horror, Paranormal, YA), Young Adult, Urban, paranormal urban fantasy, fantrasy
dad, but he wasn't always right. "I'm coming back, mom, I promise," he swore.
    Meanwhile, in the apartment long behind them, the word HELP lay unnoticed on the entryway table, written backward as if in a mirror in a thin layer of dust.
     
    ☽☉✩
     
    F ROM THE SIDECAR OF THE black Touren-AWO, Wolfgang studied his father as he drove them from their dying neighborhood to SUN HQ. He wondered how long it would be until he saw him again, and tried to commit him to memory; the swarthy bluish skin, yellowing eyes, and grizzled jawline, this gnarled tree of a man. Wolfgang drew his hood tighter against the wind as brown, gray, and white streets laced with summer green rushed past, carried away by the same breeze. The day waning, it seemed unlikely that he would reach the Hindernis by nightfall, but he would not leave his father’s life to chance: He would see him safely to SUN HQ, and then meet up with Marie and Pilgrim. He owed him that much.
    White knuckles peaked over the Touren’s grips, the rest of his father's hands lay hidden until he stretched them. The fingers undulated weakly, flexing in waves of nervousness or excitement. Wolfgang focused on the one hand he could see clearly, the right, and noticed that his father was sans wedding ring. That brought into stark relief another discrepancy too great to ignore: He was missing a finger.
    Wolfgang instinctively sat back and pulled Vogelfang close. He stood up on the seat and flipped off backward, somersaulting to the pavement and raising Vogelfang at the ready to launch like a spear into this misshapen surrogate. The truth would not get away; whatever that was on the bike had some explaining to do. But the Touren, having lost its passenger, spun about and stopped.
    “What have you done to my father?” shouted Wolfgang.
    “You throw that, and I guess you’ll never know, huh?” The father surrogate slipped to the empty street from the bike which ticked slowly, contrasting with Wolfgang’s speeding heartbeat, which only grew faster. “I haven’t done anything. Yet.”
    “And my mother?” Wolfgang said, rage building. “I bet you know where she is. Right?”
    “Hey, she’s my mother. Don’t you think I care?”
    It was out. It was his doppelganger, who was wasting no time in tearing his family apart to get to him.
    “If you’ve hurt them, I’ll make you wish you were dead.”
    His twin still in his father’s form stepped forward, too cocksure to even consider running. “I think you better worry about yourself.” The Spree flowed behind them, a bridge over it not far away. In Doors, bridges did not evoke the same fear as they did in other worlds for fae. In other worlds, fae magic could be weakened over water, but the water in Doors was magical itself, thus posing no problem for them. Where could Wolfgang make his escape, then? The motorcycle would have to be his way out. If he could injure his doppelganger just enough to make him think twice, that could afford him enough time to get away.
    Dark spots of birds overhead swarmed lazily in the heat, perhaps enjoying the struggle they saw below. His doppelganger was far quicker and stronger than he, but Wolfgang managed to strike out once or twice to keep some distance, though none of the strikes landed. The changeling must have realized Wolfgang's plan for he kept backing him up toward the bridge, further and further away from the bike. Vogelfang was sharp and dangerous enough to keep most monsters at bay, and the doppelganger obviously wanted to get him within reach of his knife.
    "We don't have to do this," Wolfgang shouted. "We can work together. Become allies."
    "I hope I am never so pathetic that I would need you for an ally."
    The doppelganger became more aggressive, slapping Vogelfang aside with his knife and a shout until he finally got the better of Wolfgang and grabbed Vogelfang with both hands, trusting his strength to win out. Wolfgang did not want to relinquish the weapon but feared he wasn't

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