Grace grabs Huddie’s arm to prevent more fire-throwing even though she knows that’s not how magic works (although kind of it is) and is heard to remark “Jesus Christ, what the hell are you doing?!”
Huddie tries to pull free of her grasp but is surprised by how strong Grace is, also that she doesn’t just let go. That’s never happened to Huddie before. He’s lived a long while and in his experience usually when people grab you it’s just for show, they let go as soon as you resist. The fact that Grace holds on confuses him more than anything.
Cassie for her part is confused about how she ended up on the ground, the wet hard ground. She knows about magic so she’s not confused about the fireball, and she knows that her fake mom’s boyfriend is an asshole so she’s not confused why someone would try to kill him. But how did she end up on the ground? Did she flinch away from the fire and get tangled up in her artfully dangling suspenders and fall? Did someone knock her down? Who was close enough to do that? And why? Were they trying to protect her?
Andrea for her part is confused by everything. She was already confused, just generally, because she’s dealing with some stuff you know? And then she goes outside and everyone is yelling and there’s people she doesn’t know talking to her “daughter” and Dale is mad and everyone is mad and she can’t follow the conversation and then there’s a big wall of fire coming her way like in an action movie? How’s she supposed to deal with that? You know, without help. You know, help. Why can’t Dale give her any more today? That’s what she’s most confused about.
Dale is confused too but more than that he’s afraid. He doesn’t like the look of Grace at all. And he certainly does like the way she’s not afraid of him. At first he was afraid that Huddie was in the car but then he decided that it couldn’t be Huddie because why would Huddie be at his girlfriend’s (well not girlfriend really, woman he’s gaslighting is more accurate) apartment? And why would he be with some weird woman?
But then the man got out of the car and Dale changed his mind and thought that it was Huddie. And he’s afraid of Huddie but he’s more afraid of UBM because if Huddie is here then there must be something going on right? Did UBM tell Dale to kill Huddie and he forgot somehow or missed the message? And if he did what does that mean? They only send wannabies and chumps to kill Huddie because he always kills them instead. Did he do something to piss off UBM? He is out of the circle?
Huddie starts to cast another spell and Grace grapples him with him to break his concentration, once again asking her unanswered question “What the hell are you doing?”
Huddie gestures furiously “He has a piece!”
“A piece of what?” Grace thinks as her window on her car explodes and Huddie ducks for cover because he thinks that Dale is shooting at them. Grace doesn’t flinch, not because she’s so cool under fire that bullets don’t scare her but because she saw a chunk of loose asphalt hit the window, thrown up by the panicky driver of the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse 4X4 that’s been waiting for room to get by and out of all this craziness. The driver’s name is Dionisia, which sounds like a better Black Magic name than UBM, who is just as confused by what’s going on as everyone else. When she gets home and tells her husband about this he’ll speculate that a gas main exploded and ask when she’s going to make dinner even though he’s been home for an hour.
Grace takes a few steps towards Dale and he does at this point go for the piece in his waistband that he flashed at Huddie when he trying to scare him. But Dale’s in such a damn hurry to get the gun that he manages to Plaxico Burress himself, which is not bad considering where he had his gun and the good possibility of shooting his own nuts off. Dale grunts, jerks back like someone threw a cup of hot coffee in his face and then drags Andrea backwards into the apartment building by the arm.
Grace turns back to see her Rav4 pulling away with both doors flopping shut and Huddie behind the wheel. She glances at the keys in her hand, remembers that Huddie is magic too and casts her malfunction spell at the rapidly accelerating car. Since the poor Rav4 is already woven with Grace’s sustained spell to keep it running, and is also under the influence of Huddie’s spell to make it start up without the key adding a third spell into the mix causes a real problem. The car starts to die and then Huddie throws some more juice into another spell to counteract Grace’s spell and it revs wildly before the entire engine seizes up and bricks like an iPhone with the date sent to January 1, 1970.
The Rav4 mournfully rolls through a stop-sign at the end of the block where it gets rammed by a 2012 Audi Q5 3.2 Premium Plus that may be going as much as 12 MPHs. Huddie parkours out the passenger side window and runs off into the dreary night as the driver of the other vehicle looks up from their cellphone telephone and does the universal gesture that often happens in car accidents for “What the heck?!” at no one.
As police sirens approach from the south and west Grace walks over to Cassie, who hasn’t managed to get off the ground yet, and holds out a helping hand.
“Uh, yeah . . . . so . . . uh . . . like I said . . . before . . . my name is Grace. We haven’t actually met before . . . you did . . . um . . . see me once . . . but uh . . . is there someplace we can talk?”