Austin City Morgue: A Short Story

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The Austin City Morgue was the last place the four women wanted to be. It wasn’t that the four hadn’t seen their fair share of death or that they had any aversion to the state of death. It was the task they were there to perform that troubled them. Moreover, it was the person who accompanied them to perform that task that troubled them the most. None had been more vocal than Rin Kinyara on that point.
“I don’t trust her,” Rin said as they walked down the hall to the double doors leading to the morgue.
Giovanni Six glanced back at the three women walking behind them before turning back to Rin. “Neither do I, love,” he said in his thick Aussie accent. His accent seemed to change every couple of decades or so. When Rin first met him, he was Irish.
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“Lilake, this is Dr. Sydney Parker-“
“The Guardian’s pet human,” Lilake finished, her gaze moving over Sydney.
Sydney’s eyes widened. “Excuse me? Pet?”
“I’d watch my tongue if I were you,” Aya warned, eyeing Rin as she moved toward Lilake menacingly.
“No need to bring the fangs out,” Lilake said airily. “I happen to think it’s cute. Working hand in hand with the mortals. Does she know everything?”
The group of women looked at each other without answering Lilake’s question. Lilake looked from Rin to Sydney who made the mistake of exchanging a not so furtive glance. Lilake grinned like the Cheshire cat with the revelation. She threw her head back and let out a laugh that echoed throughout the cold, metal room. “How delicious. The vamp and the mortal are-“
Rin’s eyes darkened and both Aya and Cassie took a step back, anticipating the storm coming. Giovanni quickly stepped between Rin and Lilake.
“Enough!” He commanded curtly. “We don’t have time for
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She took a deep breath and then pulled back the sheet.
Cassie, Fatima, Aya, and Giovanni looked down at the body of their fallen friend, their leader, their sister. Nikki had been with them from the beginning. She was the reason they were all together now. She taught them to be strong. Now to see her like this, cold and lifeless… Cassie was the first to look away.
“I’m so sorry,” Sydney said softly.
Fatima touched Sydney’s hand. “Thank you for doing this, Syd.”
Aya looked at Lilake who was staring down at the body strangely. “Is something wrong?”
Lilake looked at Sydney. “Are you sure no one has altered the body in any way?”
“Altered the body?” Sydney repeated. “What the bloody hell do you mean by alter the body? No one has touched her since she was brought in.”
“Then you’re certain this is the one they called Nikki?”
“Of course it’s Nikki!” Fatima exclaimed. There were tears in her green eyes. She brushed a wisp of red hair out of her
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