Cherry Bomb: A Siobhan Quinn Novel

Cherry Bomb: A Siobhan Quinn Novel by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Kathleen Tierney

Book: Cherry Bomb: A Siobhan Quinn Novel by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Kathleen Tierney Read Free Book Online
Authors: Caitlin R. Kiernan, Kathleen Tierney
a half, eight feet. She opened her mouth to scream again, and the
loup
picked her up and smacked her head once against a lamppost before dragging her away into an alley, leaving nothing behind but a gooey smear of brains. A great deal of what was to come would involve skulking through alleys and shit, because, turned out I was more than a reluctant passenger. Turned out I still had a modicum of control over the Beast. Which, you know, only pissed it off that much more. But that night I managed to teach it the value of caution.
    Go me.
    The screaming woman was the first person we ate that night. Whatever revulsion I might have harbored, I harbored it very briefly. It had been a long time since I’d known the simple pleasure of chewing and swallowing solid food. I found myself savoring every raw, greedy mouthful. Those razor teeth pulled her apart easy as youplease, and between those jaws her bones might as well have been pocky. Whoa. Weird analogy. How about
her bones might as well have been pretzel sticks
, instead? No, that’s really not much better. Never mind. Probably, you know what I mean.
    And shit I felt strong. I felt motherfucking
alive
, which I’d never, ever dared imagine I would feel ever again. Here was how the other half lived. The Beast was seducing me, whether it knew it was or not. And I thought,
I could lose myself in here. I could just let it run on and on and on, and I’d never have to go back to being Quinn.
    Who was she, anyway? Some pathetic dead girl, good at being bitter and surviving, but nothing much more than that. She was a parasitic phantom who wanted with all her sour heart to be
truly
dead, but she didn’t have the balls to make that happen. To grab that brass ring and get off the merry-go-round. But the Beast, it knew joy.
    Nasties tend to look down on
loups
as the white trash of our psychofuck supernatural menagerie. Nothing lower than a
loup
but maybe a ghoul. Sure. That’s the party line. Demons and Faeries on their lofty pedestals, vamps out on the street, and werewolves in the gutters. Except, at least if we’re talking about the way bloodsuckers look down on
loups
, maybe that ain’t nothing but envy. Maybe, somewhere down deep, it’s obvious how living, how lycanthropy isn’t a curse at all.
    How maybe it’s a blessing.
    Not bad enough my very existence is a blasphemy in the eyes of Big Bads the world over. Not bad enough I’d become a traitor who hunted and put them down. I’d just become a heretic to boot.
    When we were done with the screaming woman, there wasn’t much left of her but a puddle of gore, and a stingy puddle at that. And I was still starving. My taste for blood has always been easy enough to temporarily satisfy. But this, this was a hunger that was utterly absolute and insatiable. I instinctively knew how the Beast could eat for days and never get its fill. And, honestly, crouching there in the alley behind Selwyn’s apartment building, that would’ve been fine by me.
    We, I, it glanced up at the sky, as if seeking a premature full moon. Not that the
loup
’s appearances have ever much synced up with lunar phases. I’d long ago written that off to superstition, and, hey and by the way, learning that the world is full of monsters and magic’s real and all that crap doesn’t mean that isn’t still superstition. Everything isn’t true, just because an awful lot of weird shit turns out to be. Yes, there are demons and vamps and unicorns and Faeries, but it ain’t bad luck to walk under a ladder and black cats are nothing but cats that are black. And werewolves don’t seem to care about the moon.
    Where was I?
    We howled, and I’d have sworn, for an instant or two, the night around us held its breath.
    And then the
loup
ran, and I’d say that I was dragged along for the ride. Only it wasn’t like that at all. I was
riding
. Oh, I could have fought, and maybe the struggle would even have made a difference, but I didn’t. We went south, keeping

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