This is from the second diary in our Haven series, Helm Abomination. Verity went from the frying pan … straight into a nuclear reactor. Enjoy!


Eric, Maddox, Crane, and Talon landed and drew their weapons. For these guys all to be this uneasy we had to be on the trail of something bad. I pulled my own sword and braced my stance. Eric flanked me, “We think there’s a Snee Ne-Iq here.”

God. Bless. You.

Why do I even have to ask at this point?

Talon guessed my frustration, “She’s a cannibal. Usually she just sleeps, but we believe she snatched a kid.”

“Otherwise we would leave her alone,” Wren finished.

Then I felt it. I whirled around to the mountain face and braced my body. The others followed suit. “Why are you guys still on the ground?”

“We’re high in the mountains in British Columbia. The air can be way too thin to keep aloft. It’ll be more effective if we don’t even try. Think you can handle fighting next to us for a change?” Wren winked.

“Definitely,” I quipped, “bring it on, bird man.”

Pop goes the weasel, or the Snee Ne-Iq in this case.

Usually, the first time I catch sight of one of these things that I was created to spot for my friends, my brain reels in a desperate attempt to process the pieces of the creature, so I don’t freeze up at the whole horrific picture.

The Snee Ne-Iq just looked like a woman.

A cave woman, but nothing so out of my realm of experience that my brain did the stop and stare. Or freeze and freak.

Her hair was in serious need of conditioner and a comb. She was wearing what looked like animal hides, sewn together by a blind guy, and she had long strips of leather braided over her legs to make some kind of crude boots. I couldn’t tell what color her skin was because it was so covered with dirt.

But she was no different from any other female.

When she reached the summit and saw us, she froze. Turning to the side, the Snee Ne-Iq pulled a short dagger from her belt. This is when I saw it. On her back she had a pannier, one of those things Robin Hood uses to carry his arrows? Well, this woman’s backpack had a kid inside.

A terrified little girl.

My anger flared, blistering me past caring of any outcome or problems. I saw a flash of red, and I charged. Who did this bitch think she was? Eating little girls? There’s a McDonald’s like every five minutes in my country. We are the fattest nation in the world. Canada couldn’t be much different. There was no justifiable reason to snack on tiny people. Kids have it tough enough as it is.

Have you seen how many books they have to carry home every day from school? Most of them use rolling suitcases because they’re so heavy.

I guess I’ve been paying more attention in my training than I realized.

The guys were beside me, and whenever they got close enough they pushed me back behind them. At least they were trying. The Snee Nee-Iq was more powerful than any of us realized, and she could move like lightning when her safety was in jeopardy. Then Talon went down.

These guys were ruthless and unstoppable in the air.

On the ground, they were out of their league.

Which was when the quicksilver movements of the Snee Nee-Iq took out Wren.

Eric and Crane moved to cover their fallen comrades.

Which left Maddox and me. Oh good. You know it’s going to be a crap day when you have to fight side-by-side to save the life of a kid you don’t know with a guy who hates your guts.

And wants to marry your fourteen year old little sister.

This can’t be my life.

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