Petals of the Rose
Early that afternoon, Shika is on her lunch break at work, and she walks out of her building to get something to eat. Walking down a few blocks, she’s surprised to see a grungy woman pushing a shopping cart hobble up to the same corner she is approaching. The woman has a tangle of gray hair sticking out all around a ragged stocking cap, and she’s wearing grubby layers of clothing and what looks like a trash bag with holes punched in it for her arms.
What surprises Shika is that this is Olga, the elder witch of Autumn. Olga spots her and winks before loudly shouting to people crossing the road, “I’m getting a fax! My kid is faxing me a recipe!” She gets some strange looks and people on the street shy away from her.
Shika smirks and waits for the light to change, then joins Olga and walks with her. Olga prompts her, “So, how has the investigation been going? I understand that you had Saline examine poor Demetrius’ body.”
“Yes. We’ve uncovered a lot of evidence, but we still feel like we’re missing something.”
“Well, tell me what you know and we’ll see if anything shakes loose, dear.”
Shika relates the events of the weekend in summary, leaving out the encounters with the werewolves and the vampire. She focuses on the evidence they have collected and the interviews they have conducted. When she concludes, Olga stops her shopping cart and looks her in the eyes.
“So you found bark in his wounds. And the killer followed the path from the Shelter. I can’t believe one of our own could have done this. Do you have any suspects?”
“Well, no. I can’t think of anyone—“ and then, like a flash, Shika realizes that there was one woman, the one called Maggie, in the Shelter. “Thank you, Olga. I have to make a phone call.” She turns and runs back down the street to her building.