From last post:
Leticia stopped fighting and had the same blank stare she did when Pickman first showed up. Then, with a look of fury, she ran toward me.
Leticia grabbed Pickman and flung him. She raced to where he landed and threw him again. Ella, Ingrid, and Pike stagger-jogged over to me and we followed Leticia.
After a couple minutes we came across her at the edge of a gully, with her back to us. She was tossing aside the crossbow bolt previously lodged in her back. Her head turned slightly as she approached.
“I really wish you guys would stay back,” she said. “I got a little, ah, carried away.”
Ingrid borrowed Ella’s flashlight and shined it into the gully. “Whoa-ho!” she said.
“So he’s dead,” said Ella. She sounded almost irritated.
“Hey, um, Leticia, what happened with you back there?” I said.
“I don’t know,” she said. She still wasn’t looking at us.
“Was he controlling you?” asked Pike.
“Not exactly,” Leticia responded. “Out of nowhere I had this urge. No, it was way stronger than that. It was like I had to…”
I waited for her to finish but she didn’t. “Do you suppose Pickman did something when he took our memories?” I asked.
“Maybe,” she said. “I’ve got people I can ask.”
“Miriam might know,” said Ella.
Leticia turned around. She looked at Ella for a few moments. I thought would be a good occasion for Ella to apologize for shooting Leticia but she just looked back.
“I think,” said Leticia, “I should probably…keep my distance for a while. Until I know for sure what happened.”
“You’re fine now,” I said. “Getting rid of Pickman is probably all you needed to do.”
Leticia sighed. “Maybe. But still…I guess I need to work out whether it’s safe for me to be around, you know, regular folks.”
“That’s a good idea,” said Ella, without much trace of anything resembling sympathy. I looked at her with a little annoyance and she did the same with me.
“All right,” I said, “Well, um, don’t take too long.”
Leticia smiled. “I should probably clean up,” she said. She went in to the gully and hoisted Pickman over her shoulder. She leapt to the edge opposite us.
“Hey Ella,” she said. Ella raised an eyebrow. “Nice shot,” Leticia said. It was too dark to see Leticia’s expression from where I was standing and I couldn’t really read her tone. She sped away.
We went back to the scene of the fight, where we retrieved what gear we could find. Pike was willing to wait until daylight to see if he could find his knife, and was pretty excited about finding Pickman’s camera. I asked Ella why she was less than pleased about Pickman’s death.
“He must have had some astonishing information that we’ll never know,” she said. “But I didn’t think someone I shot with a crossbow would be in a mood to accept criticism.”
We did consult with Miriam the next day, who said that Pickman probably implanted the magical equivalent of a post-hypnotic suggestion in Leticia, one that required his concentration to work.
Come back soon, Vampire Fangirl.