Angela walked through the metal detector. It binged. She wondered what she had forgotten. Couldn’t possibly be anything too bad.
“Ma’am, I need to look inside your bag.”
She handed him her purse and wondered how he got away with the bear necklace.
He pulled it open and raised an eyebrow.
She looked inside. Damn it, Michael. The kid had put a wooden toy gun in her purse. He had made it himself. It looked like a tourist trap gun cut from a plank and painted brown. The edges of the handle were work and chipped.
The guard pushed the toy aside. If he had known how dangerous it was … she laughed to herself.
A pair of tweezers set the alarm off. The guard let her have her purse and the tweezers back.
She walked into the meeting room.
As always, the meeting ran long on words and slow on results. Angela tried to remain alert. The meeting probably wouldn’t run into trouble, but she’d been hired to make sure any trouble went the good side’s way.
She fingered her bird necklace and read the crowd for signs of danger.
The meeting hit a recess.
“Hey, Angela,” a voice called. She turned to look and hands grabbed her necklace from behind and tore it off.
She inhaled sharply, not daring to scream for help.
Hardly a soul here knew.
She reached for her bracelet and heard a crunch.
Artie, she fought back tears and activated her bracelet.
It transformed from a series of wood beads to an electronic shield surrounding her and expelling unwanted objects from her vicinity.
She spun around, grabbed the wooden knife from under her shirt, and triggered it. It flashed for an instant and turned into a tactical throwing knife.
Angela tossed it at the gray haired man who had stolen and destroyed her necklace.
It caught him high in the rib cage. He smiled and reverted to a small Santa statue.
The smile worried her. She turned around and spotted Nancy Telling running her fingers over a little wood soldier.
A soldier with only one arm.
Angela swore. Nancy was too far for Angela to throw her knife at.
Nancy activated the soldier and a familiar man appeared.
His left arm stopped above the elbow and his right arm held a powerful semi-automatic.
He took aim at someone … a diplomat, surely.
Angela pulled Michael’s wood gun out of her purse and activated it.
Michael’s gun was a piece of art if it worked. The revolver shaped piece of wood turned into a sleek sniper rifle with magically silenced bullets.
She took aim carefully, exhaled, and shot the soldier’s head.
He crumpled to the floor and turned into a headless toy soldier.
Angela flicked Michael’s gun and it turned back into a wood toy. She tucked it in her purse and stayed low.
Nancy looked confused for a moment.
Then she spotted Angela. Nancy pulled out a pencil and flicked its eraser. It turned into a long metal want. Deadly.
She lowered its aim to Angela and began an incantation.
Angela’s bracelets wouldn’t deflect nearly enough magic to protect her.
Angela woke up.
“What’s going on?” she asked the people standing around her.
“You were very lucky today, miss. A crank attacked you but a bear broke into the building and stopped her before she could do serious damage.”
She looked at the security guard who had screened her earlier. He winked.