The Summer Bride
Chrys Fey | Hong Rui Choo
The Unknown World is not so different from our world. There is oxygen in the air, a sun and a moon that occupy the sky one at a time, and cities made of houses and buildings. There is also human life. These humans are like you and me. The major difference is that they have special powers. Some of these powers are brilliant, some are terrifying.
Avrianna Heavenborn is an Unknown with magnificent powers. As a baby, she was found floating in the Aurora Diamond of the Unknown World. Now she is the Captain of Multiple Incorporated, the biggest industry of crime fighters to ever exist. Murder is Avrianna’s business. As long as she is alive, no one will get away with it.
Avrianna stood over a bride in a patch of flowers. Daisies tangled in her red hair, a lily rested next to a red mark that circled her throat, and sunflowers sprouted around her body. She was wearing a white wedding dress with a full skirt and a sweetheart neckline. Despite the purple eye shadow and pink lipstick, there was no mistaking that this bride was dead. Her skin was a translucent grey. Her neck and chest were scribbled with blue veins.
Avrianna squatted next to her. “So you’re the Spring Bride,” she said.
Last year, the first bride showed up on top of a pile of autumn leaves. Avrianna remembered picking them out of her bronze hair when she was lying in the morgue. In January, another bride was placed in the snow, her arms and legs spread apart as if she were making a snow angel. Frost had formed in her black hair.
Both women were kidnapped from the dressing rooms of two different churches. They were known as the Dead Brides of the Changing Seasons. Now a Spring Bride was in the collection.
“But there won’t be a Summer Bride,” Avrianna vowed.
She stood up and missed the little gold spark that shot up out of a tulip. It followed her out of the garden but soon lagged behind her long, fast strides. When she hopped into her car, she left the spark in a cloud of dust.
In her office at Multiple Incorporated, she worked on the case for the rest of the day. She wasn’t surprised that her team didn’t uncover any evidence. There was never any sign of the killer at the churches or the crime scenes, as if he were invisible.
With that thought, she jotted down: Unknown with invisibility powers.
But that was as far as she got.
Three months later, Avrianna was strapped for time.
She had been working so hard that when the gold spark of light slipped into her office, she thought she was hallucinating. Glitter fell behind it in a stream as it made a beeline to her. Then it was floating right in front of her face.
In the golden glow was a fairy. She had a small face with a turned up nose, pouty lips, and large purple eyes. Her hair was the color of honeysuckle and she wore a dress made of vibrant green leaves.
“Do you realize that I’m the size of a mosquito?” the fairy snapped.
Avrianna blinked. “I see that.”
“It took me nearly three months to get here! Not to mention your office is on the one hundredth and sixty-fourth floor. I am tired!”
“You should be if I’m too late! I was there when the killer left the bride in my garden. I saw him drop something shiny in a fern bush.”
Avrianna sprang to her feet. “Grab a hold of my shirt! We’re going to your garden.”
Darkness had descended by the time Avrianna reached the garden. Flashlight in hand, she searched the fern bush for something shiny. After ten minutes, she began to think whatever the fairy saw was long gone. She was about to give up when the beam reflected off a piece of metal. She pushed aside a fern and pulled a button out of the dirt.
As soon as her fingers touched it, a vision snapped in her mind. She saw a woman with blonde hair in a lace dress, a veil around her shoulders. She was sitting in front of a vanity with a bulletin for the Almighty and Grace Church sitting next to a brush.
Avrianna thanked the fairy and raced back to Multiple Incorporated.
The next day, she found the church and tracked down the bride.
“What do I do?” the woman asked nervously.
“Nothing,” Avrianna said. “We’ll catch the killer when he comes for you.”
She was sitting in the dressing room of the Almighty and Grace Church, poised at the vanity in lace with a veil over her head. And the invisible killer was right behind her. He took a cord of wire from his pocket and wrapped it tightly around her neck. Her hands grabbed the wire and they erupted with green flames, melting the metal.
The killer stumbled back. He stared in shock at the two ends of the cord in his hands as the bride leapt to her feet with a fire extinguisher in her hands. She compressed the nozzle, coating his body in cold foam and causing his invisibility shield to drop.
“Who are you?” the killer shouted angrily.
The bride ripped off her veil. “I’m your nightmare,” Avrianna spat. Her hands burst with neon orbs that she threw at him. They hit him like bowling balls. When one smacked him in the face, he fell into the wall and collapsed to the floor. She jumped on him, slapped cuffs onto his wrists, and grabbed her walkie-talkie.
With a grin she said, “I’ve got him!”