Valkyrie made a face. "Bloody vampires." Ryan sat forward. "That was a vampire? That guy who looked like an accountant?" "We don't talk about vampires, " Skulduggery warned. "But it was daytime. How could he have been out during the-" "We don't talk about vampires!" Valkyrie said sharply. Ryan shrunk back. "Sorry, " he said. "Don't worry about it, " Skulduggery told him. "Valkyrie used to date a vampire that's all." "We didn't date , " Valkyrie said immediately. Skulduggery held a hand up. "I'm not judging." Valkyrie scowled.
I should go in alone," Valkyrie said, speaking loudly to be heard. "If we both go in, it'll look to official." "So I'll just stay out here?" Skulduggery asked. "But what'll I do? There's no one to talk to. It's boring." "You're standing on the roof of a train," Valkyrie pointed out. "If you find this boring, you really need your head examined. Just wait here. I'll do what has to be done and I'll be find out. "Fine," he said, sounding grumpy. "Don't be long.
I should go in alone, " Valkyrie said, speaking loudly to be heard. "If we both go in, it'll look to official." "So I'll just stay out here?" Skulduggery asked. "But what'll I do? There's no one to talk to. It's boring." "You're standing on the roof of a train, " Valkyrie pointed out. "If you find this boring, you really need your head examined. Just wait here. I'll do what has to be done and I'll be find out. "Fine, " he said, sounding grumpy. "Don't be long.
We watch television and we play music, but mostly we've found ways to amuse ourselves." "Really?" Valkyrie asked. "Like what?" Plight's smile faded. "Like human sacrifice." He grabbed one arm and Lenka grabbed the other and Valkyrie cried out. They both let go, laughing. "Naw, " Plight said, " we just play board games.
Mum said earlier what a lovely dress you're wearing." Beryl's eyebrows wriggled like two tiny tapeworms. "This?" she said. "But I've had this for years." It was a beige dress that would have looked better on an eighty year-old. Any eighty-year-old, man or woman. "I think you've really grown into it," Valkyrie said. "I always thought it was a little shapeless." Valkyrie resisted the urge to say that was what she meant.
mostly we've had to found ways to amuse ourselves." "Really?" Valkyrie asked. "Like what?" Plight's smile faded. "Like human sacrifice." He grabbed one arm and Lenka grabbed the other and Valkyrie cried out. Then they both let go. laughing. "Naw," Plight said, we just play board games." ..."she fell for it!" gasped Lenka. "She fell for the human sacrifice bit!
mostly we've had to found ways to amuse ourselves." "Really?" Valkyrie asked. "Like what?" Plight's smile faded. "Like human sacrifice." He grabbed one arm and Lenka grabbed the other and Valkyrie cried out. Then they both let go. laughing. "Naw, " Plight said, we just play board games."... "she fell for it!" gasped Lenka. "She fell for the human sacrifice bit!
I had an uneventful few days, " it told her. "The most exciting thing was an hour-long lecture from the headmaster on taking our studies seriously. He said next year's exam will arrive sooner than we think." "No, they won't, " Valkyrie said, frowning. "They'll arrive next year, exactly when we expect them." "That's what I told him, " the reflection nodded. "I don't think he's comfortable with logic, because he didn't look happy. He sent me to the Career Guidance counsellor, who asked me what I wanted to do after college." Valkyrie stowed her black clothes. "What did you say?" "I told her I wanted to be a Career Guidance counsellor. She started crying, then accused me of mocking her. I told her if she wasn't happy in her job then she should look at other options, then pointed out that I was already doing her job better than she was. She gave me detention.
She took a life because someone humiliated her, hurt her image of herself as the Valkyrie, the stainless warrior. Exposed her weakness, which was only love. So she avenged herself. So easy to justify, I wrote to her. It's because you felt like a victim you did it. If you were really strong, you could have tolerated the humiliation.
My wife was an opera singer, you know. She bellowed her way through Wagner as a Valkyrie. I married her and made her give up the theatre, to my eternal cost. She was to go on acting for myself alone. A performance at his own expense, lasting for more than twenty years, tends to wear out your spectator.
He took her hand in his and knelt before her. Valkyrie looked at him. He was serious. (...)'Dude, I'm sixteen.' 'I love you.' 'That doesn't make me any older. Stand up.' 'Not until you say yes.' 'You're going to shuffle around on your knees for the rest of your life? Stand up, for God's sake.' 'Be my wife.' 'Shut the hell up.
Lothaire briefly gazed heavenward. "Chase is clearly a reluctant sharer. Which should incite her curiosity about what's going on in his head. She's a disgustingly self-righteous Valkyrie, filled with the need to fix things, to right wrongs. If anything needed fixing... " He waved a hand to indicate Declan from head to toe. "As wrong as he can be.
She looked into the eyes of many of them as they passed away, like some sort of angel of death. Some were frightened, some relieved, most just confused. She served as the arbiter of their passage, an earthly Charon. Or perhaps a Valkyrie, carrying fallen heroes to Valhalla. But she'd seen no heroes, no one worthy of Valhalla.
The Artificial's speech pattern was an idiosyncratic mix of awkward and colloquial. It was unexpectedly endearing. 'I just have good instincts. Mostly I love being in space.' But you are not 'in' space. You are in your starship and your starship is in space. It is not so different than being on a planet. 'Oh, Valkyrie, you have no idea.' Tell me then.
Stairs, " Valkyrie said, disappointed. "Not just ordinary stairs, " Skulduggery told her as he led the way down. "Magic stairs." "Really?" "Oh, yes." She followed him into the darkness. "How are they magic?" "They just are." "In what way?" "In a magicky way." She glared at the back of his head. "They aren't magic at all, are they?" "Not really.
Skulduggery stood among the ruins of what had once been a sofa. Valkyrie raised an eyebrow. 'I was trying to make up the sofa bed so you could get some rest, ' he explained, and pointed to the second sofa across the room. 'Unfortunately, it would appear that that is the sofa bed, and this, apparently, is just a sofa.
Please just admit it, " said Valkyrie. "You're going to miss me, aren't you?" "Obviously, " said Skulduggery. "Thank you." "like a drowning man misses the land." "Aw w w... " "Like a hesitant man misses the chance." "Yeah... " "Like an oblivious man misses the point." "I have a feeling you're mocking me somehow, but I can't put my finger on how.
Please just admit it, " said Valkyrie. "You're going to miss me, aren't you?" "Obviously, " said Skulduggery. "Thank you." "Like a drowning man misses the land." "A w w w... " "Like a hesitant man misses the chance." "Yeah... " "Like an oblivious man misses the point." "I have a feeling you're mocking me somehow, but I can't put my finger on how.
He laughed and was about to retort when she grabbed his collar and pulled him into her. She clamped her lips around his mouth and mashed her face into his. He took a step back in surprise and she went with him, stepping in a patch of wet floor. Her legs went out from under her and flailed as she fell, whacking him in the throat on the way down. She looked up at him as he gagged and coughed, and from across the corridor she could hear Tanith laughing hysterically. "I think I need practice, " Valkyrie muttered.
Skulduggery placed both hands on the table and leaned over. "You've heard about me. You've heard about the things I've done." The smirk faded a little. "So?" "So the stories you've heard are nothing compared to the truth, and the truth is nothing compared to what I'll do to you if something happens to Valkyrie. I'm the worst enemy you could ever make, Silas. Look at me and answer honestly, do you believe me?" Nadir swallowed. "Yeah.
Valkyrie dialed Skulduggery's number and he picked up. 'Hey,' she said, 'It's me.' Skulduggery paused. 'No it's not. If it were me, then I'd be talking to myself, and I don't do that any more. I certainly don't RING myself. That's one of the first signs of madness, and if it's not, it should be.' She sighed. 'Are you finished talking nonsense?' 'I haven't talked nonsense all morning. I miss it.
He shot to his feet, faced off against her. "No more mercy for ye, Valkyrie." Holding nothing back, he launched a haymaker at her head. She ducked and laughed. "That accent you work so hard to hide is coming out! Are ye feckin' Oirish this time? Eh, boyo?" She leapt atop his desk, punting the side of his head. "Those swords are mine! Touch them, and I'll use 'em to slice off your nutsack! For a coin purse!
You're in a bad mood,' Skulduggery said. 'I understand. I do. You're saying things that you don't really mean. It's OK.' 'I'll kill you both.' 'Hurtful things said in the heat of the moment. We're not going to hold it against you, Bison. We're all friends here.' Valkyrie nodded. 'We love you Bison.' 'We do,' Skulduggery agreed. 'You're our favourite Necromancer. You're the cuddly one.' 'Shut up,' Dragonclaw said. 'Both of you just shut up.
The door handle turned. Someone knocked, and a man's voice called, "Uh, hello?" Valkyrie looked at Skulduggery, looked back at the others, looked at Skulduggery again. "Hello, " Skulduggery said, speaking loudly to be heard over the alarm. "Hi, " said the man. "The door's locked." "Is it?" "Yes." "That's funny" said Skulduggery. "Hold on a moment." He reached out, jiggled the handle a few times, then stepped back. "Yes, it's locked. You wouldn't happen to have the key, would you?" There was a delay in response from the other side. "I'm sorry, " the man called, "Who am I speaking with?" Skulduggery tilted his head. "Who am I speaking with?" "This is Oscar Nightfall." "Are you sure?" "What?" "Are you sure you are who you say you are? This is the Great Chamber, after all. It's a very important place for very important people. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone, and I'm not saying that this applies to you in particular, but someone could conceivably lie about who they are in order to gain access to this room. I have to be vigilant, especially now. There's a war on, you know." Oscar Nightfall sounded puzzled. Who are you?" "Me? I'm nobody. I'm a cleaner. I'm one of the cleaners. I was cleaning the thrones and the door shut behind me. Now I can't get out. Could you try and find a key?" "What's your name? Give me you name." "No. It's mine." "Tell me your name!" "My name is Oscar Nightfall." "What? No it isn't. That's my name." "Is it? Since when?" "Since I took it!" "You didn't ask me if you could take it. I was using it first." "Open this door immediately." "I don't have the key." "I'll fetch the Cleavers." "I found the key. It was in the keyhole. It's always the last place you look isn't it? I'm unlocking the door now. Here we go." Skulduggery relaxed the air pressure, opened the door, and pulled Oscar Nightfall inside. Valkyrie stuck out her foot, and Oscar stumbled over it and Vex shoved him to Ghastly and Ghastly punched him. Oscar fell down and didn't get up again. Skulduggery closed the door once more.