Relentless, p.17
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       Relentless, p.17

         Part #1 of Relentless series by Karen Lynch
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  Chapter 12

  I PULLED THE cloth sack Remy had given me from my backpack and dumped the contents on the storeroom floor. Looking over the two small bundles of ash and elder twigs, the paper packet, the stone bowl, and something that looked like a crude artist’s brush, it was hard to believe that these simple items could ward off something like a vampire. But I trusted Remy and the trolls’ magic. If he said this was the best way to protect Nate, then I believed him.

  I arranged the twigs in a crisscross pattern in the bowl exactly as Remy had instructed, then sprinkled the contents of the packet over the twigs. “Il vekk’it zuhh ymen,” I whispered in a poor imitation of Remy’s guttural troll tongue. It was close enough, because the twigs burst into flame just as Remy had said they would. The small fire burned quickly, the flames going from white to blue to green before collapsing in a pile of ashes that smelled of burnt sage and basil and charred wood.

  Picking up the bowl and brush, I stood and went to the back door. I laid the bowl on the floor and dipped the brush in the ashes. Then I traced the outline of my left hand in the center of the door, softly reciting the words, “Atal’al il, atal’ak.” Loosely translated, it meant “protect me, protect mine.” I stood back and waited. Seconds later the ash outline of my hand sank into the steel and vanished. There! As long as I called this building home, nothing or no one with harmful intent could come through this door.

  Now I just needed to do the same with every door and window in the whole building.

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