Happy New Year's

Happy New Year! May your year start a little more calmly than this story.

The vehicle speed through the portal dumping on out a road in the middle of nowhere and night. Winds buffeted us as if a hurricane or tornado raged though the sky was clear. Clear except for the aberration.

I let out a low whistle as I gripped the steering wheel tighter. A planet hung on the horizon, rising or setting I wasn’t sure. “Whew, they weren’t kidding,” I said.

“You’d thought they would be?” My companion said dryly in the seat next to me.

“No,” I said shortly. “I just . . .” I waived my hand at the horizon. “Well, look at it.” Red and black, the planet hung like hell was coming for us. If the briefing had been right, that description night not be too far off.

I turned toward her as I heard leather creak next to me. Her bad was open on her lap as she sorted through the contents. “I’m here to work. Not gawk,” she said.

“Of course,” I said. “I’ll do the gawking for us both.”

“Your prattle doesn’t aid my concentration either.”

Biting my lip, I managed not to comment further as we speed to the horizon. I’d drawn the straw to work for New Year’s. I could have happily avoided working with her in my first month. Neilina Tethys wasn’t known for her disposition. Her aberration cancelation abilities, yes. Abilities that were always needed tonight.

“Stop here.” I jumped at her words, the first noise beyond road rhythm in . . . an hour. Dang we were cutting it close. Hitting the brakes, the car jerked to a stop. She spared me a glare before exiting the vehicle.

I got out stumbling against the winds tearing at me from multiple directions. Neilina paced forward as if the air was calm though. “You ever seen anything this bad?” I hollered.

She turned and looked back at me, her face a mask of disdain. Turning away her response carried to me as if the winds had not effect on their clarity either. “It’s worse every year.”

“Of course it is,” I mumbled hoping her hearing was effected. Either way she didn’t respond, just set down her bag and began to withdraw items.

I stopped a few paces behind Neilina. “But you can stop it?” I sounded too much like a child wanting comfort to my own ears.

She twisted looking up at me. Her eyes were drawn and her mouth thin. She shrugged. “If not, you won’t have to worry about your resolutions.” Not the answer I was hoping for.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the conclusion.

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