With Gemma trailing behind, Dawn waltzes into the library and frowns at the chaos around her. Transforming her dress into a comfortable shirt and pants, she walks through the destroyed furniture and the remains of half of her followers. Her disappointment in missing the fun and not being the cause is etched into her pouting face, which only brightens at the sight of the ravens lined up outside the windows. Whistling loud enough to melt the glass, Dawn lets the birds inside and makes sure everybody knows that she has arrived. One by one, the survivors crawl out of their hiding places and line up along their master’s path. None of them dare to touch her, a sense of wonder and fear paralyzing them as she passes. Those at the back of the cleared walkway gradually fall into place behind Gemma, who repeatedly glances at an empty holster on her hip.
“Wait! This isn’t going to work,” Dawn abruptly declares as she reaches the lobby. Turning her nose up at the gore-covered chains, she waves her hand to turn them into a swing set that she happily sits on. “So much better than a throne. Watch me kick the ceiling when I get high enough. Bet I could knock the top part of the building into the sky if I got enough speed. Oh, but that’s not what we’re here for. All of you want some kind of reward. Just a bunch of takers with bad hygiene. I mean, one of you doesn’t even have teeth.”
“I lost them while working to revive you,” Charlene replies, stepping out of the crowd. The woman kneels in front of Dawn, who begrudgingly hops off her swing. “There is nothing we want more than to serve you. All of us are alive because you spared us eighteen years ago. Please let us return the favor by helping you with your goals.”
“Obviously, none of you know what kind of maniac you’re dealing with,” Gemma mutters from her perch on the front desk. A sudden pain grips her stomach and sends her toppling to the floor before she spits up a thorn-covered rose. “That was unnecessary. We both know you don’t have any goals, Addison. All you want is chaos and to have fun. You’re not the type to rule or save the world. The power of a god and you only want to make trouble.”
“Kitty knows me so well,” the grinning brunette admits. Standing on the swing, she rocks back and forth, her balance never faltering. “Then again, maybe I should think beyond my own desires. After all, I have the power to do whatever I want. It’s a gift that I’ve wasted for so much of my life and death and new life. What if I was created to change the world in my image? I mean, my face is adorable and the aliens would feel more welcomed if the planet looked more like me. On the other hand, all of that sounds so boring and I don’t want to be responsible for so many pets.”
“You don’t have to take care of us,” Professor Soleman says as he limps over to where Charlene is crouching. Bleeding and broken, the man tries to kneel, but ends up snapping both of his knees. “Patch us up and send us into the world. We will work to spread the word of your existence to everyone. You can focus on having fun while we create your new empire. Don’t think of us as pets, but as loyal servants.”
“Still sounds like a lot of responsibility.”
“I assure you that we can take care of ourselves.”
“She has no teeth and you look like the anatomy dummy that was holding onto my skeleton all this time.”
“That was you?”
“Yes and you weren’t very gentle with me.”
“I didn’t know.”
“Your goddess doesn’t like cold hands.”
Dawn flips off the swing and spins in the air before coming down on Professor Soleman’s head. The man is crushed like a tin can, which she casually picks up by a flailing arm and tosses into a nearby garbage can. Confused by the attack, most of the followers back away while two rush for the door. They throw the exit open and are immediately flattened by a giant hand that wipes the remains off with a blue handkerchief. Turning to Charlene, Dawn puts her pinky beneath her nervous follower’s chin and lifts her off the floor. Examining the administrator’s damaged mouth, she runs a finger around the gums and has new teeth gradually return. The grinning madwoman watches intently as they continue to grow, the points pushing through Charlene’s flesh and bone. As the teeth pierce her crying victim’s brain, Dawn drops the body and faces the rest of her loyal servants. Having grown bored with them, she waves her hand to switch all of their heads around. The first few who move prove that their borrowed skulls are barely attached and easily tumble to the floor. Fearing death, the rest remain motionless while their master returns to her swing.
“Whoever is the last one standing will be fixed and sent on their way,” Dawn says with a friendly smile. The crowd suddenly bursts into action with the followers doing their best to knock the heads off their neighbors. “Well, that’s mildly entertaining. I like how all of their holds roll for a few feet like marbles. Guess nobody won. You know, little kitty, you did have a point. Chaos can be so boring after a while. Maybe I need to find something else to do with my life. Running the hotel was fun, but I’d hate to repeat myself. Being married was great, but I can’t put my heart on the line like that again. What do you suggest?”
“To be honest, Addison, I still think you’re a murderer and I’m only here out of self-preservation,” Gemma replies as she examines her hands. Feeling a tightness in her joints, she pretends to shoot a gun and is surprised to see a bullet come out of her finger. “Not to mention I don’t think I’m human any more. What about traveling? See the entire world and then decide on if there’s anything you want to change or indulge in. For all we know, you have eternity to wander around.”
Dawn shudders at the thought of being in an airplane, her movements violently rocking the swing set. “Ugh, that sounds so normal. Yet, I can see a use for it. Perhaps it’s time for me to see if the world is ready for me. After all, it took years for me to be ready for the real me. How could I believe that the rest of the world is better prepared than I was? The only thing we have to do is make this fun. Glorious food, wonderful beasts, interesting people, and delicious deaths will be found across the globe. Nobody can stop us. By the way, I really mean me, but you’re here and it would be rude to leave you out. I mean, I think you can still die, so there are plenty of things could stop you. Hey, what if I set off a nuke to see if it tickles me?”
“Let’s save stuff like that for another time.”
“Was it too normal?”
“That and you could get killed by that.”
“I could always be brought back.”
“Yes, but you’ve already done that. A second time would make it . . . normal.”
“Wow. That’s a good point. As I always said, there’s never any fun in normal. I’m happy to have you with me, little kitty.”
With a squeal of delight, Dawn begins to swing as hard as she can and the ravens fly out of the windows. Once all of the birds are clear and circling the library, she kicks the ceiling with all of her strength. The entire building flips into the air and spins, sending books flying across the campus. All of the tomes transform to tell the story of a woman with the power to do whatever she wants, the ending nothing more than a blank page that sends a chill down the spine of anyone who reads it.