I grabbed Nakia’s hand where it held my shoulder, moving swiftly to her wrist and twisting it until I heard it snap. Her howl of pain was like food for my soul as I spun up out of the chair and forced her backward.
I didn’t know who the fuck she was, but she definitely wasn’t my sister. There wasn’t a drop of goddess in her. She hit the wall with a thud, passing out almost instantly.
I turned, rage filling my core as my chest heaved. Where the fuck was I? The last thing I remembered was a party, a sketchy waiter…
Big Z stared at me, a frown creasing his lips. He was waiting…I knew, because I knew him. He was my father.
He absolutely was not.
He was. I bore the scars to prove it.
“There’s nothing to fucking tell, old man,” I growled out in anger.
“You can’t tell me why you selfishly fucked up our ecosystem by killing those pawns? Why you purposefully sought out chaos instead of the balance our world requires?” He stood, slamming his fists on his desk. “You can not survive if Chaos reigns, Justine.”
I stumbled backward, flashes of kaleidoscope eyes and devilish laughter clouding my vision.
“Did you do it just to usurp me? Are you embracing discord to unseat me? Do you want to judge me and take my throne, Justine?”
I blinked, and we were face to face. Rage-filled spittle danced from his lips to coat my cheek as anger burned hot within me.
I was in a fog of memory, my answer seeming to slip through, though I didn’t remember thinking the words. “Yes, old man. I judge you lacking. Your ecosystem is trashed and frayed. Your balance is built on towers of lies.”
He reached forward, his meaty hand grabbing my neck as I swiped the letter opener from his desk and pointed it at his Adam’s apple.
“I always knew it would be you that would come for my head.” The words were uttered with a mixture of pure pride and disgust.
I sneered, flexing my shoulders and the mottled scars there. “You gave me so many reasons. How could I do anything else?”
“After all you’ve done, you ungrateful bitch, you still judge me!” His grip around my neck tightened, but I could barely feel it as I cackled loudly, pressing the letter opener forward.
I saw the first drips of his blood as I answered, “I judge you all. Every last one of you. Mike. Elroy. Lacking.”
It was like a punch to the gut as memories flashed through my mind. I’d torn them both apart, piece by piece. They needed to be wiped from existence for real balance to be restored. Restoration could only happen from ruin and chaos, and they’d been the catalyst.
“You’re fucking deranged.” He shook his head in disappointment and let go of my neck. “You’ve tipped the scales in ways you’ll never understand.”
I felt my scars throb at his words and flexed my shoulders upwards, embedding the letter opener beside his Adam’s apple, pushing forward until I no longer could. “Fuck you.”
The howling began immediately. I thought it was Nakia at my back, but there was no one there. There was nothing there but black darkness, and it became apparent the howler was me.
I’d killed Zeus…Zephyr…daddy. I’d made the one judgment I’d never been prepared to make. It wasn’t just…I wasn’t just…
I growled, allowing the howl to fill me as I tried to make it all fit. I was the queen now. Big Z’s kingdom was mine. No, no, no…I was a goddess…justice incarnate…I hadn’t even seen my father in millennia.
My fingers clawed at my face and up to my hair. I was the puller of truths but living a lie. There was no such thing as balance, only corrupt ecosystems. There would be more Mikes, more Elroys, and I’d enjoy every single one.
With a jolt, I was standing back inside the wretched warehouse, surrounded by shattered glass and a gaudy mirror frame.
I saw BDZ lying on the floor across the room and began to close the space between us as others started to wake.
Oh, look who’s back, the voice taunted. Hope the vacation was nice. Don’t think regicide should be in your plans for the day. Maybe just leave that one for a different bucket list.
Growling, I blinked, letting my power flood into my eyes before disappearing into a dusting of stars.
I appeared moments later, outside a bar in east Texas. I pulled my curls back into a bunched ponytail and made my way inside.
The place was smoky, loud, and the decor was lacking. The music didn’t stop when I entered, but every eye in the place landed on me. It wasn’t the ass or the boobs either, just a thing that happens when a literal Black Goddess shows up in the middle of a biker bar in East Texas.
You have exceptional taste, Justice. Is this your way of flirting with Chaos? Figure they’ll just pop in for the show?
I ignored the voice. This had nothing to do with Chaos.
Okay, maybe a little, but not in that way.
“You lost, gal?”
Well, that hadn’t taken long.
“Potentially,” I responded, motioning for the bartender, who was blatantly ignoring me.
“Well, you needs to get going and figure that out,” advised the voice over my shoulder.
“You don’t say.” I turned on the stool, my eyes flashing bright silver. Startled, his gaze immediately locked with mine, and I began to pull his truth.
The rush took over as I read the scripted book of his character. He was disgusting, his politics revolting, but he hadn’t committed any heinous crimes…or any crimes, for that matter. Though he was tempted to change that as he contemplated ways to put me in my place.
“Oh, poor soul, whoever told you thoughts couldn’t kill you, lied.” I reached forward, snapping his neck before he could utter a word. His body hit the floor just as a few of the patrons began to advance. Well, fellas, let’s dance, the voice cackled. Except this time, it was clearly my voice, from my lips. “Welcome to unbalanced Justice. We’re allmadhere.”