Before she even walked through the door, Eliza knew something was wrong. From behind the solid wood, she could hear the indignant yowling of her pet cat, Willow. Willow was a quiet animal and virtually unnoticeable. To hear the cat so upset was unsettling.
Preparing herself for the worst, Eliza unlocked the door and pushed it open.
Standing in Eliza's kitchen, holding Eliza's cat by the scruff of her neck, was the young woman who only hours before had been grievously wounded and unable to stand, let alone crash through windows properly.
The cat and the woman seemed to be engaged in a argument of sorts. Narrowing her eyes, she glared at the cat, finally dumping the animal to the ground, dismissively. Willow ran to her master, curling herself behind Eliza's legs in fright.
"That thing doesn't like me very much." Said the woman as she flung open a cabinet. Eliza let her groceries slide to the tile floor and scooped the cat into her arms. "Her name," She replied, "Is Willow. And she probably has a good reason for it."
The woman laughed, the unnatural sound grating and wild. "All I did was ask where you kept the peanut butter." Eliza was stunned. Not only was the intruder up and functioning, she was also ransacking Eliza's obviously empty kitchen for peanut butter!
And how on earth would the poor cat tell her where it was?
"I don't think Willow can talk." Eliza commented. The woman turned to her, eyebrows raised."What's in the bags?' She asked. Eliza shrugged. "Bread, eggs, powerful antibiotics. The usual."
As the woman approached, Eliza couldn't help but open her mouth again. "How are you alright? What happened last night? Am I on a T.V. show or something?" The woman only snorted and bent down to dg through the bags. "I heal fast. Yeah, I could lie and say that wasn't totally embarrassing, but I won't and it was. I guess I'll say thank you though."
Pulling out a carton of eggs, she rose and strode back to the counter. "I mean really, having to rely on a human to help me out. I thought I was beyond that." She shot a pointed glance at Eliza, who had taken a seat on the couch. "By the way, I can't go on calling you 'That Human' forever. You got a real name or what?"
Eliza huffed. "It's Eliza." She paused. "Are you really okay? That looked bad." The woman looked up. "I'm fine." She assured the girl, extending her index finger and slicing though the layers of cheap gauze covering her wound. True to her word, there wasn't even a scar left behind on her pale skin. "Ta-da!"
Shocked, Eliza shook her head in disbelief. "How the hell did you do that?" The woman didn't answer, instead grinning crookedly and extending a hand.
"Uso. My name's Uso." She said, matter-of-factly.
"So can I crash here or what?"
Eliza was speechless. She settled for taking Uso hand and shaking. Uso's blue eyes shone. "I'll take that as a yes."
"You still haven't answered my question." Eliza said, "Why are you here?"
"That," Uso sighed, "Is a very long and confusing story. For you, anyway. You wouldn't even believe me. That's what humans are known for, and I couldn't even prove myself. I'm pretty weak right now."
Eliza frowned. Why did this woman keep calling her a human? Wasn't that just stating the obvious? And what did she mean, she couldn't prove herself?
Turning back to the eggs, Uso grimaced. "Like right now, I'm gonna have to cook these the normal way. On the stove!" She laughed to herself.
Eliza felt something spark inside her. "You can steal my food right after you've fixed my window and cleaned my blankets!" She spat. She instantly regretted it. Her mother her taught her to always try her best to stay calm when dealing with difficult people.
To Eliza's surprise, Uso only shrugged. "Okay. Why didn't you say so?' She rolled her shoulders back. "I can feel it now." Feel what? Eliza wondered.
Maybe Uso was a nutcase, Eliza thought. She could be one of those people that rappel down random buildings. That one guy really did think he was Spiderman, she reminded herself. Still, when Uso walked back down the hall to the bedroom, Eliza followed.
Hands on her hips, Uso surveyed the scene. "Hm. This one's an easy fix." She said. "Oh, and you might want to take a seat."
Uso raised her arms and Eliza's jaw almost hit the floor.
The shards of glass had been lifted off the carpet in a glowing whirlwind, enveloped in purple light. With a flick of her wrist, Uso snapped the pieces back into their frame.
Dropping the cat, Eliza went directly to the window. In awe, she rapped her knuckles against the clear surface. Solid. "So," Uso said nonchalantly, "Where are those blankets?"
Once again at a loss for words, Eliza led Uso out onto the apartment's small balcony. The balcony was Eliza's favorite thing about the apartment. It gave a perfect view of the city around the tall building. Usually, when weather permitted, Eliza would eat her meals outside.
Eliza had put the laundry basket outside, just in case the contents developed an odor before laundry day. Lifting the soiled comforter from the basket, Uso traced her fingers over the stains, trailing flashes of purple light. The stains evaporated into thin air, leaving no trace of ever having existed.
For what seemed like the thousandth time since having woken up that morning, Eliza was utterly floored. A few rays of the steadily rising Sun burst from a gap between two buildings, the inferno landing on the balcony.
Eliza felt weak. "Who are you?" She asked timidly.
"My full name," Said Uso, "Is Uso the Untruth, of the Deep Woods and Sky, Master of the Bay State and all surrounding areas, the Mistress of Avarice,
"And the seventh libran, a Daughter of Twilight in authority of all realms; all things, both light and dark." The light rising around her twisted and fluctuated, seeming to bow before her.
"But you, dear Eliza, can simply call me Uso."