Swallowing Darkness – Chapter 3: Call in the Cops

Chapter 3 begins with Merry peeking out behind Doyle’s hair so she can see what’s going on in her hospital room. Gran is screaming, Galen is shielding the doctor with his body, and there are two cops with their guns drawn standing just inside the doorway, aiming at something Merry cannot see. They begin shooting, and some huge tentacles and large flying creatures start reaching out towards them. The tentacles grab the cops and start slamming them into the wall.

How big is this hospital room?

A few of the nightflyers, these large black manta-ray looking creatures with tentacles, reach out to the cops and disarm them. One of them uses its tentacles to put the safety back on one of the guns. Okay, sure. Rhys lets the room know that he has removed the spell from Gran, and so Doyle eases himself off of Merry, so she can see the room.

Rhys and Sholto are holding onto Gran, who is still struggling. Sholto his holding her in place with the tentacles that sprout from off his chest/stomach. Gran shouts for Sholto to take his “unclean things” off of her, and she starts trying to attack them. Rhys is trying to calm her, but she throws a punch his way, which Sholto stops with one of his tentacles. Finally, Rhys says something that makes Gran pause:

He held the shining gold thread in front of her face. “Someone wove this into your hair, Hettie. It is a spell of emotions, meant to increase whatever you feel. More anger, more hatred, more rage, more prejudice against the black court. You are one of the most reasonable fey I know, Hettie. Why would you ever pick today to lose control?” He moved the golden thread so that her eyes and head followed it. “Why would you endanger your granddaughter and your great-grandchildren whom she carries inside her? That is not you, Hettie.”
She looked past the golden thread to me. Tears began to shine in her eyes. “Sorry I am, Merry. Sorrier that I know who did this evil thing.”

Of course before Gran can tell them who put the spell on her, the cops start struggling against the nightflyers, and Sholto is asked to call them off. He can’t, however, because he knows that if the nightflyers let the cops loose, the cops will either start shooting again, or run, or do something that will trigger the nightflyers into killing them. So, Doyle starts apologizing to everyone in the room: Sholto, the nightflyers, the cops, etc, trying to calm them down. Sholto is eventually able to order his people to hang outside the window to Merry’s room, which seems to somewhat calm the room.

Merry and co. try to explain to the cops what had happened in the room, and why Gran had flipped out. Gran tries apologizing again, but Merry sort of shuts her out by saying that the spell only amplified Gran’s true feelings. Sholto makes Gran swear that she will not harm them before he lets her go, but Gran cannot. Instead she swears that she will not harm them at this moment, because she still resents Sholto for killing her mother. Good enough, I guess, because he lets her go, the cops are convinced enough that Merry is safe that they leave, and the doctor lets them be.

So FINALLY we get back to who placed the spell on Gran. It was Merry’s cousin, Cair, one of the Seelie sidhe. Except Cair was born with some very visible brownie characteristics, which kept her from being viewed as a true Seelie sidhe. Mainly, she was missing her nose. They realize that Cair would have done anything to get what she wanted, to be accepted by the Seelie, even bespell her own grandmother to attack Merry’s men.

There is some more discussion on how the Seelie wouldn’t accept Merry as their queen because she was mixed blood and too “human” for their liking. Merry reminds them that some of the Seelie had vowed to follow and support her if she was able to use her fertility magic to help the Seelie conceive, and then the chapter ends with Galen realizing that Doyle was bleeding.


With all that’s going on in the world today, everyone’s support is so important. I want to highlight a different charity or organization to support with each post. This week is the Black Visions Collective. If you’re able to financially support them, please donate here. If you’re not, there are tons of ways to support without a direct donation. See the below link for other options.

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