Magic and Mayhem: Sh*t My Witch Says (Kindle Worlds Novella) (Witches Gone Wild Book 1), page 1
Text copyright ©2016 by the Author.
This work was made possible by a special license through the Kindle Worlds publishing program and has not necessarily been reviewed by Robyn Peterman. All characters, scenes, events, plots and related elements appearing in the original Magic and Mayhem remain the exclusive copyrighted and/or trademarked property of Robyn Peterman, or their affiliates or licensors.
For more information on Kindle Worlds: http://www.amazon.com/kindleworlds
Sh*t My Witch Says
A Magic & Mayhem Novella
Book One in the Witches Gone Wild Series
By Michele Bardsley
To my Viking whom I love, love, love. He’s the most amazingly supportive husband and my number one fan. Thanks, babe!
To my BFF Renee George, who spends a lot of time pulling me off the writer’s ledge and soothing me with back-cracking hugs and dark chocolate. And a Dean Winchester pillowcase. I love ya!
To Robyn Peterman Zahn, who is one of the most amazing, funny, crazy, energetic, talented, coolest people I’ve ever known. Thank you for inviting me into the Magic & Mayhem world. I ain’t ever leaving. Besides, Baba Yaga says I can stay.
“What the hell is this thing?” The redheaded witch named Zelda poked the lizard on the head.
Imogene Hobbs stroked the bumpy back of her familiar to keep her calm while Zelda, who insisted on being called the Shifter Wanker, examined Liz. “She’s a chlamydosaurus.”
“Isn’t that an STD? Ew!” Zelda snatched her hand back. “I don’t know if I can help you. Because gross. Didn’t you ever tell her no glove, no love?”
Immie frowned. “Liz is a frilled-neck lizard, known as a chlamydosaurus kingii.” Liz, who was forest green with stripe of deep red across her spine, sank further on to the table. When she got excited, horny, territorial, or sometimes, just because she wanted to, she’d show off her orange and red frill. It made her look like a lizard head stuck in an umbrella.
As she offered comfort to her familiar, Immie stared at the Shifter Wanker. She had her doubts about Zelda’s abilities. The newest witch in Assjacket, West Virginia looked like she fell out of the pages of Cosmo, but she had the vocabulary of a sailor. A very mouthy, sweary sailor. Immie didn’t know whether to be horrified or impressed.
They sat at a table in the kitchen—well, she sat at the table while she consulted with Zelda. The tall, lithe witch buzzed with energy, probably due to the amount of sugar-crusted donuts she’d been consuming, and paced around the checkered tile floor, her high heels click-click-clicking.
“Hey, you want a donut?”
Immie shook her head. That was the fifth time Zelda offered her a donut, and while she might’ve dived headfirst into the box of doughy goodness any other time, her worry for Liz had zapped her appetite.
After the town’s former Shifter healer died she’d left her home and her responsibilities to a niece no one had ever heard of—Zelda. Immie had only met Hildy a couple of times. She seemed nice. Mostly, Immie stayed to herself, hiding away in a little cottage on the outskirts of Assjacket. As a creator witch who specialized in plant life, Immie spent most of her time fabricating hybrids that held both beauty and magic. Witches and warlocks all over the world ordered her ointments, tonics, and creams.
Desperation pushed Immie to seek a stranger’s advice. Nothing she’d done today to heal Liz had worked. She was a creator witch, not a healer. Yet, not a single poultice or tincture had made Liz feel better. As dusk crept toward evening, she’d given up and sought out Zelda. She rarely ventured into town, and she never asked for help. Immie tried to stay away from people, but not because she was anti-social.
She was cursed.
She’s a terrible witch. Worse than you.
Immie side-eyed the ghost floating near her right side. Her ancestor’s nemesis. Her unwanted companion. Her family burden. “Quiet,” said Immie under her breath.
Why? It’s not like she can hear me. Hell, she can’t even see me.
No one, not even witches, could see the pain-in-ass who haunted her every step. The ghost even followed her into the bathroom. It was really hard to poop with a smartass crone broadcasting a play-by-play. She watched Dorcas zoom behind Zelda and use two fingers to make rabbit ears. When Immie managed to ignored that, Dorcas sat on Zelda’s head and farted.
“Liz has been lethargic,” said Immie, trying to choke down her laughter. Damn it, Dorcas. “She won’t eat. She won’t play. She won’t talk. I think she might be depressed.”
Zelda lifted one perfectly groomed eyebrow. “I’m the Shifter Wanker. Not a shrink. I’m not in touch with my own feelings, so I sure as fuck can’t deal with the feelings of an STD lizard.”
“Everything okay?” The handsome guy named Fabio, who’d answered the door and introduced Immie to Zelda, strolled into the kitchen. “You need more donuts?”
“You created a Mount Everest replica out of fried dough, Dude. Dad. Dude Dad. Daaaaad.” Zelda blew out a breath. “We’re good.”
“Okay.” He smiled. Immie glanced at the man—Zelda’s father? Same hair. Same smile. Very different attitude. He stopped and rubbed Liz’s head before leaving.
He’s hot. Did you see that butt? I wouldn’t kick that warlock outta bed.
“Stop it,” whispered Immie.
Zelda narrowed her gaze. “Stop what?”
Immie pretended innocence as she looked at Zelda. “What?”
She needs motivation. I’m going kill her shoes. With fire. Tell her that.
“I will not,” Immie hissed.
Apparently, she responded much louder than she’d intended. Zelda’s expression turned suspicious. “Are you talking to yourself?” She pursed her lips. “Do you have voices in your head? Maybe the crazy is contagious, and you infected your lizard.”
“Look, if you—you know,” Immie waved her hand to mimic healing magic, “how to wank Shifters or whatever, you can at least try to diagnose Liz. You understand the unbreakable bond between familiar and witch, right? Her pain is my pain.”
Zelda blinked. “Yeah, well, I ran over my first familiar like a dozen times in a row and I didn’t feel a thing. He turned out to be my dad, so… I feel kinda bad about it now. However, I might consider running over my current familiars because, well, they aren’t my dad, and they’re all assholes. But I get the gist, okay?” She sat down, picked up Liz, and stared into the lizard’s eyes. “All right, girl. What the holyfucknuts is wrong with you?”
Zelda Shmelda. I’m bored. Put me out of my misery, and get a new familiar already. Dorcas went horizontal and started swimming around the room. For a witch born in the 1600s, she had an impressive backstroke.
Immie looked away from the ghost’s antics and watched as Zelda’s hands glowed soft lavender. Liz visibly relaxed in the healer witch’s grasp. The glow deepened to purple and pulsed around the colorful familiar.
“Whatever’s making this … uh, thing
Feel like shit
Undo the damage
And do it quick.”
The glow deepened to purple and pulsed. Liz opened her mouth, made a strange guttural sound, and vomited.
A noxious brew of bile, mushed crickets, digested mealworms, and a tiny pink high heel splattered Zelda’s blouse.
“Aaaaaaahhhh!” Zelda dropped Liz onto the table and stood up, her cheeks ballooning as she made gagging sounds. She hurried across the kitchen, leaned over the sink, and puked.
Hahahahahahaha! Sweet Satan’s Asshole. That’s hilarious. Hahahahahahaha!
“Shut up!” yelled Immie.
“You shut up!” Zelda grabbed a kitchen towel and wiped her mouth. Then she used it to sop up the mess on her lovely white blouse. Zelda’s entire being glowed green and blood red. Immie could practically feel the heat of the witch’s fury. Wait. No. That was real heat coming off Zelda. The Shifter Wanker looked at her, her eyes pure red. “This is Brunello Cucinelli!”
“Ooookay,” said Immie, confused. “Is that another spell?”
Zelda’s mouth dropped open, her expression one of shock. On the up side, the glow of rage dissipated.
“Oh. Um. Your towel is on fire.”
“Fucking hell!” Zelda threw it into the sink and turned on the water. She gripped the edge of the counter and drew in deep breaths.
“Brunello Cucinelli is an Italian designer—and that blouse is part of next year’s spring collection.” Zelda’s father joined his daughter at the sink and examined the ruined shirt. He plucked the little pink shoe off his daughter’s shoulder.
“Onya, mate. Ta for the assist.” The air around Liz turned a sparkly light green, and she floated off the table, sashayed across the floor, and then stood up on two legs. “That belongs to my Happy Birthday Harpy.”
“It’s one of her Paranormal Pals. I’ll take it.” Immie got up from the table. Fabio wrapped the plastic piece into a napkin and handed it over. She tucked it into the pocket of her shorts. Then she picked up Liz and hugged her. “What did I tell you about eating shoes?”
“You said not to eat your shoes,” said Liz.
“Your familiar murders shoes?” Zelda’s expression was pure horror. “Dear Goddess.”
“I only nibbled them a bit,” groused Liz. “You can still wear ‘em.”
“Holy shit. Is that a talking lizard with an Australian accent?”
Everyone turned to face the four people who’d suddenly appeared in the kitchen. The question came from a very pale brunette dressed in jeans, a pink T-shirt with “I’m the Vampire, That’s Why” printed on it, and a pair of pink Nikes. She gazed at Immie’s familiar with amazement. Next to her was a tall vampire with wavy black hair, silvery eyes, and a chiseled visage. He was dressed just as casually, but his black T-shirt outlined his muscular chest, and his jeans fit like they were painted on.
Immie backed away a step. She’d never met a vampire before. They didn’t have the best reputations in the witch community. Next to the male vampire stood a man roughly the size of a linebacker. Broad shoulders. Narrow waist. Jeans that hugged muscular thighs. Whoa. He wore a pair of black cowboy boots, a belt with a buckle the size of a plate, and khaki short-sleeved shirt with pearl snap buttons.
Underneath the tan cowboy hat was the most handsome face she’d ever seen. Those angular cheeks could cut glass, and his chin sported an adorable dent. His nose was slightly crooked, but the imperfection only enhanced his good looks. His chocolate brown gaze was aimed at Zelda, and why not? She was stunningly beautiful. Still, Immie felt a sting of disappointment she hadn’t been the one to turn his head. What’s wrong with you? Relationships are not in the cards. Not ever.
Dorcas had effectively ended her love life, which at the age of twenty-three, had consisted of two whole boyfriends. She’d broken up with Boyfriend #1 on her own because he kept putting his penis into other women. Boyfriend #2 hit the road after Immie appeared to lose her mind thanks to Dorcas constantly scaring the shit out of her. She screamed a lot during those first weeks with the ghost. The warlock might’ve okay with that—witches weren’t exactly known for their mental stability—but then Dorcas went all Donkey Kong on his ass. At the end, he believed Immie was trying to kill him, so he left without saying a word.
Immie blinked. Shit. She’d really gone off the rails there for a minute. Maybe the acid trip down memory lane was because she wanted to avoid the fourth person who’d magically appeared in the kitchen.
Baba Yaga, AKA Carol, the big boss of all witches.
Baba Yaga wore a neon orange tank top and black leggings with leg warmers that matched the eye-blinding color of the shirt. She wore neon green Jellies. Both of her forearms were covered with red, green, pink and orange neon rubber bracelets, and she wore fishnet fingerless gloves a la 1980s—the Madonna years. Her blonde hair was pulled up into an impressive ponytail. It looked like a hair volcano had erupted on top of her head.
Immie felt nausea churn in her stomach. Her knees started to quake. Baba Yaga scared the pee out of her. She avoided the most powerful witch in the world like the plague. After all, the previous Baba Yaga, Carol’s mother, had put the curse on Immie’s family.
“This is Jessica and Patrick O’Halloran, vampires in case you hadn’t noticed,” said Baba Yaga. “And that’s Tabor Cotton. He’s a bear Shifter and the guardian of Wild, Texas.”
Mr. Cotton tipped his hat to Zelda and then to Immie. “Nice to meet you, ladies.”
His deep voice, as smooth and rich as a late-night DJ’s, made her whole body tingle right down to her toes. He had a light twang that served as a reminder he was Texas born. Bear Shifter, huh? That explained his height and muscular body. Immie tried not to stare so hard at him. Liz crawled on her shoulder, curling her tail around Immie’s neck. She whispered, “That Tabor’s a nice one. You could take ‘em for a ride. He’s already wearing the hat.”
Immie blushed to the roots of her hair. Dear Goddess, if she didn’t get out of here, she was going to die of embarrassment.
“Gang,” said Baba Yaga gesturing at the witches and wizard, “meet Zelda, Fabio, and Imogene Hobbs.”
Immie drew in a shaky breath. “Nice to meet you.” She smiled weakly at Zelda. “Thanks for your help.” She backed up another step. “I’m gonna—”
“Stay,” said Baba Yaga with decisive, scary authority.
The room went dead quiet and for a long moment, no one spoke.
“Well, so far, this is fun!” All eyes turned to Jessica, and she grinned. Then she looked soulfully at her husband. “Patrick, I need a talking lizard.”
“Now, Jess, love. Only witches have familiars,” said Patrick with an Irish lilt. He kissed her forehead. “Besides, we’re up to our ears in zombies.”
“But they don’t talk,” she said.
“Just give Jennifer time, sonuachar. She’ll have ‘em speakin’ soon enough.”
“True.” Jessica studied Liz. Her gaze was one of yearning. “Dead people smell like shit married sewage and had stinky babies. Even when you give them baths. Besides, their skin slides off and parts go missing. Next thing you know, you’ve got a bath full of decomposing flesh and all these fingers and toes.” She brightened and looked at Zelda. “Can you fix zombies?”
Jessica painted a way too vivid picture of the walking dead. Oh, Goddess. Immie felt her throat tighten as her gag reflex kicked in.
“If even I could,” answered Zelda in a strained voice. “I’d rather cover myself in honey and sit on an ant hill than get near—” she swallowed “—a zombie.” Obviously irritated, she stuck her hands on hips. “What the fuck is going on?”
Baba Yaga ignored Zelda’s questions. Her nose crinkled as she examined the ruined blouse. “What happened to you?”
Zelda pointed to her chest. “This is what I get for being nice.”
“I’ve seen worse,” said Jessica. “Have you ever stepped in zombie guts and then gone face first into more zombie guts? Let me tell you something about the slipperiness of intestines—”
All three witches in the room started gagging. Even Fabio looked a little green around the gills.
“Perhaps we could discuss your reason for visiting?” asked Fabio as he patted his daughter on the back. “Before
That Baba Yaga is just as awful as her mother. No sense of humor. And look at those ta-tas. If she jiggles the wrong way, they’re gonna pop out—and someone’s gonna lose an eye.
Baba Yaga snorted. “You should talk,” she said, looking to the right of Immie. “Your boobs look like deflated balloons. A silver top and bootie shorts with those heels? You look like a retired hooker.”
I can wear what I want. I’m dead.
“So’s your fashion sense,” said Baba Yaga.
Hel-lo. Have you looked in the mirror lately, Carol? Enough with the Madonna-wannabe-bullshit.
“Do you want to be bald?” asked Baba Yaga. “If you keep insulting me, you’ll spend the rest of your afterlife without hair.”
“Who the hell are you talking to?” asked Zelda. She squinted at the space next to Immie.
“Dorcas Hoar,” said Baba Yaga. “Even dead, she’s a loudmouth with a penchant for dressing like a cheap stripper.” She reached over and patted Immie’s shoulder. Holy crap! Baba Yaga is comforting me. Immie tried to remain upright as Baba Yaga offered a sympathetic smile. “Dorcas is also the scourge of the Hobbs family.”
Scourge. Yeah, well, whose fault is that?
“Yours,” said Baba Yaga.
“You…” Immie swallowed. “You can really hear her?”
She can see me, too. Big deal.
“My mother created the curse—so yeah, I’m the exception to the rule.”
“I can see her, too,” said Liz. “Not that she’s worth looking it.”
Shut it you scaly bitch or I’ll hide your treats again.
“Knock it off,” demanded Baba Yaga. She turned to the others in the room. “No one else can see or hear Dorcas. Being invisible to the rest of the world is part of the curse.”
“The worst part,” admitted Immie. “I always look like I’m yelling at myself or berating the air around me.” She sighed. “And gets even worse when she decides to go naked.”
Hey! No body shaming the dead woman.
Baba Yaga turned to Immie. “We might have found a way to get rid of the old bat.”
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