Monday, April 24, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
“There was a giant bunny out in the yard last night!” Fergus trotted across the kitchen table.
Both Grandmother and I froze at his words. “Uh, what?”
“Bunny. You know. Fuzzy, long ears, hops around a lot, eats grass and flowers? The garden has lots of them hopping around.” Fergus sniffed at the jar of jelly sitting in front of me.
“I know what a bunny is! What do you mean by giant?” I looked toward the ceiling and rolled my eyes.
“He was much bigger than the regular ones. Bigger than Zeus even.” He trotted toward the bowl of strawberries next to Grandmother. She lifted it up out of reach. Fergus stared up at her for a moment and changed direction.
“Stop trying to eat everything. Finish the story about the bunny.”
Fergus stopped in front of the plate of waffles but didn’t try to eat one. “Fine. I was up last night in the kitchen…” He paused and looked right then left. “It was just a snack. I promise!”
Grandmother broke in. “Is that what happened to Minerva’s fresh Apple pie? That was supposed to be for lunch today you little pest.”
He looked over at her and seemed to shrug. “I like apples. So I looked out the window and there he was. Hopping across the lawn. It was carrying some sort of basket thingy in his mouth. I only continued to watch because it came up the stairs and hopped in front of the window. Did you zap a rabbit? Because that spell might help me get bigger.”
Fergus’s look was one of accusation. He claimed he liked being small sometimes, but the dream was still there to be bigger.
“Just you the squirrels and the jackalopes. I would tell you if I zapped another animal. Are you telling me you saw the Easter bunny last night?”
“Easter bunny? What’s that?” He trotted over and snagged a stray crumb of waffle.
I sighed. “Grandmother?” She was so much better at explanations of this kind than I was.
She glanced at me and shook her head. “Fergus there are several religions as well as folklore associated with the holiday.” Grandmother gave him the highlights.
“So people worship this guy? Is he a zombie like on TV?”
“He’s not a zombie.” Grandmother threw up her hands. She muttered something about crazy unicorns.
“Why would a bunny lay eggs? Does it make a nest like birds? Flying giant rabbits would be cool. I’d like to fly.” Fergus jumped in the air a couple of times.
“It’s an allegory. Children like it.”
“One of those big lizard things? You said it was a rabbit.”
Unicorns. “Those are Alligators. Allegories are something else. So what did you really see outside?” I looked at him.
“Giant rabbit. I told you.” He sniffed at my plate. “You going to eat that?”
“Fergus the Easter bunny doesn’t exist. It’s just something they tell kids.” I pushed my plate toward him. He hopped up and nibbled on a waffle.
“If you say so.”
I glanced at Grandmother and she shook her head slightly. “Fergus, you do know the difference between fantasy and reality right?”
“Of course I do. Fantasy is those guys on TV that are always waving and riding around in big cars Reality is the giant rabbit I saw last night.” He continued to eat the waffle.
“Guys on TV? What guys on TV?” I looked down at my plate. He was now standing in the middle of a pool of maple syrup. I made a mental note to clean his sticky feet off before he tracked it across the house.
“You know. They work in that big white building you took me to once. It had a big statue outside.” Big white building. I tried to think of the places we had gone together.
“Politicians? You’re saying that politician aren’t real?” The big building was the Capital.
“Sure. You told me that TV wasn’t real. Remember?” I glanced at Grandmother and she was holding her hand across her mouth trying to laugh.
I was at a complete loss for words. Grandmother started to laugh. “Go ahead. Tell him about politicians. I want to hear what you say to him.” She was giggling now.
Trying to think of an explanation I jumped when Minerva said something. “What’s up with you?”
Grandmother was laughing even harder and Fergus had maple syrup dripping down his long face. I grabbed my chest. My heart slowed down again now that I realized it was her.
“We were explaining the differences of shows on TV to real life.”
“How’s that working out for you? He’s not the sharpest tack in the box.” Minerva set a large decorative basket on the table.
Pointing at the basket I said. “I was just about to tell him. What’s that?”
“Easter basket. I found it out on the porch. The eggs look like they’re ostrich. I haven’t had one of those in a while. Who wants a big ass omelet?” She grabbed the basket and stepped over to the stove.
“See! I told you I saw a big bunny.” Fergus hopped off the plate leaving a trail of sticky hoof-prints.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Sunday, April 9, 2017
“We need a new car.” I replied as I stepped out of the car.
“Looking to trade or just get a second vehicle? We have some nice ones that can be used for work or play. What does your husband think? Is this for you?” He peered into my SUV trying to see Marvin.
“Pretend you don’t see him. He’s not the one buying the car. That would be me. What do you have that’s fast and easy to drive?”
The salesman continued around the car and stepped over to the passengers side. He totally ignored me and my wishes. “Sir, we have the best used cars in the tri-state area. If you look to your right you can see we even have one of the new family trucksters. Not the most aerodynamic with those tail fins but it does do the job of carrying the family around and still look sharp to the eyes. If you know what I mean. Or if you are a discerning gentleman I have…” He never got to finish that sentence. I zapped him with a freeze spell.
Leaning down I called through the window. “Marvin I need your help, please.”
“Did you just hurt that man? Why was he talking to me?” Marvin, still looking rumpled and confused got out of the car and poked the salesman. “Is he dead?”
“I just froze him. He’s still alive. He wanted to sell you a car, not me. Salesmen like him always talk to the man never the woman at places like this. They assume that the women don’t know what they want. Grab his arm. When I unfreeze him he might fall down.” I dropped the spell.
The salesman dropped to the ground taking Marvin with him. “Marvin I said hold him not hold on to him.”
I let my witness get up on his own. My arm was starting to throb much more painfully. I would have to try a healing trance later to see if I could fix some of the damage. Time to try a different tack with the salesman. Concentrating for a moment I cast my spell.
“What is your name?”
The man on the ground replied. “Wilson Theai.”
“Wilson, can you stand up and talk to me?” I tried to keep my voice even and toneless. That was the key to this sort of mesmerizing spell.
“Yes.” He stood up.
“Wilson do you have the keys to these cars around us?” I waved at the cars.
“Are they fueled and ready to go?” Gas would be an issue.
“Yes. We like to say that a car un-driven is a car un-payed for.” Wilson’s eyes were bloodshot and his face slack. That was one of the symptoms of this sort of spell.
I looked around and spotted a nice looking family car that would work now. A station wagon wasn’t a good get-away car but we weren’t criminals. “Can you get the keys for that green one over there?”
Zombie-like Wilson turned toward the car I pointed at. “Yes.” Stumbling he walked toward the office.
“What’s wrong with him?” Marvin watched the Wilson bounce off a couple of cars before climbing the steps into the elevated office.
“It’s the spell I cast on him. Free will enhancers make the subconscious fight the conscious part of your brain. The result is that. He’ll be OK when we leave. I promise.”
Wilson returned with a set of keys in his hand. We couldn’t take the chance on filling out the paperwork so hopefully I didn’t get stopped. “The keys.”
“Thank you, Wilson. Now here are the keys to my SUV. You will place it at the back of your lot and forget how and why it got there. Do you understand?” I took his keys and handed Wilson my keys.
“Yes. Move car. Forget why.”
“Good. Marvin go grab our bags out of the car and put them in the green station wagon. Don’t forget to grab Fergus too.” Must not forget the little pain in my ass.
“Now. If the police or other people come looking for someone that matches my description you will tell them you haven’t seen anyone. We are not the people you are looking for. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” Wilson stood stock still waiting for yet another order. This was why these sorts of spells weren’t approved of my the Witches Council. Mind control left too many scars.
I opened the car door of the SUV and poked around. Fingerprints were almost impossible to remove with Magick but hair and blood, specifically my blood could be. A small cantrip and all my physical trace was gone in a wisp of smoke. Let them find unicorn hair and wonder how? I popped open the glove compartment grabbed the original rental paperwork and pocketed it.
“Wilson, I want you to count to a hundred and fifty very slowly. When you are done you will move the SUV to the back of the lot and return to selling cars. We were never here. Do you understand?”
“Yes. Never here. One. Two. Three…” He stood still and continued to count.
I let out my saved breath. One less thing to worry about. The keys fit the car so we drove right off the lot. First stop gas station. It might have gas in it but not enough to drive to Upper New York state. I have a rental house in a nice quiet small town to go to. No one should be able to find us there.
Wilson finished counting and moved the car as ordered. The very moment he stepped out of it and pocketed the keys was when he woke up. “Why am I back here? If I don’t make my quota Athena will kill me!” Straightening his cowboy hat he ran for the front of the lot. His boss had a bit of a temper.
Friday, April 7, 2017
What do Unicorns eat? Well if they are Fergus they like Pizza and Salad! Check out Fergus Favorites and find one to like too. You can get it Here!
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Chuck roared into the parking lot our RV’s were in and we all hopped out. I grabbed Marvin and put him in my Suburban. Cat would take the RV. It had part of our lab as well as sleeping arraignments for half the team.
“Chuck stash that thing down the street. Bill can you watch him while I get Fergus and my stuff?” I gave orders even as I climbed into the RV,
I heard Marvin ask Bill who Fergus was just as I stepped inside.
“Hey! Welcome back. I downloaded some great barn ideas. You need to check out the parquet floors I found. Can you just imagine how that would look in there? And this drape set with valence is perfect.” I stood there blinking at my Unicorn for about half a minute before heading toward the back. I’d forgotten about his pimp my barn project.
My GO bag was packed and ready sitting on my bed. I quickly checked to be sure I had everything. Spellbook, herbs, and other necessary materials. Clothing was secondary. There was one fresh change of clothes in there as well as five thousand in cash provided by the Director. The money was discretionary for our group but she said I was covered if I had to use it. My own account reflected that much and plenty more but I would try to not touch that source.
Even knowing that this RV wasn’t really mine made it no less mine. It was my home and I would miss it. “Fergus time to go.”
“Go? Go where? I have plans to talk about and more videos to watch. Plus I may have ordered some paint to redo my barn. How much is ten gallons? Is that enough to do the job?”
Unicorns. “How did you order it? I thought Grams turned off Goliath on your phone after you ordered that pizza oven?” She told me a very large truck was backing into the driveway. Fortunately her cafe in town really did need a new oven but she was pretty mad at the little terrorist.
“Um. I sort of copied your password and logged back in.” Fergus quickly ran behind his barn to hide.
I was in too much of a hurry to fix this now. “When we get back we will discuss this, but we have to leave. Now.” I gave him a chance and held out my hand.
“Promise you won’t throw me to the cats?” Fergus cautiously climbed onto my hand.
“When have I ever done that to you intentionally?”
“That one time when you needed a ball for Zeus you…” I stuck him in my pocket and laughed. He was right. I was eight and Zeus wanted to play. I pulled open my shirt pocket and apologized. “Sorry buddy. No cats this time.”
Taking a last look at my home I hopped down the stairs and closed the door behind me. “Everybody set?”
“I’m still not happy about this but I do understand. Be careful, Aggy.” Cat gave me a big hug and a pat on my back.
Chuck ran up suddenly. “Am I too late?”
“No. Take care of everyone Chuck. Make sure Ana stays on track.” I looked at my watch. “I need to go. Don’t for get to check your mail. It will be my only way to communicate with you.”
I climbed into my car and watched my friends wave goodbye as I drove off.
“They really care for you. Are you taking me home?” I looked back at Marvin. He was sitting in the middle seat watching out the window.
“Marvin you know I can’t do that. They will kill you the moment they see you. Don’t you understand?”
“Maybe. I don’t like strange places. Only Sheila understands me.” He turned and looked at me.
Sheila? “Is that your girlfriend?”
“She’s my best friend. She always has time for me. I miss her.” Marvin had such longing in his voice.
“When all this is over I promise I will get you to her. OK?” He didn’t answer me. I made a mental note to ask the team to find her.
We had the RV’s parked in a Wally world shopping center to not attract attention to ourselves. My first stop was unknown to team. I trust them with my life but I really wouldn’t put it past them to tag me electronically just because. Green River rentals had a something waiting for me at their Georgetown location.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Monday, April 3, 2017
Great response for the Authors of Phoenix Prime. Here are even more of their work. Some romance, mystery, and Science Fiction all mixed up together.
“Not only no, but Hell No!” US Marshal Nicolas Craven looked at my authorization.
“You don’t have a choice Marshal. That piece of paper gives us custody of Marvin Loman. We are his best chance of survival now. How many more people have to die before you see that?” Cat tried to stare the man down.
Nick snorted. “Really? That’s all you’ve got? Look you kids don’t have anything on us here. We’ve been battling the Mob and hiding witnesses for almost a century. We can do our jobs without any of your mumbo jumbo, thank you very much. It you look at your authorization you will see it’s a the discretion of the lead officer. That would be me and I say no.”
I stepped forward. “Officer… Uh?”
“Craven. Nick Craven.” The Marshal sat with his arms folded across his chest looking a little menacing.
“Officer Craven. Magical attack is something we can defend against. It’s our specialty. This may be a secure building but a talented Adept can overcome most obstacles as if they don’t exist. I can and will protect the witness to the best of my ability. What will you do if they come for him without us to defend him?”
Craven sat up straighter and smiled at me. “We’ll arrest them. This is the most secure facility in the United States. We have quadruple layers of protection as well as bank vault doors and military grade weapons. I think we can combat anything that dares to try and enter without authorization.” Just as he finished red lights began to flash.
“What the hell?” Craven grabbed his phone.
“We have a breach in sector four. I repeat we have a breach in sector four.” Cat and I both looked up as loudspeaker messages began to be broadcast.
“Craven? Where is sector four?” I looked the man in the eye as he tried to contact his staff.
“Why isn’t this thing working! It’s the parking garage above us. Don’t worry about it. The walls and roof up there are ten feet thick with steel reinforced bars sunk into the concrete. Nothing on Earth can just punch through it.”
Glancing upward I could almost believe him. Saying that the directions to this place were vague is an understatement. We were instructed to park the RVs at the end of the block in an abandoned motel parking lot. Two Government vehicles that made our old stinkmobile look like a new car picked us up.
“Where are we going?” I asked the man driving. He didn’t answer me and only glanced at us in the rear view mirror.
“Friendly folk.” I mostly said it to myself but Cat heard it. My earbud pinged me telling me that Anastasia heard it too. One of the downsides to having shifters and vampires on your team. Their superhuman hearing.
“It’s called paranoia Agatha. They have good reason to act this way. This should be pretty interesting. Even I haven’t been here before.” Bill voice murmured in my ear. The earbuds were new. Something that Ana and Chuck cooked up. Using a distance communication spell that I found in one of my Great grandmother’s books the tech was able to reach an immensely far distance. We had decided to not tell the WITSEC folks about them. It wasn’t like they could steal them. Only I could make them work.
The side windows of the cars were painted over but we could see out the front. The business district gave way to what appeared to be an industrial area. A rusty fence surrounded what appeared to be an old warehouse complex. Our car pulled up to a dilapidated guard shack.
A man dressed in mall cop togs but armed with a top of the line AR-17 walked out. He spoke to our driver as another mall cop scanned the car, running a mirror around the edge. Finally the gate opened and we slowly drove in. Our car headed toward the central building. Several freight doors lined the shipping dock area with one at ground level. That is the one that opened.
“Pretty cool. It looks just like an old warehouse.” Chuck pointed at the loading area and doors.
“That’s the point. Everyone always looks for a hotel or some sort of resort. We want to protect out subjects. Putting them in something like that is like painting a target on them.” The driver glanced in our direction as we pulled into the warehouse and drove downward.
“So you can talk.” I looked pointedly at the rear-view mirror.
“Of course. You’re FBI. Fancier that what we’re use to but still, FBI. We aren’t fans of the Bureau here.” The car drove down at least two levels parking in the underground garage.
As we climbed out and looked around us the driver spoke again. “This was a casino and hotel in the 1940s. It went belly up when the second round of prohibition swept the country post-war. We acquired it in the 1960s. Everything is underground now. Even the area residents don’t remember the Casino. For us it’s perfect. The elevator is over here.” The Marshal pointed us to a pair of doors.
A loud boom startled me and brought my thoughts back to the present.
“They are breaking through from above regardless. Is the floor of the garage the same thickness as the roof and walls?” Bill looked upward.
“No. Only half the thickness. How? We would have noticed the digging equipment in plenty of time to stop them!” Craven grabbed his phone again and began yelling at his people.
“Agatha we need to get this Loman character and get moving! They’re doing this by magic, yes?” Cat pulled my arm.
“Yes. It’s the only way left.” I spun around and confronted Craven.
“Where is the witness? This is an attack and we need to get him out of here!”
“No! My people can handle it. If you want to help stop them from digging into the base.” Several loud booms punctuated by a loud screech of metal echoed through the base.
“Too late. Do you have cameras up there.” I pointed up.
“Follow me.” Craven pulled a revolver out of his desk drawer and holstered it.
Several uniformed Marshals ran past us armed with automatic weapons. Craven led us to an armored door that could have once been attached to a bank. “This is the secured wing.”
He placed his hand on the scanner. There was a clanking sound as the door slowly opened enough to allow us to enter. Craven scanned his hand again to close the apparently heavy door.
“We keep high value subjects and our surveillance team in here.” We went through a high security door into what looked like a normal office building. A few armed guards stood about. All of them were staring up at the ceiling.
“In here.” He opened the door to hell.
A wide bank of flat screen monitors covered three walls. Technicians ran back and forth. Many people just stared in shock at the screens while others shouted into phones or radios. Craven took control immediately. “Freeze! Get control people!” He shouted at the top of his lungs shocking most of those in room out of their panic.
I looked up at the screens and could totally understand their panic. Like sticking a hot poker in cardboard is what I would say the door to the garage looked like. It was now a charred, blackened hole. The US Marshal’s had put up a desperate fight but their opponents were too much. Bodies of the dead lay scattered on several of the lower level floors. Near the elevator doors was a large figure in a black cloak. Balls of fire appeared in his hands as he tossed them repeatedly at the floor.
“Do you have an exterior shot?” I pointed at the screens.
“Yes.” Craven reached over one of the techs and hit a switch. The screens on the left side came to life showing all three buildings. The gatehouse looked as if a bomb hit it but several black cars surrounded the main warehouse. Old school looking mobsters with sub machine guns stood alongside each vehicle.
Looking away from the screens I looked toward the lead Marshal. “Is there another way out of here?”
“Several. But Loman is our responsibility!”
“You have a responsibility to the other people in here too. Tell me I’m wrong that you have other witnesses here.” We all looked up as the room shook.
“All available units! We have a breach in Sector three.” The technicians were even more frantic.
Craven sat down and waved his hand as he spoke. “Fine.Yes. Yes. There are several dozen witnesses here. Damn you! And damn the FBI!”
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Many of these are short but can be read in Kindle Unlimited. As they publish I'll list a few more.