Frantic, I called Connor.
“We’re sorry,” a mechanical voice droned, “you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you feel this—”
I hung up and dialed the sheriff.
“We’re sorry, you have reached a number—”
My breath burst raggedly in and out. They were okay. They had to be.
I strode to the front door, grabbed my ivory parka off its hook, wrestled the door open, stared. My neighbor’s pine lay across my driveway. The massive tree had crushed my fence, blocked in my Volvo.
I wasn’t getting out tonight.
Pacing the hallway, I tried Connor’s phone again and got the same error message.
I couldn’t wait here, not knowing…
But I was a shamanic witch, dammit, and I could journey without a car. Or at least, I used to. I raced upstairs to the attic.
One last time, I called Connor and the sheriff, my hands trembling.
Turning on the drumming, I picked up the dried leaf he’d given me and traced its veins. I settled cross-legged on the futon and told myself to think of Connor. Connor, who might be hurt, or— I shook my head. I couldn’t think like this. I had to focus. Connor and I had a connection, as close as my connection to my sisters. Dead or alive—alive, he had to be alive—he would be there. My breath synced with the drumming, but trance jittered away from me.
I grimaced. We were connected, trance or no, and I was more than a shaman, I was a witch too. I would find him.
My stomach churned. Unless he wasn’t there. Unless he…
No what-if’s. Do.
I bent my will toward Connor. The leaf he’d given me was my focus. It was a simple thing, connected to the earth and to Connor and to me.
Magic whispered through the attic.
I gasped, relieved. I’d called magic, and the atmosphere grew dense, as if the molecules in the air were expanding, pressing against each other. The wind outside rose to a shriek, shaking the high, octagonal window.
Hairs lifted on my arms. “Show me you’re okay,” I whispered. Lightly, I held the leaf over my heart, visualizing Connor.
And saw nothing.
Next in Episode 11: Nothing written in blood can be good.
Photo (top) by Beautiful on Pixabay. Photo below by Daniil Kuzelev on Unsplash.
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com
Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on Tumblr at kweiss01, on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss, or on Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.