I thought as a special Trick-or-Treat surprise, I'd post Chapter Two from Witch's Fire, Book Five of the Winslow witches of Salem. WF is scheduled for release in April, 2010 from Eternal Press.
Happy reading and Happy Halloween!
Chapter Two of Witch's Fire
Beltaine, Beltane, Beltanee: Also known as May Day.
Kirrah Walker soared high in the sky.
On a plain, ordinary, everyday, purchased-at-the-Dollar-Store-broom. A simple item made of straw, wood and a bit of wire.
Nothing magical about it.
Kirrah moaned. “Right, except for the rider.”
However, her lack of control of the magic at her fingertips was pretty ugly. The broom might not have started out charmed, but it was now. So charmed, its entire features had morphed.
The straw was now switches.
The handle was broader, longer and darker, and polished to a shine so rich she could see her reflection in it.
Or she could if it was daylight.
No wire to hold the switches in place. So how did they remain? She had no clue. They were attached to the broom and it was all that mattered.
This broom definitely was not from the Dollar Store.
What happened to the one she’d purchased?
Did it still exist on some other plain?
Not only was this new broom bursting with energy and magic, it had turned into a speed demon from hell. It went from zero to eighty in one point two seconds, a flash across the night sky easily mistaken for a shooting star.
The problem was she didn’t know what she’d done, what she’d said, to hex it.
Kirrah sighed once again. Well, those weren’t the only problems. They were simply part of it.
It was all the broom’s fault!
She hadn’t done a single thing to encourage its crazy antics. For heaven’s sake, she knew very well there hadn’t been one thing special about the broom when she purchased it.
Hah! Try telling it to the ferocious beast racing through the night sky like an over fueled jet with a pilot hell bent to reach his destination.
For a moment, she and the broom hovered above a tree top. Kirrah puffed a tangled curl that drooped over her left eye out of her field of vision.
“I feel the need for speed. Woo hoo!”
Kirrah widened her eyes. “Oh, my goodness, you didn’t just speak.”
“Yes, I did.”
“No, you didn’t.”
“Okay. Have it your way, witch, but you better hang on to your ass, is only warning you get.”
“Ohh! Oh, shit, broom! Slow down!”
“Can’t. Gotta itch for speed.”
Oh! Oh! This wasn’t possible. A talking broom? A flying broom? She’d lost her ever-loving-mind. Kirrah breathed deeply. She panted. She chanted, though God only knew if what she chanted simply encouraged to broom to show off. “I don’t believe in witches. I don’t believe in witches.”
“How you not believe in witches when you one? When you fly on back of broom?”
“It’s a dream. It’s all a bad dream.”
“Real dream. Good dream.”
Kirrah decided it wasn’t so much the flying that created problems, although that too, had its moments. The problem was landing. Now that she was higher than a kite on the Fourth of July, she hadn’t a clue how to get herself and the maniac broom back on the ground.
So here she was, racing among the clouds, looking down on rooftops, treetops, feeling dizzy―with no earthly idea how she got here.
Apparently her plain, ordinary, run-of-the-mill broom was in no hurry to cooperate with a landing. Even if she knew the right words to bring it down, it had stopped listening to her commands the minute it soared away with her.
“Ahhhhhhh,” Kirrah screeched as the broom revved up its speed another notch. She hadn’t known the broom had warp speed. “Ohh! Oh, damn, broom. Slow down! I’m getting dizzy.”
“Told you to hang on.”
It totally ignored her.
In her mind, she heard its evil cackling. The broom was up to more tricks. It streaked across the sky faster than a speeding comet. Sure, it was frightening, okay, a lot frightening, a little on the chilly side, and every now and then she had to spit out some kind of attack bug, but it was fun, energizing, exhilarating―even if it was scary.
She wasn’t used to flying. Ha! That was saying a lot. It was even scarier when the broom rocked unsteadily, like now, and kicked in passing gear.
Kirrah choked her fingers around the scrawny handle, which only seemed to make the broom even more unsteady.
Was that a gagging sound she heard?
“Release me.” Cough. Splutter. Cough. Cough.
She thought her eyes might bulge right out of their sockets. “You really do talk? It wasn’t my imagination?” She stared at the handle. No mouth. “Nah, you can’t talk.”
“Oh, oh, poop―poop―poop! You can talk.”
“Told―you. Re―lease―me,” the broom said in a strained voice.
Kirrah eased the choke-hold she had on the handle.
“Weeee,” the broom chortled excitedly. It whirled and spun as if it’d been given a new lease on life and climbed even higher.
Kirrah controlled the urge to tighten her fingers around it again. What if she killed it? Then they’d crash.
What was she thinking?
It wasn’t like the broom was actually alive. Was it?
What a miserable night this had turned out to be. One minute she’d been standing in her kitchen doorway gazing up at the dark sky, intoxicated by the frigid night air and admiring the tiny sliver of moon playing peek-a-boo with the clouds.
She’d been talking to herself―a terrible flaw she’d recently developed―and wishing aloud for a closer view of the moon. The next moment―the mundane little broom propped in a corner transformed and swooshed beneath her butt. It took off in the night with her perched precariously on top of it.
“Good heavens,” she’d shrieked, so startled, she barely had time to grip the broom handle before it soared off into the dark and zoomed over the treetops with her held captive. That was when she realized…she was a for-sure-and-certain witch. It was one of those Ah-ha moments she sometimes had.
Oh, yeah, she’d suspected for a month or so she might be a witch. Might be. Maybe. No proof, though, other than hearing a man’s deep accented voice summoning her for the past week. Yeah, that had raised her suspicions. But hell, she’d read every single one of those Christine Feehan vampire romances. She thought a fanged creature was using a mental link to summon her. She wasn’t about to acknowledge a real live breathing vampire. She frowned. Or a real dead non-breathing one, either. Eeeww.
Kirrah tried hard to convince herself the fireplace didn’t roar to life every time she walked past it, flames shooting up the chimney like happy fireflies. Candles didn’t light up for any apparent reason and the burners on the stove didn’t flare to life.
What was it with fire…and her?
It was like she had some kind of mysterious power over it.
But it wasn’t just fire. Light switches flipped off or on. Inanimate objects floated through the air simply because she wished for them. Now that had spooked the poop outta her the first time it happened. But she’d convinced herself things were merely short-circuiting around her.
But here was proof. Genuine proof. Oh, yes. It was a red-letter day―er, night. Yes, siree. She was a fricking-screeching-cackling-full-fledged-certified-broom-riding-witch!
Should she wear black?
Wear a pointy hat?
Blacken her teeth?
Search for ruby slippers?
Kirrah shivered as the cold night air whizzed through her tangled mop of hair. Nervously, she gripped the handle of the broom a little tighter, but not so tight she strangled it. Every now and then her ears popped with the change in altitude.
Her skin felt clammy and cold.
She bet she was pea-green. Oh, heavens. Puke-green and vertigo didn’t go well with her outfit. Oh. Oh, dear. If she fell off the broom, she’d be nothing but a little puddle of―dizziness swept over her.
Kirrah choked the broom.
It coughed. Sputtered, but charged on like a rocket.
“I want down, broom. Now!”
She was deathly afraid of heights. The way her stomach bubbled, she was sure to throw-up. Again. Kirrah prayed the broom from Hell wouldn’t decide to do another loop-de-loop.
Uh-oh. Too late!
Satan’s little toy-of-joy must have read her mind, because it shot straight up, did a stunning acrobatic spin, belly over belly, and left her belly somewhere behind.
“Oh-my-God,” she wailed. “Go down! Down, I say! I want down!”
The broom performed another spectacular gyrating spin, then plunged straight down in a suicide spiral, before leveling off at the very last second. It wove through the woods like an out-of-control rocket―straight toward a man who stood innocently gaping at her and the wild-ass broom.
He wore one of those, I-don’t-believe-what-I’m-seeing expressions, eyes wide, lips parted with utter disbelief. Speechless.
Oh, yes. He was properly impressed, all right.
He was also standing in a danger zone.
“Get out of the way,” Kirrah yelled, flapping one arm, motioning for him to move, but the warning came too late. She slammed into him at a peculiar angle, side-swiping his head and smacking him on the side of his forehead with the broom handle.
Heavens. It sounded just like a watermelon struck by a baseball bat. Eeewww.
“Oops.” Kirrah wrinkled her nose in dismay. Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she clenched her teeth together. She really didn’t want to see this, but knew she should check on the man. Kirrah opened one eye and shot a glance over her shoulder as she barreled past him like a speeding bullet―just in time to see him do a perfect flip-flop, head over heels.
“Ohh! Oh, dear.” But she didn’t have time to consider the injuries inflicted on the poor soul. No. She needed to concentrate on the wicked broom. It sputtered, hacked, sputtered. She eyed her hands. She might wish to, but she wasn’t choking the broom, so it must be running out of gas. “About time, too.”
Kirrah yelped and clutched the broom handle. Swear to the stars, the thing suddenly swerved, rocked unsteadily, then shot straight toward a giant Ark tree like a heat-seeking missile.
“Oh, no. No, broom. Change direction. I command you to change direction.”
The broom, as usual, ignored her. She tried pulling up on the handle. No use. There was only one choice left her. She bailed. “Ouch!” Rubbing her bruised and aching backside, Kirrah watched the broom make a big loop and head straight toward her.
Quickly, she ducked and swore under her breath. It whistled past her head and crashed head-on into the massive tree. “Tyrant! Maniac! You could have killed us,” she yelled.
The broom wilted. It clattered to the ground at her feet, gave one final sputter, then stilled.
“Don’t you ever do that to me again.” Kirrah shook her finger at the dejected broom, eyed her finger and thought better of it. What if she hexed it again? Magic lay in her fingertips. Crazy magic she’d never been able to control and that always involved snakes, spiders or other nasty little beasties. Now, runaway brooms.
She couldn’t help herself though. She laughed and clapped her hands in delight. Her body felt exhilarated, her face flushed. The sheer joy and the incredible thrill of the wild ride had to feel like getting struck by lightning. Every nerve in her body tingled. Pumping a fist in the air, she cheered, “Woo-hoo! Oh, my, but that was fun, broom.” A low moan snared her attention and snapped her out of her cheering mode. “Oh, goodness.” She’d forgotten all about her hit-and-fly-victim. “Uh-oh. I think we might be in a spot of trouble here, broom.”
Hmmm. How was she going to explain flying on a broom? She didn’t have Aunt Penell here to put a hex over her latest victim.
And she was simply awful at casting spells.
Kirrah pushed herself up and limped over to where the stranger was laid out cold as a corpse on a mortuary slab. She cut her gaze over him. “Holy smokes.”Her eyes widened in appreciation. “When the gods passed out bodies, you ordered a big one.”
At least six-foot-four, the man’s biceps bulged, bared by a loose fitting brown leather vest. He looked scrumptious. Thick hair the color of a ripe wheat field and lightly sprinkled with a cinnamon color fell across wide shoulders. Tawny-colored stubble dusted his chin and jaws. Apparently the man wasn’t into shaving regularly. He looked rough, untamed and like a big lion.
Snug brown leather pants hugged his lower body. A smattering of dark blond hair lightly furred his chest where the vest fell apart. The trail of silky hair narrowed into a straight line to the waistband of his tan leather pants and disappeared.
Kirrah licked her lips. Holy crap. The man was seriously ripped, a sexual beast in leather. A soft head though, for the blow from the broom handle had knocked him out cold.
Still, he was rugged. Raw, sexy, take-me-home-with-you-and-I’ll-give-you-my-babies, alluring, wicked male.
Huh. What was she going to do with him? Kirrah chewed on her lower lip as she puzzled over this latest problem in her life. He reminded her of someone. Who? She gnawed on her upper lip and mulled it over. Travis Fimmel! A Calvin Klein underwear man, oh, yeah, baby! Talk about a hottie! She should know. She’d drooled enough staring at pictures of the Auzzie cutie on the Internet to last a lifetime. Man, she’d had the biggest crush on the hunky male model a couple of years back.
Oh, but this man looked even yummier. More mature. Muscular. Sexy. Had she thought sexy already? Never mind. Her mouth watered. It was just incredible the handsome hunk was served up to her a-la-carte―and only slightly damaged.
First chance she got, she was taking a bite of this forbidden fruit. All she needed was some whipped cream. Or she could just go for licking the ice cream cone, lots of slow, delicious licking.
Kirrah moved closer and leaned cautiously over him. “Oh!” She gasped as his lids suddenly snapped open. He stared at her, but his eyes didn’t really look all that focused. He blinked and moaned deep in his throat.
Uh-oh. Oh, dear. He really looked confused. Sounded baffled. This wasn’t good.
How bad were his injuries?
Would her automobile insurance cover the damages? Shit. She’d have to go over her policy when she got home, but she was pretty sure there no were clauses covering accidents while flying on a broom.
Should she abandon him and leave him as a hit-and-fly victim? The thought had possibilities. In her mind she saw the imaginary ice cream cone melting into a milky, useless puddle. No sweets tonight, she thought. Anyway, he probably thought she’d tried to kill him.
“What…happened?” he asked, lifting a hand to his forehead.
He didn’t remember? How cool was that?
Kirrah grabbed his hand. “Don’t touch it. You’re bleeding.”
“Only a little.” She squeezed one eye shut and sort of clenched her teeth. Damn. She hated confessing her responsibility, but her inner devil insisted she come clean. Drat the little guy, always interfering in her life. “Oh, well…there’s also a―a teensy-weensy bump.”
“Teensy?” The man winced as he touched his head. “What the hell does teensy mean?”
“Ooh. You don’t understand English very well? Teensy means uh―uh, miniature, smaller than miniature…sort of.”
“I speak proper English, not the jumbled-up butchered words you speak.”
How insulting! Butchered-up, indeed. Kirrah’s temper―which she swore was always mild―revved up a notch. Well, she wasn’t a redhead for nothing she thought. “Jumbled-up? Butchered? Ha! You speak proper English my patootie.”
“It doesn‘t feel tiny.”
“Huh? What doesn’t feel tiny?” She gave a half-hearted shrug when she realized what he was talking about―and it wasn’t her patootie. Guilt slapped her again and her temper deflated. “Well, maybe not so little, but not real big, either,” she quickly added. “It might be somewhat…er―bigger than a…duck egg?” she ended with a questioning note.
“Bigger than a duck egg? Is that your idea of tiny?”
“Well, that’s better than it being large as a goose egg…right?” There was no call for him to yell. She decided to ignore his rudeness. After all, his slight injury was her fault. She’d forgive him for being grumpy, too…he probably had a slight headache. “Do you remember what happened?”Please, say no.
“Better yet, have a long lasting case of amnesia,” she blurted before she could stop herself.
“What?”He glanced around as if trying to figure out where he was and why she was praying out loud for him to have amnesia.
Did he know what amnesia was?
The man looked very discombobulated to her.
Did amnesiacs look discombobulated?
“Uh…let’s try this again. Do you remember what happened?”
His tawny brows knitted in a deep scowl. “No. I haven’t a clue.”
No? The man said, No? Yes. Yes-yes-yes! Kirrah grinned. Happy days! She barely stopped herself from jumping up and dancing a jig across the forest floor. Amnesia! Her new best friend. Woot-woot! Oh, yeah. This little problem was going away real fast.
“Aww, what a shame,” she clucked sympathetically. “I’m so sorry you have no memory and all because of a lit-tle lump the size of a chicken egg on your poor, too soft head.”
Kirrah frowned. He sounded bewildered, but since he agreed that his head was soft, she decided she loved his strange accent. He thought her English was jumbled? His words were so thick he sounded like―like―who? A little like―yes, that was it―Count Yorga or was it Count Dracula? Oh, dear. Weren’t they both vampires?
In any case, he sounded just like the male voice in her head the last few days. The male voice she’d totally ignored, but been crept out by. So far as she knew, only vampires entered a person’s head uninvited and chatted with them.
Maybe he’d been following her. Stalking her?
Why else had he been here, right in her flight path?
What if he was an ax murderer?
Kirrah glanced around. Until now, she hadn’t noticed just how creepy it was in the forest. They were in the woods, the dark woods, and except for the big ole’ shiny full moon hanging like a perfectly round, gigantic light bulb between the nests of clouds, very little light penetrated the inky black around them.
Could he change into a bat? Would he?
Did he have fangs?
Shit! Did he bite?
“Are you a vampire?” She narrowed her eyes. “I’m warning you, mister, I have powers that would scare a demon. Yes, I―I can conjure snakes and red-eyed spiders, the kind that bite. Hard.”
“Ah, a man of few words.”
Darn it! Her mystery man didn’t seem to have many words in his vocabulary. He sounded more bewildered by the minute. He struggled to sit up, but collapsed back onto the ground, groaning. “Are there any other kind?” he asked a bit drunkenly.
“Any other kind of what?” Kirrah bit her lip worried about the slur in his voice. Blast it! She must have knocked him for a loop. Oh, Lord. He was moaning so pitifully. All the color had bleached from his face, except for the little lump that was honest to goodness, barely the size of a bird egg―a humming bird. Admittedly, it looked ghastly with all the purple-grape color spearing across his forehead like a wine stain.
“Snakes and spiders? Don’t they all bite?” he asked, falling back again.
“Oh. Yeah. All mine bite. Rabidly.”
The glance he flashed her clearly stated he believed she’d lost her mind. Ignoring his speaking look, Kirrah frowned, and assisted him to sit up. “Are you sure you don’t remember anything?”
“Yes,” he snapped, sounding quite cranky. “No, I don’t remember a thing. Yes, I’m sure. And dammit, my head hurts like hell. You hit me!”
“I thought you didn’t remember,” she said accusingly.
“I don’t remember. But you did. Didn’t you? You hit me...with a―a club.”
“I did not! Why would I hit you with a club?”
“I don’t know, but you hit me with something. Didn’t you?”
“I can’t be sure. My memory, you know, a bit out there.”
“A bit out there? Female, you’re a bit out there!”
“No need to get nasty just because you have a slight headache.”
“Slight headache?” he muttered. “Did you or did you not whack me with a broom?”
“Boy, for someone who can’t remember, you remember too darn well.”
“Did. You. Hit. Me?”
“I’m. Not. Admitting. Anything. And you can’t prove I hit you. No witnesses.” She glanced around, shivering. “It’s awfully dark out here. So-oo, Mr. Vampire, let me help you to your feet. You can be on your merry little way. No harm done.”
Once he was on his feet, he leaned heavily against her. “I’m not a vampire. I’m a wa-wa…” he paused, drawing a shaky breath.
“You’re a wa-wa? What’s that?”
“No. I’m a wak-wak…”
“A wak-wak? Are you spoofing me?”
“Not―spoofing…I’m a wa-wa…”
“Yeah, I think I got that part.” Kirrah grinned. “Come on, Mr. Wa-Wa. Let’s get you to the house. I can‘t leave you wandering alone in the woods when it’s plain you don’t know if you’re a wa-wa or a wak-wak.”
“I don’t know what I am,” he admitted, stumbling against her. “Oh, sheeahta!”
“Sheeahta? What does that mean?”
“Shit. It…uh…means shit. I―I’m going to―” he broke off, retching.
Kirrah screeched, did a little side-step jig and wrinkled her nose at the awful sour smell now clinging to the front of her white cotton tee-shirt. “Eeewww. Well, Mr. Wa-Wa, I think we may have a teensy-weensy problem here.”
“Uh―no. We aren’t going to the jumbled, butchered English thingy again.”
“I think maybe you have a concussion. Not a big one, you know, little, like the lump on your forehead, but still, maybe, a―a wee concussion. How many of me do you see?” Kirrah waved her hands in front of his face when he didn’t answer right away. “How many, Mr. Wa-Wa?”
He lifted a brow and directed a steely gaze at her.
Gosh, he had pretty eyes. They glittered like topaz jewels now that they weren’t quite so cloudy with pain.
“I see half,” he said.
“Half?” Kirrah wrinkled her brow in consternation. “I don’t think seeing half a person is part of the test. Oh, dear. Maybe I accidentally fractured your very thin, frail skull. Now look closely and try again. How many of me do you see?”
“You’re supposed to see double.”
“Yeah? Well there are barely enough of you to see a half, so how could I see a whole, much less two of you? Not much to you, button.”
“Huh.” Kirrah tossed an accusing glare over her shoulder. “This is your fault, broom. You’re just plain evil. You knocked Mr. Wa-Wa plumb cuckoo.” She frowned, watching the broom fall into step behind her. “Stop pouting, broom. I am not taking responsibility for this. I told you to stop doing all those insane zigzags and belly rolls. Did you listen? No. You’re the one who crashed into him, dashing about like―like a winged creature of the night, except, you haven’t any wings. If you were flying for crap, you wouldn‘t get a turd.”
Kirrah stilled, her footsteps dragging to a sudden halt. “For Pete’s sake,” she gasped. “You probably don’t even have a pilot’s license.”
“Who Pete?” the broom asked following behind her. “Don’t know any Pete. Is this big fellow Pete?”
“No! I don’t know,” Kirrah snapped. “And stop talking. You wanna get us both in trouble?”
“Who are you talking to?” Mr. Wa-Wa asked.
Kirrah jumped and pasted a quick, innocent smile on her mouth. “No one. Are you hearing things, too?” Drat, the man. He’d just scared ten years off her life by being inquisitive. “See? There’s no one here beside me but you, nothing in front of me, but the trees.”
“Uh-huh.” He leaned heavier against her.
Kirrah gave a delicate shudder as wariness tripped down her spine. “Are you feeling sick again? Please don’t throw-up on me again,” she requested earnestly. “Could you give me a little more warning besides the words, Oh, dunghill? Which simply aren’t informative at all as to what to expect is coming up? No pun intended.”
He slanted a disbelieving gaze at her. “Dunghill?”
“Yep. Instead of sheeahta? Dunghill is the word my friend Hannah uses, instead of,” she shrugged. “You know.”
“I’ll try,” he assured her. “No promises, though. It’s a foreign word to me. Won’t come naturally.”
“Well sheeahta is a foreign word to me.”
“Who were you talking to?”
Kirrah sighed. “What?”He sounded suspicious to Kirrah. She was certain he thought she was up to some kind of trickery. “Back to that, huh?”
The man had a one-track, cracked mind. Should she tell him? She could hope he wouldn’t remember their conversation, but honesty compelled her to tell the truth. She never lied. At least, she almost never lied, except in an emergency and that didn’t count. “The broom that’s following behind us,” she blurted, before she could change her mind.
“The broom that’s―”
Mr. Wa-Wa attempted to glance over his shoulder, wobbled unsteadily, then moaned and clutched his head. “Oh, uh…dunghill!”
“What? No! Don’t you dare,” she shrieked.
“That’s the word you told me to use it when I’m feeling―”
His sentence broke off sharply. His eyes bugged and Mr. Wa-Wa blinked like an owl at her. Then his eyes rolled to the back of his head. He promptly passed out, slumping heavily against her.
Kirrah winced as the full force of his weight toppled hit her. She wasn’t strong enough to hold him up, and she wasn’t about to let him crash-land on top of her. She’d be buried beneath at least two hundred twenty pounds of pure muscle.
She let go and jumped back.
Mr. Wa-Wa hit the ground like a felled tree.
Kirrah’s jaw dropped. She covered her eyes with her palms and scrunched her shoulders. “Oh! Oh, this awful. Forget sheeahta. Forget dunghill. This is an, Oh shit day!” Slowly, she dropped her hands to her sides and opened one eye. She made herself look at him. His face was pale as death. A ribbon of blood trailed past his ear and along the right side of his neck. From where she stood, he looked horrible. “Oh, goodness gracious, broom,” she wailed. “I think I killed Mr. Wa-Wa.” She kneeled beside him and slipped her hand beneath his head. “Oh, shit, broom. This is bad. Stop snickering, broom. It isn’t my fault he hit the back of his head against a protruding rock. I didn’t see it when I let go of him. I swear I didn’t.” She looked up, saw the broom dance a little jig. “Stop that,” she scolded. “Why are you so happy? I could get the electric chair for this. This is just awful. At least it didn’t make that splat sound this time. He didn’t even moan, broom. No, you―you couldn’t really call it a moan. It was more like a―a―long, drawn-out, Ooomph.”
Kirrah lifted one closed eyelid and examined his pupil. “Oh, dear, I think maybe he’s really concussed this time.” She wrung her hands. “Of course he’s concussed. Why wouldn‘t he be? Don’t panic, Kirrah. It’s not like you killed him. He’s alive. It’s really too dark to tell how his pupils are reacting. Maybe he’s not concussed. Maybe he’s…”
She bit her lower lip. Of course it was too dark to be certain about anything. “The blood, well, maybe he’s a bleeder. No sense making snap judgments. Maybe he isn’t concussed. Maybe he’s just a big softie with an even softer head.”
And maybe brooms could fly.
Oh. Yeah. Brooms could fly.
“Well, broom, we’ve certainly done it this time. He’s out for the count.” Kirrah turned him to his side and gently rubbed her fingers over the knot on the back of his head. She drew back her hand, aghast at the amount of blood on her fingertips. “I hope you have a sense of humor, Mr. Wa-Wa. I think you’re going to need it.”
Wrapping her arms tightly around the man’s broad shoulders, Kirrah spoke quietly to the broom, “Take us home, broom. No dive bombing. No loop-de-loops. We wouldn’t want Mr. Wa-Wa to awaken and be frightened out of his slightly addled mind. Or toss his cookies all over me again, so no showing off.”
Kirrah held the man close. If he remembered anything at all when he woke, he’d be frightened enough. He’d probably shout and cringe with fear when she confessed she was a real live, cauldron-stirring, spell-casting witch, one prone to minor accidents.
He’d probably run all the way to the next town. He did seem to have a weak constitution. Two teeny-tiny blows to the skull, and he was out like a light bulb. The only thing in her favor was the fact he’d had difficulty remembering she’d flown into him. She winced. With any luck at all, maybe this time when he woke, his memory would be worse. Maybe he’d never recall what happened at all. She grinned. Yeah.
Kirrah smothered a moan and considered whacking him on the head again just to make sure he retained his questionable amnesia. “Better not.”
She’d be in enough trouble as it was when he regained his memory.
“Home, broom,” she ordered tersely, dragging Mr. Wa-Wa to his feet. “Gods, he weighs a ton,” she grunted. “Take us home. And don’t even think about showing off or I’ll ground you. If you had wings, I’d strip you of all flying privileges. Yeah.” She sniffed with righteous anger. “I’d rip off your wings.”
“Witch mad at broom?”
“You could say that, yeah.” Kirrah tossed her tangled mass of auburn hair over her shoulders and sighed.
She swore she heard the broom heave a disgruntled moan and mutter, Well, dunghill.