Best Witches Issue 19
The past issues can be found on my author’s page here.
When in Rome, I mean Venice, I guess you just go with the flow. This is to be expected when you find yourself following magical music down alleyways of a city you didn’t mean to even be in.
Turns out I found myself in the shop of a witch who knows my name and locked me inside with her. Cool. Once again, not exactly how I saw my day going when I woke up this morning. The girl had turned her back on me and headed upstairs, apparently for tea. She didn’t seem scared I would hurt her. I didn’t know what this Society of the Pen and the Sword was, but I had a sneaking suspicion it has to do with my new tats.
Sighing I dropped my hands and trudged up the narrow, rickety stairs after her. The flat we entered was small but neat. It had a very witchy Venetian esthetic. Everything seemed as old as the canal I could see from her balcony. I always dreamed of having coffee with a view like that. Tea was the next best thing, I guess. The girl filled two cups and shot a smile my way.
“I’m Vera, by the way.” She held a cup towards me. I took it and raised an eyebrow at her. She nodded at me, still smiling. I waved my hand over my cup, sensing for any poisons. If there was anything in there, I wasn’t able to detect it. She went to take a seat, but I stopped her.
“Can we sit out there?” I asked, pointing at the chairs overlooking the canal. She laughed and nodded. I could feel my cheeks burn but followed her out there. The sounds of the people working, selling, and just being tourists wafted up from the canal to us. As I sat, I took a deep breath. Once again, the mere fact that I was here overrode all my other worries.
“So, you have the book and the dagger?” Vera asked me. I usually have a feeling about people, and I wasn’t getting any bad vibes off her. So I flipped my forearms over and showed her. She sucked in a little breath.
“Apparently so. Does this have anything to do with a certain Pen and Sword society?” I asked.
Vera looked like she was weighing the pros and cons of telling me.
“Apparently so,” she murmured back to me. “I felt when it happened. All of us did. It never happened with the other witch.” She said the last sentence more to herself than to me.
“Well, I have the same problem she did. I might have killed the guys coming after me.” I groaned, running my hands through my hair. “My friends were there. I have no idea what happened to them. I zapped these guys and boom! I woke up in Venice.”
“I think the main difference is she wasn’t the one chosen to fulfill their purpose. It drove her mad. Were you just trying to protect yourself, and the lives of your friends?” She asked me, and I nodded. “The days will not be easy, but you are the chosen one. We all felt it. These two items were created to remove great evil from the world. I fear the time may have come for them to be used again.”
“What does all of that mean for me exactly?” I asked her setting the china cup down a little harder than I meant to.
“I do not know.” She said her gaze set upon something far off in the distance. “I do not know.”
“Well, that helps,” I grumbled.
“My family and those of the society are known for our lines fate magic you could say. We see things that will help. We can feel things that need to be found. Like you being drawn to me. I think I am meant to help you in this quest.”
I quirked an eyebrow at her. Yet I still didn’t feel like her attention was wholly on me. She seemed to be in a daze.
“Quest. Cool. Curses. Evil. Quests. Got it. I might as well get a cape and a tankard of ale.”
She snorted. “You American’s are funny.”
I nodded. “Yeah, we get that a lot.” I propped my chin in my hands. “Well, do you know how I can get home?”
“Possibly. Yet I believe there is more to be done here,” she said in her airy voice. “Not until later though. Tonight possibly. I can feel the tug but only slightly. For now, would you like a tour?” She asked, and I know my eyes probably lit up like stars.
“Oh, man would I!” With something apparently needing to be done later, and no real way to get home now. I didn’t feel all that guilty about heading out for a tour of Venice with a homegrown Italian.
Thank you, Sean Eike, for the image this week.