Got some good writing done this week, including for the More Odds than Ends Week 35 prompt. My prompt this week came from Anne and Jim: She kept trying to send in her application, but they wouldn’t accept it. They kept saying her address was invalid. My prompt, The dragon floated on the inflatable raft in the middle of my pool went to Fiona Grey.
I worked my prompt into the Cursebreaker series. Jack is getting a massive headache from this one!
“I would really love it if you could help me out,” Jack said. “I’ve got about ten mages, including my brother-in-law’s family, and yes, their kid, and you, all of whom have been cursed into dolls by the same two witches. What the hell did all of you do to piss them off so badly? And why did Caitlin Blackwell get killed when she wrote down who had cursed her into the doll? And what about that house?” He realized all his frustration was coming out at once and it sounded like he was blaming Greg. Monica left her place in the doorway and came to stand next to Jack putting a calming hand on his shoulder. Greg looked taken aback by the vehemence of Jack’s response.
“I’m sorry,” Jack continued softly. “I’m just frustrated and tired and getting more stressed by the day. It’s like somebody is doling out clues but, in the meantime, more mages are getting caught. I don’t want another one to die.” Monica squeezed his shoulder and kissed the top of his head.
Greg nodded. “Don’t worry about it. I understand. And, I think somebody is doling out clues to you. But I don’t think they’re teasing you. I think that they can only do so much.”
“What do you mean?” Jack asked.
“This picture you took at the front of the abandoned house? That one spirit that’s looking right at the camera? I’ve seen him before. Or at least a picture of him. He’s one of the first mages to live here, in town. Or, rather, in this area,” Greg said slowly.
Monica interrupted. “Before you dive into what seems like is going to be a long story, let’s have some dinner. We all need to catch our breath, and I know the dogs need to eat too.”
Jack and Greg shared a look. “She’s right,” Greg smiled.
“She usually is,” Jack grinned at his wife.
“Usually? Try always,” she laughed.
“I’m not arguing,” Greg held up his hands in mock defense.
Jack and Greg concentrated on giving the dogs their dinner while Monica pulled a roasted chicken and potatoes out of the oven and put sautéed green beans on the table. While they were eating, the conversation was kept purposefully light. Jack once again reminded himself that he’d won the lottery when he’d met Monica. Not only did her personality complement his, but her magical talents complemented his as well. And, most importantly, in Jack’s view, she didn’t care that his magic was limited to breaking curses or pulling apart spells, instead of creating them. She’d told him early on that their combined talents meant that they could both create and break spells which made them a well-rounded team.
After dinner, humans and dogs moved back into the living room. Monica and Jack settled on the sofa, while Greg took the comfy chair facing them. The three dogs spread themselves out across the floor.
“Okay. So. Let’s hear your theory about the house,” Jack said, pouring everybody a couple fingers of the good Scotch. He figured they were going to need it.
Greg took a sip of his Scotch and rolled the glass back and forth between his hands.
“Okay. Well, you know the main part of the story…the original owners were found dead, presumed murdered, but nobody was ever caught. Then, that developer bought the land a few years ago and built a house. But they only lasted about a year before they ran away as fast as they could. At the time, I was doing some research on spirits, ghosts…what have you, and possession. The pictures you showed me before dinner confirmed some of the theories I had. Where did you get that camera anyway?”
Jack shrugged. “Found it on Amazon…on the mage side of the site. I didn’t know what it did until I happened to take a picture of the troll doll that showed up. There was nothing in the product description. But I figured I should start documenting things. Since then…the troll doll was my third case…I’ve taken a picture of every doll that’s showed up and every time I’ve seen the person inside the doll. The guy in the troll doll, Geoffrey, told me to check out the house. I took the camera with me to the house just on a whim. Glad I did.”
“Yeah, I am too. The guy in the front, looking right at you is Nikolas Jonnson. He’s a for real Viking. His ancestors were some of those Vikings that made it all the way here to North America. Them and the Knights Templar. I ran across his history when I was looking up the story of that piece of land. It seems that he was killed there, but he was killed as part of a ritual summoning. Something went wrong and fortunately the summoning didn’t work. But the evil intent is still there and I think it’s baked into the ground. I think that the summoning did bring something to this plane, or at least partially to this plane. And, I think it’s still here. That’s why that first family was killed, and that’s why there are so many shades hanging around that house. It attracts them.
It kinda looks like Nikolas wants your help. I know he didn’t sacrifice himself willingly. From what I’ve been able to dig out, there was a bit of um…a political fight, I guess you’d call it, in the group of Vikings that made it this far. Some of them wanted to go back and bring back more people to colonize and others wanted nothing to do with this area and thought they should leave. My working theory is that there was already something evil here, or it had been the site of some sort of evil action and that’s why they split. Whatever was in the area was controlling the Vikings and pitting them against each other. That led to Nikolas being sacrificed in some attempt to appease whatever it was. In the end, I think they freaked themselves out and they all left. No Vikings returned.”
“Okay. A dead Viking is dropping me clues. But how did Armina Grove and Camilia Sharpe get involved? They are the common thread among all of the cursed dolls,” Jack ran his hands through his hair.
Monica cocked her head to one side. “You know…Armina tried to buy that house before the developer did. The bank wouldn’t give her a mortgage. She kept applying but they wouldn’t accept it. They said her address was invalid. Maybe she’s trying to get back at somebody? And Camilia’s helping?”
Jack stared at his wife. “If Armina tried to buy the house…she might have walked through it…” he trailed off and turned to Greg. “You said the Viking…Nikolas…was sacrificed to stop some demon. And that it might still be connected to this plane…what if Armina got possessed when she went through the house?”
Thanks for reading! I’m working on turning this into a full-length novel, probably first in a series. If you like my writing, my very first book (!) is linked at the top of the page. It’s free on Kindle Unlimited!