Seductive Mirror

What happened to poor Nora in the weeks leading up to book 5, Psycho Mirror? We know she got some kind of mirror delivery, but how she decided to up and leave the baron’s service was a mystery. This piece of flash fiction shows just how seductive the mirror’s call could be.

Seductive Mirror

Nora sat cross-legged on the cold flagstones in her workroom staring at the mirror. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she should tend to the waning coals in her fireplace, but she couldn’t tear herself away from the Queen’s radiance.

Her image was perfect. The absolute regal bearing of a woman of unmatched power. Nora couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see things plainly before. How witches should be set above all others as was their birthright, and how she could serve at the Crimson Queen’s right hand. Once she was out of the mirror.

“You shall gather an army for me, Nora Brightstar,” she crooned.

Nora nodded dumbly, and stood to fetch a scrap of parchment from her desk. Her falcon could take word to Gretchen. Her friend could summon the others. She scrawled a note in haste and pulled her winged falcon familiar from his brass cage. 

She sent him off out the window in a daze and returned to the mirror, hoping for a word of praise. A smile spread over the Queen’s lips and she leaned in closer to the glass that separated her from the world.

“Good. We must be away, Nora. We shall find a young woman who can bear my soul. Carry us to the greatest of glory.”

Nora blinked and nodded. She would do as the Queen wished. 

“It is the kingdom of Extor that we will bring to its knees first. Once we have it in a firm grip, the entire continent will be our prey.”

Nora flinched then blinked. There was a niggling drifting in her mind. Each time she stumbled on its source, it dissipated like a swirl of smoke. Strong feelings of vengeance realized replaced it, and she cackled mightily.

“It will be as you say,” Nora nodded eagerly. “I’ll fetch a cart from the stable.”

Nora stumbled from her workroom into the dead of night in the baron’s courtyard. She’d be gone come morning, and would only return to unseat the sniveling lord when the time came. After that, she would make it her business to hex him until the end of her days.

And we all know what happened after that!

Or maybe you don’t. If you haven’t read Psycho Mirror, you can find it on Amazon here.

Or if you’re looking for more bonus content, head back to the episode page where I keep it curated in the one spot.

Behind the Shards

After the mirror is broken, we see the crimson queen’s true face behind the shards. Rod Savely has done another awesome illustration for book 5, Psycho Mirror. It’s a little like Christmas when I see an email with attachments come through from him.

Behind the shards

Are you a Gretchen fan who likes to draw or paint? I’d love to see your work.

If you haven’t read Psycho Mirror yet, you can check it out on Amazon here.

Or if you’re looking for more bonus content, head back to the episode page where I curate it all in the one place.

Newsflash: The Official Account

It didn’t take long for The Scribe of the Realm to get back on his feet and start pushing the King’s agenda in his publication after the events of book five, Psycho Mirror. I get the feeling that Gretchen will be chewing rocks when she reads this ‘official account’!

the official account

Because of course, we all know in this twisted fairy tale political landscape the bluebloods come out on top in the end. Let’s just hope our witchy cast prevails against the might of big media. I’m sure they will… if Gretchen has anything to do with it.

Haven’t read Psycho Mirror yet? No problem, you can check it out on Amazon here.

Or if you’re looking for more bonus content, head back to the episode page to see it all curated in the one spot.

Portal Hopping

Gretchen did promise to do some portal hopping at the end of episode four, Witches Teeth, to see if she couldn’t find her Great Aunt Esme. It’s now she learns, though, that wizards have a hand in the shroud of secrecy surrounding them.

Portal Hopping

Gretchen’s eyes stung as she shot through a cloud climbing above the usual thermals she flew in. She’d been up and down all morning, avoiding all manner of winged creatures in the air, and was no closer to her quarry.

Portals. Open doorways which had been lingering above her head all this time. Nothing could be worse than the realm of fairies and arachnids, and she fancied there had to be a portal leading to a tropical island with cocktails and pristine beaches. That would be somewhere her Great Aunt Esme would have wound up given a choice.

An energetic prickle raised the hairs on the back of Gretchen’s neck, and she cast around for signs of an opening. The last time she’d traversed a portal, it had been in darkness, and she had no way of knowing if they were visible to the naked eye.

There. A shimmer, to her left. Reefing her broomstick around she veered toward it and leaned over to minimize the chance of clothes lining herself. The air crackled, and the pressure changed as she crossed an unseen threshold. The bright blue sky evaporated, and Gretchen skidded to a marble floor in a torch-lit room. With the wind knocked from her lungs, she sat up gasping, and banged her chest to make sure her heart kept beating.

“What have we here?”

Gretchen’s eyes widened, and she turned to stare at a man sitting on a stone bench by a door. Her nose prickled, and she wiped at it in annoyance and tittered. “Figures I’d find a wizard portal.”

He laughed. A mocking sound which made Gretchen bristle. “They are all wizard portals, hag. We are the keepers of the doorways between realms.”

Gretchen stood rubbing her hip which was a little tender from the landing. “Didn’t see you over in the fairy realm, bucko.”

His eyes sharpened, and he stood. “What were you doing in the—”

Gretchen held up a hand. “None of your beeswax, mister. Let’s just say those spiders won’t be a problem for a while. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I’m gonna take a gander at what’s past that door before I start sneezing.”

The wizard folded his arms, and his face darkened. “Nobody may cross without permission.”

“Pah,” Gretchen waved a hand and brushed past him. “You just try and stop me, conjurer.”

Gretchen pushed the door open and stepped into brilliant white light. Her eyes widened as her feet found no purchase, and she blinked at the bright blue sky. She plummeted, the weight of gravity sucking her down through misty clouds.

With an ironlike grip on her broom, she willed it forward, and though it jerked and vibrated with turbulence, the sudden shift from dropping to flying was welcome. She was hanging. Prone. Her hands grew clammy. Her only chance was to angle the broom downward to get it underneath her.

She risked a glance down over picturesque fields and villages and curled her lip. She’d been duped. Below were the same fields she’d been flying over all morning. Her only advantage was the height at which she fell.

Hand over hand, she moved toward the front of the broom to drag it down. Its weight shifted alarmingly, and as its bristles began pointing toward the sky, its trajectory changed, bringing with it an alarming sense of falling again.

Her rump landed on the broomstick, and she grunted. Glad to be alive, yet furious at her own complacency. Once she was back on the ground, she promised herself to find a way to get that portal trickster.

Impulsive, Gretchen.

But we wouldn’t expect anything less from her. Haven’t read Witches Teeth yet? Check it out on Amazon here.

Or for more bonus content, head back to the episode page where I keep it all in the one spot.

Categories: Ep 4

A Familiar’s Tale

Remember that part at the start of Witches Teeth where Mulligan seemed quite enamored with the tooth fairy trying to yank Gretchen’s teeth out? I thought I’d share that scenario again from Mulligan’s point of view. I’ve been meaning to get to a fuzzy feline story for a while now, and hope you enjoy this one.

A Familiar’s Tale

Mulligan stretched his paws on the coverlet and yawned. The light beyond his lidded eyes grew bright, and he wondered momentarily if morning had come already. But the witch was snoring, and she always was a damnable early riser.

Stretching his legs languorously, he rolled his face away in an attempt to escape the light. A buzzing caught his attention though, and he sat up with ears pricked to identify which insect sought to disturb his slumber. When his eyes fell upon the luminescent creature, all thoughts of sleeping fled.

A peculiarly small humanoid winged life form hovered over his witch, a length of string coiled over its shoulder. The glow was… captivating. Mulligan stretched a paw toward it, the need to touch its beauty warring with a sense of awe at its very existence.

Mulligan watched on as the being tied its thread around a tooth, the witch making the task laughably easy as her mouth hung open. He always thought her maw was fit to catch flies, given how much time she spent with it open.

When the buzzing thing of beauty flew back suddenly, Mulligan’s eyes widened. His witch grumbled something incoherent and then fell back to silence. With a sweeping arc, the winged creature make another pass, and this time his witch sat up with a rather undignified squawk.

She would scare it away. Mulligan reached to swat at his witch’s hand to keep her from harming the glowing apparition, then pounced as she lunged to catch it. His witch made sounds of protest then rounded on him as the creature escaped the room.

“Fat lot of good you are,” she huffed.

Mulligan glared at her and blinked as the light that clouded his mind receded. He sniffed at the air, desperate to identify the beautiful trespasser. He had a feeling its arrival boded ill for his witch. As her familiar, it was his job to warn her.

Mulligan jumped back on the bed and curled up as his witch left the bedroom. She never listened to him, anyway.

So there you go!

An insight into the mind of Gretchen’s purple feline familiar. I will bring more of these to you when I can, perhaps Mulligan can have his own little series!

Have you read Witches Teeth yet? You can check it out on Amazon here.

Or if you’re looking for more bonus content, head back to the episode page where I keep it all in the one spot.

Categories: Ep 4