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

Fairy Tape

Fairy tape? Fly tape? All the same when Gretchen is fixated on capturing the sprite after her teeth. Rod Savely did an amazing job once again in sketching this little moment of triumph from book four, Witches Teeth.

fairy tape

Fly tape to catch fairies?

You betcha, because that’s how Gretchen rolls! Haven’t 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 to find it all curated in one place.

A Forgotten Treaty

Everyone keeps prattling on about this forgotten treaty throughout episode four, Witches Teeth. But Gretchen can’t seem to get to the bottom of the ‘why’ when it comes to the agreement. So I thought I’d dredge up the document itself, even if Gretchen doesn’t get to see it. Does it raise more questions than answers, though?

forgotten treaty

Hold up, was that a Murkwood signature?

And the portals belong to the wizards? Once Gretchen gets her hands on this forgotten treaty, she’s sure to get to the bottom of the whole debacle. But that story is for another time.

Haven’t read Witches Teeth yet? You can pick it up on Amazon here.

For more bonus content, head back to the episode page.

Sealed With a Kiss

Most frog prince stories end with a kiss. A Royal Froggy Problem started with one. At the end of the book, Nora is quite rightly livid with Sheena for her part in the frog hex, but this story captures why the witch did what she did.

A cautionary word though, if you haven’t read the book, you may want to go check it out here first.

Sealed With a Kiss

Sheena excused herself from the throne room and clutched the vial in her pocket. She hadn’t seen her fiance all evening, and the potion she had brewed was becoming less potent as time wore on. Although nerves danced in her belly, she was resolved to transform her future husband into something less formidable, leaving no opportunity for her father to marry her off elsewhere.

The full moon illuminated the gardens, and she slipped through an open door under an arch heavy with the scent of jasmine. While warm, the absence of the scorching sun was a welcome relief. Her thoughts strayed as her silk slippers crunched on the gravel path, wondering if she would have time to prepare another dose before the morning meal.

A giggle from the shadows drew her attention, and Sheena narrowed her eyes at the far wall of the garden. Taking a tentative step from the path to the soft lawn, she crept closer, already suspecting who she would find in a hasty embrace.

Between the palm fronds concealing her presence, she curled her lip at the sight of her fiance groping a young woman. A servant, most likely, who wouldn’t dare refuse the lecherous pig. It was as though benevolent spirits had guided her here, giving her the opportunity to remedy his condition to something more fitting.

Moving warily, she unstoppered the vial and dabbed droplets from her finger onto her plump lips. Careful not to ingest any, she hid the vial among the bushes and strode out toward the couple.

“And what do we have here?” she pouted. “Am I not pleasing to his royal highness?”

His back was turned to her, though she saw his body tense in the dim light. The girl pressed herself against the wall, seemingly terrified, and he unhanded her to spin on his heel. The mottled red of his cheeks had nothing to do with that of shame, and he glowered at the interruption.

“What do you want, woman?” he sneered.

Sheena flashed a smile and flickered her eyes toward the girl. “Leave us, harlot.”

The girl scampered away and Sheena stepped closer to the Prince. His fists clenched at his sides, and Sheena reached to smooth his richly embroidered silk shirt. “Come now. Let me be the one to please you.”

His lip curled, but before he could refuse her, she stood on tiptoes to reach for his mouth, forming intent in her mind. When their lips locked, a crackle in the air prickled Sheena’s neck and her mouth twisted in a malevolent grin. She stepped backward as the prince began shrinking, his face already turning an alarming shade of green, his shocked expression distorting into an amphibian set of features.

“Think you could see out your days with your boot planted on my head, husband?” Sheena hissed. “Your only dominion now will be that of stinking marshes and insects.”

His highness, the frog, flicked his tongue from the bundle of clothes on the ground. Sheena drew her sleeve across her mouth before scooping the pile up and took a few deep breaths to collect herself. She knew what followed would be the performance of her life, and her fate would forever be in the balance. Leaving one slipper discarded, she pulled a pin from her hair and let out a piercing wail.

“The prince!” she screamed. “Someone help, my fiance has been hexed!”

And we all know who got the blame!

Perhaps I should put together the tale of her comeuppance set after A Royal Froggy Problem, though Nora was pretty clear Sheena was not off the hook with her!

For more bonus content, head back to the episode page to find it all in the one spot.