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       Magical Whispers & the Undead, p.1

         Part #5 of Mystic Willow Bay, Witches series by Jessica Sorensen
 
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Magical Whispers & the Undead


  Table of Contents

  Evalee

  Ryleigh

  Max

  Hunter

  About the Author

  Also by Jessica Sorensen

  Magical Whispers & the Undead

  Jessica Sorensen

  Magical Whispers & the Undead

  Jessica Sorensen

  All rights reserved.

  Copyright © 2017 by Jessica Sorensen

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

  No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.

  Any trademarks, service marks, product names or names featured are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms.

  For information: jessicasorensen.com

  Cover Design by MaeIDesign

  Created with Vellum

  Contents

  1. Evalee

  2. Ryleigh

  3. Max

  4. Evalee

  5. Max

  6. Evalee

  7. Evalee

  8. Hunter

  9. Evalee

  10. Max

  About the Author

  Also by Jessica Sorensen

  1

  Evalee

  “Eva, please hang on, okay?” Hunter whispers into my lifeless body’s ear as he scoops it up into his arms. Cradling my body against his chest, he then strides toward the tent’s exit with Peyton leading the way. “Hang on, okay?” he whispers again, clutching his magic wand in one hand. “We’re going to bring you back to life. You need to stay with me … I can’t lose you, Eva.”

  I’ve never seen Hunter so emotional before. Usually, he’s all about the jokes and flirty smiles. This … He’s really upset.

  He lowers his lips toward my body’s ear again and whispers, “Peyton and I are going to go talk to a Ghost Breather. We’ll get you back. Just stay with me, okay? Please, just stay with me.”

  “I am still with you,” I promise, although he can’t hear me.

  I wish I could comfort him, but my ghostly form is useless. All I can do is float beside him and utter words that only my ears will hear.

  I heave a frustrated sigh as I float through objects and speak to myself.

  For the crappiness of all undead witches, being dead really sucks. Seriously, I can’t communicate with anyone. Plus, I keep walking through creatures, feeling their insides, which … yuck. But hey, on a positive note, at least my worry of being caught by demons has gone down a notch since they currently can’t see me. The only creature that can communicate with the spirit world is a Ghost Breather, and they’re extremely rare. Hunter, or well, Peyton knows one.

  After they track her down, Hunter has plans of communicating with me to get information on the spell I was going to use to bring Ryleigh back to life, before she turned into a zombie-witch, and where I hid the ingredients to make that happen. While I appreciate the effort and everything, I’m not too convinced he’ll be able to bring me back, even if he does find a Ghost Breather, since I never gathered all the items for the revival spell. And there’s a good reason for that. Because the remaining ingredients are going to be a pain in the witch’s behind to get ahold of. Sadly, the possibility of me living again is looking pretty Grim Reaper grim.

  I should be freaking out—and I am—but I’ve always sort of saw this day coming. You know, the day when my klutziness and bad luck would send the Grim Reaper knocking on my door way too early.

  The only reason the old, hooded soul collector hasn’t shown up yet is that, back in the day, I accidentally blasted myself with a spirit connection spell. That means, since I’m dead now, I get to hang around with the spirits for a while and haunt the world until the magic of the spell wears off. At the time it happened, I was upset for messing up another spell. Now I’m kind of feeling grateful for my spaz spell casting abilities.

  Hunter whispers promises to me again, tearing me from my thoughts. I speed up and remain close to them as Hunter and Peyton reach the exit.

  Right before Hunter steps outside into the crowd at the freak show, he utters an invisibility incantation underneath his breath. “We’re invisible for now,” he tells Peyton as he adjusts my body in his hold, my arms and legs hanging limply toward the ground. “But invisibility spells don’t last long, so we need to get out of here as quickly as we can.”

  Peyton raises her brows. “Why do we need to be invisible at all?”

  “Because I don’t want anyone seeing me carrying her around.” He brushes a strand of hair away from my cheek. “It’ll draw too much attention, and that’s the last thing we need right now.”

  Peyton nods in agreement, then draws back the flap of the tent. “I still can’t believe she didn’t turn into a vampire. With my blood in her system”—she casts a quick glance at my body, her face super pale, even for a vampire—“she should’ve woken up with fangs and crazed blood thirst by now.”

  “I’m not a fan of vampires, but part of me wishes she would,” Hunter mumbles. “At least then I’d know she was all …” He swallows hard, his hand slightly trembling.

  Looking as uncomfortable as a human at a vampire party, Peyton pats his arm. The two of them have never really gotten along, so the gesture is as awkward as a twitchy witch. But hey, at least my death is sort of bringing them together, right?

  “Eva’s tough. And she can talk to the dead,” she says. “If anyone can make it back from the death, it’s her.”

  “Yeah, I know,” Hunter agrees, straightening his stance. “Let’s get the hell out of here before my spell wears off.”

  With a nod, Peyton ducks out of the tent. “When we get into your truck, I’ll send my Ghost Breather friend a message. But I’m warning you now, this isn’t going to be easy. She hates what she is, so we might just pay her an unannounced visit and take her off guard.”

  “She really hates talking to ghosts that much?” Hunter holds my body closer as he walks beside Peyton, the two of them weaving through the crowd of creatures visiting the freak show.

  Peyton nods. “So much that she refuses to talk to them.”

  Hunter grows quiet, worry written all over his face. Instinctively, I reach out to comfort him, but my hand slips through his shoulder. Sighing, I let my arm drop to my side and simply follow him through the mob.

  Peyton and Hunter stay quiet for a while, maneuvering carefully through the packed area, the atmosphere buzzing with chatter and excitement. Lights are strung about the tents, glittering like stars. The air smells like magic, cotton candy, and rust, probably from all the vampire drinks floating around. If I were normal, I’d totally be enjoying this place. But I’m not. I’m a hybrid; part succubus and demon, and part witch and demon feeder. And now I guess also part ghost. I’m the only one of my kind that I know of. A freak of nature. I guess I sort of belong at the freak show. Or I would belong if it weren’t for the fact that every demon in Mystic Willow Bay is hunting me right now for unknown reasons.

  They’re not the only creatures hunting me, either. Someone from the Mystic Willow Bay Society wants me dead, as well. Or, at least wants me to go underground to where most of the demons hang out. I’m starting to wonder if they’re responsible for my death.

  All I can remember before I died was a blur zipping through the tent. Max had been there. So had zombie Ryleigh, Hunter, an
d Peyton. I don’t think any of them were behind my murder, though. No, whatever killed me had entered that tent at an alarmingly quick speed. The town clock had been ticking backward, too, just like that freaky clown had warned me …

  Swish!

  I shiver as I accidentally walk through a creature. No, not a creature. A clown. The clown I bumped into before I died.

  Yuck! Just yuck! I just walked through a freakin’ clown!

  The clown continues walking, oblivious to the fact that a ghost just passed through her. She keeps glancing around as she bounces on her toes, scanning the area with her overly large eyes. Her bright pink pigtails and creepy painted on smile makes her stand out like a giggling pixie at a vampire blood fest. Normally, I’d be running like a bat flying out of Peyton’s bedroom, but this clown probably knows something about my death. After all, she did give me a warning to beware of the clock.

  That can’t just be a freaky coincidence.

  I peek back at Hunter. He’s near the exit gates, about to walk out. I need to be around my body when he visits the Ghost Breather, but I also want to tail that clown for a bit; see where she goes. I’m unsure where the Ghost Breather lives, but I can feel an unearthly connection to my body, an electric current, so if I need to, I can track my body.

  I’ll make this quick, I vow to myself, then hurry after the clown.

  Because, while I want to be alive again, I also need to figure out who tried to kill me. If I don’t, then the murderer could kill me again.

  2

  Ryleigh

  “I’m bored,” I murmur. Although, with my zombie accent, the words come out sounding like a bunch of moaning gibberish.

  Luckily, for the sake of having no one else to talk to, Max understands my zombie gibberish. I just wish he was another creature, other than a demon. Or, well, the old Ryleigh would wish for that. This decaying flesh of a corpse that I have morphed into doesn’t seem to care for shit about chilling with a demon. I can even admit he’s very attractive.

  Tall, lean, with short dark hair, and glinting metal covering his brows and lips, he’s wearing all black, from his boots to the leather collar around his neck. The old me who wore pink and flowery dresses wouldn’t have looked twice at him, but that girl didn’t have rotting flesh covering her body, along with very distinct blood veins.

  I sneak a glance in the mirror hanging on the wall, then instantly regret my decision. My once silky blonde hair is now nothing but a tangled mess of pale strands, and my eyes, which used to be so bright, now bleed when I’m hungry. And don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve caught myself drooling.

  Gross. I’m so gross. That’s all there is to it.

  Sighing, I redirect my attention back to the cards in my hand. “Why are we playing this, anyway? Isn’t there something else we could be doing?” Like eat brains. Brains. Yummy brains.

  I mentally roll my eyes at myself. I’m so over this brain obsession.

  Max lays a card down on the table. “We don’t need to do anything else just yet.”

  I resist a grimace.

  We’ve been playing Texas hold ’em for the last couple hours. I’m not certain why he’s making us play, other than he might be either trying to distract himself or me—maybe both. I don’t even know why we’re hiding out in his lair. I mean, one minute we’re in the tent with Eva, Hunter, and Peyton, and the next thing I know, Max is transporting us back here without Eva. It doesn’t make any sense. Getting ahold of Eva was supposedly his point of luring her to that tent to begin with. Well, that and outing Opal for being a traitor.

  I think there’s more to why Max wants Eva than he’s letting on. While he insists it has nothing to do with him wanting her, I saw the lust in his red demon eyes. He wants her whether he’ll admit it or not. So, why bail out of his plan without even trying to get ahold of her?

  Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad my sister isn’t near the demon or around me, her witch-zombie fake sister who has hardly any control of her brain hunger. Still, I want to understand why Max just up and ditched out on his plan.

  “Why are we in your lair?” I ask as I study my cards.

  “Because I want us to be,” he replies evasively as he takes a sip from a glass of whiskey.

  Damn demons. They never really tell the full truth. Then again, I’m not any better. I’ve lied a lot throughout my lifetime, especially to Eva, something I’ll always regret. I’ve lied to my parents more than a handful of times, too, and to the Mystic Willow Bay Society. I even lied to Max, and I’ve only been with him for a handful of hours. He may be a demon, but I still feel bad. Or, at least I feel bad about what I did that I had to lie about.

  I didn’t plan on doing it. The incident just sort of happened when we first arrived here and Max left me in the living room alone. I was standing there, totally minding my own business, when his little snake fire dragon pets entered the room and started tormenting me. One thing led to another, and I ended up eating one of their brains. When Max returned, he questioned why only one of his pets was hanging around, and also why I had a bit of gooey brain on my lips.

  I quickly licked my lips clean and told him, “It must’ve been a piece of my brain or something.”

  He didn’t look like he believed me, but he didn’t question me further.

  I wet my lips as I recall the taste of brain on my tongue. Zombies of hungry zombies, I’m starving and starting to drool again.

  Max glances up at me, and then at the drool dribbling down my chin. “Relax. We’ll get you some brains soon.”

  I wipe the drool from my lips with the back of my hand. “We should get some now.”

  “We’ll go soon.” He flips over another card.

  I impatiently tap my cards against my rotting palms. I’m starting to learn that, as a zombie, I’m very restless and get distracted easily, especially when hunger takes over. The only exception is when I’m eating a brain. Then I’m calm, which is so beyond gross, but I can’t help it.

  I drop my cards onto the table and flick a piece of molting flesh off my skin. “Can we do something else? This isn’t distracting me. In fact, I’m so bored all I can think about is eating brains. And since you’re the only one with a brain around …” I lick my lips.

  He doesn’t even so much as blink. “You won’t eat my brain.”

  My stomach grumbles … I bet his brain would taste so yummy. “I wouldn’t bet on that.”

  “If you did, then you wouldn’t have my pretty face to look at.” His smug smile makes me want to devour his brain. When I snap my teeth at him, he sighs, laying down the cards. “Fine. What do you want to do, my little zombie pet?”

  I don’t bother correcting him on the pet part since I kind of feel like his pet. If it weren’t for him feeding me, I’d have either starved or killed someone by now to feed myself. Yeah, I never thought I’d ever say this, but without Max around, I’d be doomed.

  “I don’t know. Maybe eat or …” I chew on my bottom lip, and a layer of skin peels off and lands in my mouth. I spit it out and frown. “You said you know how to stop the decaying process. Maybe we could work on that.”

  He thrums his fingers against the table, his gaze drifting to the clock on the wall. “I’m already working on it. The first step should be arriving any minute.”

  “The first step?”

  “You’ll see soon, my little zombie pet.”

  Hmmm … Do I trust him? No, not really. Demons are the most untrustworthy creatures in existence. Back when I was just a witch and worked for the Mystic Willow Bay Society, I spent most of my time fighting to keep them under control. I also fought to eliminate zombies.

  “Oh, will you quit pouting?” he says amusedly. “I’m telling the truth, I promise.”

  “Demons lie all the time, so I’m not sure if I should believe you. Plus, I’m really hungry.” I slump back in the chair and cross my arms. “Being brain hungry sucks.”

  He assesses me with mild amusement. “What? Did eating my dragon fire snake b
aby not fill you up enough?”

  I examine my bluish-black fingernails. “I already told you I didn’t eat it.”

  The sparkle in his eyes darkens. “Yes, but zombies are known for lying almost as much as demons.”

  “Well, I’m not lying.” I lower my hand to the table and give him what I hope is a look of indifference. “I’m a truthful zombie.”

  He smirks. “Keep trying, but you aren’t a very good liar, my little zombie pet.”

  “You know I have a name, right?”

  “Yeah, so? What’s your point?”

  “Ryleigh.” I ignore his question. “My name is Ryleigh.”

  “I know, but I like my name for you much better.”

  “Well, I’m not sure I do.” I cross my arms and stick my nose in the air. The hungrier I get, the crankier I become. “It sounds an awful lot like my little rainbow trout. You know, the nickname you gave my fake little sister. My sister who you’re obsessed with, yet you ditched her back at the tent, even though you had a plan to get ahold of her.”

  He slants his head to the side as he studies me curiously. “I’m not obsessed with your sister. At least, not for the reason you’re implying.”

  “I never implied a reason.”

  “Not verbally, but your tone suggested otherwise.”

  “Yeah, so? Deny it all you want, but I saw the lust in your eyes when you looked at her.”

  His gaze bores into mine, his eyes glittering with hilarity. “You sound jealous.”

  “I am not.” As my stomach growls and my eyes fill with blood, my temper boils over. “And FYI, you have very glittery eyes for a demon. It makes you look like a faerie or a pixie.” I secretly smile. Demons hate being called anything other than demons or their name.

 
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