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Magic and Witchcraft

Willow Rose



  Five Months Before the Halloween Block-Party

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45

  Chapter 46

  Chapter 47

  Chapter 48

  Chapter 49

  Chapter 50

  Chapter 51

  Chapter 52

  Chapter 53

  Chapter 54


  Books by the Author

  About the Author

  In Cold Blood, Excerpt

  Order your copy today!

  Copyright Willow Rose 2018

  Published by BUOY MEDIA LLC

  All rights reserved.

  * * *

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.

  * * *

  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.

  * * *

  Cover design by Juan Villar Padron,

  * * *

  Special thanks to my editor Janell Parque

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  Five Months Before the Halloween Block-Party

  Saturday night

  Chapter One

  "But, Mom. I hate clowns. You know I hate them."

  Tommy received a look from his dad. "That's nonsense, son. Clowns are funny. They do goofy stuff, and then we laugh."

  His dad glanced at Tommy's mom sitting on the other side of their son on the bench in the circus tent before adding:

  "Why is he being like this?"

  Tommy's mom shrugged. They had just finished watching the spectacular horse show, and the Ringmaster had announced that next came what all the kids were waiting for, the clowns. Upbeat, silly music filled the tent.

  "But they’re sca-a-ry, Daddy," Tommy said, on the brink of bursting into tears. "Clowns are sca-a-ry-y."

  "They're not scary. Where do you get this nonsense from?" his dad said addressed to his wife again. "Do they teach him this stuff at the pre-school? I told you we should home-school him. That place is nothing but a bunch of scared old women who fill him with nonsense and superstition."

  "But they are…" Tommy continued. He was yelling to be heard over the music. His mother squirmed in her seat as people next to them began to stare at the screaming kid.

  "They're sca-a-ary; they're sooo scary-y-y-y-y!"

  "What's wrong with him?" Tommy's dad said with a snort.

  "It's the make-up, I think. You know how kids don't like it when they can't see someone's face properly. Or maybe the big feet. It is a little creepy; you have to admit that."

  "It's nonsense is what it is," Tommy's dad said with another snort. "Just look at them. They're funny."

  Tommy's dad pointed as three clowns emerged into the arena. One was tooting a horn, another blowing bubbles, the third one juggling rings in the air. Tommy's dad started laughing just at seeing them in their colorful clothes and big red noses. The juggling one slipped in the soap from the other one's bubbles and fell, while the first one tooted his horn.

  Tommy's dad burst into a loud laugh and patted his son on the back. "See. Didn't I tell you they were funny? Look, now they're doing a balancing act and that one over there is using a jump rope. How do you do that with those big feet, huh?"

  Tommy stopped screaming and wiped his nose. He looked at the three clowns. The one jumping rope fell on his nose and, as he got up, the red nose was completely flat. That made all the kids in the tent laugh out loud, and the parents start to clap in time to the music.

  Tommy giggled. "Did you see that, Mommy? His nose was all flat."

  Another clown ran to comfort the crying clown with the flat nose and pulled out a bucket of plastic flowers from his pants. The clown got happy and smelled them, then started to sneeze.

  "Look, Mommy," Tommy said excitedly. "The nose isn’t flat anymore. He sneezed it round again. It's all round again!"

  Tommy chuckled and let go of his mother's hand. He leaned forward in his seat to see better. Tommy's dad sighed, relieved when he saw the big smile on his son's face. How anyone could be scared of clowns was beyond him. What was so frightening about a bunch of goofy funny-looking clumsy clowns? All they were trying to do was to make you laugh. What could be scary about that?

  Tommy's dad burst into laughter again, tears streaming down his cheeks, as the clowns ran in between the spectators with buckets that people assumed were filled with water, then turned them upside down, making people think they were being soaked with water when it was, in fact, just confetti.

  That one never grew old. He wiped a tear from his eye, just as the lights went out in the tent. When they were turned back on, Tommy was in tears as were several of the other kids.

  Tommy's dad laughed. "Those were some funny clowns, huh?"

  But Tommy was inconsolable. "What's going on with him?" his dad asked, surprised at the sudden change.

  Tommy's mother held her son close. "What's wrong, buddy? Did it scare you when the lights went out? It was just part of the act, buddy. The show is over now, and we have to go home."

  "Sca-a-a-ary, Mommy," he said between heavy sobs. "Sca-a-ary clown."

  Tommy's dad sighed and got up from his seat. They started to file out of the tent, following the other spectators. Several of the young children were crying like Tommy.

  "Are we back to that again?" Tommy's dad said.

  "He probably got scared when the lights went out," his mother said. "They really shouldn't end the show like that. It scares the kids. Especially the young ones."

  "Didn't you think the clowns were funny? You were laughing most of the time, remember?" His dad tried once again, but Tommy would
n't stop crying. Tommy's mother grabbed him and carried him, squirming and screaming, the rest of the way to the car.

  "Mommy…clown…" Tommy said, sobbing as she strapped him into his seat. "Bi-i-i-g teeth. Big sca-a-a-ry te-e-e-e-th."

  Not knowing what her kid was talking about, Tommy's mother shook her head and closed the car door. She worried that her husband might be right. Were the teachers at the pre-school filling them with fear? She had thought they went a little overboard with the whole STRANGER DANGER thing that Tommy would yell at her for days afterward. Would it be better to home-school him? She wasn't sure she would be up for the task. She felt her neck. It was sore for some reason. She shook the thought, then got into the car, where Tommy's dad had turned on the engine, while Tommy was still crying from the back seat.

  "Guess he just wasn't old enough for this," she said apologetically to her husband, whom she could tell was disappointed. He had been looking forward to taking his son to the circus for weeks. He used to love going with his dad when he was a child himself and wanted his son to experience the same joy.

  As they drove off, Tommy's mother spotted what looked like two bite marks on her husband's neck, but for some reason, she didn't think it was important. Just like she didn't find it important that two hours had passed from which she had no memories.

  Chapter Two

  The signs announcing Circus Fantastico's upcoming arrival were on every lamppost as I drove through town on Monday morning. I was behind the wheel in Adrian's car that my mother had let me take since he was done with school now and I needed it more than he did. School was out for the summer, and this was the day I began my internship at News13, the local TV station. Duncan's family owned the station, so they were the reason I got the internship, but that didn't make me less excited about this new adventure. I was supposed to be there for four weeks, and since my dream was one day to become a reporter, this was a great shot for me. Plus, I got to get out of the house every freakin' day. No more controlling mom looking over my shoulder constantly, no more annoying cousins. At least for eight hours during the day. It was heaven.

  Jayden wasn't very happy with me going. I mean he was happy for me because it was a great opportunity, but he wasn't very pleased with the fact that Duncan would be hanging out there as well. I didn't really need him there, but my mother had told him to keep an eye on me. I guess I should feel offended that she didn't think I could take care of myself, but I was too thrilled to get away from her even to care.

  I parked outside the big building with all the satellite dishes on top of it, then stepped out and took in a deep breath. Three vans with the TV station's logo on the sides and dishes on the roofs were parked next to me. I couldn't believe I was actually going to be working here. This was a dream come true.


  Duncan spotted me as I walked into the newsroom. I had received a badge at the reception desk with my name on it and placed it around my neck. I cringed when Duncan called me that name. This wasn't a place for nicknames. I was trying to look professional. Duncan was standing by the coffee maker, chatting with someone when he waved at me. I approached him. He smiled. I liked the way he looked at me like he was ready to eat me up.

  "There is someone I want you to meet," he said. "This is Olivia. She's the editor in chief around here. She's the one you'll be reporting to."

  I reached out my hand. "Nice to meet you."

  She shook it, then looked at me over her glasses. "All right, Robyn. What have you got for me?"

  "What do you mean?"

  "Stories. No one comes to this newsroom without stories. That's rule number one around here. You always have a story for me. At least one well-researched, ready-to-go story."

  "Ah…I see," I said, feeling embarrassed that I didn't have one.

  She pushed her glasses back up. "If you want to be a journalist, then you need to start finding yourself some stories, my dear; it's not enough to simply know the right people," she said and walked past me, sipping her cup. "But you can start by making us a new batch of coffee; this one is awful."

  She disappeared into her office and shut the door.

  I stood for a few seconds looking in her direction, trying not to blush. Duncan came close and whispered in my ear, putting his lips so close to my skin I could feel his icy breath.

  "She's not as bad as she sounds."

  "I don't think she likes me very much," I said.

  He chuckled. "I'll fire her for you if you want me to."

  "No," I said and turned to look at him. "I want to do this right. If that means I have to work hard for her approval, then so be it. Now, scram, I have coffee to make."

  He chuckled again. "All right. I'll check in on you later."

  Chapter Three

  "Wish me luck."

  Jazmine stared at her mother. She was starting her new job as a concierge at the Shadow Hills Inn downtown. She was so excited while standing there in front of her daughter, wearing her new purple uniform and nametag.

  "Good luck," Jazmine said a little less enthusiastically than she had meant for it to be.

  "Thanks, baby," her mother said and started to walk toward the front door. "Have a great day at school."

  Jazmine turned and looked after her. She was still in her PJs. "It's summer break, Mom."

  Her mother stopped at the door. "Ah, yes. Silly me. I’ve been so nervous about this new job, I completely forgot. So, what are you going to do all day?"

  "Probably just hang out here, watch some YouTube."

  Jazmine stared at her mother, waiting for the obligatory speech about how she shouldn't waste her entire summer break watching online videos, but for some reason, it didn't come.

  "Well…have fun, dear," her mother said, then left, slamming the door behind her.

  Jazmine shook her head, then walked to the kitchen to get herself some coffee. She found a cup and poured some from the pot, wondering about her mother. She hadn't told her she knew about the earring. She hadn't told anyone about it. Instead, she had been lying awake night after night, wondering what the explanation could be. Could it be a coincidence? Could her mom have dropped the earring at another time? Did it just happen to be near the body of that boy by accident? Her mom had acted strangely lately, but she still didn't find it very likely that she could have killed someone. Not her mother. It simply didn't fit. She wasn't a killer. She couldn't be.

  But what was she doing at night when she left the house?

  Jazmine sipped her coffee and looked out the window. She spotted Jayden going for a run. Adrian was going to come over later, so Jazmine wasn't going to be all alone all day. They hadn't seen each other much lately since he graduated and had all the partying to do. He was starting Harvard after the summer, and that had Jazmine slightly worried. Would he forget about her? Would he find some other girl there? Someone the same age as him? Or maybe someone who was…what he was.

  Adrian was still goofing around with his cousins, and she hated when he was with them. They weren't getting high anymore, at least not during the day—Jazmine didn't know what they did at night—but so far, Adrian hadn't been high when visiting her, not since the day she got angry with him, so that was good. But she still didn't like those cousins. They seemed crazy enough to be slightly scary. She especially didn't like the way they looked at her, their eyes hungry for her blood. Maybe she was just being paranoid because she knew that they were the ones who had told Adrian that witches' blood was better tasting than humans'. Jazmine shuddered when thinking about the triplets, then opened the cabinet and pulled out a box of cereal. She poured some into a bowl, when BamBam, her cat, jumped down from the top of the cabinet right in front of her.

  "You scared me," she said.

  That was my intention, she thought for a minute she heard the cat reply in her mind but shook the thought and poured some orange juice into a glass.

  Chapter Four

  Jayden panted. He was running around the lake, listening to Dubstep in his earbuds. He had woken
up feeling restless, especially after seeing Robyn drive off in her brother's car. He knew she was out there right now at that TV station, with him, and it made him angry. Robyn had forgiven Duncan for what he had done to her and that worried Jayden. He thought Duncan was just very good at manipulating Robyn into thinking he was a good guy. No matter how sweet he was, he was still one of them, one of the vampires, and not to be trusted. Why Robyn refused to see that, he didn't understand.

  Jayden passed the area where they had found the body of that boy, Sam, a few weeks ago. There was still some police tape on the trees, but the police were no longer working the area. Jayden felt sick to his stomach thinking about it. The media kept claiming that it was a wolf. That meant people were running out there at night shooting at whatever animal they saw and believed was a wolf. It wasn't good. Jayden feared for his family's lives when they went hunting at night. Even his stupid brother.