My life is one giant cycle of group deniability…
As a magic-less son of a witch owning a store full magical objects isn’t easy. But with my unhelpful rottweiler Bailey and a handful of supernatural staff, we’ve sold everything from elfin wedding china to a life-size dwarven statue we don’t like to talk about. Everything is going smoothly until a goblin customer starts coughing up a disgusting green goo. Little did I know as I watch that liquid spew from his mouth that his presence and that goo was going to send my life into a tailspin, leaving me in the crosshairs of a murder.
Check out the goblin and the goo he produces in Green Goo Goblin.
Letting a couple of magic dowsers in here to comb through things and prove you don’t have anything that can make a goblin sick could go a long way.”
Anger and frustration flash through me. Even in my mid-thirties, my temper still flashes when the supernatural world looks down on me simply because I was born without magic. Knowing Blake is not to blame for this prejudicial thinking, I divert my frustration. “Are you kidding me? Dousers leave the biggest mess out of the entire supernatural police department. They go through everything and get their grubby hands everywhere. Last time they checked anything of mine, I spent weeks trying to find everything, let alone clean everything they touched. And that’s not counting the half a dozen items that went missing because they have doubts or because you-know-who is a sticky-fingered dwarf, we all know he has a theft problem.” My voice begins growing louder.
“Yeah, but he is the best at his job.”
I glower at Blake, quickly thinking through the possible scenarios here.
I let the dowsers into the shop to rummage around and clear me as the prime suspect in a goblin murder or I deal with higher-ups in the supernatural police department who are hellbent on pinning this on me simply because as a male child of a witch I must have a large chip on my shoulder and therefore want to murder supernatural beings.
Sighing heavily, I pull out the walkie-talkie and click the button a few times to get Sven’s attention. “Sven, got some bad news. I’m being accused of killing that goblin earlier and now some of the magical dowsers have to come to check out the store.”
There is crackling over the line as Sven let out some very explicit and physically impossible Dwarfen curses. “If they don’t keep their hands away from the stuff in my office, I am going to rip Red Beard’s fingers, one by one, from his palms.”
Looking up from the walkie-talkie I make eye contact with Blake and give him a fake smile. “Well, I think that’s the all-clear to let the dowsers in.”
Blake looks at me warily, and a little relieved. “Do you need me here to help protect Red Beard from Sven?”
“I mean, only if you care about dwarf-on-dwarf violence,” I say with a shrug.
“I’ll call it in and get them out here. But I’m getting you a containment crew first, because that crap freaking smells to high heaven.” Blake pivots and walks straight out of the store.
“Red Beard’s not allowed in here unless I’m watching him like a hawk.”
I jump, startled by the sound of Sven’s voice right behind me. The man needs a bell. He is incredibly stout and appears to the world, thanks to his glamour, like a short, plump, heavily wrinkled man in his seventies
The rest of the time he has long, white-gray hair and a matching pointed beard, a large wart above the right corner of his mouth and only about half as many wrinkles as his human-looking counterpart does. He is also stouter and healthier looking than the glamour would let people believe.
“I’ll be here too, as will Blake.” I try to sound nonchalant as if he didn’t just scare me out of my wits.
Sven starts muttering something under his breath about no one being able to watch a dwarf as well as a dwarf as he turns around and heads back toward his office.
“This is shaping up to be a fun afternoon,” I complain to no one in particular.
Gretchen spawned in the Puget Sound region. After some wandering she returned there and now lives with her husband and the daintiest Rottweiler on the planet. When not drowning herself in coffee, as is custom in the Greater Seattle Area, Gretchen can be found at her day job or sitting at her desk in the home office, flailing her arms as she dictates to her computer.