[For those of you who are actually following this blog, here’s what raw writing looks like, at least when it comes from me. Life is significantly interfering with my writing right now, and isn’t leaving me much opportunity to even flesh out my writing ideas, much less edit them or weave the several plot lines together into the story, so I’m posting this bit as an example of my raw writing. I hope you find it enjoyable in spite of its sketchy nature.]
“From your description it sounds like Caldwell kidnapped her.” Patton grabbed his helmet off the table and headed outside. Elaine raced after him.
“Wait! You can’t just go charging in there like that! What are you going to do?”
Patton stopped at his motorcycle. “I’m going to demand he release her!” He started strapping on his helmet.
Elaine grabbed his arm. “Suppose he says no? Then what are you going to do?”
In reply Patton waved his hand and about a hundred pounds of gravel rose up out of the driveway, leaving a sizable hole. “I guess I’ll start throwing rocks at him.”
Elaine made a little gesture, and the rocks disappeared from Patton’s sight. Everyone else could see them, just not the wizard. “With what rocks?”
Surprised by having his ammo disappear, Patton let go and the saw the gravel reappear as it fell back to the ground. “Oh! You tricked me!”
“Do you think going up against those criminals will be any easier? They’ve been doing this sort of thing a lot longer than you have, Sonny, and are both more experienced and more powerful. A head-on charge won’t defeat them — we’ll have to be sneaky.”
“Well, in that case I’ll just go down there and be sneaky about watching them while we come up with a plan.” He reached to start the bike only to realize the key wasn’t in it. “Where’s my key?” He turned to Elaine. “Did you take my motorcycle key?”
Loud cawing was heard from overhead, and Patton looked up to see a raven flying up to a higher branch with the key dangling in its talons. “Hey! Give that back!” He shot a stone up at the raven which the bird dodged easily. It alighted in the top of one of the walnut trees along the lot line and laughed at him.
Elaine said, “You can’t even get your keys back from a bird. What makes you think you can get Vonnie back from a bunch of criminals?”
“Well, I …”
“Face it, Scotty, you need help. Let us round up reinforcements and make at least a token plan before we go charging in there.”
“We? What makes you think you’re coming along?”
“Hey! She’s our sister — just you try and stop us!”
Patton approached Dotty O’Malley’s charm shop with a bit of trepidation. His recollection of the roly poly witch was a Jamaican lilt and a degree in Chemistry, and not much more. Under no circumstances could he see her as an ally in a battle, but Margaret said that she had responded favorably to her call and that he should go and seal the deal, so here he was.
Door chimes tinkled as Patton stepped inside Dotty’s shop. There was a curious scent in the air, like a mix of incense and beeswax, with notes of lavender and citrus and … is that Pine Sol? Interesting. The light coming through the colored bottles in the front windows shown like stained glass windows in the dim room.
A voice from the back called out “I’ll be wit you in a minute!” so he wandered around. The room was filled with shelves full of mysterious potions and substances. One section had talismans ranging from St. Christopher’s medals to voodoo charms. In another was a table full of assorted love potions with an overhead light that made the bottles glow. Another held boxes of incense with several samples smoking fragrantly. There were even shelves full of self-help books on topics ranging from finding your inner goddess to the Kama Sutra.
Near the back of the room was a counter running all the way across. Behind the counter were more shelves, but they looked more like a pharmacy than a magic shop. There was even a cash register with a bar code scanner, of all things, along with one of those signature pads with little sliding plates on them so you can’t see the signatures above yours.
He was trying to make out the labels behind the counter (which all seemed to be in Latin) when Dotty came out through a darkened doorway in the back wall. “Oh, there you are! I been expectin’ you. Come back here ‘n’ let’s get started.” She motioned him through the break in the counter and shepherded him through that back doorway.
It was like he walked through a curtain of energy. From the front this back room looked dark, but step through the doorway and it was more brightly lit than most emergency rooms. It reminded him of the labs from his freshman chemistry classes. They passed through several banks of shelves, all well labeled and brightly lit, into an area with a granite topped lab bench, complete with a sink, hookups for Bunsen burners, and rods and clamps for holding laboratory glassware. There was a glass-doored hood (with sleeves!) against the wall, and closed glass cabinets, stainless steel refrigerators, and a small oven. There was even a sink along the wall with a drying rack full of beakers and flasks and other glassware. Clearly potion making has progressed a lot from the “eye of newt” days.
“Here, I made dese for you.” She handed him a large-mouth plastic jar full of bright blue beads. “Dose be sleepin’ potion balls — sort o’ like paint balls, ‘cept wit more of a kick! Be careful not to touch! A touch will knock you out fo’ five minutes. Break one ‘n’ everyone within tree feet be sleepin’!” She then opened up a drawer and pulled out a toy gun. “Dis be da best way ta get dem to da bad guys. Shoots mebe twenty feet. Bad wizards be ready to stop a spell, but not a paint ball!” She handed the gun to Patton.
“Thank you! Why are you doing this for me?”
“Not for you — for Vonnie. She been friend for berry long time. Dis be da way I can help. I mean, look at me! I shore can’t fight, but I can whip up a mean potion!”
“Well, thank you very much. I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you.”
“You get Vonnie back safe, den come back here an’ we’ll hab a talk ‘bout how you can pay me back. Or better yet, pay it forward!” She leaned forward and patted his cheek. “Now you take dat an’ get about your business. An’ take care not to let da bad guys see dat, or dey could get ready for it!”