Spectacle Stealing Supernatural Jas Bond Book 2 by Gretchen S.B. Genre: Urban Fantasy
Magical break-ins abound…
The two nearby stores owned by supernaturals are broken into. The Fix 'n' Find, my store, is not. What I have instead are suspicious magical handprints on the front windows. Combine that with a weird set of glasses that let the wearer see every type of magic and we have a serious conundrum. Luckily, my ex-fiancé Violetta, is a powerful witch and willing to help me figure out what could possibly be going on.
Find out what some magical items and good old-fashioned spell work can uncover in the Spectacle Stealing Supernatural
The brownie makes her way from the book section, toward the front counter as Sven makes his way over to me. Her pace is sedate as if she doesn't have a care in the world.
Once Sven is close enough, I give him one nod before speaking. "She tells me these glasses see witch’s spells. At least that's what she thinks they do since she doesn't have a lot of experience with magic and she wants to sell them to the shop." I tap the glasses case when Sven is close enough to see it from around the tall display case on the edge of the counter.
As he stops and folds his arms, I watch his frown increase; he too is running through all the possibilities of what can go wrong with the glasses and his expression smooths out as he comes to the conclusion it makes sense for him to be standing there.
I wait until the brownie is across the counter again, the same pleasant smile on her face, before I open the glasses case. They look similar to glasses worn by the Beatles in the 1960s, nothing special, simply dated.
I pick them up gingerly, being careful to only touch the sides and not the actual lenses, using only my thumbs and forefingers. I then close my eyes as I set them onto my face.
When I open them again, my neck jolts back and I blink a few times. Sure enough, I can see sigils and symbols of spells varying in age. One set is the same green as healthy grass, the other, newer set is close to a teal. I know from my childhood it was my grandmother and mother's magic, respectively. I'd known they put all sorts of wards on the shop, and the buildings, to a lesser degree, in the shopping center. There'd been a time or two when I was a child, they would bespell me so I could see their magic at work. They knew I'd never be able to work the magic myself, but they wanted me to know what it looks like. I never understood the inclination until this very moment.
As I continue to scan the shop, my gaze hits the floor where the green goo, vomited up by the poisoned goblin, was. There is pale discoloration to the floor without the glasses. With them on the discoloration glows.
"Great, I have no idea how to get that out," I mumble to myself.
As I am about to take them off and make an offer, I scan up from where the green goo was and stop. There are three sets of pale gold handprints on the outside of the windows. I do a double take; once my brain registers what they are I look away. I don't want to draw attention to them. Since I don't know how they got there, I am not about to tell a stranger about them. If it was active magic Bailey would alert me, since one of her skills is to notice that kind of thing.
I close my eyes and remove the glasses. Taking my time to put them back in the case, I don't make eye contact with the brownie again until the top of the case snaps shut.
"How much are you hoping for them?" I open.
Her smile grows again, this time showing me that the extra sharp teeth go all the way back in her mouth. If I hadn't already known what brownies look like, it probably would've given me nightmares.
"So, they work," she asks.
"They do, and you appear to be right about them seeing witch’s magic."
Clapping, she bounces on the heels of her feet with excitement. "I knew it. How about one hundred and fifty dollars? I can put together a nice dinner for my kids and grandkids with one hundred and fifty dollars."
I want to take her up on it and I know a lot of less-reputable beings who deal in magical items, would. But Fix ‘n’ Find’s good reputation is partially due to our honesty; we don't believe in cheating people.
Glasses that see magic can be worth a pretty penny to those who can't see it. While one hundred and fifty dollars would give me a huge profit, I wouldn't feel right about it. If these glasses only showed one type of magic, one-fifty would've been fair. These differentiate between users as well as showing different types of magic. That is labor-intensive. Even if you enchant an object to see magic, there is usually a time limit or it can only see magic performed by the person who did the spell or someone whose magic is similar. Any more complicated and you really need more serious mojo.
"I can't give you that," I respond, holding my hands on the counter.
For the first time since she entered the shop the brownie’s smile falls. "Are you sure?"
"I'm positive. To make an honest deal, we’d have to do six times that."
The brownie’s mouth drops open to form an O and her eyes go wide. One of her hands flutters to her chest. "Oh my, oh my goodness, that is quite a lot of money, young man. Are you sure?" Head shaking as she speaks, her disbelief is plain on her face.
"I'm absolutely positive. The amount of work which goes into creating an enchanted item of this caliber is worth a lot more than one-fifty. You're more than welcome to take it to one of the lesser-known magic shops, where I am sure they will be thrilled to give you one-fifty for it. I'm telling you it's worth about ten times that from what I can see, even after only a few seconds. It's up to you." I push the case closer to her side of the counter in case she doesn't take me up on it.
She blinks at me for several seconds before letting out a musical laugh. "Oh my, this is drastically more than I expected. I had no idea they were worth so much. If you're sure, I’ll definitely take the nine hundred. It will leave you room to make money on your end." She steps forward and lifts her hand to shake mine across the counter.
I reach out and shake it, giving her my best business smile. I calmly write up all of the paperwork, fill out all of the proper forms, of which there are more than a mundane antique shop would have, as the transference of magical items has a lot of red tape. She pleasantly chats with me, only after she tries to engage Sven. It’s all polite and shallow. Fifteen minutes later, she is out the door with a huge smile on her face, ready to set about planning an in-state weekend trip for her entire family.
Sven continues to stand there, arms crossed until the brownie’s town car pulls out of the parking lot. He then steps over to the glasses case, snaps it open, and pulls them out, holding them delicately between his right thumb and forefinger as I had done earlier.
"These must have some major magic for you to have put a heavy price tag on them," he comments, not looking away from them and instead inspecting every inch before sliding them on.
He doesn't react as strongly as I probably did. Instead, Sven blinks several times as he scans the store.
"Look at the front door and the windows." I tilt my head toward the front of the store as I speak.
Sven stops his scan to do as I ask and frowns. He takes four quick steps which puts him even with the endcaps of the front three aisles and leans his neck forward, frowning again. He stares at where I'd seen the handprints for several moments before reaching up, removing the glasses, and walking back to return them to their case.
"I don't know that magic. I don't recognize it. It doesn't appear to be actual spell work; it’s just handprints. It can’t be from the goblin from last week as it's on the new pane of glass too." Sven’s frown deepens as he looks toward the door, almost as if he expects to see the handprints without the glasses. "It might be worth your while to bring in a witch to look at those."
I nod along with Sven’s words. "Especially considering Blake tells me there have been break-ins of shops owned by supernatural beings. Two of which have been in our complex.”
Sven slowly turns his head to look at me. "But not here." His tone is bland.
"But not here," I repeat.
"Yes, it would definitely be in your best interest to call a witch." Sven turns slowly and strides back to his office in the back of the shop. Strangely, I don't hear his office door close, letting me know something about those handprints makes him uncomfortable enough he wants his door open just in case. That, more than anything else worries me. If the near-unshakable Sven thinks there might be a problem, then what on Earth does that mean for me?
Green Goo Goblin Jas Bond Book 1
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.