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Authors: Judith Post

Tags: #romance, #paranormal, #magic, #feel good, #heart warming, #emerald hills

Midu's Magic

BOOK: Midu's Magic
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Midu's Magic
A Lunch Hour Read
(The Seventh Emerald Hills novella)

by

 

Judith Post

 

Copyright © 2014

Smashwords Edition

 

Coming Soon
The Emerald Hills Collection

 

There are 7 novellas in the Emerald Hills
bundle: one "feel good" story for each day of the week:

 

More Than Bonbons

Emerald Hills is a town, with a secret. Tana
has put all her energy into making her candy shoppe a success. Nate
has traveled the world, building his career as a photographer. When
he visits Emerald Hills to see his aunt, he stops at Tana's shop to
buy candy. But Midu's image has faded from the photo until only her
farm stand remains. Tana and Nate are forced to work together to
save Midu.

 

 

Mallory's Magical Gourds

Emerald Hills attracts tourists with its
dashes of magic. Mallory's working on a batch of gourds when she
looks out her window at the park across from her cottage. The new
ranger has found illegal traps there, and someone is resetting
them. Mallory calls to tell him and finds herself involved with a
trapper who has a temper and a ranger who has more charm than she
expected.

 

Sheri Hits The Right Notes

Sheri Hudson knows that she's meant to be
perpetually single. In her late forties, she's come to terms with
that and made a fine life for herself as a high school music
teacher. But Emerald Hills has a quirky, unexpected magic of its
own, and when widower Morgan Nash comes to town, Sheri had better
watch out.

 

Sole Responsibilities

Emerald Hills is a tourist town with magic
tucked in every nook and cranny. Gino's magic lies in shoes. When
he re-soles a person's shoes, he can help put their life on a
firmer foundation. Until he meets Evelyn, a dance instructor. He
wants to help her, but nothing he does works. What is Fate trying
to tell him? Has he lost his gift, or does Fate have a surprise for
him?

 

Lolita's Mirrors

Coming Soon!

 

Sheriff Guthrie & The Orange Tabby

Coming Soon!

Midu's Magic

 

 

These novellas are all based on the setting
from the novel
Fabric of Life
. Emerald Hills is a tourist
town with magic lurking in every nook and cranny.

Thea Patek is mentioned in a few of these
novellas.
Fabric of Life
is her story.

 

 

 

 

 

The Emerald Hills novellas and bundle have been and
are dedicated to the wonderful people I met when I joined several
groups on Goodreads.

Midu, this one's for you.

 

 

 

By the third week of March, snow still
covered the ground and temperatures dipped in the low teens, but
Midu stood, warm and satisfied, in her new greenhouse. Tables
supported hundreds of potting containers, and sprouts poked fragile
shoots above carefully mixed soil blends. An overhead sprinkler
gently misted her babies to life once a day. Peat rimmed her
fingernails—the joy of playing in dirt. She loved nothing more than
growing plants. Kyle teased that she was like Mother Nature with a
botany degree. And then there was her magic. Most people in Emerald
Hills knew about that.

Midu had more than a green thumb. The passion
she put into growing things permeated the fruits and vegetables
from her stand. Her produce put Cupid's arrows to shame. Passing
interests and temporary desires melted away, and a person
discovered who his soul mate was.

She sighed and bit her bottom lip. This June,
she'd turn twenty-nine, one year away from the dreaded thirty. Her
magic had worked for everyone she knew, but never for her. She'd
never looked at a man and known, for sure, that he was the one.

A door opened and closed, and Kyle came to
stand beside her. Tall and lanky, he looked over row after row of
tender, tomato seedlings. "You finally have the room to grow
heirlooms. They're looking good."

Midu smiled. Kyle had been her business
partner ever since she'd hired him four years ago. Back then, all
of the produce they sold came from the raised garden beds they
tended. Those beds held rhubarb now. She and Kyle had planted so
many varieties of vegetables, they'd filled the entire property
with gardens and make-shift greenhouses. And then there were the
orchards and berry patches.

"What have you been up to today?" she asked.
Kyle had taken the day off, something he rarely did, even in the
off-tourist season.

"I went to see Thea Patek."

"To visit?" People in town held Thea in a
certain amount of awe. Most shop owners in Emerald Hills had magic,
but Thea was preordained to be a weaver, to help the Fates record a
new soul's journey when he stepped on the scales of life before
being born.

Kyle crossed his arms over his chest, taking
a minute to answer. "She wants to plant an herb garden, so I helped
her build a glass lean-to on her barn."

Midu frowned at his body language, thought
about his hesitation before answering. Kyle was never evasive.
Something was up. "You must be a glutton for punishment. You just
helped me finish our big greenhouse, and then you build a small one
for Thea?"

Kyle shrugged. "We're doing a trade-off, a
favor for a favor."

A trade? Thea made book marks and life maps
of peoples' lives. Okay, she and her friends raffled off quilts to
raise money for special projects, too, but Midu didn't see Kyle as
the type to hanker for a patchwork comforter or bonnet coverlet.
"What's she doing for you?"

Kyle shuffled his feet and looked away. "It's
sort of personal. I'd rather not talk about it."

Midu could feel her eyes go wide. She and
Kyle could talk about anything to each other. They'd been friends
for so long, knew each other so well, most of the time, they didn't
even need to talk. She stared. "Is everything all right?"

He squared his jaw. The man was shy and
quiet, but he could be stubborn. "I got myself into sort of a
predicament, and I don't see a way out of it. Thea's weaving might
be able to help me."

Midu had heard of people paying Thea to weave
life maps for them. But Kyle? He was so easy-going, such a
homebody—what predicament could he possibly have? Then an ugly fear
made her gasp. "You're not sick, are you? Something serious?"

He grimaced, frustrated. "Nothing like
that."

"Is it something I can help you with?"

"No!" He cleared his throat. "I mean, you're
kind of the last person I could ask."

Her hands went to her hips. "I'm your best
friend."

A blush crept over his cheeks. He ran a hand
through his soft, sandy-colored hair. He had beautiful hair.
Everything about him added up to almost handsome. If he weren't so
quiet, Midu was sure some woman would have snatched him up by now.
His voice low, he said, "You
are
my best friend. That's part
of the reason I can't talk to you about this."

But a life map from Thea? What sense did that
make? When Midu first met Emerald Hills' weaver, she'd been curious
about the gift the Fates had given her. "How much of a person's
life is preordained?" she'd asked.

Thea had assured her, "It's only the
journey—the ups and downs—that can't be changed. How you deal with
them, what you make of your life, is your own choice."

Midu frowned up at Kyle. "Did you do
something horrible, something dumb? I can help you fix it."

He shook his head. "I just stopped by to
check on things here, but I have to get going. I'll be at Thea's
tomorrow, too. I'm taking her lots of herb starts. She should have
basil and thyme in a few weeks."

Midu watched him stalk to the door and cross
the cleared, garden patches to where he'd parked his pickup. She
felt like someone had just knocked the wind out of her or maybe put
her brain in a blender. What the heck was going on?

She pushed thoughts of Kyle out of her mind,
but they wouldn't stay gone. He'd been more restless lately than
usual, but as always, he just worked more hours, like she did, to
distract himself. What would he go to Thea Patek for? The only
people she knew who paid for life maps were desperate because
they'd hit a life bump and didn't know how to deal with it. What
could Kyle possibly be desperate about?

Come to think of it, though, whenever she
asked him if something was bothering him, he denied it. Maybe he
needed a vacation, perhaps working here and living in his small,
one-bedroom apartment was getting to be too much of a rut, but he
turned down her offer of a week or two off. Said he wanted to help
her build the greenhouse and set it up for her heirloom tomato
plants.

Tired of rehashing the same thoughts, she
went to the deep sink in the corner, cleaned up, and headed for the
farmhouse. The wooden steps were slippery, even with the safety
strips Kyle had put on them, so she gripped the railing as she
climbed to their wrap-around, front porch.
Their
. She
couldn't help it. Whenever she thought of the porch, she thought of
her sitting in her smaller rocking chair and Kyle in his larger
one. They usually ended a hot summer day, relaxing out here.

She took off her shoes before entering the
house. Its old, oak floors gleamed in pale rays of sunlight that
slanted through the living room's long, narrow windows. Antiques
mixed with leather sofas and wing back chairs. She padded to the
kitchen at the back of the house. She loved this room—a huge square
with a long, wooden table that served as an island. A sitting/
eating area invited people to gather in front of the fireplace.
Kyle had helped her gut the cheap, former cupboards and appliances
for a total remake. Together, they'd made it look Tuscan with open
shelving and terra cotta-colored walls.

It felt empty now. Kyle usually ate supper
with her after they worked. She liked puttering in the kitchen with
him, liked having someone to talk with while she ate. She'd always
hoped that she'd bite into one of her apples someday, look across
the table, and know that Kyle was her life partner, but it had
never happened. How could she feel so comfortable, so secure with
someone, and he wasn't the one? But her produce was never
wrong.

She opened the refrigerator and scowled at
the chicken breasts she'd thawed. One of Kyle's favorites was
Kashmiri chicken and rice. She was no gourmet chef, but she loved
to cook. Her dishes offered the feeling of traditional meals, but
might not actually pass if her mother—the purist—ever tasted one of
them.

She reached for a bowl of leftover chili
she'd saved to heat for Kyle for lunch. She nuked it, then wandered
to the living room to eat in front of the TV. The news didn't hold
her interest. What was Kyle up to? A pain stabbed her right side.
This batch of chili didn't seem to agree with her. Too many
jalapenos? She downed a beer to settle her stomach. That had helped
last time. She picked up her stack of seed catalogues and began to
browse through them. A sure fire way to relax. And soon, her eyes
grew heavy. She'd worked hard enough today that when she went to
bed at an early hour, she fell straight to sleep.

In the morning, she went to their third
greenhouse. That word again.
Their
. This building wasn't
nearly as glamorous as the new one—just plastic covering over metal
framework—but Kyle had already prepared all of the beds so that she
could start different kinds of lettuce and spinach plants. There
were no overhead sprinklers, but he'd hooked up the hoses and
unwound them, so that she had water.

She pressed a hand to her lips, surveying his
work. What if Kyle was searching for something new in his life?
What would she do if he left her? She'd never considered losing
him. She dug her fingernails into her palms. Her heart ached. Kyle
wasn't her soul mate, but he was a friend. A good friend. Her best
friend. She sighed. She couldn't think about this. It hurt too
much.

Angry with herself, she grabbed packets of
seeds and began sprinkling them in the neat rows Kyle had formed.
But this time, the dirt didn't distract her, as it usually did. She
took a deep breath. She was letting her imagination run away with
her. She was going to calm herself, enjoy this time in the
greenhouse, and make decisions when she had more information.

The rest of the day passed as usual. By the
time she cleaned up at the small sink in the greenhouse, she was
feeling much better. She didn't have to cook tonight. Kyle wouldn't
be here. Instead, she tossed the chicken in a crock pot and changed
out of her shoddy jeans and dirt-stained sweatshirt before heading
into Emerald Hills. She'd treat herself to a dinner at Nancy's
Restaurant.

Nancy hooted in surprise when she saw Midu
walk inside. "Well, talk about miracles! I never expected both you
and Kyle to show up tonight."

BOOK: Midu's Magic
4.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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