Read Witch Is When Everything Went Crazy Online
Authors: Adele Abbott
Witch Is When
Everything Went Crazy
Published by Implode Publishing Ltd
© Implode Publishing Ltd 2015
The right of Adele Abbott to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved, worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, dead or alive, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
“I love you so much.” I sighed. “You’re the only one for me. I’ll never cheat on you, I promise.”
“Jill, why are you talking to that custard cream?”
Oh, bum. I hadn’t realised Kathy was back from the shops. I’d let myself into her place because I had a bone to pick with her.
“I wasn’t talking to the biscuit. That would be crazy. I was just—err—I was humming.”
“I think this biscuit obsession of yours is getting a bit out of hand. Maybe you should go and see someone about it.”
“There’s nothing wrong with me, and anyway, don’t try to change the subject.”
“What subject? I’ve only just walked in.”
I gave her my dreaded death stare. I’d been practising in the mirror.
“Do you have tooth ache?”
No, I don’t have toothache. This is my angry face.”
“Why are you mad at me?”
“Like you don’t know.”
“Jill, you’re freaking me out. What’s wrong?”
“You rigged it,” I said.
“Rigged what? What did I rig, and why do you look like you want to kill me?”
“The raffle. You rigged it so I’d win the date with Jack Maxwell.”
She smiled. Guilty as charged.
My name is Jill Gooder, and I’m a private investigator. I’d taken over the family business after my adoptive father died. My life had become much more complicated when I’d discovered that I was a witch. I wasn’t allowed to tell any human about the whole witch thing, and that included my adoptive sister, Kathy. The reason I was at her place that morning was to have it out with her for rigging a charity raffle, which had resulted in me going on a date with Detective Jack Maxwell, a man I’d hated almost as much as he’d hated me. As it turned out, the date had gone much better than I’d expected, but that didn’t mean I was going to let Kathy off the hook.
“How did the date go?” She led me into the living room. Or as I’d come to know it: the room that the vacuum forgot.
“Never mind how it went.” I turned to face her. “Why did you do it?”
“I didn’t. Who says I did?” Her smile had turned into a grin.
“Jack Maxwell says you did.”
“And you’re going to take the word of Detective Jack Maxwell, the man who you supposedly hate, over the word of your loving sister?”
“Every day of the week.”
She feigned hurt, but the grin didn’t go away. “I may have
the results—but only a teensy weensy bit. Hardly at all really.”
“So in other words, you rigged it?”
“Someone had to do something about you two. It’s obvious to everyone that you have the hots for one another. I just helped love along a little. Even your names are compatible—”
“Don’t you dare!”
“If you recite that stupid nursery rhyme, I
“Okay, okay. I won’t recite any nursery rhyme that includes the names Jack and Jill. No hills will be mentioned. Or buckets. Empty or otherwise.”
“Are you going to make me a coffee or what?”
“Only if you tell me how it went.”
Kathy walked through to the kitchen, humming as she went.
“I can hear you.”
“What?” She gave me that innocent look of hers.
“You’re humming Jack and Jill. It isn’t funny.”
“Tell me how the date went, and I’ll stop humming.”
I was still trying to figure out how the so-called date had gone. I’d been determined to hate every second of it. I’d even offered to cancel, but Maxwell had said we should see it through. The night hadn’t been the ordeal I’d been expecting. In fact, much to my surprise, I’d enjoyed his company. I’d seen another side to Detective Maxwell—a human side. By the end of the evening, I’d even begun to think that maybe— No! That was ridiculous.
“It wasn’t as bad as I expected.”
“What does that mean?”
“We didn’t kill one another.”
“That’s a start I guess.”
Jill put the biscuit tin on the table between us. I gave her a look.
I walked over to the cupboard, and took out a fresh packet of custard creams—my favourite.
“What’s wrong with these?” She pointed to the biscuit tin.
I ignored her, and helped myself to two custard creams from the new packet. Kathy tried to make out there was something strange or unusual about my dislike for having biscuits mixed together. Digestives and custard creams—sharing the same tin? Yuk!
“Is there somewhere I can put these?” I held up the newly opened packet of custard creams.
“Sure, give them here.” She snatched the packet, and tipped them into the biscuit tin. Evil—pure evil—that was my sister.
“I did find out one thing about Maxwell last night,” I said, once I’d got over the biscuit travesty.
“He’s a good kisser?”
“Not even a peck?”
I’d thought he was about to give me a goodnight peck on the cheek when Drake had shown up. Kathy didn’t know anything about Drake, and I wasn’t about to tell her. Not that there was much to tell, other than he was a wizard with a killer smile. I’d been out with him once, to a karaoke night in Candlefield, which was home to all manner of supernaturals. But I’m not sure you’d call it a date. Drake had mentioned that he planned to visit Washbridge, but when he showed up out of the blue like that when I was with Maxwell—let’s just say it was a little awkward.
“I think I know why Maxwell dislikes P.I.s so much,” I said. “Do you remember the Camberley kidnap case some time ago?”
“The heiress? She was found dead wasn’t she?”
I nodded. “Maxwell was lead detective on that case. It seems that a P.I. working for the family spooked the kidnappers, and they killed their hostage.”
“Why would he hold that against
“I’m a P.I.—that’s reason enough. At least now I know I’ll try to tread a little more carefully around him.”
“You? Tread carefully? Good luck with that one. Are you going to see him again?”
“I’m sure our paths will cross.”
“I meant on another date.”
I had thought that Maxwell was about to ask me out again, but then Drake had shown up, so I’d never know for sure.
“So, about your birthday,” I said, pleased to change the subject.
“Everything’s arranged.” Kathy dunked a digestive biscuit into her coffee. Gross! “Pete has booked a day off work.”
That wasn’t what I’d been hoping to hear. Kathy and I had a tradition of spending our birthdays together—lots of alcohol was usually involved. This year though, I had a problem. I was double-booked. I’d only recently been reunited with my birth mother. That’s when I’d found out that I was a witch—she’d told me on her death bed. Since then, my mother’s ghost had been a regular visitor. She’d found herself a new man—well not exactly new—they’d been childhood sweethearts. Anyhow, his name was Alberto, and he was Welsh—don’t ask. My mother and Alberto were about to get married. And no, I hadn’t realised that ghosts could get married either. Their wedding day was the same day as Kathy’s birthday. I’d been hoping that I’d be able to persuade Kathy that we could celebrate her birthday on the day before or the day after, but I was too late, she’d already made arrangements for her husband, Peter, to take the day off work to look after the kids.
It was going to be a logistical nightmare. Even though time stood still in Washbridge, whenever I was in Candlefield, juggling the two events on the same day wasn’t going to be easy. How did I get myself into these situations?
“That’s great.” I tried to sound enthusiastic.
“I’m going to get very, very drunk.” Kathy grinned.
I didn’t doubt it, if the last few birthdays were anything to go by.
As we walked across the living room, I stepped on something. Luckily for me, it wasn’t one of the thousands of Lego pieces which were usually scattered across the carpet.
“What’s this?” I held the offending item at arm’s length.
“It’s a bion.”
“What’s a bion?”
“Half bear, half lion—a bion.”
Lizzie and Kathy had recently claimed my beanie collection. The collection that I’d treasured (to say nothing of catalogued) throughout my childhood and beyond.
“I did,” Kathy said proudly. “Lizzie said she wanted a bion, so I—”
“Ripped two perfectly good beanies apart, and made this monster?”
“Cute, isn’t he?”
‘Cute’ wasn’t the first word that came to mind. The bion was a thing of nightmares. “These are my beanies.”
your beanies—past tense. You gave them to your niece. Remember, Auntie Jill?”
I remembered them being taken by force. I remembered there being no concern for my feelings when I was left beanie-less. Apart from the squid of course. He was secreted away. Safe from the hands of these beanie torturers.
“This is just plain cruel,” I said.
“You don’t think that maybe you’re over-reacting a little?”
I threw the beanie-monster behind the sofa, so I wouldn’t have to look at it.
“How are Peter, Mikey and the little torturer of beanies?”
Kathy ignored my jibe. “Everyone’s fine. Looking forward to our mini-break.”
The local social club had organised a long weekend to Lewton-on-Sea. There were so many people going on the trip that they’d been able to get a substantial discount on the hotel and funfair for the block booking. It sounded like my idea of hell, but Kathy, Peter and the kids were beside themselves with excitement.
I bought a copy of the Bugle in the forlorn hope that Dougal Andrews, a creep of a journalist, had printed an apology for the article he’d published about me and the local police. Today’s headline was ‘Jewel and the Clown’—the Bugle loved its puns—about a bungled jewel heist. Needless to say, there was no sign of an apology.
Colonel Briggs was waiting for me in the outer office. He looked every inch the retired military man except perhaps for the purple and orange scarf around his neck. My PA/receptionist, Mrs V, spent most of her day knitting. She specialised in scarves, and was something of a celebrity in local knitting circles. She’d even won a competition, and to prove it, the trophy sat proudly on top of the stationery cupboard, opposite her desk.
“Colonel Briggs?” I offered my hand.
“Pleased to meet you, Ma’am.”
“Please call me Jill. Shall we go through to my office?”
“Lead the way.” He turned to Mrs V. “Thank you for the fine neck-wear, young lady.”
Young lady? Was he flirting with Mrs V? She could do worse.
“I say,” Colonel Briggs said. “He’s a handsome thing.”
I glanced around the room. He couldn’t mean—
“Reminds me of Tinker. My old Corporal.”
I’d heard Winky called many things, but handsome was not one of them. Winky was the one-eyed cat I’d adopted from the cat re-homing centre. At least, that was my version of events. According to him,
. Since inheriting my witch powers, I’d been able to talk to Winky which hadn’t always been a positive experience. Of late, he’d taken to wearing an eye patch, but didn’t have it on this morning.
“Tinker lost his eye going over the top,” the colonel said. “Shrapnel. What about him? How did he lose his?” He pointed to Winky.
“Not shrapnel as far as I know.” It occurred to me I’d never actually asked what happened to his eye.
“Who’s this crazy old coot?” Winky said. Fortunately, the colonel heard only a series of meows.
I ignored Winky, and led the colonel over to my desk. “How can I help, Colonel? Mrs V mentioned something about a charity for dogs?”
Winky hissed. I gave him a look.
“That’s right. I’m president of Washbridge Dog Rescue.”
Winky hissed again.
The colonel continued, “We rely on donations to fund our work. The majority of our income comes from bequests. Recently, one of our most enthusiastic supporters, Mrs Edna Vicars, passed away. She’d told me on several occasions that she planned to change her Will, so that the charity would be the major beneficiary. In fact, we spoke only a few days before her untimely death.”
“Edna was in her eighties, but still going strong except for a touch of angina. If I get my hands on whoever did it.”
“She was hit by a car right outside her house. The coward didn’t even have the courage to stop and face up to what he’d done.”