Sneak Peek


When I was five years old, my parents had me exorcised. On occasion I had told my parents that I could do things. They always put it off as the imagination of a young child. One day, I showed them. I made three bouncy blue balls rise up in the air and travel around the living room. My parents freaked out and went to the psychologist for Valium and sent me to a priest for an exorcism.
At five years old, most things that went bump in the night scared the bejeebees out of me. Being the object of an exorcism at such a young age was the single most terrifying thing I had ever been through. Father O’Rourke looked like he was possessed himself. He began the demon expulsion by flinging water at me and screaming incoherent Latin.
The worst was when he pushed me to the ground. I started kicking and screaming because I thought he was going to kill me. He, on the other hand, thought some demon was fighting him back and held me to the ground, still yelling Latin at me.
After a terrifying twenty minutes it was over. I was pronounced demon free. My parents were ecstatic and I had learned a very valuable lesson. I was never going to tell anyone my secret again.
I never mentioned a word of what I could do for three long years. It was only when I met my neighbor Willa, that I spoke once again of my powers.
Willa had moved next door to us a few weeks after my eighth birthday. My mother was a bit wary of our new neighbor, though her apprehensions never seemed to matter when Willa offered her services to babysit.
My parents never treated me quite the same after my little display and distanced themselves from me. As good Christians, they wouldn’t turn me away though. I did, however, spend a lot of time at Willa’s.
I didn’t mind the arrangement either. Willa was an eight year old’s dream. Cookies and milk always flowed, the stories were over the top, and she never told me to be quiet. Willa didn’t just let you color or play dress-up, she joined in too. It was great having a playmate that acted young enough to be my friend, but old enough to turn on the oven and make cookies.
In a few short months, Willa became my trusted confidante. I would tell her my secrets and she told me hers. One day, I felt that I could tell her about my magic. I had her watch as I spilled my milk on the floor and magically made it pick itself up and return to the glass.
She didn’t react the way my parents did, though I wasn’t expecting the reaction she did have. Willa whisked me to her basement. There were no windows. It was floor to ceiling stone. Even the door was made out of stone. It was a little weird.
“The stones keep our secrets,” she responded, as if she knew what I was thinking. “You can never tell anyone your secret Mags, you have to promise me that.” I looked down at my toes. I was ashamed to tell Willa that I had told someone…my parents. I found the courage though and told her the story of my exorcism.
“Bah,” Willa said, shaking her head. “Stupid priests, they don’t know the difference from a demon possession and a hole in the ground. Well, from here on out no one else needs to know. What the priest did was negligible to what others would do if they knew your secret. Promise me Mags; promise me you will never tell anyone else.”
“I won’t Willa. How come you aren’t scared like everyone else?” I asked.
“I am just like you,” she replied.
“What do you mean, just like me?” I must have looked as confused as I sounded because Willa softly laughed at my question before she answered. “Child, we are jinn, born from a smokeless flame of the great scorching fire.”
“What’s a jinn?”I asked.
“Ever see ‘Aladdin?’”
“Oh I love that movie Willa! It has a genie that grants magical wishes.”
Willa smiled at me. “Child, a genie is a jinn.”
I thought I felt my jaw hit the floor. “Willa, I don’t want to be a big blue blob without any feet, stuck in a lamp for thousands of years.”
“Well then, don’t worry; none of those things are true, except the name. You, my love, are jinn.”

1. Secret’s In The Sauce
“Eew Mags, that’s so gross. I AM NOT remaking dinner!”
I had just slain a ghoul that was intent on having me for its evening meal. It just so happened, the arm I severed landed in the pot my roommate, Melissa, was using to make chicken and dumplings for dinner.
“What Melissa? Would you rather have had your dinner ruined or been that thing’s chew toy?” I asked.
Melissa had been my roommate and best friend for the past five years. She was used to my sarcasm by now. That by no way meant I was forgiven for the ghoulie stew though.
“I get it, I really do. All of Hades has it out for you and this is a part of your life, but can you keep it out of the food Mags?”
I tried lightening the mood. “So what are you making for dinner?” I ducked as Melissa lobbed an onion at me.
I probably should’ve been more apologetic instead of sarcastic to my roommate seeing that was, including the ghoul, the third hell-monster that made its way past her wards this week. Melissa is a witch and a pretty powerful one at that. Unfortunately, that meant Iblis just upped the ante on my capture. Damn, I thought I was going to have a quiet night.
Iblis. Besides being a huge pain in my ass, he’s one of the biggest, meanest baddies out there. He’s the basis for what the humans call Satan. Yup, I had that hunting me down. Oh wait, the hits just keep on coming. I also had the Aelfadl after me too.
Aelfadl is Elvish for nightmare and is the name of the elven assassins. They’re supposed to be the good guys and they probably are too, but they’ve been chasing me since I was twenty, for the crime of being born an Iblian jinn. They, along with Iblis, could kick rocks for all I care.
I’m a jinn. There are three types of us: the Ifrit, Marid, and Iblian. Ifrits are the weakest of our kind. They reside in Hades, can change into different animals, and are notorious firebugs. Marids have to be the most arrogant and vain individuals I have ever met. They are stronger than the Ifrits, prefer watery abodes, and require a great amount of flattery to get them to do anything. Then there’s the Iblian jinn, the most powerful type of jinn and what I happen to be.
Want to know a sure fire way to tell who’s an Iblian? We have violet eyes, the only beings to have that trait. I may as well have a bull’s-eye attached to my backside. There are also only two of us left, Iblis and myself.
I can’t speak for Iblis, but I prefer my house on the Mistfall side of Harmony, Kentucky, comfy fleece jammies, and I am pretty law abiding as long as something isn’t trying to kill me.
The Aelfadl doesn’t care about the other jinn, just us purple eyed lovelies. About two hundred years ago, The Powers That Be of Otherworldy Creatures (The Powers from here on out) deemed Iblian jinn a threat to all of our kind and decided we needed to be hunted to extinction. I’m not saying they weren’t right, but I know of one living exception to the rule.
I’ve been told that Iblian jinn originated the term hell raiser. I guess they were all in competition for enslaving and ruling otherworldly beings and at one point became a threat. I get their point, but can’t a girl get a fair trial?
Iblis…I have no clue why that bastard has it out for me. Shortly after I made it onto the Aelfadl’s radar, he started sending his minions after me. Thank Hades for weapons training!
Ghouls weren’t the hardest things to kill, but they sure were messy. They were rotting flesh bags with brains and had a penchant for eating their kills. The dead one in my house was starting to stink up the place.
I closed my eyes and imagined the ghoul’s body and its recently liberated appendage disappear, along with the ruined dinner. Thinking I didn’t want my house smelling like a corpse flower, I magicked a little air freshener too. I figured I owed Melissa a dinner so I conjured up her favorite, chicken tikka masala.
Melissa’s concerns were forgotten momentarily as she dug into her dinner, relishing every spicy bite. After a few mouthfuls she put her fork down and sighed. “You can’t keep placating me by magicking up my favorite foods every time I get upset. I’m going to get fat!”
“You’re lucky I make them low cal then,” I told her, “otherwise we’d be hauling you out of here with a forklift!”
Thwap. I rubbed the back of my head where the onion found its target, a bump beginning to form. “Ouch! A bit touchy are we?”
Melissa smirked. I didn’t want to get up close and personal with the rest of the produce in the house, so I changed the subject to the Introductory to Magic class she taught. “Have your students mastered the Mistfall spell yet?” (Mistfall was a spell that kept us secluded from the prying eyes of the humans. It looks like fog and if a human was to take a close look, their attention gets diverted elsewhere, making them forget what they were doing).
“No, not yet,” she sighed. They don’t seem to want to learn anything above basic spells and potions.” She shook her head. “Not a one of them want to bother with anything that looks, smells, or feels like work. It’s all instant gratification with these kids and they’re our future. I think my species is doomed.”
I laid my hand on top of hers. “I’m sure it will all work out,” I reassured her.
Melissa’s a natural teacher. I think her goal in life is to pass on the knowledge she has to someone deserving of it. Deserving young witches and warlocks were few and far between these days and you could tell it bothered her more than she was letting on.
As far as witches go, my roommate had a hand dealt to her by the goddess herself. Not only was she powerful enough to possibly end up on the witch’s council one day, she was beautiful too. She has honey-blond hair, skin the color of cream, and curves in all the right places. I’ll admit I am a bit jealous of her. I’m not deficient in the looks department, but I feel rather plain compared to my best friend. I’m on the tall side with long, raven black hair, skinny, and would call my curves proportionate. Nothing to complain about, but every girl has her insecurities.
“Forget about it.” Melissa shook herself out of her bad mood. “We should probably go and train. I’ll work off my frustrations on you.” She smiled at the thought which told me I was in for a tough training session.
“Alright, I’ll meet you in the basement in ten minutes,” I told her.
I went to my room and changed into my favorite pair of black yoga pants, a hot pink fitted tee, and my tennis shoes. I really wasn’t in the mood to train since I had battled it out with the ghoul earlier, but Melissa never lets me take a break, regardless of what recent attack I’ve had. Needless to say, between her and the beasties, I keep in pretty good shape.

“Come on, you’re not even trying Mags!” she reprimanded and swung one of a pair of hooked swords towards my midsection.
I jumped out of the way in time and deflect her strike with my sabre, a slightly s-shaped sword. Why the weapons training if I have magic or why not a gun? It’s good to have a back-up defense and bullets, while they hurt like hell, are ineffective. Only weapons made by the dwarves of Elemental Deep cause us any lasting trauma. Dwarves won’t make guns or bullets either.
“I trained earlier Melissa, don’t you remember? I made you ghoulash. Get it? Ghoulash?” I couldn’t help but laugh.
Something hit me in the chest and the next thing I knew I was airborne. I flew ten feet and landed on my back. I gasped for air. Instead of getting up, I lay on the ground, waiting for the feeling of a bear sitting on my chest to go away.
Melissa looked down at me. “Instead of wasting energy being a smart ass, why don’t you use some of that and train?”
“Alright,” I pouted. “Just give me a minute.”
“You won’t have a minute when you’re being attacked by the next Aelfadl or Goddess only knows what kind of demon spawn, so get up off your ass and fight!”
I wasn’t getting out of this training session until I had beat her. I miss the ghoul.
Figuring the only way to end this quickly was to catch her off guard; I got up to a crouched position, magicked up some fire, and shot it straight at her feet. From there it took on a life of its own, encircling her, then growing up towards the ceiling. It gave me the advantage I needed. Melissa had to drop one of her swords to combat my fire attack.
As she was extinguishing it, I rushed her, brought my sword up and swung it down towards her neck. She met my attack, blocking my blow with only one sword. She was just as good with one sword as she was two.
We kept on for another twenty minutes, each of us attacking, deflecting, and using every dirty magic trick there was in the book. I finally got the upper hand when she stumbled over the words to a spell.
I conjured up a shadow back and to the right of her. It was in her line of sight and I knew she would look since her wards had been breached and the monsters had gotten past them. As soon as she was distracted, I swept her legs out from underneath her, put my foot on her chest, and brought my blade down, stopping only millimeters above her neck. I had a big ear to ear grin on my face.
“Are we done now?” I looked at my watch. “It’s after nine and we’re supposed to meet your dog at ‘The Lamp.’ I hoped bringing up the subject of her new boyfriend would convince her to lay off training early.
She gave me a dirty look. “First of all, would you get that thing away from my neck and secondly, would you quit calling Owen a dog? He’s really fun to hang out with.”
I dropped my sabre and gave her a hand up. She was walking towards the stairs when she turned around with a smile on her face. “AND, he’s not mine, well at least not yet anyway.” She turned back around and headed up the stairs.
“Make sure you house-train him first!” I yelled up the stairs at her.
I heard the onion before I saw it and ducked in just enough time. I don’t know what she has against this vegetable.

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