Read Magic at Midnight Online

Authors: Gena Showalter

Magic at Midnight (8 page)

BOOK: Magic at Midnight
8.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The creature vanished in a panicked puff of black smoke.

So easy. So quick. Exactly what should have happened at the bar.

Finished, depleted, she allowed her hands to fall to her sides. Weakness assaulted her as it always did when she used her powers to such a degree. She should have felt a measure of satisfaction. She should have felt vindicated. She didn’t. Inside, sorrow still consumed her.

“Everyone must have raced home,” Godiva panted. She hunched over, anchoring her hands on her knees. “We need to do something to prevent more demons from attacking.”

“Like what?” Glory settled on the ground, her hand over her heart. “Genevieve warned them. What more can we do?”

Genevieve stared up at the stars. “A part of me wants them to return.” Her tone lacked emotion, but the cold rage was there, buried under the surface. “I want to kill more of them.”

Arms folded around her, comforting arms, familiar arms. “That puts other citizens at risk,” Godiva said softly. “If Hunter were still alive, you’d want him protected. Let’s give everyone else the same consideration.”

She closed her eyes at the pain those words brought—if Hunter were alive—but nodded. Always the voice of reason, Godiva was right. If Hunter were alive, she would do whatever was necessary to protect him. “Do you know who took his body?” She gulped, the words foul on her tongue.

“No.” Glory.

“No.” Godiva.

Genevieve fell to her knees in front of the empty casket. Tears once more burned her eyes. There was a fresh mound of soil beside her, the spot Hunter was supposed to rest in for all of eternity, a gift to Mother Earth.

He’s lost to me.
No, no. She could not accept that.
Would
not accept that. “I want to raise the spirits of the dead to protect Mysteria,” she found herself saying. No matter where Hunter’s body was, his spirit would be able to find her—
if
she raised it. In that moment, she would have sold her soul if it meant seeing him one last time. “They can guard the town against the demons.”

Pause. Silence. Not even insects dared speak.

“I don’t know,” Glory hedged. “Spirits are so unpredictable.”

“Genevieve… ,” Godiva began.

“Please. Do this. For me.”

Her sisters glanced at each other, then at her, each other, then her. Concern darkened both of their expressions. Finally Godiva nodded. “Alright. We’ll raise the spirits, but only until the next full moon.”

Elation bubbled inside her, not obliterating her sadness but eclipsing it.
Hunter
, her heart cried again.
We’ll be together again soon. If only for a little while.


Five

L
ET’S
begin the spirit-raising spell.” Godiva removed the band from her hair, letting the long pale strands cascade down her back. She breathed deeply of the night air. “We need to be naked for this one, so no part of our magic is trapped in the clothing fibers.”

“Oh, great,” was Glory’s reply. She remained still,
not
stripping. “This is the twenty-first century. Do we still need to strip?”

“Yes. Now hurry and take off your clothes. I need to get home and feed Romeo.” Romeo, the perfect name for her injured wolf. He’d charmed her with only a look.

Already Godiva missed him. He’d become her constant companion, a comfort in these last dark days. She wished there were something she could do for Genevieve, anything to remove the haunted glaze from her sister’s eyes.

Remaining silent, Genevieve removed her clothing. Godiva unbuttoned her dress and shimmied it down her voluptuous hips. The buttercup yellow material pooled at her feet. A chill night breeze wisped around them, and with a sigh, Glory, too, stripped.

“There,” she said. “Now we can begin. Form a circle and clasp hands.”

The tortured howl of a wolf cut through the darkness. Godiva stilled. Had Romeo somehow gotten out of the house and now stalked the woods, searching for her? Another howl erupted through the night.

“Oh, goodness.” Losing all trace of color, Glory shoved her hair out of her face. “The wolves are out. Maybe we should go home.”

“We’ll be fine,” Godiva said, though she was worried. For a different reason. She didn’t fear the wolves; she feared for Romeo. What if he got in another fight and was injured again? He might not survive this time. Her need to hurry increased.

She was just about to grab her sisters’ hands when, a few feet away, her gaze snagged a silver phone and a masculine arm. Her mouth fell open. A cold sweat broke over her skin. “Girls,” she whispered frantically. “Someone is taking pictures of us.”

“Did you say someone is taking pictures of us?” Glory’s silver eyes narrowed. “Nobody takes secret pictures of me unless I’ve had time to diet.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll handle this.” Cold and emotionless, Genevieve raised her hands into the air, a dark spell slipping easily from her lips.

A startled scream echoed through the night.

“What did you do?” Glory bent down and swiped up her broom.

“See for yourself.”

The girls closed ranks on the tombstone, circling the intruder and blocking him from escape. They found the flip phone hovering in the air in front of a trembling, horrified man, the phone clamping and snapping its way down his body. Only after it had bitten his favorite appendage (twice) and he screamed like a little girl (twice) did it fall to the ground.

“John Foster,” Glory gasped. “You big pervert. Does Hilde know you’re out here? And staring at our breasts, no less?”

“Please don’t tell her—your breasts are so big.” Eyes widening, he said, “I mean, I don’t want her to know—I want to touch your breasts.” He shook his head, but his gaze remained glued on Glory’s chest. He licked his lips. “What I mean to say is—double-D fun bags are my favorite.”

Glory smacked him over the head with her broom. “Letch!”

“Bastard!” Godiva grabbed her own broom and popped him dead center in the face.

“This was the wrong day to piss me off, John.” Genevieve didn’t have her broom in hand, so she raised her arms high in the air and uttered another incantation. “You like breasts so much, you can have a pair of your own.”

His shirt ripped down the middle as a huge pair of breasts grew on his chest. He stared down at them, his mouth gaping open. “What the hell! Get them off, get them—hey, these are nice.” Closing his eyes, he reached up and kneaded his new breasts, a rapturous smile spreading across his face. “Mmm,” he muttered.

“Undo the spell!” Glory scowled. “Undo the spell right now. We’ll punish him another way.”

“No, this is punishment,” he cried, covering the man-boobs protectively. “I swear. Don’t take them away. I’ve got to learn my lesson.”

Genevieve did as Glory suggested, and John’s chest shrunk back to its normal size. He bawled like a baby the entire time. He even tried to dart out of their circle, but Godiva locked his feet in place with a wave of her hand.

“Not so fast,” she said.

His eyes widened with horror. “What are you going to do to me? I didn’t mean any harm. I only wanted a peek at your boobies.”

Without saying a word, the three sisters tugged at the rest of his clothing, peeling it from his middle-aged body until he wore nothing but a few teardrops. Since he’d gotten a look at their goods, it was only fair they got a look at his.

“Ew, gross,” Glory said. “Maybe we should dress him again. I’m throwing up in my mouth.”

“That will just waste more time,” Godiva replied. “We’re going to cast our spells around you.”

Glory’s gaze darted between his legs. “Yes,
little
John, we’re going to cast our spells around you and you’re going to stand there like a good boy or else.”

That dried his tears. “You mean you’re not going to hurt me, and I get to watch you dance? Naked?” He tried real hard not to grin. “How can I care about anything else when I see lots and lots of breasts and even more breasts?”

“I swear,” Genevieve said, “you’re the scum of the earth.”

“Ignore him,” Godiva said after another wolf howl echoed through the night. “We need to get to work.”

“Fine.”

“Yes. Let’s hurry.” Genevieve found her broom half buried in a mound of dirt, snatched it up, and rejoined the circle.

The three sisters closed their eyes, blocking out John’s image and his voice, and in perfect sync began their protection spells. Round and round they danced, their hips undulating, their hair swaying, their brooms raised high in the air. Each one chanted under her breath.

While she danced, Godiva stumbled over the spell’s words, unable to push Romeo from her mind. That last howl had sounded pained. Was he hurt again? Should she go looking for him? He was one of the biggest, strongest, fiercest wolves she’d ever seen, but he possessed a gentle and loving nature and other beasts of the forest might trample him.

Suddenly Glory stopped, her breasts jiggling with the abrupt halt.

“What are you doing? Keep moving,” John whined. “I’m still praying.”

She frowned. “Does it feel like the ground is shaking?”

Godiva stilled, followed quickly by Genevieve. In the next instant and seemingly without provocation, Glory stumbled backward and landed on her butt.

“What’s going on?” Godiva gasped as dirt began cracking at her feet. Grass began splitting. Flowers tumbled off of tombstones… and then the tombstones themselves tumbled to the ground. “What’s going on?” she asked again, her tone more frenzied.

Glory popped to her feet, and Genevieve paled. “I think—ohmygoodness—I think the bodies are rising!”

“That can’t be.” Glory sucked in a breath, whirling around to scan the surrounding area. “We only called forth their spirits.”

“Well, the dirty bastards didn’t listen!”

“I don’t understand. Did we say the wrong words?” Godiva asked.

A bony hand shot through the cracked dirt and latched onto John’s ankle. Startled, he screamed and would have dropped into a fetal ball and sucked his thumb if his feet hadn’t been frozen in place. All over the cemetery, bodies rose. Most were completely decayed, but all still wore their worm-eaten burial clothes. As they emerged, they limped, lumbered, and trudged toward the sisters. Deadly moans echoed across the distance.

“What should we do?” Glory gasped out, holding out her broom like a sword. “What the hell should we do?”

Agnes McCloud—a woman everyone knew had once been John’s mistress—climbed all the way out of the ground. Seeing her, John started shaking like an epileptic. “Help me,” he cried. “Please, help me. Free my feet.”

Godiva swatted at the skeleton with her broom. “Shoo.” Big chunks of dirt fell out of the dead woman’s hair. “Get back in the ground. I command you.”

Agnes was only recently dead from a car accident, and her face lifted into a grin when she spied John. “John! Oh, my darling Johnnie. I missed you so much.”

“We’ve got to send them back.” Glory’s mouth formed a large O as she counted the number of bodies headed toward them. “They’re multiplying like rabbits!”

“Demons of the Dark,” Godiva shouted, “return to your graves!”

They kept coming.

“Spirits of the Netherworld, be gone!”

Still, they kept coming.

Meanwhile, Agnes had pounced on John and was feasting on him like he was a buffet of sensual delights and she had been on a year-long fast. Except, the man looked like he would rather eat his own vomit than the dead woman’s tongue. That didn’t stop Agnes.

If she’d had time, Godiva would have snapped a picture of the two with the flip phone. As it was, the rest of the dead bodies finally reached them and closed her and her sisters in a circle, moaning and groaning and reaching out to caress them. Having been without human contact for so long, they were probably desperate for it. Or maybe they were simply hungry and she and her sisters looked like a triple-stacked Egg McMuffin.

Glory shrieked. Godiva swatted at the bony hands with her broom. And Genevieve stood in frozen shock. “Is that… Hunter?”

A male form broke through the line of trees, just beyond the cemetery. His skin was intact, his features normal. Except for his eyes. They glowed a bright, vivid red. Obviously, he wasn’t a corpse. But… what was he?

“Hunter!” Genevieve called excitedly. “Ohmygoodness, Hunter, over here!”

He turned toward the sound of her voice, and his lips lifted in relief. “Genevieve!”

They sprinted to each other, avoiding dead bodies and Genevieve threw herself into his arms. Godiva couldn’t hear what they were saying. She watched as Hunter flung Genevieve over his shoulder and carted her straight into the forest.

“Godiiiiiva,” Glory gasped. “Don’t just stand there. Help me!”

She shook her head and continued to fight off their molesters with her broom, all the while uttering spell after ineffectual spell. Well, not so ineffectual. Each spell conjured something—just not the help they wanted. A fairy. A gnome. A gorgeous demon high lord. Why were their spells messing up? She still didn’t understand. Each creature materialized at the edge of the forest and stood, watching the proceedings, grinning. One of them even produced a bowl of popcorn and a large soda.

“Two dollars says the one with worms in his eyes snags the witch on the left,” the demon said.

“You’re on,” the gnome agreed.

Suddenly a fierce growl overshadowed every other noise, and a pack of wolves raced into the graveyard, snapping and snarling.

“Romeo,” Godiva cried, her relief nearly a palpable force when she recognized her pet.

His teeth bared in a menacing scowl, Romeo leaped up and latched onto the bony arm reaching for her and snapped it off before sprinting away.

“Give that back,” the corpse shouted, chasing after him.

The rest of the wolf pack chased the skeletons in every direction. All except Agnes, who was still sucking John’s face. Godiva and Glory dropped to the ground in relief.

“I never thought I’d be grateful to the wolves,” Glory said. “Should we be worried for Genevieve?”

“No. I think she’ll be fine.” More than fine, actually. “Here, take my hand. We have to send these corpses back to their graves.”

BOOK: Magic at Midnight
8.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Patterson Girls by Rachael Johns
Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase
Endymion Spring by Skelton-Matthew
Trouble by Taylor Jamie Beckett