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The Witch Is Dead by Shirley Damsgaard - Fiction
Life is busier than ever for witch Ophelia Jensen. In addition to her day job at the library, sheâwith the help of her grandmother Abbyâis preparing to officially adopt Tink, the young medium she's taken under her wing. So when Ophelia's elderly Aunt Dot, eager for adventure, wants to investigate the murder of a funeral director in the neighboring town, Ophelia tries to say no. But then Tink's dog pulls a skull out of the woodsâa skull that may belong to a murder victim.
Finding mysterious bones in the woods isn't the only strange thing that's happened to Tink lately. She's been having visions of ghastly ghosts imploring her for help. But before Ophelia can connect the apparitions with the murder, Tink is kidnapped! Ophelia and Abby will have to battle a creepy crematorium owner and an invasion from some modern-day body snatchers to find their protÃ©gÃ©...or else they'll have to hold a sÃ©ance just to speak to her again.
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Tink stood with her nose pressed to the large plate-glass window, then whirled around, her thin face a picture of excitement. "Look," she said. "Do you think that's Aunt Dot's plane?"
From where I sat next to Abby, I searched Tink's face to see any lingering signs of last night's vision. Her eyes seemed clear, not shadowed as they had been. Her smile seemed real, not forced. Relieved, I smiled back. "It should be landing soon." I glanced at my watch, then up at the large monitor showing the arrival times of flights. "It's three-thirty now, and the flight from Raleigh is supposed to arrive at 4:05."
Tink turned away and went back to her vigil. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Abby studying me, her face mirroring the consternation my face had worn when watching Tink.
"What?" I said defensively.
My grandmother lifted an eyebrow. "Are you going to tell me what's going on?" Her voice carried the soft lilt of the mountains in Appalachia where she was born.
Scrunching my eyes shut and rubbing my forehead, I thought about how to answer her.
Do I tell her about Tink's nightmare? I didn't want to upset her. Abby hadn't seen her mother's sister, Dot, since her visit three years ago to her girlhood home. My grandmother had anticipated Aunt Dot's visit to Iowa for months. I didn't want anything to mar it.
Opening my eyes, I slid a look at Abby sitting there, the picture of calm. Her silver hair was done in a neat twist at the back of her head. She wore a floral skirt and ivory shell with a matching scarf. An understated amethyst broach, one that my grandfather had given her many years ago, held the scarf in place on her shoulder. She was elegant and charming.
Unfortunately, it's hard to hide things from your grandmother when she's a psychic witch. Even if you're one yourself.
I blew out a breath. "Okay," I replied reluctantly. "Tink had a dream last nightâ"
"A dream or a dream?" Abby asked, breaking in.
"A vision. Rotten corpses walking toward her in the woods."
"How awful for Tink." Abby's lips tightened. "What did they want?"
"I don't know. Tink said they definitely wanted something. They were approaching her with their hands outstretched, as if they were pleading, but they never spoke."
Abby tapped her chin. "Hmm, whether we like it or not, evidently some sort of connection with Tink has been made." Her eyes wandered over to where Tink stood at the window. "That girl is a strong medium. Her energy must be a beacon to restless souls."
"Any way we can tamp that energy down?"
Abby shook her head. "No, she and I have tried. She's gaining more control over her talent, but as she grows older, the talent is growing stronger." She paused. "Did you say 'corpses,' not 'corpse'?"
"So it's more than one spirit trying to reach her?"
"I guess. Is that important?"
She gave me a knowing look. "Ophelia, as a psychic, by now you should know every little detail can have meaning."
I glanced back at Tink. "It's significant that there was more than one?"
"Yes." Abby's face lightened. "She hasn't been by a cemetery recently, has she?"
"I don't think so. She doesn't like them, you know. She says there are too many voices to overcome. A few always manage to break through her guard."
"Well, another explanation might be a mass death somewhere."
"You mean like a plane crash, or train wreck?"
She nodded again. "Yes. The combined energy of the spirits is breaking through her resistance."
"I haven't heard of any recent tragedies, have you?"
"No, but Tink's vision doesn't have to be about something that happened recently. It could be out of the past."
"How 'past'?" I asked with a frown.
Abby lifted a shoulder in a shrug....
The Witch Is DeadBy: Shirley Damsgaard