Rehab is for Witches Anthology
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing
Publication Date- October 31st, 2014
Welcome to Little Raven: an unsullied, beautiful woodland hamlet in the heart of the Midwest. The sort of place where furry creatures romp about and spend their days bursting into song.
Actually, that’s a giant pack of lies.
Little Raven is a town…for witches.
And some of those witches might have bent the rules. A teensy bit. When six magical miscreants dabble with black magic, they end up together at Incantations, the town’s rehab center for witches gone awry. It’s a slap on the wrist for naughty witches. Pretty much a daycare center so they don’t wander off and start turning people into newts on a whim. Each witch must work through her addiction to black magic, and follow the tenets designed to lead them back to the path of the straight and narrow, as boring as that sounds. Even if following the tenets sucks worse than a group round of kum-bay-ya. Which sucks. Horribly.
We will admit we are powerless over magic—that our lives have become unmanageable.
We will make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the Goddess as we understand Her.
We will make a searching and fearless moral and magical inventory of ourselves.
We will admit to the Goddess, to ourselves, and to another being the exact nature of our magical wrongs.
We will make a list of all persons or beings we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
We will make direct amends to such beings whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We are entirely ready to bow before the Goddess and have Her remove all our defect of character, even at the risk of being entirely stripped of our magic.
But this is just the start. There’s something rotten in Little Raven, something that seeks to take all the magic it can, and devour the inhabitants in the process. It will take the strength and power of all the witches to defeat the darkness seeping into their town, beat it back, and be rid of it forever…and maybe just make it through rehab while they’re saving the world.
The Authors & Titles
Tara S. Wood - A Trunk Full of Peril
Tyffani Clark Kemp - A Diary Full of Names
Cynthia Valero - A Cauldron Full of Goodbyes
Miranda Stork - A Closet Full of Demons
J. A. Howell - A Basement Full of Secrets
Elle J Rossi - A Suitcase Full of Revenge
And here is an excerpt from A Basement Full of Secrets
“Hmm?” She glanced back up at Fitzsimmons.
“I asked, was that the first time you practiced Necromancy?”
She hadn’t even realized her mind had wandered, though she had a tendency to do that…especially in her sessions here as a Magical Miscreant. Gertie sat up straight, fighting the tugging in her chest at the thought of ten-year old Mason saying goodbye before he walked out of her life for the next twelve years.
“I, um…no. Usually it was just small animals and the like, though…injured birds. I got picked on for taking dead birds home from school when I found them. None of them ever killed anyone.”
Well, she was pretty sure of that. She’d brought Bandit back after some jerk had hit him one Sunday. Her heart clenched at the memory. At Mason’s tear-stained face and her whispered words.
I’ll bring him back to you, I promise.
He’d known what she was, from the moment he met her…and yet it never bothered him. Surely, if he’d had a choice, he would have wanted her to bring him back to her.
“Strange how you have managed to keep off our radar until now.”
“What do you mean?” Gertie tilted her head.
“Necromancy is dark magic. Not easily controlled…and yet you’ve been practicing it for…”
“Since I was six.” Gertie shrugged. Fitzsimmons’ lips pulled tight into a thoughtful expression and he eyed her in that way that made her skin crawl once more.
“Well, needless to say, Gertie. The council is keeping a very close eye on you now. I know you may not think what you did to those animals and to Mason was wrong, but you’ve been with us for over four months now. As I’m sure you are aware, the council’s sentence was six months rehab.”
Gertie nodded, picking back up on the row of stitches she’d discarded. “I’ve been here for every session and every group, always punctual. Just like they asked me to do.”
“Yes, but that won’t be enough. You need to finish treatment successfully in that time. You need to learn to accept your wrongdoings. If not, then you know the consequences. They will strip you of all your magic.”
She shrugged, bored with this exchange. “They can have it. Not like I can bring Mason back again. Are we done for today?”
Fitzsimmons sighed but nodded to the door. “See you in group, Gertie. Remember what I said. Two months.”
Gertie carefully folded her knitting around the wool skein, stuffed it into her tote bag she used for her current projects, and left the room without giving Fitzsimmons another look. She hated coming here, hated these sessions. Right now, all she wanted was to forget. But each time she was here, each time Fitzsimmons asked her about what happened, painful thoughts of Mason rose to the surface.
I loved him, she thought. I’ll never admit I was wrong. Her stomach twisted in a knot and nausea threatened at the back of her throat. She didn’t think much of it, this place always gave her an unsettling feeling, almost as much as Fitzsimmons did. Her mind wandered back to the two months her and Mason had together. Things could have been perfect…well, as perfect as the situation allowed. Her and Mason had been content.
Gods, she missed him. Even though she’d witnessed it right there in her living room, she still couldn’t come to grips with the fact the he was really gone. Just like that. And this time he wasn’t coming back. With a deep, sorrowful sigh, Gertie headed toward the exit, but a faint noise prickled the skin at the back of her neck. A low, painful moan somewhere off in the distance. It sounded like…him.
No, that’s impossible. You’re finally going nuts, Gert, might as well sign up for the cat lady starter kit, you already have all the knitting down. Still, the sound came again and slivers of ice ran through her veins.
Her hand was on the door, but she turned back into the hallway, following the corridor around the corner as another moan came from somewhere further down. Her pace quickened and she flew around another corner, spotting several doors with small windows high up. Another moan, louder. It was coming from the room on the far left. She broke into a run. It had to be him.
A large arm came out in front of her, and she had no time to stop herself before running into the man. Her petite form bounced off the man’s barrel chest, and with an “ooph” she fell flat on her bottom, skirts everywhere as her glasses slid across the floor.
“Oh, fiddlesticks!” She squinted, and on hands and knees hunted for her fallen spectacles. A rough hand held them a few inches from her face and she sat up, sliding them back on. “Um, thank you.”
“You shouldn’t be down this wing,” the older man with a gruff voice said as he watched her scramble to her feet—not once offering to give her a hand, Gertie noted.
“I…um…thought I heard someone. They sounded like they were in pain. I didn’t think they had inpatients here.” She tried to look past the man, but his large form moved, obstructing her view.
“Potion junkies tend to be a bit noisy coming off the juice. They’ll be fine.”
Gertie frowned, straining to hear once more…but whoever it was making the noise had stopped. Her shoulders slumped. Maybe it hadn’t sounded like him at all. Lately she felt like she heard and saw Mason everywhere.
“Miss? You should be going back the way you came.” The man crossed his arms over his chest in a manner that let her know he wouldn’t be moving out of her way any time soon to let her check.
“Right. My apologies.” Gertie turned on her heels and hurried back to the exit and out to the waiting ferryman, Jasper. He was different than the rest of the staff at Incantations and at least pleasant toward her.
“Heading out?” He smiled at her. She nodded but didn’t speak as she climbed into the boat. The ride across the river was quiet. At least he was nice enough to leave her alone with her thoughts, unlike Fitzsimmons.
“End of the line, Gertie. You have a good day.” He finally broke the silence as they pulled up at the other dock. He reached a hand out to her and helped her out. She thanked him quietly and made a beeline for her light blue Volkswagen Beetle.
“My Girl” came on the radio as soon as she turned the ignition. Gertie winced and shut it off, a huge lump forming in her throat. The moan she’d heard earlier haunted her thoughts, keeping Mason’s face fresh in her mind. She didn’t need any other reminders right now.
About the Author
J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.