A Hint of Magic

A Hint of Magic

Status: In Progress

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Houses:

Summary

Olive and her two sisters have retired from solving magical crimes in their small town of Mapleton. Olive has moved to the city to work as a history professor, a job that she's quickly realizing might not be for her. When she receives a phone call about an unsolved murder of someone she holds dear, she knows she needs to come home right away and figure out who is behind it.
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Summary

Olive and her two sisters have retired from solving magical crimes in their small town of Mapleton. Olive has moved to the city to work as a history professor, a job that she's quickly realizing might not be for her. When she receives a phone call about an unsolved murder of someone she holds dear, she knows she needs to come home right away and figure out who is behind it.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter One

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 05, 2017

Reads: 110

Comments: 2

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 05, 2017

A A A

A A A

Chapter 1

 

“Professor?”

The stack of books I was precariously balancing on both hands scattered to the floor like a game of 52 card pickup. I cringed – hopefully no pages or covers creased during their ungraceful landing – and brusquely turned around at the intruder.

A student I recognized from my morning Intro to Mythology course lingered in the doorway, giving me a sheepish smile. “What is it?” I snapped at him as I started to stack my books once again – now I have to put them back in order! My copy of the Odyssey was now dog-eared and damaged along the spine. Darn it! That was going to annoy me to no end.  Sure, I could buy another copy, but I’d promised myself that I would abstain from buying books I didn’t need. And this book was still readable despite the cosmetic damage. I was on my third attempt at refraining from purchasing a new book. The longest I held my temptation was a full two weeks. Holding out for a month would be nothing short of a miracle.

“Er… I’m scheduled to see you, Professor.” Oh yeah, the student. What was his name… John? James? “But if now is not a good time…”

Oh, right! Finals were over and I was supposed to talk one-on-one with each student about their grades. This being the first semester of teaching, I had the habit of forgetting all of the little things I needed to do to make sure my students excelled. And here I was thinking I would have some quiet time with my books before heading home for the afternoon. If there was one thing I learned this semester it would be that I lacked any organizational skills. Maybe I needed to get one of those paper planners my sister was obsessed about, and not just enter things haphazardly in the “notes” app in my phone only to never check it again. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this teacher thing.

I rubbed both sides of my head with my fingers and turned away from the mess on the ground. “Right. Come on in, James, and take a seat.”

James walked into my office. He didn’t correct me, so I must’ve guessed his name right. “Do you need help cleaning up?” He asked as he tiptoed over the Iliad.

I waved my hand dismissively. “No, no, it’s fine.” I turned my back to him and opened my filing cabinet, searching feverishly for his file. “Uh, what’s your last name again?”

“Turner.”

“Ah ha!” I declared, thrusting James’ latest graded test in the air with victory before remembering that I was supposed to be a dignified professor. I cleared my throat and glanced over at my student, who was looking like he wanted to flee. “Uh, let’s go over your test, shall we?” I said, smoothing down my blouse and fixing an errant strand of auburn hair out of my face as I sat in my giant swivel chair. Really, at 5”1’ everything was giant to me. I glanced at his test. “Okay James, you received at D+ on the test. Looks like you needed a C to pass my class.”

James hung his head. “I figured,” he said quietly. “It’s just… your class is so boring.” He shot his head up and gave me an apologetic smile. “No offense or anything.”

Of course I took offense. I never could take criticism well. I swallowed back a defensive retort and took a moment to imagine my students during class. True, most of the time they looked lethargic, some with their heads down, eyes closed, or both. I always thought it was the after-effects of having lunch right before. “Boring?” I repeated to myself. Odysseus, Gilgamesh… how could any of those characters be boring?

“Sorry Professor,” James said. “I think I’m just gonna take another elective next semester instead of repeating this one.”

“Oh, okay…” I said, trying not to sound too disappointed.

James leaned back in his chair and stretched out his arms. “Is there anything else, or is that it?”

I looked down at his test as though it held the answer. “Uh, no, that’s all.”

He got up and left without another word.

Sighing, I stood up and walked over to my pile of books, having the sudden urge to kick them. Instead, I resolved to pick them up. Not two seconds later my phone began to ring. Almost dropping a stack again, I hurried over to my desk and checked the caller ID. My sister. I tucked a book under my arm and answered it.

“Hello?”

“It’s Rae.”

By the tone of her voice I knew something was wrong. The usually vivacious Rae rarely spoke in two-word sentences, even in greeting.

I frowned. “What’s wrong, Rae?”

“We need you back home, Olive.” Home was the town we all grew up in, up north in Wine Country.

“Why?”

“Mr. Sorenson died.”

My stomach hardened. Patrick Sorenson was the curator of Mapleton’s one and only museum. I started working there at sixteen and it was because of him that I studied history in college. Mr. Sorenson came from a long line of world travelers. His museum held a personal collection of his findings and his family’s findings from throughout the centuries.

“How…?”

“That’s the thing, Olive. That’s why we need you out here. Mr. Sorenson was murdered.”

“Murdered?” I almost dropped my phone.

“I’ll save you the grisly details for now, but I will say that magic seemed to have been involved. Baba Yaga said that we need to figure this out. This is beyond the skill of our law enforcement.”

I nodded, pushing away the pang of grief. The Three Witches Magical Detective Agency took off their symbolic badges long ago to pursue their respective interests – and magical crimes seemed to have fallen anyway. Admittedly, I missed the work, although I was thankful that people were now using magic in a responsible manner. Most of the crimes we dealt with were petty in nature – something stolen, or someone mysteriously vanishing (usually a combination of the two). Never before had we dealt with a murder. Come to think of it, has anyone ever been murdered in Mapleton?

A loud crash by my bookshelves caused me to almost jump out of my skin. “Gremlin’s toes,” I cursed, this time actually dropping the phone, which landed loudly on my desk. “Olive, Olive are you okay?” Rae shouted through the phone as I slowly turned around, my heart pounding in my ears...


© Copyright 2017 H. Mason. All rights reserved.

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