Broommates: All That Glitters

Part 17 of the serial Broommates.Β Start from the beginning orΒ read the previous episode or click the β€œBroommates” link at the top of the page to see the full list.

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The relative calm that had settled over the big old house shared by six amiable, rational adults was utterly destroyed by a blood-curdling scream from the ladies’ bathroom.

Anthony was upstairs and breaking down the door with a speed and strength aided by adrenaline and already taxed nerves. Unfortunately, he did not expect to find Miranda standing on the other side of the door in naught but a flimsy towel. Sure enough, he did not find that, because the broken door had knocked her clear into the tub.

“Jesus wept, Miranda, what was that scream about?” he asked, torn between wanting to help her up and trying not to accidentally see anything he shouldn’t.

Miranda groaned. “I’m going to have bruises on my bruises. Did you have to go and firefighter your way in here?”

“I thought you were in trouble!”

“I was,” she said, “hit full in the face by very cold water and some kind of spell. Do I look all right?”

He glanced at her, then averted his eyes. “Yes, you look fine.” Frowning, he did a double-take. “Wait, since when are you a ginger?”

She scrambled to her feet with a scowl. “Parker! Get your narcissistic backside here this instant or I’ll–”

Parker poked his head through the doorway. His once-black hair was now platinum blond. “Sorry, no time to chat, I’m meeting Lisa at the restaurant at seven.” He withdrew, then returned. “Thanks for letting me use your bathroom by the way. And nice hair.”

Miranda and Anthony traded a look. “Who’s Lisa?” they asked simultaneously.

“My girlfriend!”

* * * * *

Miranda, now fully clothed but still regrettably red-headed, stalked into the library, where an informal base of anti-Grant operations had been set up. Booker sat at the big wooden desk, tapping away at his computer keyboard. Anthony stood behind him, staring at the screen. They both looked up. Anthony’s face reddened.

“What have you got?” Miranda asked.

“An idea,” Anthony said. “Remember how you said it was crazy that Grant’s karma hasn’t caught up to him in all this time?” She nodded. “Well,” he continued, “Booker’s been doing a search for places where a lot of bad things or good things happen.”

Miranda stood next to Anthony and leaned over, peering at the list of news stories Booker was perusing. Anthony coughed and stepped away. “You think he’s shunting his karma off to other people?” she asked.

“Or trying to balance it by helping them, or both.”

“Have you thought about narrowing the search to the area where Lydia…” She couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence.

“Good idea,” Booker said, typing quickly. He hit enter and three faces moved closer to the screen.

“Hello, unexplained accidents and disappearances,” Miranda said.

“Hello, three lottery winners in a year,” Anthony said.

“Hello, what are you three doing huddled around the computer like that?” Parker said. Miranda and Anthony straightened up abruptly, knocking their heads together.

Standing next to Parker was what could charitably be described as the most gorgeous woman any of them had ever seen in person. Her rich chestnut hair fell in loose curls down her back, her full pink lips turned up at the ends in a Mona Lisa smile and her wide hazel eyes peered intently into the room. Somewhere, a sculptor was dreaming of her body only to wake up in despair because he could never hope to replicate it. They were each of them stunned by how, well, stunning she was.

“This is Lisa, everyone,” Parker said.

“Hallo, everyone,” she murmured. “Pleased to meet you.” Her voice was like candle wax on bare skin.

Miranda found her own voice, which was more like a public radio announcer’s. “I thought you were going out to dinner?”

“We thought we’d get take out and watch a movie here instead,” Parker replied.

Lisa smiled broadly and laid a perfectly manicured hand on Parker’s arm. “James has such an interesting collection of foreign films.”

“I’m sure James does,” Miranda said with a smirk.

Parker coughed. “Right then, see you all later.” He looped his arm around Lisa’s waist and guided her toward the stairs. Anthony and Booker craned their necks to watch her walk away.

“Am I the only one who finds that a little suspicious?” Miranda asked, crossing her arms over her chest.

Anthony chuckled. “What, you think she’s some kind of secret agent sent here to seduce one of us and infiltrate the house?” He and Booker laughed until they saw that Miranda wasn’t joining them. He shook his head. “He’s been taking it easy since you moved in, but this is typical Parker. Don’t let it worry you.”

“I don’t know… there’s something about her that sets my teeth on edge.”

“Is that a little green-eyed monster I see rearing its ugly head?”

“Yes, very funny. Can we get back to figuring out when and how we’re going to find Grant and make sure his karma catches up to him?”

The front door opened and closed, footsteps skipping lightly down the hall. Kitty peeked around the corner, sniffing the air.

“Mmm,” she said. “I know that smell. It’s like–”

“Lavender,” Anthony said.

“Pumpkin pie,” Booker said.

“A cambion!” Kitty exclaimed.

Miranda frowned. “Are you sure?”

Kitty tapped the tip of her nose and winked.

Anthony and Booker shared a look of horror. “Do you mean to say,” Anthony asked, “that Parker is up in his room right now cavorting with a half-succubus?”

Kitty’s cheer turned to alarm in an instant, her eyes flashing from brown to silver. Without a word, she vanished. For the second time that day, someone screamed upstairs.

“Did she just…?” Anthony asked.

“Impossible.” Miranda shook her head. “Teleportation isn’t–”

“Kitty, stop!” they heard Parker shout.

“Gods Above.” As one, they made for the stairs, hoping they would be in time to keep someone from getting hurt.

* * * * *

Part 18: Not Gold

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17 Responses to “Broommates: All That Glitters”

  1. Amalia T says:

    I love the colorful curses that you let your characters use– it’s perfect for their, shall we say, occupation. Also, the “Hello, __” part cracked me up, and I’m dying to know what Kitty is in the process of doing upstairs other than taking that succubus-woman apart! The imagination of butt-kicking has taken flight.

  2. I love this story. I wish I could tell you hae fun it is as a reader. It’s an amazing romp and the characters jump off the screen, alive and kicking. The world just comes alive in my mind and your style is so easy to read and lively.

    Another great entry! Can’t wait for more!

  3. Gracie says:

    Ah, another great episode. My weekend is complete. πŸ™‚

    Of course Lisa is a succubus. Sorry, Parker. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  4. Laura Eno says:

    Nice one! Your characters have such outlandish things happen to them. LOL!

  5. ganymeder says:

    I certainly hope you publish this series as a novel later. These characters and their world are so vivid, it’s like people you know… well, if you know people who do magic and speak to spirits and succubi… πŸ™‚

  6. GP Ching says:

    A terrific installment. I agree with the other comments that your writing is easy to “see”. Very imaginative.

  7. John Wiswell says:

    Quite a rush through all these scenes. Is a plot crest coming soon? Feels like it!

  8. Valerie says:

    Thanks for reading, everyone. I don’t know about publishing as a novel but maybe I’ll turn it into a script for Script Frenzy. I wouldn’t say these are exactly people I know, but they are conglomerations of a few. John, hope it wasn’t TOO rushed, don’t want to blow through this at a bad pace.

  9. Another good installment! Great humor throughout. Can’t wait to see what happens with the half-succubus.

  10. Loved the opening line on this one! You do such a great job of keeping your plot lines going while making each section its own yummy morsel. I was a few behind and am now caught up and can’t wait for the next bit!


  11. peggy says:

    Did you have to go and firefighter your way in here?”
    Her voice was like candle wax on bare skin.

    Those two lines alone make me jealous, wishing I had thought those descriptions. The rest is pure fun. Keep going!

  12. Oh, if it was only that easy to colour your hair…
    Exciting stuff, here!

  13. Valerie says:

    Thanks, folks! Glad you’re catching up and enjoying it. I can’t believe I’ve written so many episodes already; it feels like I just started a few weeks ago.

    Peggy, glad you liked those bits! And Cathy, I think a lot of people would agree. I’ve never colored my hair but my mom and sister both do it, and oh the grumbling.

  14. Dad says:

    they are essentially the Mecca for mishaps…

  15. Marisa Birns says:

    Have caught up! Adore your opening paragraph. Your storytelling certainly keeps one turning the pages. And the endings always keep one wanting more!

    How adorable that your father left a comment. πŸ™‚

  16. Valerie says:

    Hah, thanks Marisa. My dad is a pretty regular reader, actually! I hope that means I’m doing a good job. Can’t really put this up on the fridge so well.

  17. Xanto says:

    I also loved the “Jesus wept,” line! Lisa’s presence is a bit abrupt, but I’m interested to see how it plays out!

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