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Snippet from One Fat Witch by Heather Poinsett Dunbar and Christopher Dunbar

1

September 8, 2016 by triscellepublishing

A few weeks ago I posted a quote from this scene.  Here’s the entire piece from one of the manuscripts we’ve been working on lately.

Hazel, an Archaeology prof as well as a solitary eclectic witch decides to visit a new age story called Bunny’s Garden with a coworker and picks up a new piece of jewelry that catches her eye.

For those in the know, the term ‘bunny’ or rather ‘fluffy bunny’ has a lot of connotations in the Pagan/New Age arena.

However, this piece of jewelry is anything but ‘fluffy bunny’.  😉

It’s a first draft, so please be gentle.  😉

****

They exited the sushi bar and headed towards Bunny’s Garden.

“Okay, you were right about the sake,” Hazel admitted.  “It was much better than a margarita.”

“Hey, the Japanese have been pairing sake and sushi for generations.  They know their food and tequila may not mix,” Steven said.

They approached Bunny’s bay window.  Hazel stared through the window and blinked at all the sparkly things.  There were crystals, little statues of angels, with a few Buddha, fairies, and various gods and goddesses scattered amongst the glittering items.  A lone unicorn stood by one of the angels appearing to be somewhat out of place.  A box revealed some odds and ends. A sign in the window advertised aura readings, tarot and rune readings, reiki healings, and other services.

Steven pointed out the aura reading.  “Do people really believe in this?”  He asked.

Hazel smiled a little.  “I suppose it’s possible that some people can sense beyond the visual spectrum and it may appear to be an aura, but I personally don’t believe it that.  My mom does though. In fact,” she leaned in closer to Steven.  “My sister does the readings.”

Steven chuckled a little and opened the door.  The door chimes rang a welcoming trill of notes.

Within seconds a red-headed woman pranced into view.

“Hazel!  Give me a hug!”

Quinn was as beautiful as Hazel found herself plain and somewhat fat.  Quinn had a slender svelte figure, long legs, and Hazel was simply just never quite as sparkly as her much younger sister.  It was as though the Gods or Goddesses…whomever, decided that Hazel was a test run on a prototype and Quinn was version 2.0.  Hazel was a five-year-old slide phone that handled things reliably and efficiently and Quinn was the latest and greatest iPhone that still suffered from a glitch or two.

Hazel returned Quinn’s hug.  Then released her sister.

“Ooooo,” Quinn touched a strand of Hazel’s hair.  “I love this.  Is it teal?”

“Teal, purple, and blue,” Hazel answered.  She had added strands of funky colors to her plain brown hair.  “You only live once, right?”

“In this form,” Quinn grinned.  “Wanna see my latest ink?”  She rolled up her sleeve.

“It’s lovely,” Hazel touched the rainbow of colors decorating the merman. Quinn as usual was as colorful as a gay pride parade.  One never knew what she’d have next.  Last time it was a nose ring, but Quinn decided it emphasized her nose too much.

Quinn looked over at Steven and smiled.

“Oh sorry, Quinn you remember my colleague and lunch buddy, Steven, right?”

Quinn rushed over and embraced Steven as if they were old friends.

Steven looked a little uncomfortable but returned the hug.  “Of course, we met a few months ago at the tea shop next door.”

“Oh I better get back to my customer.”  Quinn released Steven.  “I’ll be right back.”  She ran back to the woman standing by the cash register.  “I’m so sorry.  My sister came in and I just had to give her a hug.”

“Is there anything new?”  Hazel called out.

“We just put out some new jewelry today and some books on the new book shelf,” Quinn responded.  She returned to checking out her customer.

“Is your sister always this friendly and open?” Steven asked.

Hazel strolled over to the jewelry case.  “Only always,” she answered.  “Quinn has the charm, the looks, and energy.  However, sometimes she isn’t exactly sensible.”  Hazel paused as she focused on new items with Steven.  “I remember one summer Quinn was convinced she was otherkin.”

Steven smiled a little.  “That’s when someone thinks they’re an otherworldly or mythical being trapped in a human’s body, right?”

“I think so,” Hazel nodded a bit. “Quinn thought she was an elf.”

“Really?” Steven looked a little surprised.

“She changed her mind that fall,” Hazel answered.  “Quinn gets odd new age-y beliefs sometimes that have little to do with reality or real mythology.  Usually she gets out of it quickly, but she’s working on her MBA now.  I’m sort of proud that she decided to do that.”

Steven smirked.  “If you and I had done that we might have been rolling in money at this point instead of grasping for tenure and research grants.”

“True, it may have been another type of misery though.”  Hazel turned back to the jewelry.  “What are you going to get the wifey?

“Probably something with angels,” Steven admitted, “but I’ll pick up some booze and chocolate after work.  She and I need to celebrate next.”

Hazel nodded and began looking through the displays.  She passed up the usual crystals, mermaids, pixies, and other cutesy items.  Then something unique captured her attention and she could not look away.

A necklace with a red stone of some sort in the center laid amidst all the other usual offerings at Bunny’s Garden.

It was very striking and appeared to have a dark metallic finish on the embellishments.  On closer inspection she could see intricate metalwork around the red stone.  The cut stone or crystal revealed many facets of the large gem.  It was deep red through and through, yet slightly opaque with a strange inner glow.

Hazel couldn’t tell if it was a special treatment or what. The stone, metalwork, and necklace exuded a sense of timelessness and strength.

Hazel smiled at the necklace and barely noticed Quinn’s arrival at the jewelry case.

“I know that look,” Quinn said.  “There’s something here you can’t live without!”

“Huh?” Hazel said.  She pointed at the bauble.

Quinn looked down.  “Ewwwww!” she exclaimed.  “It’s so ugly and dark.  It feels so angry to me!  Why on earth do you want such an ugly necklace?”

Hazel smiled and stared back down at the necklace.  “I just do.”

“It’s not…” Quinn sputtered for a moment.  “Well, it does practically match every one of your black outfits.  I still don’t know.”

“How much,” Hazel asked.  “It doesn’t have a price tag on it.”

“Huh, that’s weird,” Quinn commented.  “Let me go find Bunny and she’ll be able to tell us how much and something about it.”  Quinn pulled out some velvet pieces, picked up the necklace, and placed the necklace on the counter.  “Hazel, can you keep an eye on the front for me until I get back.”

“Yeah, sure,” Hazel agreed, not really hearing what Quinn said.  Part of her felt some strange trepidation about touching the necklace.  The stone beckoned her to reach out a finger and stroke the elegance.  She reached out her right hand.  Every inch closer a strange confidence grew within.

“Oh that piece.”

The interruption broke Hazel’s concentration. Bunny, the proprietor of Bunny’s Garden walked towards Hazel in a long dress and several pounds of crystals and silver do-dads.  Once she had been a Catholic sister.  The idea of that was most amusing.

Bunny looked at her as if perplexed.  “Are you alright, dear?”

Hazel knew she would normally be somewhat annoyed.  She had to get back to work soon and to her lovely meeting with Peyton, but something made her feel a little bit positive about the rest of her day.

“I’m doing really well, Bunny,” she replied.

Hazel collected her thoughts.  “Can you tell me about this piece?”

Bunny looked down at the necklace and pursed her lips as if confused.  Then the elder woman frowned.

“It’s the strangest thing,” Bunny began.  “I’m embarrassed to say that I know nothing about this necklace or stone.  It’s in the locked case.  Either Quinn or I put it in here.  Quinn dear, do you remember putting this necklace in the display?”

“I would remember putting that icky thing out there, ewwww,” Quinn replied.

“Perhaps another employee put it in the case.” Bunny shrugged a bit.  “It’s not something we’d normally sell.  I’m a little surprised to see it here.”

Hazel rubbed her hands together.  “You can still sell it though, right?”

“Absolutely,” Bunny answered.  “I just don’t know the price.  I don’t even remember what I paid for it.”

“Well,” Hazel studied the necklace again for an all-too brief moment.  “Just tell me what you think is a fair price for it.”

Bunny picked up the necklace, ignoring the velvet piece Quinn used to touch it.  “It’s metal and the weight feels like silver, but it’s dark.  The stone is a garnet I think.  A pyrope garnet.  It’s probably worth $100.  How’s that?”

Bunny met Hazel’s eyes and grinned.

“I’ll take it,” Hazel pulled out her debit card.  “I’ll wear it out.”

Steven walked over with a pair of angel earrings and examined the necklace and pendant.  “Fascinating.  You’re getting it right?”

“Yes, it’s a treat for me,” Hazel grinned and put on the necklace.

“It matches your clothes perfectly.  Mysterious…” he paused, “but exquisite.”  Steven blushed a little.

Hazel found the expression on Steven’s face a little odd.  Then he looked away and his redness faded.

“It’s lovely.”  Steven put the earrings on the counter.

“Oh this is a beautiful choice,” purred Bunny.  “The silversmith lives in Colorado and says the angels inspire all his works.”  She continued talking as she rung up her other sale.

Hazel kept touching her new necklace and imagined herself as empress of a distant land, wearing her new otherworldly jewelry.  She found the imagery intoxicating.

“Here’s your receipt and card!”  Quinn interrupted her fantasy.  “I can’t believe you got that, but it does sort of suit you.  It’s just so negative feeling though and it makes my head hurt.  Bye sis.  I’ll call you soon as soon as I get a break from work and studying.”

Quinn hugged her for a moment and walked off.

Hazel didn’t even realize when Steven completed his sale and picked up his bag.

“Hey Hazel, we gotta get back to USM.”

“Yeah, right.”  She followed Steven out.

He went to the driver’s side of the car.  “Yikes, I’ll drop you off at the building and then park.  Hopefully we won’t be late.”

Hazel looked at Steven and smiled.  “I’m fine.  Despite the horrible morning, I think the rest of the day will be fantastic.”

****

I hope you all enjoyed.  Have a great rest of the week!

 

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