The hobgoblin, Shirtazia, is living a peaceful life among mortals until her instinct to reproduce surfaces with murderous results. Bounty hunter for the gods Jared Club is sent to investigate and stop the hobgoblin before folklore becomes fact. The only problem is that hobgoblins can change their appearance so the hunter has no idea who he is looking for. Can he stop the hobgoblin before she kills again or will he become one of her victims?
“She looks just like her mother, doesn’t she?” Rolanda commented to her sister. “They could be twins.”
It was just past noon as the two sisters looked at the young girl sitting in the chair at the front of Kopek’s Herbal Solutions shop from the half-drawn curtain in the back room. Rolanda and her husband had bought the shop seven years ago, in the small Northern Saskatchewan hamlet not for customer traffic, but for the ease of access to the various herbs and barks that surrounded it. The shop itself was more of a puttering spot to mix and dry the herbs and plants before Rolanda shipped them out to various covens worldwide that could make use of them. It wasn’t making The Kopek’s rich, but thanks to her very understanding husband, Rolanda could still practice her witchcraft but be seen as a legitimate small business as well. Rolanda’s older by one year sister, Brenda, was a witch as well, but as far as Rolanda could tell, her sister was an Urban Witch also known to Rolanda as one who believed but didn’t live it.
Rolanda had been quite surprised when Brenda had called the night before to say that she was coming up to visit and ask a favour. Even before they had moved from Regina to here, the two sisters had hardly had any contact since Brenda had turned eighteen and moved out of their parents’ house. It hadn’t been that the two girls weren’t close growing up—they had been. It was Brenda who introduced Rolanda to the herbal books when she was only twelve. It was Brenda that would walk through the fields with Rolanda looking for plants, it was Brenda who introduced Rolanda to the world of Wicca and pledged Rolanda’s entry into the Regina coven. It was just that while Rolanda dove deep, Brenda preferred to tread the surface of the water, attending only a couple of ceremonies in a year at first, then it tapered off to nothing, just an occasional phone call or box of dried plants that Brenda had collected as a sidebar to her travel consultant business trips around the world. To show up with the daughter of a girl they had gone to a weeklong camp with when Rolanda was fourteen and ask if the girl could live with her for a little while was, to say the least, unusual.
Rolanda looked at the girl once more. Shay-Lynn was the spitting image of her mother—not thin but not rotund, thick long auburn hair that half curled along the sides of her smooth rounded facial features that had a glow to the skin that let the girl’s dark brown eyes grab your attention— and that was without makeup. Rolanda thought that the eighteen-year-old dressed a little mature for her age, not provocatively but earthy in a flannel shirt tucked into loose, fitting slacks with beige sandals. Shay-Lynn not only shared her mother’s name and looks but her voice was similar with the little that the girl had said when Brenda was introducing the two, Rolanda recalled. It was such a pity that such a lovely girl had such tragedy at such a young age. It was eerie, Rolanda thought, to give your daughter the same name as your own, but then again it was common to give the grandmother’s so why not she supposed.
Shay-Lynn’s mother and Brenda had kept in touch over the years since that camp, which Rolanda, up until now had thought was a deeper kind of relationship than the one that their homophobic parents would be comfortable with. Two years ago, Shay-Lynn, the mother, had been stricken with ovarian cancer, inoperable and had passed away. The young girl’s father had left the two when the girl was still in diapers, which left only two options. It was foster care or Brenda agreeing to care for her. Brenda had agreed, but now her health was poor. Brenda had found an alternative treatment but it meant that she would be receiving care in Switzerland for almost six months. The treatment was going to be hard on her as it would be difficult just looking after herself let alone a teenager in a foreign country. Of course, Rolanda would take the girl in, a quick phone call to Ted, who never denied Rolanda anything anyway, cemented Shay-Lynn’s stay with the Kopeks. The timing, despite the circumstances, was almost perfect. School had just got out for summer vacation two weeks before, so it would give Shay-Lynn time to get to know some of the kids that she would be riding the bus to La Loche with to college in the fall and, Rolanda suggested, they would simply call it a year so that Brenda would not have to try to enroll Shay-Lynn into a Regina school when she got back. Brenda could stay up with them here as well to help with recuperation. With the arrangements made, Brenda thanked her sister as they went into the front of the shop to explain to the girl the plan. Afterwards, Brenda asked the teenager to help her bring the three suitcases of clothes into the shop.