In a rainy town where nothing ever happens, a sardonic yet bubbly potions witch on the outs with her family after a failed Valentine’s Day love potion has her entire life turned upside down. With her shop being raided by people seeking out her love-potion-turned-accidental-hallucinogen, she is forced to put everything on hold to face what is quickly becoming an ordeal worse than anything the town has ever seen.
When bad turns to worse, she is attacked on a dark road after her car is sabotaged, saved by a dragon that looks far too much like a sexy version of Dracula, and thrown into a world of fae mafia and an omnipotent being that appears to be entangled in it all with her.
Storm Carlisle must try to juggle a budding relationship with a man who is more beast than human, struggle with a family who is far too involved in her business, and stop the enemies who are hell-bent on recruiting her to join their side while corrupting every inch of the three worlds they can get their hands on.
Putting all of that aside, getting some fresh air out there might be just the thing to take my mind off of it all. Sometimes all it took to take a little bit of the weight off of your shoulders was as simple as standing still and letting yourself sink into a cool evening night. I never got to sit and enjoy myself anymore, and even though this was forced upon me by some twist of fate, I was going to enjoy the small bit of peace.
It was about thirty minutes later when I grew tired of smelling the roses.
Maybe it was me, but those trees were starting to look less scenic and more like they were harboring some kind of monster in their depths. I knew I tended to see the worst things in the dark once the sun set, thanks to my urge to freak out at the slightest bump in the night, but this time it didn’t feel like I was irrational.
I tried to ignore the feeling as I snuggled deeper into the inky cab of my car, but the woods seemed to grow bigger and louder around me. Every second the sound of crickets and rustling leaves grew until it was an overwhelming symphony in my ears.
I closed my eyes, closing off the world around me, trying to focus just on myself.
I jolted up in my seat, eyes flying open. The sound came from the top of my car, the sound of protesting metal. I tried to look around my dark windows, but whatever it was couldn’t be seen from where I sat. I could only see the desolate roads long overdue for an update that would never come.
Absentmindedly my hand snuck to the switch to lock my doors, even though I already knew the car was locked up tight.
The hair on the backs of my arms stood straight, the first sign of my instinct sensing something very off. No other sound came, and I was left with nothing but the ringing in my ears and the feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong.
I tried telling myself it must have been a fluke, something falling from the trees. I remembered this fat little squirrel used to love pummeling my sister with acorns from his perch in my great-grandmother's bat tree when I was younger, so maybe it was something like that.
It didn’t help with my tension in the slightest. My nerves were wound so tight I swore they would snap if even the slightest sound came from outside my car.
Another loud crack right above my head made me shriek and jump, almost sliding right into the steering wheel. I barely had time to react before the sound came again, closer to where I sat in the car.
Then another, and another. The sound was growing louder and louder, accompanied by the unmistakable sound of metal creaking. I felt a tremor run through me, and I had to will my trembling body to look up at where the noise was now coming from. Deep welts were beginning to pierce the metal, and each new sound was mirrored by a large indent being punched right into the thick metal of the car roof.
It looked like claw marks, jagged and uneven. The marks of a hungry beast.
I wasn’t screaming anymore. Instead, I sat very still trying not to draw attention to myself. I knew if it kept up the noise, whatever it was, it was going to kill me.
I knew now this was no coincidence. Whoever stranded me out here wanted to leave me for this thing, and I was too terrified to care.
Even though I could barely move, I tried looking around for a sign of what the creature might be, looking for anything that could help me try and figure out how to stop it. I only caught a glimpse of an impossibly pale limb, skeletal thin, as it shot above me out of sight.
I tried to comb my mind for any scrap of information that might match what little I saw, but the little glimpse was too fast to identify anything important. It was too brief, too little. It could be any number of creatures.
It was clear that whatever was shaking my car was no human, however, and definitely not a zombie, though its pallid color did match that of one. As each indent above me grew deeper and shook the car harder, I knew I had no time to play the identifying card.
My potions weren’t an option. Since I couldn’t identify what it was, I had no chance of landing a blow that would harm it, but my only other option was my Witch’s Fire. I didn’t even know that I could call upon it. Every time I had tried in the past, the spell was weak, and I knew the idea was not an option.
I couldn’t get out and try my luck fighting the thing. My mind rebelled at the idea of getting out of the safety of my car, even if it was currently turning into a mess of scraps above my head. It was a miracle the windows hadn’t blown out yet.
As if the fates themselves were on my side, a flash of gold in the dark drew my gaze, and I was met with the shiny gold badge of the Witches-Brew Cove police.
The cops had finally come. Or rather, the cop. A single man in civilian clothes stood at the foot of my car, and at that moment I couldn’t care less. Anything could have appeared in the dark wearing a badge, and I would be jumping for joy.
I was so distracted by my relief at his sudden appearance that I nearly missed the dark fog of shadowy magic engulfing his body. The sounds on the hood of my car halted, and whatever it was made an angry keening cry at the growing shadow. It sounded like a child’s cry mixed with that of a screeching cat, a sound that came straight from the depths of a nightmare.
I clutched my ears, trying to protect myself against the piercing sound, but it bounced around in my skull with dizzying force.
The fog had just begun to clear as the man launched himself over my car hood in a single bound, thudding against the creature and revealing strong scaled animal legs. I immediately recognized that whatever my savior was had to be some kind of shifter, and I thanked the fates for granting me luck once more.
I watched through my back window as the two slammed to the ground just behind my car, getting a glimpse at the pale skeletal creature clutched in the former police officer’s scaled grasp.
“Please let him win,” I begged. “Please let him win.”