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Witch’s Bell


Chapter 1

Ebony opened the door, her car keys banging softly against the chipped wood of the frame. She rubbed gingerly at the scratched paintwork, hoping to smooth out the imperfections. Instead, all she managed was a splinter.

You need a paint job,” she told the store as she walked in, dumping her bag on the counter. She bit her thumb, removing the shard of wood with little effort and spitting it onto the ground. “And I need manners,” she replied to herself with a satisfied laugh.

She didn't have much to do today, in the way of store business that was. She had to stack some shelves, move some books out from the back, and post a couple of rare tomes overseas. Apart from that, this would be a quiet day.

Ebony abruptly stopped short, halfway through flipping the closed-sign to open. This should be a quiet day, she corrected herself. You should never tell the universe what to do. Giving it a categorical order only ever made it tetchy.

Ebony kicked several dusty books out of her path as she made her way over to the window. She intended to yank open her ancient blinds and throw some much-needed morning light over this shemozzle. As the old wooden slats parted with a creak, perfect stripes of light moved across her face and into the room behind. It lit up the dust motes drifting through the air, like seedpods on the wind, and played against the dark mahogany of her loose hair.

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