For antique shop owners Caitlin and Trevor Fulmer, the intrusion of gods and ghosts is an unfortunate daily occurrence. After a young girl offers Caitlin a gold locket, however, she can’t help but notice it’s oozing with paranormal energy.
More significantly, the locket’s owner is surrounded by Otherworld spirits. Caitlin recognizes in the girl all the signs of a budding witch in the midst of a dangerous crisis.
Can she and her covenmates protect the girl and assist her in embracing her powers, before those beyond the veil extract their revenge?
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Excerpt from Mourning Dove Locket
“Hi,” a girl’s voice drew Caitlin’s attention away from the jewelry. Behind her, for an instant, something shimmered in the sunlight. An old woman smiled, there and gone, startling Caitlin.
She’d had bad luck with fear the last year and wondered when her heart would give out from it. Ghost, another pesky ghost, she thought. Gulf Breeze was full of them, these days. The apparition already gone, Caitlin scrutinized the girl, taking in her dark ponytail, her shorts. She was about fifteen or maybe sixteen, Caitlin judged from the braided bracelet on her wrist, and her height. But more important markers interested her. The girl’s solidity, that she couldn’t see through her, the perfume-cloud around her, and the sheen of sweat on her lip and staining her blue short-sleeved school uniform shirt, told Caitlin she must be alive.
“You like jewelry,” she said.
Caitlin’s hand sought out her peridot and gold ingot necklace, the one she’d received from the goddess Arianrhod, an heirloom her former incarnation had left in her care. Payable on her next life.
The necklace had almost come at a stiff price, very nearly the loss of her beloved Trevor. If she ever met her other self, Kate, in a dark forest, they were going to have a long, serious discussion. She wondered if the other Kate understood what “what the hell, woman?” meant.
She’d seen enough of Kate’s tribulations to know she did.
Caitlin scanned the store, seeking out Hofter—the evil imp who had given them both fits.
Seeing that he wasn’t doing handstands near the doors of the dressing room—or anywhere else, for that matter—she turned back to the teen.
“Sure. Some pieces. Why?”
From her pocket, the girl produced a small, oval gold locket. “I bet you’ll like this.”
Caitlin cocked her head, studying the piece.
She offered it but Caitlin kept her hand firmly placed on her warm hip. She’d learned never to touch first. She’d even become wary of sniffing strange things, in the last few months. As there was no sense in jumping to conclusions yet, she met the girl’s hazel-eyed gaze. Clear and calm, yet expectant.
Her fingers proved warm and soft when she laid the necklace in Caitlin’s. This girl was no ghost.
“It’s my abuela—grandma’s.” She glanced over her shoulder to, Caitlin thought, a woman. “Mom doesn’t want it. She wants to sell it anyway.”
“You should give it back to your grandma, then.”
“I can’t.” The girl shook her head, disturbing her shining black curls. “But my grandma needs it.”
Caitlin wondered how many times a year her heart could stop, and yet, keep her alive. It is my Grandma’s. I can’t give it to her. But Grandma needs it. Oh…
Surely, these weren’t normal verbal slips. She knew present tense when it was used.
Caitlin studied the locket in her hand. Some sort of dove graced the smooth gold cover. She flipped it over, squinting for the maker name or some sort of engraving to identify the owner. She didn’t see one.
Turning it over one more time, she ran a finger over the dove, closed her hand around it. “I can’t take it from you, dear, but let me go talk to your mom.” She smiled at her. “Maybe we can work something out.”
The girl shrugged and headed in the direction of a table full of pots and pans. A woman of clear Hispanic descent stood there, perusing the items. Caitlin approached her yet her daughter made the introductions. “Mom, she’ll give Abuela her necklace.”
Did the teen have any idea what she said? She peered at the girl. She was no ghost.
The woman blinked dark eyes. “It’s a locket, mija, and you know she doesn’t need it anymore,” she said, a hint of accent to her voice. The woman met her gaze, a sheepish smile on her face. “Don’t pay any attention to her, ma’am.”
She doesn’t need it anymore. The grandmother might indeed be dead.
“She has an active imagination.” Yet Caitlin had a feeling the girl was more than imaginative. Was she a budding medium?
Caitlin knew how treacherous the training was. Her heart twisted for the girl. Was she too about to go through hell, as Caitlin had?
She held her hand out for the locket, but a little voice whispered in her mind that it would be better if she made a deal. “I’ll tell you what.” Why can’t Trevor be here for this? Buying and selling antiques was his forte; she was still an apprentice. “My husband owns an antique shop.” She opened her purse, pulled out a Starfort Collectibles business card, and handed it to the woman. “Your daughter says you’d like to be rid of this necklace. I’m sure my husband can give you a fair price for it.”
The woman took the card and studied the embossed lettering, the star sitting beside Trevor’s name.
Starfort Collectibles; Trevor Fulmer, Owner, Proprietor. Caitlin was still pleased with the printing job she’d done here. For however much she hated working for Kameko’s Print Shop, they’d done good work together.
Caitlin frowned at the memory of the print shop’s jackass manager, Calvin. Glad to be out from under Calvin’s thumb, she retrieved her cell phone. A quick search of Starfort Collectibles’ website gave her a good idea of a preliminary offer. Without Trevor, it felt strange to make such a promise, but then she remembered what Michela once told her: Legally, she owned half of their business. Wouldn’t any offer she made be just as valid? Still, flipping the piece over in her hand, she wasn’t sure. “Let me see what I can do.” Caitlin took a few steps away, dialing Trevor’s cell phone number.
“Starfort Collectibles,” Trevor answered in two rings.
“How much would you give someone for an old locket?”
“I don’t know,” Caitlin admitted.
“It’s a bit banged up. There’s a teenage girl offering it to me, so I suppose it’s expected.”
“Why would she offer it to you?” he asked.
“Don’t know. But I have a hunch.”
Caitlin glanced over her shoulder. The mother was trying to mind her own business, so Caitlin lowered her voice. “She claims her grandmother wants me to have it.”
“What’s the grandmother say?” he asked.
She cleared her throat. “I don’t think she cares for money anymore.”
“Oh…” The tone in Trevor’s voice told her he absolutely understood in what world the grandmother currently resided.
Juli D. Revezzo writes fantasy and romantic stories filled in with elements garnered from a lifetime love affair with magic, myth, witches, wizards, and fated lovers and legend. She is the author of The Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, New Adult romance Changeling's Crown, and short stories published in ETERNAL HAUNTED SUMMER, LUNA STATION QUARTERLY, among others. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.
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