- Author: Kal Aaron
Book online «Southwest Truths (Semiautomatic Sorceress Book 3) Kal Aaron (classic literature list .txt) 📖». Author Kal Aaron
Semiautomatic Sorceress™ Book 3
Kal Aaron Michael Anderle
This book is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Sometimes both.
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First edition, April 2021
eBook ISBN: 978-1-64971-664-4
Print ISBN: 978-1-64971-665-1
Author Notes - Kal Arron
Author Notes - Michael Anderle
Connect with The Authors
About Kal Aaron
Books By Kal Aaron
Books By Michael Anderle
The Southwest Truths Team
Thanks to our Beta Team:
John Ashmore, Larry Omans, Kelly O’Donnell
Wendy L Bonell
Diane L. Smith
Skyhunter Editing Team
This book is dedicated to all my past English teachers. Thank you for cultivating my love of creative writing.
To Family, Friends and
Those Who Love
May We All Enjoy Grace
to Live the Life We Are
The round clamped in the rune-covered vise vaporized in a bright flash in front of Lyssa, leaving a dense cloud of acrid smoke. Her eyes watered and she coughed, then backed away from the workbench, trying to wave the unpleasantness out of her face.
Her regalia mask wasn’t helping. It was annoying to be required to wear it for maximum power during the enchantment ritual, but she needed something more mundane and industrial-strength for the situation. After all these years, she kept convincing herself that sort of mistake wouldn’t happen during a ritual.
Serafina giggled and clapped behind Lyssa. There was something absurd about the woman doing it in her Imperfect Smith regalia with its dark heavy apron, thick gloves, and mask that was the twisted child of a welding visor and something used to imprison kings in medieval dungeons.
“I told you to be careful,” she said. “You didn’t have it under control. You said you had it under control, but it had you under control. Totally. Completely. Of all the things that have had—”
“I get it,” Lyssa interrupted, waving her hand. “We don’t need to spend the next ten years discussing this, and I was careful. That wasn’t my fault.”
The bullet was mocking her. That had to be it. A spirit possessed the round and was determined to humiliate her as a sick form of entertainment. Spirits probably did that sort of thing all the time and no one knew about it, not even Sorcerers and Sorceresses.
Or she’d not been careful enough because she was in a hurry. But that was too straightforward an answer, and it had the annoying side effect of placing all the blame on her.
Lyssa glanced at the rack. It contained three more sigil-etched rounds. Dark, intricate whorls covered the shells’ casings, each the product of hours of painstaking sorcery-infused ritual etching by both Sorceresses. The loss of the round caused most of their day to be wasted, yet Serafina acted like it was a big joke.
After taking a deep breath, Lyssa pulled another round from the rack and stared at it. Unlike her other enchanted rounds, which sat in boxes in a vault at home waiting to be loaded into magazines, she never had more than a handful of showstoppers, typically not more than six, and generally not more than three on her person.
The expense in time, materials, and effort made stockpiling the rounds less than practical, though some of the limitations were self-imposed. The fewer she had, the less she was tempted to use them for common problems.
Lyssa typically didn’t see the enchanted rounds after loading her magazine. That meant each new preparation session made the sigils feel fresh.
Lyssa secured the new round in the vise and cupped her hands around it. She began chanting in Phrygian and visualizing complex sigils. Shadowy strands appeared, passing through and around the object, and the sigils glowed a dark purple. It was a promising beginning.
“It’s good to have more options,” Jofi said. He was secure in his guns, which were both in their holsters. She ignored him and continued her spell. “I was concerned you wouldn’t replenish the ones you expended fighting the monster near the mine. It’s been some time.”
Lyssa knew exactly how long it had been. Jofi had mentioned it several times since the Cochise County incident. She’d kept putting him off about getting new showstoppers and chose to ignore him that time as well. She needed to concentrate on the spell.
The seconds fed into long minutes. Her melodic chanting strained her voice. Sweat covered her forehead. The purple glow grew into an impenetrable opaque cloud surrounding the round and she stepped away, wiping her forehead with her sleeve, her breathing ragged.
Serafina pumped her fist. “There you go! We’ll let that one cool off. Just a few more, then we can let them stabilize, and I’ll begin my end tomorrow.” She motioned at a magazine on the other end of the table. “That’ll take care of what you recently used until I get the others finished. First, though, bad idea to let too much charged material sit around.” She put her fingers in her mouth and let out a sharp whistle. “Cleanup on aisle one.”
A tiny construct in the form of an eyeless silver doll