- Author: Dionne Lister
Book online «Westerham Witches and a Venetian Vendetta Dionne Lister (e manga reader .txt) 📖». Author Dionne Lister
Westerham Witches and a Venetian Vendetta
Paranormal Investigation Bureau Book 15
Copyright © 2021 by Dionne Lister
Cover art by Robert Baird
Editing by Hot Tree Editing
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or school assignment.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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This book is dedicated to all those tireless emergency service workers who, at times, sacrifice their sanity and safety to help their communities. To the police, paramedics, doctors and nurses, and firemen and women who risk themselves every day to keep strangers safe, thank you. You are appreciated.
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About the Author
I shut my eyes and angled my face up towards the sun. The comforting warmth and kiss of a gentle breeze on my skin sure felt like freedom. I grinned.
Regula Pythonissam was dead, finished, kaput.
I had my old life back. Well… not exactly my old, old life. It was something even better because it had magic and my mother and the ability to go wherever I wanted without worrying I’d be struck dead at any moment. Oh, and squirrels, lots and lots of squirrels. Speaking of which, there was a gentle tap, tap, tap on my hand. I opened my eyes.
Roger, the grey squirrel with one white paw, blinked up at me from his spot on the outdoor table. He’d left his seat at the mini-picnic table where thirteen of his friends sat, nibbling on nuts. I chuckled. They were so freaking adorable that I almost couldn’t stand it. There were still nuts in Roger’s bowl, though. “I’m not sure what you want, sweetie. You’ve still got food. You don’t feel sick or anything, do you?” I had no idea if he could understand me. One of these days I’d figure out how to talk to animals, dammit. “Hang on a minute.” I visualised me leaving and coming back. Even if I couldn’t pick anything up, didn’t mean the squirrels couldn’t pick up on what I was thinking.
I gave Roger a soft pat on the head, and he closed his eyes. Hmm, he seemed to like it, so I kept stroking him. He chirped. Ooh, maybe that’s what he wanted. Aw. “Way to melt my heart, little guy.” Another squirrel, with a little triangle missing from the side of her ear, who I’d named Scrappy, jumped off the squirrel-sized bench seat and scurried to me. She craned her head up to look at me with large, dark eyes. “Do you want a pat too?” She chittered. I giggled. This was awesome times one hundred. I scratched her head with my other hand. She closed her eyes and made cute squirrely noises. It was as if I’d died and gone to my version of heaven. Thankfully, I’d survived Dana, her father, and their minions, and this was real life.
Good guys did win sometimes.
Footsteps sounded on the garden path behind me. I turned my head just enough to see who it was—I didn’t want to stop patting my jittery friends in case they ran away because of the newcomer.
My mother, her auburn hair cut into a shoulder-length bob, approached, Will at her side. He had a bemused look on his face, but my mother’s forehead wrinkled. She blinked; then a smile quirked up one side of her mouth. “Ah, what’s going on here, then?” After being held captive for so long in the UK by Dana’s father, a slight English accent had crept into her voice, refining the relaxed Aussie edges.
Will grinned. “Lily’s hanging out with her comrades. She’s building a squirrel army to help defend her.”
“Hey, I am not. Well, not anymore. They’re just my friends, and we’re enjoying a farewell brunch together. Maybe one day I’ll need them to take up arms for my cause, but now the RP thing is behind us, the army thing is on the back-burner.” I grinned. Both squirrels chittered, and they sounded annoyed. Oops, I’d stopped patting them. Yikes. I got back to it. “Demanding little beasties, aren’t you?”
Mum and Will sat on either side of me at the picnic table. Mum slowly reached out and patted Roger. “So, we have some good news.”
Seemed like my life was full of good news lately, and I was not complaining. Not. At. All. “And what’s that?”
“I’m coming on holiday with you all.” Her wide smile filled my heart with joy.
Wow, that was some news. Ever since we’d saved her a few weeks ago, she’d been wary and staying close to home. This was the best surprise ever. I threw my arms around her. “Woohoo! That’s awesome news!” My loud, flamboyant celebrations startled the squirrels. They all took off, scampering and leaping in every direction until there weren’t any left on the table. A couple of little squirrel bowls had turned over in the chaos, seeds scattering everywhere. Oops.
Will chuckled. “Yeah, they’d make a great army. So steadfast and brave.”
My mother snorted. So, that’s who I got it from. I shrugged, pretending everything was fine. “So, they need some training. I still believe in them and my vision for a furry ninja cohort of armed squirrels.”
Mum patted my hand. “That’s my girl, stubborn and persistent.” Her eyes glistened, and she blinked back tears. “Thank you for never giving up on me and your father. I know he’d be so proud of you.” She shook her head. “I never stopped believing you and