The Lost Witch by David Tysdale

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Carole isn’t entirely human, but doesn’t quite believe it. After all, it’s not that unusual to talk with pigs or have rubbery bones. If only she could convince her foster-father to leave the horrible Murtz family farm and find work elsewhere, Carole is certain their lives would improve. Catapulted into a peculiar and dangerous quest, she fights werewolves, dines with faeries, battles dragons, and talks to pigs. Never in her wildest dreams would she have suspected that her freakish abilities are all that stands between the eventual collapse of the universe and finding her way home.


Brutus sounded the alarm with a low throaty growl. It was picked up and amplified by the other cats.

"That be warning plenty enough," Herling told them. "We be quiet now, so as not to rile the beast excessively. Come, Sylphwood, ye get to the middle of we witches. Mariat ye stand next to Sylphwood."

The rest of the witches and cats moved to form two large circles around the girls, cats on the outside and witches on the inside.

"Westhill Witches," Head witch Herling spoke softly, "Sylphwood multitasker be our great hope for ending Conundrum, and saving our realm from such as the last years has brung us. Shield her with yer magic and, if needs be, with yer blood."

She turned to the girls. "Mariat, be there need, take Sylphwood to flight by yer broom. No lollygagging about neither. "

Mariat's reply was cut off by a bloodcurdling howl that sent shivers screaming up Carole's spine.

"'Tis close," Mariat whispered. "Not much by way of warning with this beast, neither. Tis unusual, that."

Moments later the howl came again, this time directly outside the door. It was followed within a heartbeat by a second howl from the back of the building. The witches shifted about uneasily.

"That be real strange," Mariat said in a near whisper. "Northern wolf always travels alone."

"Be ye ready, girl!" Herling warned in a raspy whisper. Cats and witches began chanting softly.

Carole could feel the prickly power rising in the hall. This time it felt as though the energy was being directed around her instead of at her. She held her breath.

The werewolf gave no more warning. It smashed through a window and came crashing down in a howling flurry of twisting fur and gnashing teeth. But before it touched the floor, it exploded in a puff of black smoke.

Carole got a much better view of the second werewolf, which dropped through the window on the heels of the first, before the coven could charge up a second spell. It landed behind the witches.

With an enraged roar, it leapt directly for her throat.

"Run!" Mariat screamed, trying to step between Carole and the wolf.

Carole wasn't about to lose her new found friend. She dove hard at Mariat's waist, tackling the girl heavily to the floor. The wolf flew over them, its jaws, snapping on thin air, narrowly missing Carole's neck. It crashed headfirst into a table, momentarily stunning itself.

"Now we run." Carole yelled as she ran up the stairs as fast as she could.

Behind her, pandemonium reigned as witches screamed, cats screeched and the beast roared back to life. She stole a quick look behind to make sure Mariat was still with her. What she saw chilled her blood. Instead of the witchling, the werewolf was bounding after her.

  • Published by: Uncial Press

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