Hello, I’m Gracie Springs. I used to be a pretty normal girl, until about a week ago. You see, my boss got murdered by magic, then an evil witch and her accomplice tried to frame me for it.
As it turns out, I’m descended from King Arthur. I’ve also been chosen to serve as my witchy cat’s familiar. I used to call him Fluffy, but now I know he much prefers to go by Merlin. He has a famous lineage, too. He’s descended from the original Merlin.
No, not the human imposter everyone thinks they know. The real wizard, who just so happened to be a cat.
Because of our intertwined ancestry, Merlin and I have an almost unbreakable bond. Almost.
The bad guy got away last time, but we both know she’ll be back with a new plan to steal Merlin’s magic from him for good.
While all this has been going on, I’ve also needed to keep up the appearances of a normal life by working my part-time barista job at Harold’s House of Coffee. The shop is in the process of being remodeled, thanks to the very ambitious goals of Harold’s successor, his long-lost daughter, Kelley.
Also, I’m very close to completing my master’s degree in Sociology. I just have to finish my thesis, and then I can find work in my field rather than forever working as a part-time bean-slinger.
Lately, though, I’m plenty busy with getting the hang of my new role as a familiar. Both Merlin and his new girlfriend are more than happy to grill me at all hours of the day and night.
I need to be ready for when the next magical attack happens, and make no mistake, we all know it’s coming soon.
I bet my grandma never would have guessed what was in store for me when she gifted me her small-town Georgia home and retired to the Florida Keys. She certainly didn’t know that a certain magical
Maine Coon had already been scoping her out to work as his familiar, or that he’d later choose me in her place.
Honestly, even though my life has taken a turn for the crazy, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love Merlin, and I love our adventures together, no matter how much they frighten the frijoles out of me.
I can’t cast magic, but that doesn’t mean I’m not important in our fight against the wicked illusion witch who has set her sights on us.
But this time when she finds us, I’ll be ready to take her down.
An unholy shriek woke me from a dead sleep.
I darted upright in bed and grabbed my cell phone to serve as a flashlight. “Who’s there?” I demanded.
But was only answered by Merlin thumping down the hardwood floor in the hallway.
Meeeeeeeeeh! the shriek sounded again, and this time I realized it was Luna crying her heart out.
And so it went. Shriek, scamper. Shriek, scamper. Until at last I made my way into the hall and found them both staring at the far corner of the ceiling with their ears pressed back against their little kitty heads.
“What’s going on?” I asked, knowing full well both of them were capable of more than just uncivilized meows.
“Gh-gh-gh-ghost,” Merlin said, then took another sprint down the short hallway.
I glanced up to the spot where Luna still had her large unblinking eyes fixed… and saw absolutely nothing.
Still, I asked her, “What do you see?” Generally, she was the more logical of the two—or at least the one more likely to open up to me.
“I can’t see anything,” she whispered without removing her gaze from the ceiling. “But there’s an energy that’s forming. It’s not wholly in our world yet. It will be soon, though.”
“So you see a pre-ghost?” I summarized.
“Something like that.”
“But how can you tell? You’re not magical anymore,” I reminded her.
Luna couldn’t stifle the hiss that escaped her. “I may not be a witch, but I am still a cat. Magical or not, we can all see into the supernatural realm.”
“Like Nocturna?” I asked, referring to the magical nighttime city that was only accessible to magical creatures at the twilight hour.
Merlin growled and began to kick up his hind legs.
“Oh, no, you don’t!” I cried, reaching down to pluck him into my arms. “No tornadoes inside the house.”
He growled in dismay until I set him back down.
“We must get rid of it before it takes its full form,” Luna told me as she worried her bottom lip with her top fangs...